Business Licenses & Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Building, Electrical, & Plumbing Permits

Building, electrical, and plumbing permits are available from the City's Planning and Development Department Code Enforcement Division located in the Municipal Building. For information on these permits, please call 865-425-3532.

Soliciting Permit

Ordinance number 22-2012 makes it unlawful for any person to solicit, for-profit or nonprofit, within the city without first obtaining a permit.

There is a $40 non-refundable fee due with the application, which can be picked up from the Utility Business Office at the address below. A nationwide background check will be performed on the applicant through the Utility Business Office before permission to solicit can be given.

City of Oak Ridge Utility Business Office
200 South Tulane Avenue
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0001

Business License

Business licenses are handled through the City's Utility Business Office located in the Municipal Building. For information on how to obtain a city business license, please call 865-425-3406.

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. The Business Tax Guide (PDF) outlines the Tennessee business tax laws.

A business license application (PDF) must be completed and remitted to the City of Oak Ridge Utility Business Office along with $15. You may download the application and mail it to the address below or pick up the application in person at:

City of Oak Ridge Utility Business Office
200 South Tulane Avenue
Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-0001

For Food Truck Vendors Only: You must include an additional signature page when submitting the business license application. Download the required document (DOC).

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

Renewal Business Licenses

Chapter 530 of the Public Acts of 2009 amended various provisions of the Tennessee Business Tax Act for the purposes of simplifying the tax and shifting its primary administration from the local level to the state level. Beginning with Classification 1 taxpayers, due February 28, 2010, all business tax returns will now be 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.


The following are examples of businesses in each class of business license. This list is not exhaustive:

  • Class I (January 1 through December 31)
    • Service stations (gasoline), grocery stores, food wholesalers, hardware stores, building materials suppliers, feed stores, food brokers, beer package stores, beer wholesalers, wholesale gasoline, and diesel fuel suppliers.
  • Class II (April 1 through March 31)
    • Advertising specialty dealers, automobile and motorcycle dealers, boat and camper dealers, department stores, florists and plant stores, home furnishing stores, appliance and electronic stores, restaurants, liquor stores, liquor wholesalers, and all businesses not enumerated elsewhere.
  • Class III (July 1 through June 30)
    • Antique dealers, delicatessens, jewelry stores, card shops and book stores, pawn shops, beauty and barber shops, schools, architectural and artist supply stores, stores dealing in hearing aids, razors, luggage, optical and ophthalmological supplies, typewriters, sporting goods, and business services.
  • Class IV (October 1 through September 30)
    • General contractors, subcontractors, and produce dealers.

Renewal Dates

Business licenses expire on the due dates listed, but a 60-day grace period is allowed for reporting gross receipts, paying applicable taxes and purchasing a new license. Penalty and interest accrue as of the delinquent date.

IDecember 31March 1
IIMarch 31June 1
IIIJune 30September 1
IVSeptember 30December 1