Business Licenses

State law requires that all businesses (with some exceptions as outlined in state law) operating inside the City of Oak Ridge have a business license.   

If the business is to be operated from the home, a home occupation application is required with approval by the City’s Community Development Department prior to a business license being issued. Contact the residential planner with the Community Development Department at (865) 425-3531 with any questions and to confirm the current fee.

All business tax returns are filed with the Tennessee Department of Revenue.  Return forms and instructions may be obtained at the attached link for the State of Tennessee.  Once the business tax return has been processed by the State of Tennessee, the State will notify the City of Oak Ridge who will issue the actual business license to the taxpayer.   

Business taxes, unlike property taxes, are not based on an assessment performed by a government agency. Business taxes are assessed against the gross receipts during a certain time period. 


Building/Zoning/Trades Permits

Building permit applications require a site or plot plan and set of building plans.  Small projects such as decks, residential additions, etc., can be hand drawn with sufficient clarity and detail to indicate the nature and character of the work.  All commercial plans prepared by an architect or engineer shall be affixed with their name and address and/or their official seal. For information visit the Planning Division website.

All building, electrical, and plumbing contractors must have the appropriate trades license in order to obtain permits in the City of Oak Ridge. The limited license for electrical and plumbing contractors issued by the State of Tennessee is not recognized by the City of Oak Ridge. All building, electrical and plumbing permits must be obtained separately.