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17 Best Business Ideas In Tennessee

Written by:

Esther is a business strategist with over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, executive, educator, and management advisor.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

17 Best Business Ideas In Tennessee

Tennessee is famous for country music, Graceland, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. Obviously, the music and entertainment industry is among the state’s growth drivers. Other thriving economic sectors are healthcare, advanced manufacturing, corporate operations, and supply chain management. 

Besides these industries, the professional and business services sector is also seeing high demand. So you might consider IT consulting, freelance paralegal, appliance repair, or landscaping. Check out our great list of Tennessee business ideas to jumpstart your next entrepreneurial endeavor.

1. Manufacturing

How to Start a Pallet Manufacturing Business

In Tennessee, the manufacturing sector is a robust pillar of the economy, particularly in the automotive, food, and chemical industries. A manufacturing business here benefits from the state’s strategic location, which allows for efficient distribution to markets across the U.S. Additionally, Tennessee’s favorable tax structure and skilled workforce make it an attractive location for manufacturers looking to optimize production while maintaining high standards of quality.

2. Health Care

How to start a home health care business

Tennessee, home to healthcare giants like HCA and Community Health Systems, presents a fertile ground for health care businesses. With a rapidly growing population and a significant retiree influx, health services are in high demand. Starting a healthcare enterprise in Tennessee means tapping into an ecosystem of medical excellence and innovation, especially in cities like Nashville, which is known as the nation’s healthcare hub.

3. Retail

retail store business idea

The retail landscape in Tennessee is as diverse as its geography, ranging from the bustling shopping districts in Nashville to the quaint boutiques in towns like Franklin. With a solid tourist industry and a loyal local customer base, retail businesses thrive on the state’s mix of urban appeal and southern charm. Retailers benefit from Tennessee’s no personal income tax policy, which increases disposable income and consumer spending.

4. Graphic Design

How to start a graphic design business

With Tennessee’s burgeoning startup scene and established corporations, there’s a steady demand for graphic design services. Creative professionals can leverage the state’s rich music and arts culture to inspire innovative design solutions that resonate with a wide array of businesses, from hospitality to tech. Moreover, the state’s supportive environment for the arts provides a network of collaboration and inspiration for graphic designers.

5. Wholesale

wholesale business idea

Positioned as a logistical hub, Tennessee offers wholesale businesses a strategic advantage. The state’s central location and extensive transportation network, including major interstates and rail services, facilitate the efficient movement of goods. Wholesalers in Tennessee can efficiently serve the Southeastern market and beyond, ensuring that products move swiftly from warehouses to retail shelves.

6. Insurance

How to start a insurance agency

The insurance industry in Tennessee is primed for growth, with the state’s diverse demographics driving the need for various insurance products, from health to property and casualty. As Tennessee grapples with weather-related challenges, like the increased frequency of tornadoes, the demand for comprehensive insurance coverage presents significant opportunities for insurance firms.

7. Real Estate Agency

how to start a real estate business

Tennessee’s real estate market has been soaring, thanks to its affordable cost of living and appealing lifestyle. Cities like Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga are experiencing a surge in both residential and commercial real estate needs. Real estate agencies here are well-positioned to capitalize on this growth, assisting newcomers and locals alike in navigating the vibrant property landscape.

8. Home Builder

How to start a construction company

The home construction industry in Tennessee is booming as more people move to the area for its job prospects, moderate climate, and natural beauty. Home builders in Tennessee can leverage the growing demand for both urban dwellings in rapidly expanding cities and the serene retreats in the state’s picturesque countryside. With a strong commitment to quality and sustainability, home builders can thrive in the state’s diverse and expanding housing market.

9. Restaurant

How to start a restaurant business

From Memphis BBQ to Nashville hot chicken, Tennessee’s rich culinary scene is an incubator for restaurant ventures. Restaurateurs can tap into a culture that celebrates food with passion and pride, drawing in both locals and tourists. A Tennessee restaurant could blend traditional Southern flavors with modern culinary trends to create a dining experience that’s as unique as the Volunteer State itself.

10. Freelance Paralegal

How to start a freelance business

The legal landscape in Tennessee, with its mix of bustling metropolitan courts and smaller rural legal practices, presents a ripe environment for freelance paralegals. Professionals in this field can offer vital support services to attorneys who handle diverse cases, from civil rights to entertainment law, reflecting Tennessee’s multifaceted legal needs.

11. Hair Salon

How to start a hair salon

Tennesseans take pride in their appearance, and a hair salon business can capitalize on this aspect of the local culture. With a keen eye for the latest trends and a dedication to personalized service, a hair salon in cities like Nashville or Knoxville could cater to a clientele that values both style and community.

12. IT Consulting Firm

How to start a consulting business

The technology sector in Tennessee is on the rise, making it an opportune time for IT consulting firms. Such businesses can support local industries in their digital transformation journeys, providing expertise in areas like cybersecurity, cloud services, and software development, which are increasingly vital in the state’s competitive business environment.

13. Landscaping Business

How to start a landscaping business

With its varied geography and four distinct seasons, Tennessee offers landscapers the opportunity to engage in a wide range of projects. A landscaping business can thrive by providing services that enhance the natural beauty of residential properties or by contributing to the green spaces in Tennessee’s urban development projects.

14. Cremation Business

How to start a crematorium

As societal preferences shift towards cremation, starting a cremation business in Tennessee could meet an emerging need. Such a service would appeal to the state’s diverse population, offering an alternative to traditional burial practices with options that respect the wishes of individuals and families.

15. Foreclosure Clean-out

How to start a cleaning foreclosed homes

The unfortunate reality of foreclosures can be turned into a business opportunity in Tennessee, where the housing market ebbs and flows. A foreclosure clean-out company provides banks and real estate agents the necessary services to prepare foreclosed properties for sale, contributing to the rejuvenation and turnover of the housing market.

16. eBay Business

ebay business idea

Tennessee’s central location and distribution advantages play well to the logistics of an eBay business. Entrepreneurs can leverage the state’s lower cost of living and warehouse space to store and ship a variety of goods, capitalizing on the growing trend of online shopping and the platform’s vast market reach.

17. Appliance Repair

How to start a handyman business

In a state where people value practicality and self-reliance, an appliance repair business could be quite successful. Tennesseans looking to extend the life of their home appliances would seek out skilled repair services, making this a valuable and recession-resistant trade in both urban and rural parts of the state.


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17 Best Business Ideas In Tennessee