Why Create a Kentucky LLC?
A central location, strong shipping lanes and major infrastructure make forming an LLC in Kentucky an easy choice. The state’s pro-business climate also provides a number of business incentives, tax credits and other financial benefits.
For example, the Kentucky Small Business Tax Credit program offers between $3,500 and $25,000 per year to small businesses that meet certain requirements, such as creating new jobs or buying necessary equipment or technology.
For most entrepreneurs, the fastest and easiest way to start a business is to create a Kentucky limited liability company (LLC). It’s an entity ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. It gives you the advantages and protections that larger Kentucky corporations enjoy, but with simplified rules and regulations.
Benefits of starting a Kentucky LLC:
Protects your personal assets from your business liability and debts
Easy tax filing and potential advantages for tax treatment
Quick and simple filing, management, compliance, regulation and administration
Learn more about the advantages of an LLC business structure.
In this guide, you’ll find information on naming your LLC, getting a Registered Agent, the fees you’ll need to pay, Kentucky business taxes and much more. We also cover what you'll need to register and file your LLC, and how you'll interact with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
How to Form a Kentucky LLC Yourself in 6 Steps
Step 1 - Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a Kentucky LLC Search
Step 2 - Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Step 3 - Assign a Registered Agent
Step 4 - File Your Articles of Organization with the Kentucky Secretary of State
Step 5 - Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
Step 6 - Create an Operating Agreement
Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a Kentucky LLC Search
You’ll need a distinctive and original name for your LLC that’s not used by any other business in the state. If you’re having trouble coming up with a name, try using Incfile’s Business Name Generator for ideas. You'll need to follow a few naming rules, which you can read about in detail on the Kentucky Business Names page.
Once you’ve chosen a name, you’ll need to make sure it’s available in Kentucky. To find out whether another company is using your chosen business name, use our tool to do a business name search. You can also carry out a search on the Kentucky Secretary of State website.
We can search the Kentucky business registry for you.
Provide an Official Business Address for Your LLC
Whether it’s an office building, a home (if the company is run from a residence) or any other physical location, every LLC in Kentucky must have a designated street address. It can be outside the state, and it can be a P.O. Box.
Assign a Registered Agent
Someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence for a business and is responsible for filing reports with the Kentucky Secretary of State is called a Registered Agent. Every LLC in Kentucky must have a Registered Agent at all times.
This official position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. If your Kentucky Registered Agent is a person, they must have a physical street address in Kentucky, and they must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours. In Kentucky, you designate your Registered Agent when you formally create your business.
All of Incfile's packages include Registered Agent service. It's free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We provide a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
File Your Articles of Organization with the Kentucky Secretary of State
Once you have all the information for your LLC, you’ll need to file a form with the Secretary of State to create your Kentucky Articles of Organization. Filing that form officially creates your LLC.
Starting an LLC in Kentucky is easy with the state's online business portal, Kentucky One Stop. You can also mail a form to the Office of the Secretary of State or have Incfile file it on your behalf. The Kentucky LLC filing fee is $40.
File by Mail
Office of the Secretary of State
Division of Business Filings
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602
You only need to file your Articles of Organization once, but every year after, you'll need to file an annual report. Incfile can remind you to do it, or we can do it for you.
What are the fees and requirements to form a business in Kentucky?
State Filing Time
Expedited Filing Time
2 Business Days
Between January 1st and June 30th.
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service
You’ll need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You’ll also use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. An EIN is also required to open a business bank account. You can go directly to the IRS to get one, or Incfile can get one for you as part of the Kentucky LLC formation process.
Create an Operating Agreement
A kind of "instruction manual" that explains how you'll run your business, an LLC Operating Agreement details how decisions will be made, how the business is divided among members and what will happen if a member leaves the company.
Some states require that a company have an Operating Agreement in place. It isn’t legally required in Kentucky, but it's still beneficial to have one.
Other Kentucky LLC Types
Different from professional corporations, Professional Limited Liability Companies (PLLCs) typically have licensing requirements applicable to certain fields, such as law and medicine.
To form a Kentucky PLLC, you must file a form to create your Articles of Organization, and pay a fee of $40.
Learn more about PLLC vs. LLC and which one may be right for your business.
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Kentucky — or vice versa — you’ll need to form a Foreign LLC.
Learn more about Kentucky Foreign LLC registration.
Helpful Resources from the State of Kentucky
More Information in This Guide
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the Kentucky business registry to find a unique name for your business. Includes information on naming rules, assumed names, reserving an LLC name and more.
How to appoint, change and search for Registered Agents. Also includes the rules they’re required to follow.
How to understand the various state and federal fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you must meet. Includes details of Employer Identification Numbers (EINs), state and federal business licenses, annual reports and more.
Covers the various taxes you’ll have to pay to the state and federal governments. Includes details about state taxes such as sales and franchise, and federal taxes such as income and self-employment.