Yes. A person who owns property is allowed one permit every two years to build their home as long as it is not for sale, lease or rent (individual use). If they hire a contractor, the contractor is considered a "prime" and required to be licensed, as well as, obtain the building permit for inspections. (TCA 62-6-103 and Rule 0680-1-.22)
A homeowner should never obtain the permit on behalf of the contractor, as this could relieve the contractor from most liability and insurance requirements. In addition, the contracts should not be split into phases to circumvent the law. Anyone who is paid in excess of $25,000 by the owner is considered a prime and required to be licensed.