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Licenses, Permits, Inspections and Taxes

Business License/Tax Office

State law requires that all businesses (with exceptions for professions, manufacturers, and certain disabled persons) inside the city of Knoxville have both city and county business licenses.

A simple form is completed on each business and a fee for the issue of the initial business license is levied.

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 downtown Business Tax Office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and is located in room 450 of the City County Building, 400 Main Street, in downtown Knoxville. Download our Business Tax License Application [PDF].

Financial information supplied to the city is confidential according to state law. The city cannot give this information to anyone other than the business owner or his/her authorized agent unless the records are under subpoena by a court.

Dogs on Patios

The City now allows restaurants with outside dining areas, such as patios, to provide for dog owners to bring their dogs with them to the outdoor area.

Dogs cannot be taken through the inside area of the restaurant, but must be taken directly to the outside dining area. Restaurants must get a permit from the City to allow dogs and must post rules governing dogs in their place of business.

The special permit, which has a $20 application fee and does not have to be renewed, pertains only to pet dogs, not to service animals. Additional information and the application form are available here.

The form can be submitted in person at the City of Knoxville, Department of Finance and Accountability, Business Tax Section, Room 450 of the City County Building, or by mail to the City Business Tax Section, P. O. Box 1028, Knoxville 37901.

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