Kentucky LLC Name Search

Kentucky Business Name Search (December 2023)

Navigate our step-by-step guide on conducting a Kentucky business entity name search. Learn how to use the Kentucky Secretary of State’s database resource, grasp state business regulations, and avoid any trademark disputes with the USPTO.

Kentucky Entity Name Search (Summary)

Kentucky Entity Name Search

To search for business name availability in the state of Kentucky, you can follow these steps:

  1. Visit the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website. The Secretary of State is responsible for maintaining business records in Kentucky. You can access their website at:
  2. On the website’s homepage, locate the “Business Services” section. This section typically contains information and resources related to business registration and filings.
  3. Within the “Business Services” section, look for a link or option related to business name availability search or name reservation. The exact wording and location may vary, but it should lead you to the relevant search tool.
  4. Click on the provided link to access the business name availability search tool. This tool allows you to check if a specific business name is already in use or if it’s available for registration in Kentucky.
  5. Enter the desired business name into the search field provided. Make sure to follow any guidelines or restrictions mentioned on the search tool page, such as character limits or special characters.
  6. Initiate the search and wait for the results. The tool will inform you if the name you entered is available or if it’s already registered by another business entity in Kentucky.
  7. If the name is available, you can proceed with the business registration process. If the name is already taken, you will need to choose a different name that is unique and not currently in use.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it is recommended to visit the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website directly and explore their business services section.

What is a Kentucky Business Entity?

What is a Kentucky Business Entity

A Kentucky business entity refers to an organization that is legally recognized and authorized to conduct business within the state of Kentucky.

Like other states, Kentucky has specific laws, rules, and regulations that apply to businesses operating within its jurisdiction. These businesses are typically registered and regulated by the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

The common types of business entities that can be established in Kentucky include:

  1. Sole Proprietorship: This is the simplest form of business entity. It’s owned by a single person who is personally liable for the business’s debts and liabilities.
  2. Partnership: This is a business owned by two or more individuals. There are several types of partnerships including general partnerships (GP), limited partnerships (LP), and limited liability partnerships (LLP). The differences between these partnerships lie in the liability and management structure.
  3. Corporation: This is a legal entity separate from its owners (shareholders). Corporations can be either “C” corporations, which are taxed separately from their owners, or “S” corporations, which are pass-through tax entities.
  4. Limited Liability Company (LLC): This is a hybrid business entity combining elements of partnerships and corporations. It provides owners with limited personal liability for the debts and actions of the LLC. Other features of LLCs are more like a partnership, providing management flexibility and the benefit of pass-through taxation.

Kentucky Secretary of State Entity Search

Each of these entities has different regulations for formation, operation, and dissolution, as well as different protections for owners and different tax implications.

Kentucky Secretary of State Entity Search

When creating a business entity in Kentucky, you would typically file the appropriate formation documents with the Kentucky Secretary of State and pay any required filing fees.

Kentucky Secretary of State: One Stop Choose a Name and Structure

Man in Kentucky with a laptop doing a Kentucky business name lookup

Kentucky LLC Name Requirements

There are some requirements that you must know before searching for your Kentucky LLC name:

1. You must use the abbreviations “LLC”, or “L.L.C.” at the end of your Kentucky LLC name. The most commonly used abbreviation is “LLC”.

2. A Kentucky LLC is not a Corporation. Your desired LLC name can’t use the words “Corporation”, or “Incorporated” or their abbreviations (“Corp. or “Inc .”).”).

3. The name of your LLC must be distinctive. It must be distinct from all other Kentucky businesses.

Designators are the identifiers at end of business names (LLC, Inc., etc.). There may be differences in the designators. do not create distinguishability.

Different grammars do not necessarily create distinction.

  • LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
  • Single, plural, and possessive
  • A, An, The
  • and, or, &
  • hyphens, slashes, periods, commas

Search the Kentucky Name Database

Kentucky offers two ways to search for your preferred LLC name:

  • The state can check your name availability by calling 502-564-344090.
  • Search your LLC name online using the FastTrack Business Organization Search Station

FastTrack Business Organization Search Station

1. Visit the FastTrack Business Entity Research Station

Kentucky Secretary Of State: Business Entity Search

2. Search for Your LLC Name

  • In the search box, type your desired LLC name.
  • You can leave out the “LLC” ending and punctuation.
  • Capitalization doesn’t matter.

To ensure that you are thorough, enter only the first or two words of your LLC name. This will allow you to see all similar names.

You can be more specific by entering a portion of the first word. Ex: If your Kentucky LLC name is Printing Solutions LLC, enter “print”.

3. Check out the Results

Click “Continue” to browse the current Kentucky businesses.

If you see the message ” No matching organizations were found, ” your chosen LLC name is unique and can be used.

If you see names that are similar to yours (meaning they are distinguishable), your chosen LLC name can be used.

Your desired LLC name does not appear exactly in the search results. It is possible to come up with unique names or creative variations.

Your desired Kentucky LLC name cannot be used if a search result shows a similar name. It is possible to come up with unique names or creative variations.

Tip If your chosen Kentucky LLC name is not distinguishable, you can file paperwork with the state. The Kentucky Secretary of State will return your file and inform you if your name isn’t available.

Contact Information for the Kentucky Secretary of State

You can reach the Kentucky Secretary Of State at 502-564-3990 if you have any questions.


Additional Steps

1. Trademark Search

Entity Trademark Search

When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.

To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.

2. Choose a Registered Agent

After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.

3. Check if the Domain Name is Available

To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:

  1. Go to a domain registrar website, such as or
  2. In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
  3. Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
  4. If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.

It’s a good idea to check the availability of multiple domain name options as your first choice may already be taken.

Additionally, if you are considering registering a domain name for your business, make sure to also check for any existing trademarks that may conflict with your chosen domain name.

4. Check if Social Media Name is Available

To check if a social media name is available for a new business, you can follow these steps:

  1. Start by choosing a social media platform where you would like to create an account for your business. Some of the popular options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
  2. Once you have selected the platform, go to the sign-up page and try to create an account using your desired social media name.
  3. If the name is already taken, the platform will display an error message indicating that the name is not available. In this case, you may need to consider alternative names for your social media account.
  4. If the name is available, the platform will allow you to create an account using that name.
  5. It’s important to note that just because a social media name is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free to use. You should still do your due diligence to ensure that the name is not already a registered trademark or being used by another business in your industry.

5. Register Kentucky Business Entity

When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of Kentucky will either approve your business name or reject it.

If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Incfile, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search. I recommend using any of these 3 services to assist you with forming a new business. They can save you time and provide you with guidance through the formation process.

6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.

Here’s how you can get an EIN:

  1. Determine if you need an EIN: You’ll need an EIN if you have employees, operate your business as a corporation or partnership, file employment tax returns, have a Keogh plan, or are required to file any of the following tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
  2. Apply for an EIN: You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by phone. The quickest and easiest way is to apply online through the IRS website.
  3. Provide the necessary information: When applying for an EIN, you’ll need to provide your legal name, trade name (if applicable), business address, and the type of legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC).
  4. Wait for your EIN: If you apply online, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the application. If you apply by fax or mail, it can take up to four weeks to receive your EIN.

Note that there is no fee to apply for an EIN. Once you receive your EIN, be sure to keep it safe and use it on all tax documents and forms.

7. Create a Brand Logo

Creating a business logo involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:

  1. Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.
  2. Determine the design style: Decide on the design style you want for your logo. Do you want it to be modern or classic, minimalistic or intricate, colorful or monochromatic? Consider your brand personality and target audience when making this decision.
  3. Choose the colors: Pick a color palette that reflects your brand personality and complements your design style. Colors have psychological meanings and can affect how people perceive your brand.
  4. Brainstorm ideas: Brainstorm several logo design concepts based on your brand personality, values, and mission. You can use online resources for inspiration or hire a professional logo designer to create a custom logo for you.
  5. Sketch your ideas: Once you have some logo design concepts, sketch them out on paper to visualize how they might look. This can help you narrow down your options and refine your ideas.
  6. Design the logo: Use a graphic design software program like Adobe Illustrator or Canva to create your logo design. Search on Fiverr for logo designs. Make sure it is scalable and can be used across different mediums.
  7. Get feedback: Share your logo design with colleagues, friends, or family to get feedback. This can help you refine your design further.
  8. Finalize the logo: Once you have incorporated feedback, finalize your logo design. Be sure to use high-quality images and files for your logo.
  9. Protect your logo: If you want to protect your logo, consider trademarking it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This will prevent others from using a similar logo and protect your brand’s identity.

8. Write a Business Plan

Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more. Here are some steps to guide you in writing a business plan and links to resources that can help you:

  1. Executive summary: This section provides a summary of your business plan, highlighting key information about your business, target market, products or services, and financial projections. It should be brief but comprehensive.
  2. Company description: This section describes your company’s mission, vision, values, and legal structure. It also includes information about the management team, business location, and history.
  3. Market analysis: This section provides a detailed analysis of your industry, target market, competition, and customer demographics. It also includes information about market trends and growth projections.
  4. Marketing and sales strategies: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategies, including branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution channels.
  5. Products and services: This section describes your products or services, their features and benefits, and how they will meet the needs of your target market.
  6. Financial projections: This section provides a detailed financial forecast for your business, including projected revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. It also includes a break-even analysis and funding requirements.

Here are some links to resources that can help you in writing a business plan:

  1. Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, including templates and sample plans.
  2. SCORE: SCORE provides free business plan templates and guides, as well as mentoring and counseling services.
  3. Bplans: Bplans offers a wide variety of business plan templates, tools, and resources, including sample plans for different industries.
  4. LivePlan: LivePlan is a cloud-based software that provides business planning tools and templates, financial forecasting, and collaboration features.
  5. Canva: Canva offers a range of customizable business plan templates and design tools to help you create a professional-looking plan.

9. Open a Business Bank Account in Kentucky

A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.

Having a separate bank account for your LLC will help you keep track of your business’s income and expenses, which will be useful for tax purposes, accounting, and financial management. It will also make it easier to accept payments from customers and pay bills, suppliers, and employees.

To open a bank account for your LLC, you will typically need to provide the following documents:

  1. Certificate of Formation: This is a legal document that shows that your LLC has been registered with the state.
  2. Operating Agreement: This document outlines the rules and procedures for running your LLC and is required by some banks.
  3. EIN (Employer Identification Number) Confirmation Letter: This is a letter from the IRS confirming your LLC’s tax identification number.
  4. Identification documents: You will need to provide personal identification documents, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID, and proof of address, such as a utility bill.

Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.

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