The Full Guide to Getting Your Tennessee Credit Services Organization License

Tennessee Credit Services Organization License


A credit services business is anyone who, against a fee, will help consumers to improve their credit record or history. Credit services businesses also help consumers obtain an extension of credit or provide advice or assistance regarding the former.

To operate as a credit services organization in Tennessee you must get licensed with the state Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI).

The licensing process involves meeting a variety of different requirements. Keep reading for a detailed description of the steps involved to become licensed as a Tennessee credit services organization!

Meet the Tennessee Credit Services Organization Registration Requirements

Before you can operate your credit services organization in the state, you need to pass several registration procedures. These include registering your business with the Secretary of State and applying for a license from the TDCI.

Business Documents

To license a business entity, use the Business Services portal at the Secretary of State’s website. Simply follow the steps suggested by the portal.

If you’d like to know more about starting a business in the state, see the Tennessee Smart Start Guide.

When applying for your credit services organization license, you will need to provide the following documents and information:

  • Certificate of Authority (for corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities)
  • Full personal information and social security numbers of each proprietor or general partner (for sole proprietorships and general partnerships)
  • A current copy of a client contract
  • Fee schedule (if the client contract does not include a full list of fees and the services they cover)

Provide a Surety Bond

All license applicants must submit a Tennessee credit services organization bond to the TDCI, along with their license application.

This bond must be in the amount of $100,000. A separate bond must be made available for each location of the organization.

The cost of getting bonded is not the same as the bond amount. The bond premium is a percentage of the bond amount. It is determined by the surety company, based on applicants’ finances. The better your finances – the cheaper it will be to get bonded.

Typically, applicants with very good credit scores (700+ FICO) are offered a rate on their bond between 0.75% and 1.5%. Applicants with lower credit scores can expect to get bonded at a rate of up to 5%.

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Complete the Tennessee Credit Services Organization Registration Application

After you have met all of the above requirements, you can proceed with completing the Credit Services Business Registration application form.

Submit your application to the TDCI at the following address:

Credit Services Businesses 500 James Robertson Parkway Davy Crockett Tower, 9th Floor Nashville, TN 37243

In addition to your application and documents, you will also need to pay a $50 filing fee for each surety bond.

Once the TDCI reviews your registration application, you will be notified of the review’s result. If your application is approved, you will be issued a Tennessee credit services organization registration.

If you have any further questions about applying for a credit services organization bond or license, contact us at 877.514.5146!

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Victor Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two combat tours. As president of Lance Surety, he now focuses on educating and assisting small businesses throughout the country with various license and bond requirements. Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.