How to Form an LLC in Kentucky

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.

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Overview

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.

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

    Search

    Name Reservation Optional
    Suffix: 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.”

    KRS14A.3-010(3)

  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.

  3. Kentucky Certificate Of Formation

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

    Agency: Kentucky Secretary-of-State
    Form:
    Articles of Organization
    Filing Method You 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.
    Law:
    KRS-SS 275.020
    Notes:
    • 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.
  4. 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:

    • Minutes of the meeting
    • Operating agreement
    • EIN verification letter
    • Amendments and other filings to the LLC throughout its lifespan

     

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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
    Form:
    IRS form SS-4
    Filing Method Mail, 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.
  8. Kentucky State Tax Identification Nos/Accounts

    Register with 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

    http://revenue.ky.gov/

    Form:

    Formula 10A100: Kentucky tax registration application
    Filing Method
    Mail or
    Fee:
    $0
    Turnaround:
    ~5-10 business days

    You may also need to upload other Kentucky Registration applications .

  9. 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.
  10. 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

    NOT REQUIRED

    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.

  11. 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 Method Mail or.
    Agency Fee $15
    Due: Annually, by June 30.
    Law:
    SS 14A.6-010.
    Penalties: No late fee. You will be notified that your business has 60-days to dissolve or retract it.
    Notes:
    • 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.
Note: To form an LLC in your state, you can do the filing paperwork yourself or hire an LLC formation service.
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