Tennessee New Business Filings Finish 2023 with Positive Growth

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – New business filings in the fourth quarter of 2023 rose modestly year-over-year, according to the new Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report issued by Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. 

“Business filings remain high despite more moderate growth rates over the past two years,” said Secretary Hargett. “Tennessee’s economy continues outperforming the nation on key metrics like lower unemployment and higher real income growth. Companies and entrepreneurs continue to establish operations in our state because of the fiscally responsible economic principles we have implemented. This has led to a sound business environment — lower taxes, a skilled workforce, and less burdensome regulations.” 

During the fourth quarter, 16,804 new entities filed in Tennessee, equating to a 0.1 percent growth rate. Over the past year, 77,620 new businesses filed. Increased business filings typically lead to job creation, personal income, and state revenue growth. State employment rose by 22,700 jobs yearly, and unemployment remained low at 3.5 percent, below the national rate of 3.7 percent. 

Davidson and Shelby counties saw the most filings in the third quarter, followed by Knox and Hamilton counties. The four most populous counties accounted for 44.3 percent of new filings statewide and grew by 1.3 percent. For the eighth consecutive quarter, Knox County business filings grew the most rapidly of the large counties, expanding by 49.1 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter. Tennessee’s other 91 counties grew year-over-year by 1.3 percent. 

“The continued strong pace of new business filings and annual reports reflects the underlying strength of the Tennessee economy,” said Dr. Don Bruce, director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research.  “Our low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent is below the national rate and our robust personal income growth rate of 6 percent is significantly outpacing the nation, bolstering Tennessee’s reputation as an excellent place to live and work.”

This report provides a snapshot of the state’s economy based on critical indicators, including new business data from the Secretary of State’s Division of Business and Charitable Organizations. It is published through a partnership with the University of Tennessee Knoxville’s Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research and the Secretary of State.

To review the complete Q4 2023 Tennessee Quarterly Business and Economic Indicators report and past reports, visit sos.tn.gov.