STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR LLC'S NAME

Choose a Business Name

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. Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C’ are also acceptable.

Action Steps:

1) Make sure the name is available by doing a Business Name Search through the state.

2) Check to make sure the URL is available and reserve it, which can be done easily through GoDaddy. Even if you don’t plan on starting a website today, it’s a good idea to own the domain now.

STEP 2) APPOINT A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered AgentStarting an LLC requires a qualified Kentucky Registered Agent to receive and help you officially process legal notifications/filings from the state. Keep in mind this agent must be a Kentucky resident or authorized Kentucky business entity. Yes, you can elect to be your own registered agent.

Action StepLearn more about what a registered agent is and decide if you would like to take on this role. The other option is to have a registered agent service handle it for you.

Our recommendation: If this is something you’d prefer not to handle yourself, form your LLC with IncFile and they will give you a free registered agent as part of their service.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION

Register an LLCTo officially register an LLC in Kentucky, you need to file Articles of Organization with the state. You can file by downloading the form and mailing it in or registering online, but if you don’t have a lawyer and aren’t working with an LLC filing service, take your time and understand what’s being asked of you.

Action Step: Decide if you would prefer to form your LLC online or through mail, then use the links above.

Filing Fee: $40

STEP 4) GET AN EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn 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.

This 9-digit code can be easily obtained directly through the IRS website and their online form. If you’d prefer to apply by fax, phone, or mail, here’s a quick guide on doing so.

Action Step: Determine how you would like to apply for an EIN, then take action through the IRS.

STEP 5) DRAFT AN OPERATING AGREEMENT

Create an Operating AgreementAn 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.

Although in Kentucky it’s not required that you have one, it is a best practice.

Action Step: Look through our list of the best LLC Operating Agreement templates online and choose the one you prefer. From there, quickly customize and have it looked over by a professional (if possible).

STEP 6) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountBy opening a business bank account for your Kentucky LLC you’ll benefit from all the perks banks offer to their business clients. Options like Chase and other national banks 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.

Action Step: Do the research (local and national) on which business bank account suites you best. Once you feel good about the features offered, open up that account!

STEP 7) TACKLE LLC TAXES & LICENSING

Small Business TaxesIn regard to license, permit, and tax obligations, make sure to get this groundwork laid very early on to avoid any mishaps, fines, etc. Be sure to do your research and understand what is required for your business specifically since this step varies depending on the state and industry you’re doing business in.

Action Steps:

If you need help with this step, a Business License & Tax Service is what we recommend. They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions. All in one swoop, your research and registration documents will be sent directly to you.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

If you’d like help forming an LLC, here are two great options:

IncFile ($49 + state fees) is ideal if you’re on a budget but refuse to sacrifice quality. However if you’d like to have access to an attorney past LLC formation, Rocket Lawyer ($99 + state fees) is the best option.

Visit IncFile Or Visit Rocket Lawyer

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.