Getting Started: Startups & Entrepreneurs

Business License Information

For questions regarding business licenses, business taxes and certain permits, please contact the City of Chattnooga’s Treasury Office at 423-643-7262 or via email at busl@chattanooga.gov. For questions pertaining to permit calculations and zoning for your business, please click HERE. For questions related to Short Term Vacation Rental (STVR or AirB&B), please click HERE.

Your First Steps As An Entrepreneur

You own (or want to own) a new restaurant, barbershop, event planning company, or food truck. Yes, you can cook or cut hair or plan a new bride’s wedding down to the last detail. You want to use these skills to start your own business, be your own boss, and make your own money. These skills are great, but now that you’ve started your own business, you may need to acquire a new set of skills to be a great business person. You may need to learn how to market your business; hire and train employees; pay all required taxes; account for inventory; take advantage of peak business hours and seasons; manage cash flow; and set and hit short, medium, and long-range goals for growth. These are skills essential to success. And there are organizations that can help you develop these skills, whether you’re an entrepreneur with a dream of starting a new business or you’re the owner of an existing business. These organizations are staffed by people who believe in the power of small businesses to change the world by creating new jobs and hiring, and by creating new income for business owners. We call these organizations technical assistance providers, and many of them offer free consultation services and appointments. They provide business owners and entrepreneurs with business counseling, guidance, and educational opportunities to help you grow your business through proper planning and sound strategy. And once you form a relationship with them, they remain available as a resource to you throughout the life of your business. Here are a list of technical assistance providers:

We encourage entrepreneurs to connect with one or all of them. Some of our City’s most successful entrepreneurs have worked with multiple technical assistance providers at different points in the development of their businesses. Reach out to all of these organizations by requesting a consultation to discuss your business. Determine which organization you want to work with and continue working with that organization to take advantage of the guidance they can share.

Additional Education Opportunities For Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs and small business owners can take advantage of a variety of educational opportunities. From classes at the INCubator and SCORE to tax courses from the Tennessee Department of Revenue to business courses offered at Chattanooga State Community College and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, there a host of choices for entrepreneurs to consider to help them grow their entrepreneurial knowledge. Please see our list of upcoming events on our calendar to view some of the courses offered. Please also visit the websites for Chattanooga State and UTC’s Gary W. Rollins College of Business to view upcoming undergraduate and graduate business courses.

Discount Commercial/office Space And Co-working Space

Entrepreneurs and small business owners often need discounted and below-market rate rent for commercial or office space. Whether you’re in the market for temporary space or you’re looking for a longer-term commitment, there are options for space that can fit the needs of small business owners and entrepreneurs. For co-working space and/or office space in the City’s Innovation District, contact the Edney Innovation Center HERE. For discounted office space for your growing small business, contact the Chattanooga Area Chamber’s INCubator at the Business Development Center (BDC).