Updated on: August 14th, 2022

Price to Form an LLC in Kentucky: Various Costs REVEALED for Kentucky LLC

Get Professional Help When Starting a Kentucky LLC

This is an exciting time for your business if you’ve decided to register a limited liability corporation (LLC) in Kentucky.

The basic cost of forming an LLC with the Kentucky state is $40. When the LLC’s Articles of Organization are filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State, this fee is paid.

However, before you get started, you should be aware of all of the fees and other costs associated with incorporating a Kentucky LLC.

Most business owners are aware that they will have to pay a fee to the state in order to register their LLCs. However, we’ve found that some customers aren’t aware of all the possible extra costs, such as LLC formation fees, registered agent fees, Annual Report fees, taxes, and so on. Let’s take a closer look at all of the probable costs associated with incorporating a Kentucky LLC.

If you want to skip the hassle of starting a Kentucky LLC yourself, consider using professional help for the best price in the market:

Forming LLC in Kentucky: Quick Costs Summary

DescriptionFee
Fee for Filing an LLC With Kentucky State$40
Kentucky Annual Report Fee$15
Fee for Registered Agent$0-$39 on its 1st yr.
Cost in Kentucky to Form a Foreign LLC$90
Reservation of the Kentucky LLC Name$15
DBA (Doing Business As) Name$20
Certified Document Copies$5 + $0.50/pg.
Certificate of Good Standing$10

$40 – Fee for Filing an LLC Online in Kentucky

The $40 price to submit your LLC’s Articles of Organization online with the Kentucky Secretary of State is the most expensive part of incorporating an LLC.

$15 – Kentucky Annual Report Fee

LLCs must file an annual report with the Secretary of State in Kentucky. This form is available on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website. It must be submitted by June 30th.

$39 on its 1st yr. – Fee for Registered Agent

You may be your own registered agent in Kentucky, but choosing a registered agent service keeps your firm in compliance and reminds you of critical filing dates so you don’t have to pay late fines.

Registered agent fees start at $39 USD for the first year. We propose that you use:

$90 – Cost to Form a Foreign LLC in Kentucky

If you currently have an LLC established in another state and want to extend your business into Kentucky, you’ll need to register it as a foreign LLC. The cost of forming a foreign LLC in Kentucky is $90. A Certificate of Authority is required to register a foreign LLC in Kentucky (Form FBE).

Permits and Licenses for Businesses

Your business may require federal, state, and municipal permits/licenses to lawfully operate in Kentucky, depending on your industry and geographic area. This is true whether you create a limited liability company (LLC) or any other sort of business entity.

Total Costs for Kentucky LLC Breakdown & Best Options

Who forms the LLC?Total fees
You form the LLC in Kentucky yourself$80+ ($40 State Fee + $15 Annual Report + $25 LLC Name +$10 Certificate of Good Standing)
by using ZenBusiness$49+
by using Northwest Registered Agent$39/mo
see our other top-rated LLC service providersvaries

Other Fees for Starting a Kentucky Limited Liability Company

There are a few extra costs involved with forming an LLC:

$15 – Reservation of the Kentucky LLC Name

By completing a Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name (Form RES) and paying the $15 filing fee, you can reserve your name for up to 120 days prior to the creation of your LLC.

$20 – DBA (Doing Business As) Name

To create a name different than your official LLC business name, file a Certificate of Assumed Name (Form ASN) and pay the $20 filing fee.

$5 + $0.50/pg. – Copies of Certified Documents

Order certified copies of your Kentucky business records from the Secretary of State for $5 + $0.50 for the additional pages above five.

$10 – Existence Certificate

This document, also known as a Kentucky certificate of good standing, can be obtained by contacting the Secretary of State and paying the $10 cost. Banks and financial institutions frequently demand proof of existence.


How to Form a Kentucky LLC on Your Own?

You can also read our full guide on Kentucky LLC creation here

To incorporate an LLC in Kentucky, you must file Articles of Organization with the Kentucky Secretary of State for a fee of $40. You can submit your application online, by mail, or in person. The Kentucky Limited Liability Company’s Articles of Organization are the legal documents that establish the company. In Kentucky, there are five basic steps to forming an LLC:

  • Step 1: Choose a Name for your Kentucky LLC
  • Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent 
  • Step 3: File an Organization Articles
  • Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement 
  • Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number 

Step 1: Choose a Name for your Kentucky LLC [Price: $15]

Name-Your-LLC

Before founding a Kentucky LLC, all businesses should conduct a Kentucky business search.

1. Follow the Kentucky Naming Rules

Before you finish your company name search, make sure your business name complies with the standards.

The first and most significant step in forming an LLC is deciding on a name. Make sure your name conforms with Kentucky’s naming guidelines and is easily searched by potential customers.

Make sure you stick to the following naming conventions:

  • The word “limited liability corporation” or one of its acronyms must be in your name (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your LLC’s name cannot contain any words that may be mistaken for a government organization (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted terms (e.g., bank, attorney, university) may necessitate additional documentation and the inclusion of a licensed professional in your LLC, such as a doctor or lawyer.

2. Conduct a business name search in Kentucky

You can check the availability of your selected name using the Kentucky Business Name Search before completing your name reservation request. Enter the entity name you want to use, omitting identifiers like “LLC,” for the most successful search. This will return any entities with names that are the same or similar.

If the name of your corporate organization is more than two words, you may limit your search to the first two words to guarantee you find all potential comparable names.

3. Perform a domain name search to see what’s available

Another key factor to consider when choosing a business name is whether or not the web domain name you want is available. It’s critical to have a URL that matches your company name exactly. This apparently insignificant activity can have a significant impact on how potential clients locate your company.

The simplest approach to find out if your chosen URL is accessible is to use your favourite domain registration, such as GoDaddy, to search for it online.

4. Choose a name for your Kentucky business entity

All LLC name inquiries and requests are handled by the Kentucky Secretary of State’s Business Services Division. For a period of 120 days, business names can be reserved.

You must submit an application by mail to reserve a business entity name. There isn’t a way to do it online. To avoid rejection, undertake a thorough search before submitting your application.

You will have to pay a filing fee when reserving your name. In order to file, checks must be made payable to the “Kentucky State Treasurer.”


KENTUCKY APPLICATION FOR RESERVATION OF A BUSINESS ENTITY NAME

File by Mail

DOWNLOAD FORM

Fee: $15

Mail to:
Division of Business Filings
Business Filings
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602


Do I need a “Doing  Business As” or an Assumed Name for my company?

A DBA isn’t required for most LLCs. The LLC’s name can also be used as your company’s brand name, and you can take cheques and other forms of payment under that name. If you want to do business under a different name, you might want to register a DBA.


Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent [Price: $0 or $39 on its 1st yr.]

Registered-Agent

What is the role of a Registered Agent? A registered agent is an individual or corporate organization that is in charge of receiving significant legal papers on your behalf. Consider your registered agent to be your company’s point of contact with the government.

Every formal business in Kentucky is required by law to have a Kentucky registered agent. A registered agent receives any official documents from the state of Kentucky, as well as any service of process that may be served on a business in the course of litigation.

We’ll go over everything about what a registered agent is, what they perform, and how to choose one in our Kentucky Registered Agent guide.

A Kentucky registered agent is an individual or corporate organization that serves as your company’s point of contact for:

  • Receives all service of process for the business in any litigation from the State of Kentucky, such as the Kentucky Annual Report and certificate of good standing.
  • A registered agent is needed by law for any formal business in Kentucky, such as an LLC, corporation, or partnership.

You must name a Kentucky registered agent for your Kentucky LLC.

Who is eligible to serve as a Registered Agent? A Registered Agent must be a Kentucky resident or an organization allowed to conduct business in Kentucky, such as a registered agent service. You have the option of electing someone from your organization, including yourself.

Is it possible for me to act as my own registered agent in Kentucky? Yes, any business owner or employee who is above the age of 18 and has a Kentucky street address can serve as the company’s registered agent in Kentucky. You might even elect a member of your LLC, or even a trusted friend, as long as they match these standards as well.

What Does it Cost to Hire a Registered Agent? The annual cost of using a registered agent service is normally between $50 and $300. When you consider how much time you’ll save, this is a modest amount to pay – it’s definitely worth it.

Is it worthwhile to hire a Registered Agent?

Using a professional registered agent firm to manage your LLC’s federal filings is a cost-effective option. The benefits of utilizing a professional service far surpass the annual expenditures for most firms.


Step 3: File the Articles of Organization With Kentucky State [Price: $40]

Articles-of-Organization

The Kentucky Articles of Organization is the LLC formation form that you fill out and submit to the state.

We’ll walk you through the Kentucky LLC Articles of Organization in three simple stages.

  1. Get Your Articles of Organization Forms
  2. Fill out the Articles of Organization
  3. File the Articles of Organization

Stage 1: Get Your Articles of Organization Forms

You have the option of filing your Kentucky Articles of Organization by mail or online. Choose your chosen technique for this initial step from the options below.

_______

GET YOUR KENTUCKY ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION FORMS

Option 1: Create an account on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website to file your Articles of Organization. Select “Register a New Business” from the user dashboard after authenticating your new account and following the procedures.

CREATE ACCOUNT

– OR –

Option 2: Access the Articles of Organization PDF from the Kentucky Secretary of State website. This form will need to be mailed to the Kentucky Secretary of State with the filing fee.

DOWNLOAD PDF

________

Stage 2: Fill out the Articles of Organization

To complete the form, you’ll need the following information:

  1. Name and location of the entity
  2. Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  3. Regulatory Authority
  4. Date of Inception

Name and location of the entity

It’s crucial to have a distinctive and clever business name, but it’s not as important as having a legally proper name.

When selecting a name for your company, be certain that the name:

  • The name complies with Kentucky’s naming regulations.
  • isn’t being used by another company in Kentucky.

Check Availability of Name

Is your given name legal in Kentucky? Do a name search on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website to be sure the name you choose isn’t already used.

Obtain Your Domain Name

It’s a good idea to examine whether your company name is accessible as a web domain. Even if you don’t intend to create a company website right now, you may wish to purchase the URL to prevent others from doing so.

Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address

A registered agent is a person who receives and sends legal paperwork on behalf of your LLC. Your registered agent and registered office must be listed when you register your Kentucky LLC.

Any Kentucky resident over the age of 18 can serve as your registered agent. During regular business hours, your registered agent must be present in the registered office.

Regulatory Authority

You must specify whether your LLC will be run by management or by the members.

Date of Inception

Unless you specify a later effective date, your Articles of Organization will take effect immediately after filing.

Stage 3: File the Articles of Organization

You must file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State in order to register your LLC.

You can file your Articles of Organization in one of two ways:

  • Fill out the forms online.
  • Send or deliver a physical copy of your application via mail or in person.

FILE THE KENTUCKY ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION

Option 1: Log in or create an account on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website. Then, from the user dashboard, click “Register a New Business,” fill in the needed details, and submit.

FILE ONLINE

– OR –

Option 2: The Articles of Organization PDF can be downloaded and mailed in at the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website.

DOWNLOAD PDF

State Filing Cost: $40

Mail to: 
Office of the Secretary of State
Division of Business Filings
Business Filings
PO Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602

Submit In-Person: 
Capitol Building
Room 154
700 Capital Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601

Turnaround Time: Documents are typically processed the same day they are received, although it may take up to three days.


What is the difference between a domestic and a foreign Kentucky LLC?

When an LLC does business in the state where it was founded, it is referred to as a “domestic LLC.” Normally, when we talk about an LLC, we’re talking about a domestic one. When an existing LLC wants to expand its operations to another state, it must incorporate a foreign LLC.


Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement [Price: FREE]

Operating-Agreement

An operating agreement should be in place for every Kentucky LLC owner to secure their company’s activities. While an operating agreement is not legally needed by the state, it will create clear norms and expectations for your LLC while also establishing your legitimacy as a legal company.

What is a Kentucky Operating Agreement for an LLC?

An LLC’s ownership structure and running processes are outlined in an operating agreement, which is a legal document.

Whether you’re forming a single-member or multi-member LLC, your operating agreement should include all of the topics listed below. Some of these rules will have minimal effect on the day-to-day operations of a single-member LLC, but they must be included for legal reasons.

  1. Organization: Consider when the LLC was officially formed, who its members are, and how ownership is allocated. Multi-member LLCs may have equal ownership or may assign various “units” of ownership to different members.
  2. Voting and management: Determine whether the LLC will be controlled by its members or by appointed management, and how members will vote on business issues. Each member typically has one vote, although you may want to delegate more authority to specific members than others.
  3. Capital Contributions: The amount of money each member invests in the company. This is also the time to consider how you will raise additional funds in the future.
  4. Distributions: Profits and losses will be paid among members based on the distributions. The most common strategy is to split profits evenly. If you want them distributed differently, you should state how in your operating agreement.
  5. Membership Structure Changes: How will roles and ownership be transferred if a member leaves the organization? It is vital to clearly out the method for buying out and/or replacing a member in the LLC’s governing document.
  6. Dissolution: If all of the members of your LLC decide that you no longer wish to do business, you should properly dissolve it. A critical component of your operating agreement is the mechanism for possibly terminating your firm.

What are the Benefits of having a Kentucky LLC Operating Agreement?

You’ll need an operating agreement regardless of the sort of Kentucky LLC you’re forming. This is why:

  • The state recommends it but does not mandate it. Every Kentucky LLC should create a written or oral operating agreement to manage the company’s operating processes, according to Kentucky Revised Statutes Section 275.015(21).
  • It will keep your company partners from fighting. If you’re forming a multi-member LLC, having an operating agreement in place will help you avoid misunderstandings by defining each partner’s position and obligations.
  • It aids in the preservation of your limited liability status. If you’re the only owner of a single-member LLC in Kentucky, an operating agreement will assist guarantee that your limited liability status is sustained by court authorities, as well as contribute to your company’s overall credibility.

Is it necessary for me to submit my operating agreement with the Kentucky state government?

No. The operating agreement is a private document that you should save for future reference. Many states, on the other hand, make it mandatory for LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.


Step 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number [Price: FREE]

Employer-Identification-Number-IEN

What is an EIN number? Employer Identification Number (EIN) is an acronym for Employer Identification Number. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns EINs to businesses to assist them be identified for tax reasons. It’s essentially a business’s version of a Social Security number.

A Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN) is another name for an EIN (FTIN).

What is the purpose of having an EIN? An EIN is necessary for the following purposes:

  • Open a bank account for your business.
  • Taxes are filed and managed at the federal and state levels.
  • Employ people.

What if my single proprietorship already has an EIN? When changing to an LLC, the IRS requires sole proprietorships to get a new EIN.

Where can I obtain an EIN? The IRS will provide you with an EIN for free. Obtaining an EIN is a simple procedure that may be completed online or through mail.

APPLICANTS FOR AN EIN FROM OUTSIDE THE US: An EIN can be obtained without the need of a Social Security number.


OBTAIN AN EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

APPLY ONLINE

– OR –

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

DOWNLOAD FORM

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free


If I don’t have a Social Security number, how can I acquire an EIN?

Obtaining an EIN does not necessitate the use of a Social Security number. You can just leave section 7b blank on the IRS Form SS-4. Then, to finish your application, call the IRS at (267) 941-1099. Find out more about how to apply as an overseas student.

What tax structure should I choose for my limited liability company?

When you apply for an EIN, you will be told of the many tax categorization options accessible to you. The default tax status is chosen by the majority of LLCs.

Some LLCs, on the other hand, can lower their federal tax liability by electing the S corporation (S corp) classification.

Is an EIN required for my LLC?

An EIN is required for an LLC with employees or more than one member. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires this.


Steps to Take After Creating a Kentucky LLC

Keep your personal and business assets separate.

If your personal and company accounts are combined, your personal assets (such as your house, vehicle, and other possessions) are at danger if your Kentucky LLC is sued. This is referred to as penetrating the corporate veil in business law.

You may begin safeguarding your LLC in Kentucky by taking the following steps:

1. Open a business checking account:

  • This separates your personal assets from those of your firm, which is required for asset protection.
  • It simplifies bookkeeping and tax reporting.

2. Obtaining a business credit card:

  • Assists in categorizing and separating all business costs for tax purposes at the end of the year.
  • Aids in the development of your business credit score, which is a necessary step in obtaining a line of credit or a business loan in the future.
  • Allows you to keep track of department spending by giving your staff various cards (each with a different budget).

3. Hiring a business accountant:

  • Avoids overpaying taxes and helps you avoid penalties, fines, and other costly tax mistakes by hiring a company accountant.
  • Allows you to concentrate more time on your expanding business by simplifying bookkeeping and payroll.
  • Improves the management of your company’s funds by identifying areas of unanticipated loss or profit.

Employee Recruitment in Kentucky

If you want to hire staff, follow these measures to keep in compliance with the law:

  • Verify that new hires are eligible to work in the United States.
  • Employees should be reported to the state as “new hires.”
  • Employees should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Employee taxes should be withheld.
  • Print workplace compliance posters and install them in prominent locations across your office.

What is Kentucky’s minimum wage? Kentucky’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

When do I have to pay my employees? Wages must be paid at least twice a month in Kentucky.


FAQ: Kentucky LLC – Various Costs

Is it necessary to pay for a Kentucky LLC on a yearly basis?

Yes, Kentucky LLCs are required to pay a $15 yearly report fee.


Get Professional Help For the Best Price When Forming an LLC in Kentucky

It can be difficult and time-consuming to form a Kentucky LLC. It might be beneficial to have some assistance, and we’ve compiled a list of two of the top LLC creation services available.

#1 – ZenBusiness can help you form an LLC in Kentucky

ZenBusiness provides LLC creation services at a low cost and with several useful features. Most LLCs will benefit from two of these aspects. All ZenBusiness’s products include a year of complimentary registered agent service. With their Pro and Premium Packages, they offer ensure worry-free compliance. ZenBusiness will file your yearly report and notify you if there is anything further you need to do to follow the state under this assurance. For $119 per year, those with the basic package can purchase worry-free compliance.

They have a customer satisfaction rating of 98 percent and over 4500+ verified reviews.
We also encourage you to read our full ZenBusiness review here.

$49

star rating image

Rating: 4.8/5
Review count: 4500+

zenbusiness logo new

Form an LLC today with ZenBusiness for only $49. They Have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4500+ verified reviews.


#2 – Create an LLC in Kentucky Using Northwest Registered Agent

With decades of expertise, Northwest Registered Agent is an exceptional LLC creation service. They deliver excellent, well-informed customer service. Their biggest benefit, though, is the seclusion they provide. They don’t outsource any of their services to third parties, don’t sell your information, and even build their own code.

Northwest can help you form an LLC in Kentucky right now. They have a customer satisfaction rating of 95% and over 4150+ verified reviews. They’ll come with a complimentary year of registered agent service!

From $35+State Fees

star rating image

Rating: 4.9/5
Review count: 4150+

northwest-logo

Form an LLC today with Nortwest. They have 98% customer satisfaction rating and over 4150+ verified reviews. They will include 1 year of free registered agent service!


In Conclusion

Forming an LLC in Kentucky isn’t that expensive or hard. Especially when there are professional services that can help you with all the legal aspects.

In addition, starting a Kentucky LLC isn’t as expensive as it seems.
The total cost shouldn’t exceed:

  • $49 if you’re forming a basic LLC with all the basic options with ZenBusiness.
  • $39/mo if you’re forming a top-notch LLC with Northwest.
  • ~$80+ if you’re forming an LLC yourself.

As you can see — there are many options and affordable ways to create your LLC in Kentucky. From our and other’s experiences – most people tend to choose professional LLC formation services instead of doing everything themselves. Since that saves a lot of time and headache.
Good luck with your new business endeavours in Kentucky!

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