How to start a business in Kentucky

7 Simple Steps

STEP 1) PLAN YOUR BUSINESS IDEA

Write a Business Plan

This is your business’ blueprint. It’s your game plan. Not in a cliché sense, but a very real and very effective sense – financials, budgeting, forecasts, management, marketing approach, pitch, and maybe even funding. Once you’ve named and designed your product/service, before anything else when starting a business in Kentucky, carefully lay your foundational strategy.

Take Action: Check out our 100% free Business Planning Guide designed to get you from A-to-Z as pleasantly as possible. Plus, we provide access to tons of other great tools along the way.

STEP 2) FORM YOUR BUSINESS

How to Choose a Business StructureBefore you can officially register a business in Kentucky (and protect your personal assets in the process), you’ll need to choose a business structure.

Most entrepreneurs form an LLC because it has all the benefits of a Corporation without taking on any of its disadvantages like double taxation or board of directors requirements. However if you’re trying to take your company public via an IPO or raise substantial outside capital, consider forming a Corporation.

Take Action: Since this step is so important and expensive if it’s not done correctly, we highly recommend investing 10 minutes to go over your options through our business structure comparison guide. You’ll get a better idea of the advantages and disadvantages of each while building a solid legal foundation for your business.

STEP 3) TACKLE LICENSE & TAX OBLIGATIONS

Business LicensesOnce registered it’s much easier to handle your regulatory obligations, whether you’re a brick and mortar business or strictly online. Don’t hesitate. Don’t put this off and procrastinate.

If you need help with this step, a Business License Service is extremely helpful. They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.

STEP 4) CREATE A FINANCIAL FOUNDATION

Best Business Bank AccountDon’t make the common mistake of mixing personal and business accounts! After talking with a handful of business attorneys, the best way to keep your finances in order, protect yourself, and make tax time easier is to completely separate them.

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STEP 5) FINANCE YOUR NEW BUSINESS

How to Finance a BusinessBusinesses typically take a fair amount of resources to initially build, grow and maintain. Thanks to the internet you have more access to funding than at any other time in human history. From CrowdSourcing and Social Lending, to angel investors, grants, small-biz loans and VCs…

Take Action: You’ll learn about how business planning helps a ton throughout our email course, especially when it comes to crafting your pitch/executive summary. Browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.

STEP 6) BUILD A BRAND

Build a Business WebsiteIn order to be taken seriously, you need to have a professional brand representing your business. Although your brand is much more than a website or logo, having both will start everything off on the right foot.

Your business logo or website can be as simple or as complex as you want, but we believe they’re no longer optional.

Take Action: The first step is finding the right platform and deciding which service is right for you. For your business logo, we’ve put together a simple guide to walk you through the decision process. For building a business website, we highly recommend looking into Wix or Weebly (which both offer free trials and are very easy to use), but you can see all the best business website builders on our buyers guide.

STEP 7) MARKET YOUR BUSINESS

Social Media ChannelMarketing and getting your first customer is one of the most difficult parts of being in business in Kentucky and just about anywhere else. No matter who you are, since you’re reading this you likely could use a little help.

Take Action: Before you dive right in and spend a thousand dollars seeing what sticks, read our definitive guide to marketing a new business. It’ll give you a closer look at everything you need to keep in mind and how to get started. After that, try some quick Google searches about the type of marketing that fits your industry. It’s a great place to start.

Kentucky Startup Toolkit

Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Kentucky, here are the two we believe in most. With an incorporation service and business plan software, you'll take the first steps toward bringing your idea to life and having a solid plan behind it.

Incorporation services register your business with the state and handle all paperwork. For as low as $49, they'll bring your business to life by registering your LLC or Corporation in record time.

See The Top 7 Options
And

One of the most important aspects of starting a business can also be the most tedious: the business plan. A business plan software will walk you through the entire process in half the time.

See The Top 7 Options