Step 1) Name Your Kentucky LLC

Choose a Business NameWhen forming a Kentucky LLC, the first step is to name it. When naming your business, the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’ should be present in the actual name.

If you are to use abbreviations, Limited Company should be shortened to ‘Ltd Co’. Alternatively, LLC or LC is also allowed. Another important thing to keep in mind when naming your business is the uniqueness of the name. It should not be the same or closely similar to an existing registered business entity at the Office of the Secretary of State.

When you’ve selected a name, check for duplicity using the business name search database. If there is no duplicate, you can have it reserved for 120 days using the form for reservation of reserved name.

Reservation Filing Fee: $15


Step 2) Choose a Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentStarting an LLC in Kentucky requires that you also choose a Registered Agent to receive service of process and legal notifications from the state. This KY Registered Agent should meet all the necessary requirements of the state to qualify for the position, allowing you to file your Articles of Organization as well.

A Registered Agent can be a qualified professional or a duly registered business entity whether domestic or foreign. A physical address should be provided as well where all legal notices will be forwarded.

That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get a Kentucky Registered Agent free of charge when you start your LLC with IncFile.


Step 3) File the Articles of Organization

Register an LLCTo legally register an LLC in Kentucky, you need to file an Articles of Organization. You can download an Articles of Organization form from the Secretary of State of Kentucky website.

Important information that pertains to your LLC are required in the form, so make sure to provide all this correctly and concisely for a smoother processing. Before you submit in your application, be sure to double check everything. This can be filed online or by mail.

Filing Fee: $40


Step 4) Get an EIN for Your Kentucky LLC

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn EIN is required for your Limited Liability Company. This Employer Identification Number is a unique identifier to your business and is used for basically all business transactions from this point forward.

An LLC EIN can be easily obtained in the IRS website. There are also several ways to obtain an EIN, but you can opt for an online application, which is the fastest and easiest method to do it. Note that failure to obtain an EIN means that you cannot legally be recognized by the state.


Step 5) Create an Operating Agreement

Create an Operating AgreementAn LLC Operating Agreement is a valuable internal documentation that will most benefit your business for it protects the legal stature of your LLC. This means that the functional as well as financial aspects of your LLC are clearly governed by a set of internal rules for any contingency.

Writing an Operating Agreement will ensure that your LLC status is secure even if one of the owners of the business leaves. Write one yourself with this online template.


Step 6) Understand Your Kentucky Tax Obligations

Small Business TaxesWhen you’re starting a business in Kentucky, understanding and taking care of your business taxes are a requirement. These are obligations of starting any business in the state, no matter the nature of your business or the business structure you chose.

Take Action: Be sure you understand your obligations at the Kentucky One Stop website. As an added note, an accounting software helps you manage your finances/taxes without the stress.


Step 7) Understand Your License Obligations

Business LicensesAfter handling business tax requirements, you also need to take care of your Kentucky business licenses. These business licenses are essential for your business to operate legally in the state. If you fail to comply with these requirements, you’re going to face charges or pay penalties for not following the state rules.

Take Action: Check out the business license and regulations page on Kentucky One Stop for more information.


To-Do After Starting a Kentucky LLC

Aside from the steps listed above, there are additional steps to take care of before you can become a legally operating LLC in the state of Kentucky. Below are a few additional recommended steps to protect your business’ future and start on the right track.

1) Write a Solid Business Plan

Write a Business PlanHow do you securely plan for your business’ success? For thriving businesses, a solid business plan does the trick. When starting a Kentucky business, it’s important that you not only think about the short-term plans of your business, but rather, you should broaden your horizon and look towards the future.

Take Action: Register to our free planning course or use a business planning software. Both will help you define your customers, refine your business idea, and set goals for the future.


2) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountBy opening a separate business bank account for your Kentucky LLC you will be able to keep all finances separate. This way, you can ensure that all your personal assets will not be mixed up with your business assets, which is extremely important.

You can use the bank you keep your personal account with, just be sure to keep transactions 100% separate. Check your local banks since they are likely the most small business friendly.


3) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteTrust is everything when you’re starting a business in Kentucky. One of the best ways to build trust with your potential customers is to have professional website that explains who you are and what you sell.

With WordPress or Wix, you can start a website for your LLC in minutes and have no need to hire a professional. Both tools have plenty of tutorials online that you can take advantage of and build your site within a few hours.


4) Continue Learning & Stay Inspired

How to Start a BusinessStarting a business in Kentucky isn’t easy. It will take time, patience, and persistence on your part so that you’re able to whether storms and keep moving forward. As a final step to bringing your idea to life and moving forward, we highly recommend subscribing to our entrepreneur interviews.

Every week we send out a newsletter that dives in and figure out what makes successful entrepreneurs tick. It’s totally free and extremely inspiring.

Take Action: Follow our free entrepreneur updates here.

This guide is meant for informational purposes only. Please consult the expertise of your lawyer should you need further clarifications on Kentucky LLC or starting a new business in Kentucky.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

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