How to Form an LLC in Kentucky for $0

Forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Kentucky is an easy process, but it involves a few steps. 

Start an Kentucky LLC for $0 + state fee 

To form an LLC in Kentucky for free + state fee, we have listed 3 options to consider: 

You can go online and visit the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website and do it yourself or you can use the ‘free’ service from Incfile or ZenBusiness.

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Forming an LLC in Kentucky for $0 (DIY Summary)

Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to help you through the DIY process, along with relevant links to official resources:

Step 1: Choose a Name for Your LLC

The first step in forming an LLC in Kentucky is to select a unique name for your company. The name must include the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC.”

It should not be the same or confusingly similar to any existing business names registered with the Kentucky Secretary of State.

Step 2: File Articles of Organization

Next, you need to file the Articles of Organization with the Kentucky Secretary of State.

This document officially establishes your LLC and includes essential information such as the name of the company, the registered agent’s name and address, the business purpose, and the names and addresses of the organizers.

It’s important to provide accurate and complete information while filing the Articles of Organization.

You can file online through the Secretary of State’s website or submit the form by mail.

Step 3: Appoint a Registered Agent

Kentucky requires all LLCs to appoint a registered agent who will receive legal and official documents on behalf of the company.

The registered agent must have a physical address in Kentucky and be available during business hours to accept important correspondence.

You can choose to be your own registered agent or hire a professional service.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Although not legally required, it’s highly recommended to create an operating agreement for your LLC.

This document outlines the ownership structure, management responsibilities, and operating procedures of your company.

It helps prevent disputes among members and provides clear guidelines for decision-making.

The operating agreement can be customized to meet your specific needs and should be signed by all members of the LLC.

Step 5: Obtain Required Permits and Licenses

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional permits or licenses to operate legally in Kentucky.

Some industries, such as healthcare or professional services, may require specific certifications or authorizations.

It’s essential to research and comply with all relevant regulations at the state and local levels.

Step 6: File Annual Reports

After forming your LLC, you will need to file an Annual Report with the Kentucky Secretary of State each year.

This report confirms the current contact information of your company and ensures your LLC remains in good standing.

Failure to file the report may result in penalties or even dissolution of your LLC.

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures for forming an LLC in Kentucky may vary.

It’s advisable to consult with a legal professional or utilize online resources provided by the Kentucky Secretary of State for accurate and up-to-date information.

By following these steps and fulfilling all necessary obligations, you can successfully form an LLC in Kentucky and embark on your entrepreneurial journey with confidence.

Extended Guide

This guide to starting LLC in Kentucky offers step-by-step instructions on filing for formation documents, applying for tax IDs, and setting up company records.


The most used business structure, LLCs, are very affordable and allow owners to be flexible. Your LLC legally creates your business, limits personal liability, gives you tax flexibility, and establishes your personal liability. The steps that follow will assist you in this process.

To form an LLC in Kentucky, you can DIY or use one of the affordable Kentuckey LLC Formation Services

Step-by–Step Kentucky LLC Directions

  1. Check Name Availability

    The legal name of your LLC cannot be used in conjunction with another registered name. A name search can help you find out if your name is available.

    Name Search

    Kentucky Secretary-of-State


    Name ReservationOptional

    A limited liability organization’s real name will include the phrase or abbreviation of “limited liability”, “limited company”, or “limited company,” except that if it is a professional limited company, the name will contain the phrase or abbreviation of “PLLC”/PLC. The word “limited” or “professional limited liability” may be abbreviated with “Ltd.” the word “company” may be abbreviated with “Co.”


  2. Appoint a Registered Agent

    Before you are able to file your Kentucky LLC formation paperwork, you need to identify your Kentucky registered agent. A registered agent can be described as a company’s legal representative who is responsible for receiving notices from the government and legal counsel.

    The state law requires that every LLC has a registered representative. The Kentucky Secretary of State will designate the registered representative when you file Kentucky articles.

To learn more about Kentucky registered agents, read our guide on the top services.

  1. Kentucky Certificate Of Formation

    Fill out the articles of incorporation to establish your limited liability company.

    Agency:Kentucky Secretary-of-State
    Articles of Organization
    Filing MethodYou can send mail in-person or online
    Agency Fee$40. Veteran-owned LLCs get a waiver of the fee
    Turnaround:It will take 3-5 business Days to file an online or mail request. While you wait if you file in-person.
    KRS-SS 275.020
    • Kentucky also offers Nonprofit LLCs and Professional Service LOLs. They have different forms, fees, and requirements.
    • If you want to abbreviate limited company, you can use the abbreviation LTD CO.
    • A postcard stamped in file will be sent directly to the address at the principal office.
    • When filing by mail or in person you will need to submit one copy of the documents, either an exact or conformed version.
    • Minutes of the meeting
    • Operating Agreement
    • EIN verification letter
    • Amendments and other filings to the LLC throughout its lifespan

      Establish Company Records

      Your LLC must maintain correct and complete books, records, and financial statements. Your LLC’s original articles of organization will be the first document you keep. Your LLC will create many other official documents such as:

  2. You must create the Operating Agreement

    It is possible to use a template to draft an Operating Agreement. This document will serve as the governing document. It specifies the legalities of the LLC’s operation, such as holding an Annual Meeting. The agreement will then be approved by you at your organizational meeting.

If you want to use an LLC formation service for an operating agreement or EIN, visit our list of the best LLC services in Kentucky.

  1. Hold the Organizational Meeting

    The organizational meeting, which is the initial meeting of LLC members, is the most important. In order to hold this meeting, you’ll need your operating agreements and the filed articles. Keep the minutes from this meeting, and keep them in your company’s record book.

  2. Get a federal employer identification number (EIN).

    EIN is needed if the LLC will have multiple members or hire employees. EINs are also required to open a bank or other financial account.

    Agency:Internal Revenue Service
    IRS form SS-4
    Filing MethodMail, phone and fax. Online.
    IRS fee$0
    Turnaround:Order online right away or by phone. By fax, it takes 4 business working days. 4-5 weeks when sent by mail.
    Notes:The IRS website cannot be accessed outside of certain hours. Before you close your session print your EIN. For additional guidance, visit IRS Publi 1635: Understanding the EIN.
  3. Kentucky State Tax Identification Nos/Accounts

    Register with the Kentucky Department of Revenue within a period of 30 days of formation to receive applicable tax accounts

    Send an email to:

    Kentucky Department of Revenue


    Formula 10A100: Kentucky tax registration application
    Filing Method
    Mail or
    ~5-10 business days

    You may also need to upload other Kentucky Registration applications.

  4. Consider Electing C-Corp and C-Corptaxation

    Your LLC receives passthrough taxation by default. However, most LLCs continue to keep this tax classification. Some LLCs are eligible to elect S-Corp or C-Corp Tax Treatment.

    • S-Corp treatment is an option that can help owner-employees making more than 75,000 per calendar year to lower self-employment taxes.
    • C-Corps face double taxation. First, the corporation pays income taxes and then the members pay distribution taxes. C-Corps can offer lower tax rates to retained earnings.
  5. Apply for Business Permits and Licenses

    It is necessary to obtain the required licenses and permits in order for your business to be legally operated. The Small Business Administration Business License & Permit lookup tool makes it easy to navigate the large number of state, federal, and local requirements.

    Kentucky Business License


    Kentucky does NOT require licensure as a general business license.

    Kentucky does NOT have a general state business license. However, it is often required to obtain local licenses.

  6. To Maintain Your LLC, You Need to File Ongoing Filings

    You must file your federal and state taxes returns.

    For good standing with the secretary, many states require business entities to file an annually required report. Check out the table below to see if Kentucky LLCs must file an annual return.

    Kentucky Corporation Annual Report Requirements:

    Agency:Kentucky Secretary-of-State
    Form:Simply sign the reminder mailer and return it.
    Filing MethodMail or.
    Agency Fee$15
    Due:Annually, by June 30.
    SS 14A.6-010.
    Penalties:No late fee. You will be notified that your business has 60 days to dissolve or retract it.
    • An officer, partner, member or representative should sign the postcard. Online filing may be made by anyone who is authorized.
    • Original signatures are not necessary.

Kentucky Business Resources

LLC Formation Services in Kentucky

Kentucky Registered Agents

Get a Business License in Kentucky

Business Name Search in Kentucky

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  Information provided on this website is for general information and educational purposes only. It is not intended to offer legal advice specific to your business needs. If you need legal advice, you should consult with an attorney. Rankings and reviews are the personal opinions of the authors and/or editors. For questions, while starting a business, we recommend consulting with an attorney or accountant.