To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C’ are also acceptable. If needed, you can have it reserved for 120 days using the Reservation or Renewal of Registered Name form.
Filing Fee: $15
Starting an LLC requires a qualified Kentucky Registered Agent to receive and help you officially process legal notifications/filings from the state, for example the Articles of Organization. Do keep in mind this agent must be a Kentucky resident or authorized Kentucky business entity.
In terms of pricing you can either hire this professional yourself and pay up to $160/yr or get a Kentucky Registered Agent free of charge when you start an LLC through a service like IncFile or CorpNet.
To legally register an LLC in Kentucky, you need to file Articles of Organization. You can download an Articles of Organization Form from the Secretary of State’s website.
You can file the form through mail or online, but if you don’t have a lawyer and aren’t working with an LLC filing service you need to be careful, take your time, and understand what’s being asked of you before filling anything out and submitting.
Filing Fee: $40
EIN is short for Employer Identification Number, which is kind of like a Social Security Number for your business. It’s typically required for business bank accounts, helps with state/federal taxes, and is needed to legally hire employees.
An LLC EIN can be easily obtained directly through the IRS website or through helpful incorporation services like IncFile, LegalZoom, etc., which streamline the paperwork process.
An Operating Agreement is an internal document that protects the legal stature of your LLC. It irons out the functional and financial aspects of your LLC and how they’re governed. Writing an Operating Agreement will ensure that your LLC is secure, even if one of the owners of the business leaves for example.
To get started, consider checking out this savvy Operating Agreement Tool you can customize yourself.
By opening a business bank account for your Kentucky LLC you’ll benefit from all the perks banks offer to their business clients. Options like Capital One and Chase are two of the bigger banks that offer tons of perks to startups.
Can you use your current bank? Sure, just open up a unique, branded, business account that’s totally separate and you should be fine. No mixing business and personal accounts! Then connect your account to a reliable accounting software to begin managing financials in a responsible way.
These days tax obligations aren’t as complex as they used to be for small business and there are plenty of services that help smooth the way. Make sure to get this groundwork laid very early on to avoid any mishaps, fines, etc.
To get started bookmark the Louisville district office of the Small Business Administration and the Kentucky One-Stop Website because they’re likely going to be go-to sources for a variety of things along the way. If you need additional help, there’s a Business License Service we recommend. They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.
How do you aim for success? For thriving brands, a solid business plan definitely helps. Not just something informal, but a professional game plan that tackles all the important aspects: financials, management, long/short-term goals, demographics, company culture, marketing, etc.
QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING
Trust 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 a professional website explaining who you are and what you’re about.
To be frank, it’s non-negotiable. Your brand has to have a website. Do you need a complex mind-blowing website? No, probably not. But there needs to be something people can engage with and use to investigate your brand. To get started, check out Wix or Weebly and grab a free trial. They are extremely easy to use and priced reasonably.
Note that this article on how to form an LLC in Kentucky isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in Kentucky or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.