LLC Cost in Kentucky

Kentucky LLCs are relatively inexpensive — especially when you consider that an LLC can protect your personal assets and help grow your business. That’s why forming an LLC is the best choice for most small businesses. 

The cost to form an LLC in Kentucky is $40. This covers the primary cost of officially registering your LLC with the state.

Read our LLC Cost in Kentucky guide below to learn more about LLC costs and other fees associated with all Kentucky businesses.

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How Much Is an LLC in Kentucky?

Kentucky LLC Filing Fee: $40

To form an LLC in Kentucky, you'll need to file the Articles of Organization (Form KLC) with the Secretary of State. The Kentucky Secretary of State charges a $40 fee to process and record this document online, by mail, or in person.

You can complete this process yourself with our How to Start an LLC guide or use an LLC formation service.

Registered Agent Fee

Every Kentucky LLC must appoint a registered agent. Your Kentucky registered agent must be a resident of Kentucky and must be available to receive service of process during normal business hours at a designated street address.

You can be your own registered agent in Kentucky, or you can use a registered agent service for a minimal cost.

Recommended: Get free registered agent services for one year when you form an LLC with Northwest.

Kentucky Annual Report Fee: $15

Kentucky requires LLCs to file an annual report with the Secretary of State each year. Annual reports are due by June 1 and can be filed through the Kentucky Secretary of State website for $15.

Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Kentucky: $90

LLCs registered in another state that want to expand into the state of Kentucky must register as a foreign LLC in Kentucky.

The cost for registering a Kentucky foreign LLC is $90. You can register a foreign LLC in Kentucky by filing a Certificate of Authority (Form FBE).

Business Licenses and Permits

Your business might need federal, state, and local permits/licenses to legally operate in Kentucky, depending on your industry and geographical location. This is true whether you form an LLC or any other type of business structure.

Learn more about state and local licensing in our Kentucky business license guide.

Other Kentucky Business Filing Fees

There are fees associated with other, optional business filings in Kentucky.

‘Doing Business As’ (DBA) Name

When an LLC is registered with the state, the LLC’s name is also officially registered. Some business owners choose to also file for a DBA name, known as an assumed name in Kentucky.

You can file a Certificate of Assumed Name (Form ASN) with the Kentucky Secretary of State and pay the $20 filing fee to create a name other than your legal LLC business name.

Learn more in our Kentucky DBA guide.

Certified Document Copies 

You can get certified copies of your Kentucky business documents by ordering through the Secretary of State and paying $5 for up to five pages (plus $0.50 for each additional page).

Certificate of Existence 

Also known as a Kentucky Certificate of Good Standing, you can obtain this document by ordering through the Secretary of State and paying the $10 fee. 

A Certificate of Existence is often required by banks and lenders.

Recommended: Learn more about LLC formation services in our Best LLC Services review.

How to Start an LLC in Kentucky

Forming an LLC yourself is easy; just follow the five steps below.

Five Basic Steps to Start an LLC in Kentucky

Step 1: Name Your Kentucky LLC

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Step 5: Get an EIN 

Step 1: Name Your Kentucky LLC

When you name your Kentucky LLC, you’ll need to choose a name that:

  1. Is available for use in the state of Kentucky
  2. Meets Kentucky naming requirements
  3. Is available as a web domain

Check web domain (URL) availability with GoDaddy:

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Not sure what to name your business? Check out our free LLC name generator.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Kentucky LLCs are required to appoint a registered agent to receive service of process. Business owners can hire a registered agent service or appoint any Kentucky resident that is 18 years or older and is available during normal business hours at a specified address to receive service of process.

Recommended: Northwest offers one full year of registered agent services with their $29 (plus state fees) LLC formation package.

Step 3: File Kentucky Articles of Organization

To form an LLC in Kentucky, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. This can be done online with Kentucky Business One Stopp Portal or by filing Form KLC by mail or in person.

For a closer look at the filing process, check out our Kentucky Articles of Organization guide.

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

Operating agreements in Kentucky are not required for Kentucky LLCs, but it’s a good practice to have one.

An operating agreement outlines the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC, ensuring that all members are on the same page and reducing the risk of conflict down the line.

Learn more in our Kentucky LLC Operating Agreement guide.

Step 5: Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number issued by the IRS to identify businesses for tax purposes. Think of an EIN as a Social Security number for your LLC.

To learn how to get an EIN for free, visit our How to Get an EIN Number guide.

LLC Cost in Kentucky FAQ

What is the cheapest way to start an LLC in Kentucky?

The cheapest way to start an LLC in Kentucky is to handle the registration process individually. In order to do this, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Name your LLC
  2. Choose a registered agent: This can be a registered agent service or an individual.
  3. File the Kentucky Articles of Organization: The filing fee for this is $40 and can be done online, by mail, or in person.
  4. Create an LLC operating agreement: This is usually not a legal requirement, but it is highly recommended.
  5. Get an EIN: This is basically your business’s Social Security number (SSN).

How much does an LLC cost per year in Kentucky?

Annual report fees are $15. You can file and pay through the Kentucky Secretary of State website.

For a more in-depth analysis, see our How Much Does an LLC Cost? article. 

How much does an LLC license cost in Kentucky?

An LLC is not a business license, but a business entity. Forming an LLC in Kentucky costs $40. Annual report fees are $15 each year.

You may be required to pay additional fees if you choose to pay for a  registered agent service, an LLC formation service, or an LLC attorney.

See our How to Start an LLC in Kentucky for more information on registering your business as an LLC.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Kentucky?

Yes, LLCs are a “pass-through” tax entity. This means that the LLCs profits are “passed through” directly to its owner(s), who then pay income taxes independently. 

This is advantageous compared to a corporation’s tax structure because it means that LLC members are not taxed twice. 

Having said that, readers should keep in mind that LLCs are very flexible when it comes to how they can be taxed, and — depending on the specifics — they can choose to be taxed as a pass-through entity, a C corp, or an S corp. 

For more information, see our How Is an LLC Taxed guide. 

What are the tax benefits of an LLC?

The tax benefits of an LLC will depend on how you choose to be taxed, as well as on whether you are operating as a single or multi-member LLC. 

Generally speaking, LLCs can choose to be taxed in several different ways, including:

  • As a sole proprietorship or general partnership
  • As a C corporation
  • As an S corporation

See our Single-Member LLC Taxes guide for a detailed overview of the tax benefits of having an LLC as a small business. 

Do I need to open a business bank account for my LLC?

Even though you do not necessarily “need” to open a bank account for your LLC, this is generally highly recommended for several reasons. 

For one, having a separate bank account can allow you to maintain your LLC’s corporate veil — meaning that you will not risk losing your limited personal liability under the law. A business bank account also offers financial benefits, including the ability to build business credit more quickly and access to larger business loans. 

Interested in opening a business bank account? See our review of the best banks for startups in 2024.