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:
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.
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.
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:
Between January 1st and June 30th.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.