How Much Does It Cost to Form an LLC in Kentucky?

Legal business registration — and keeping your business in good standing — involves some necessary expenses. Some of these costs are payable to the KY Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. We’ve summarized some of the most common requirements and fees here.

Note that Kentucky business license and permit fees may need to be paid when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Kentucky LLC Fees

When you first create your business, you’re required to file as an LLC with the Secretary of State and pay a fee. Here are the current fees and filing times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$40 3 Weeks 2 Business Days
State Fee $40
State Filing Time 3 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 2 Business Days

When you form through Incfile, we collect this fee from you. Then we forward it to the KY Secretary of State when we officially establish your business.

Incfile can file your formation paperwork for you for free — just pay the required Kentucky LLC filing fee
Kentucky allows you to pay a rush fee and form your LLC more quickly

Employer Identification Number

Every LLC in the U.S. should have a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is provided by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use it when you file taxes, open a business bank account and pay employees. It's available to you from the IRS at no cost, or Incfile can get one for you.

Foreign LLCs

When you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a foreign LLC.

Kentucky Foreign LLC Registration

Before you can expand your business from another state into Kentucky, you must request Kentucky Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.

To request registration of a Kentucky Foreign LLC, you must complete a Certificate of Authority form and pay a processing fee of $90. The state may have additional requirements so contact the KY Secretary of State for more information.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State

If you plan to expand your Kentucky LLC into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary if you'll have a physical presence, employees or banking in that state.

To form a Foreign LLC, you'll need to fill out at least one application and pay one or more filing fees. Each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly. Contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.

If you need assistance, Incfile provides complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.

Annual Report Requirements

Kentucky, like most states, requires businesses to file an annual report with the KY Secretary of State. Annual reports are filed online via the state's portal, Kentucky One Stop. The filing fee is $15. Here are the Kentucky annual report filing requirements:

Annual Report

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

Between January 1st and June 30th.

Filing Fee

$15
Incfile can also complete and file your Kentucky annual report on your behalf

Kentucky Business License and Permit Requirements

As a business owner, you're responsible for ensuring you have the proper state, federal or local business licenses required to operate your LLC. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others are ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

Your industry (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

2

Your business location (county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Louisville)

3

Your business type (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

Operating your business without required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, state and local governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself, or use Incfile’s Business License Research package. It includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your LLC will need to be compliant
  • The applications you’ll need to file with the state, regional and federal licensing authorities

Operating Agreements

The state doesn’t require you to have a Kentucky LLC Operating Agreement in place.

An Operating Agreement is a document that explains how the business will be run, how managers and members are selected, rights and duties of members and several other key functions of your business. It's usually filed with the Articles of Organization.

This document can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business.

Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template for you when you form your business.

You can make changes to the template later based on your unique requirements.

Other Potential LLC Fees or Requirements in Kentucky

You may need to pay and meet several other fees and requirements during the life of your LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

Obtaining an Assumed Name or DBA

If you want to establish a Kentucky DBA (assumed name), you must file a Certificate of Assumed Name form with the KY Secretary of State and pay a filing fee of $20.

Incfile can file your Assumed Name or DBA forms on your behalf

Changing the Registered Agent

Your LLC needs a Kentucky Registered Agent, which must be appointed when you file your Articles of Organization. You can also switch to a new Registered Agent later by filing a Statement of Change of Registered Agent RAC and/or Registered Office Address form and paying a $10 filing fee.

Have Incfile serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your LLC with us and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your LLC

If you don’t want to form your LLC right away, you can reserve a business name with the state for 120 days by filing a Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name form and paying a $15 fee. First, perform a Kentucky Secretary of State business search, and learn about naming rules to ensure the name you choose meets all state requirements.

Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Kentucky business at the time it's formed. Over time, these facts may change. If they do, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment with the KY Secretary of State. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.

You may want to file Articles of Amendment when you:

  • Add, remove or change an LLC member or manager
  • Change your LLC business address
  • Alter your LLC stated business activities

Getting a Kentucky Certificate of Good Standing

You may, on occasion, be required to prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. A Certificate of Good Standing is what it's called in most states. A Kentucky Certificate of Existence serves the same purpose. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you can request one online or by mail from the KY Secretary of State. There's a $10 fee.

Incfile can obtain a Certificate of Existence on your behalf

The fees listed above detail all the charges a standard LLC will be required to pay in Kentucky. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your LLC will also likely need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Kentucky Business Taxes page.

FAQs About Kentucky LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When Forming My LLC?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the KY Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your business.

Where Do I Get Business Licenses and Permits for My LLC?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • What type of business you run
  • Where your business is located
  • What organizations govern your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations

Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to obtain additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research package can help you learn what your LLC needs to be compliant.

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