Kentucky LLC Costs
A limited liability company, or LLC, is a business structure that can provide you with liability protection, special taxes and incentives, and a manageable management structure. Entrepreneurs and small business owners often think that LLC formation in Kentucky is too complicated and expensive. However, it is a straightforward process and worth the price.
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Costs to start an LLC in Kentucky
LLC Articles of Organization ($40)
- You must file your Kentucky Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State.
- The cost to file Kentucky Articles of Organization is $40.
- Kentucky does not offer any expedited services for LLC formation.
Kentucky annual report fee ($15)
- You must file your annual report with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
- Using the annual report filing system, you will file your Kentucky annual report online.
- The annual report fee is $15.
- You must submit your annual fee by June 30th every year.
Kentucky registered agent fee (varies between $50 to $300)
- According to the Kentucky Secretary of State, you must appoint a registered agent if you plan to form an LLC in the state.
- A registered agent alerts the Secretary of State that someone is available during business hours to accept subpoenas, tax notices, and other important correspondence.
- In Kentucky, you can appoint yourself or someone else in your LLC as a registered agent as long as they meet the state requirements.
- The cost of hiring a registered agent varies depending on the service, your LLC needs, and state filing fees.
Fees to form a foreign LLC in Kentucky ($90)
- You must register a foreign LLC if you have an existing one in another state and wish to expand.
- You can use the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal to register your foreign LLC online.
- Or, you can complete the Certificate of Authority form (Form FBE) and submit it to the Kentucky Secretary of State.
- The LLC cost to register a Kentucky foreign LLC is $90.
LLC name reservation fee ($15)
- Kentucky does not require you to reserve an LLC name before formation.
- When you reserve a Kentucky LLC name, you ensure no other business can register it.
- Your LLC name in Kentucky must be unique.
- Kentucky allows you to reserve a company name for up to 120 days before formation.
- You can use the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal to reserve your LLC name.
- Or, you can complete the Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name (Form ASN) and submit it by mail to the Kentucky Secretary of State.
- The LLC filing fee to reserve your company name in Kentucky is $15.
DBA filing fees in Kentucky ($20)
- When using a business name that is not the legal name, you will have to register a DBA name. It is a shortened version of “doing business as.”
- By registering a DBA in Kentucky, you are ensuring no one else can use that business name.
- You can use the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal to register to DBA online.
- Or, you can complete the Certificate for Assumed Name (Form ASN) and submit it to the Kentucky Secretary of State.
- The cost of a DBA in Kentucky is $20.
Cost of certified document copies ($5)
- You will use the Kentucky Secretary of State business records website to order your certified LLC documents copies.
- The cost for your certified LLC documents in Kentucky is $5 for the first five pages and $.50 for each additional page.
Certificate of Existence ($10 online)
- Banks and lenders will require you to obtain a Certificate of Existence before you can do business banking or open a bank account.
- You will use the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website to request your Certificate of Existence.
- The filing cost for your Certificate of Existence is $10.
Steps to start an LLC in Kentucky
Choose a business name
When deciding on an LLC name, you must first consider a few things.
- An LLC name in Kentucky must be unique.
- Your Kentucky LLC name must meet all Kentucky LLC name guidelines.
- Check for the availability of a web domain.
You will use the Kentucky Secretary of State name availability search to conduct a name search.
LLC name reservation fee
You do not have to register an LLC name in Kentucky before formation.
Kentucky allows you to reserve a company name for up to 120 days before formation.
You can use the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal to reserve your LLC name. Or, you can complete the Form ASN and submit it by mail to the Kentucky Secretary of State.
The filing fee to reserve your LLC name in Kentucky is $15.
The cost to reserve a company name in Kentucky is $15. Your LLC name is valid for up to 120 days. Kentucky does not require you to reserve an LLC name.
Appoint a Kentucky registered agent
In Kentucky, you must appoint a registered agent for the LLC formation process.
The price for a Kentucky registered agent or service varies between $50 and $100 a year. The cost depends on the state and your LLC needs.
A registered agent in Kentucky is an individual or business entity that receives tax forms, legal documents, subpoenas, civil notices, service of process, and other official government correspondence on behalf of a sole proprietorship, corporation, or LLC.
The registered agent you choose must be a Kentucky resident or a registered agent service authorized to conduct business in the state.
- Starter Plan – $39 a year plus State Fees
- Pro Plan – $149 a year plus State Fees
- Premium Plan – $249 a year plus State Fees
- Total Out The Door Kentucky LLC Formation Service Package – $39 month and includes:
- Kentucky State Fee
- Filing Service Fee
- Registered Agent
- Tax ID
- Annual Plan – $225 plus State Fees a year
- Economy – $79 plus $153 Kentucky filing fees
- Standard – $329 plus $153 state filing fees
- Express Gold – $349 plus $255 state filing fees
File Kentucky Articles of Organization
You file Kentucky Articles of Organization with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
You can file online using the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal.
Or, you can complete the Articles of Organization form (Form KLC) and submit it by mail.
The cost to file your LLC Articles of Organization is $40.
Kentucky does not offer any expedited LLC services.
Michael G. Adams
Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602
Room 154, Capitol Building
700 Capital Ave.
Frankfort, KY 40601
Form KLC will ask you for specific information about your Kentucky LLC.
- LLC name and address
- Type of organization structure
The fee in Kentucky for filing your LLC Articles of Organization is $40.
Get a Kentucky LLC EIN
An Employer Identification Number, or EIN, can also be referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax ID Number (FTIN).
An EIN Is a 9-digit number that acts like a Social Security Number for LLCs for income tax purposes. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assigns an EIN for no cost.
In Kentucky, you will need to apply for an EIN if you are converting a sole proprietorship to an LLC.
Applying for an EIN is a simple process online through the IRS website.
Business banking for a Kentucky LLC
Keeping your personal banking account separate from your personal account will protect your personal assets and credit scores.
When you bank in Kentucky, you must submit the Articles of Organization, an operating agreement, and your EIN.
Business banking accounts are generally free, and do not have additional charges or fees.
Business attorney fees in Kentucky
Retaining a business attorney benefits you in the long run because it makes the LLC formation process more manageable, and someone is available to handle business-related issues in the future.
Most business attorneys offer first-time clients free consultations.
Professional services such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer offer LLC formation packages that include comprehensive legal services.
On average, a business lawyer in Kentucky will cost $300 per hour.
LLC taxes in Kentucky
- Kentucky LLCs are considered pass-through entities. You will file your personal tax returns rather than the state tax return.
- Using the One Stop Business Portal, you will register for your seller’s permit through the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
- The Kentucky state tax rate is 6.00%, and no max for local and county rates.
- If you hire employees, you must register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Kentucky Office of Employment and Training.
- You will need to enroll in Employee Withholding Tax through the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
- In Kentucky, you will have industry-specific taxes. The most common applied tax is in the Hospitality or Service Industry.
- Federal and state taxes are overwhelming and complicated. When you hire a professional, you ensure you do not miss deadlines and must pay tax penalties.
Business licenses and permits in Kentucky
The permits and business licenses you will need may vary depending on where your LLC is located and the type of business it is.
You will use Kentucky.gov to search for the necessary licenses and permits.
A business licence in Kentucky varies between $50 to $150. The total cost of permits and licences will depend on where your LLC is, and the type of LLC.
Your local government offices will have different rules and procedures for permits and business licenses. You will want to contact the office for questions about the process, price, and business hours.
You may find that some Kentucky LLC documents will require a notarization from a notary public.
Most government agencies have one in the office if you cannot find one.
In Kentucky, a notary public can charge $.25 to the max of $25 per notorial act.
Employer obligations in Kentucky
- If you hire employees in Kentucky, you have specific employer obligations.
- The federal government requires you to verify that your employees are eligible to work in the United States using Form I-9 from the USCIS Website.
- Kentucky requires you to enroll in worker’s compensation insurance.
- You will report all new hires to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.
- You can find a complete list of Kentucky employer obligations.
Benefits of a Kentucky LLC
- LLC formation makes banking easier. Banking and financial institutions will require you to open an LLC banking account separate from your personal one.
- Corporations and LLCs have different compliance requirements. For instance, incorporations must answer to shareholders and stock owners when they make critical business decisions.
- In Kentucky, your LLC is a pass-through entity. Your earnings are taxed once through personal tax returns.
- Some business structures are double-taxed, while LLCs are not. C-corporations are generally double-taxed.
- The cost for LLC formation in Kentucky is more affordable than most. It only costs $40 to submit your Articles of Organization.
- In Kentucky, you can access specific business incentives as an LLC. Kentucky Tourism Development Act (KTDA) and Direct Loan Program are just two programs currently available.
How long does it take to register an LLC in Kentucky?
If you register your LLC online, it will take the Kentucky Secretary of State 24 hours to process the documents. It takes 3 to 7 days if you register by mail.
Kentucky does not offer any expedited services for LLC formation.
How do I dissolve my Kentucky?
You must dissolve your LLC in Kentucky to avoid ongoing costs and fees. You will file your Articles of Dissolution by completing the form and submitting it by mail.
The filing cost for LLC cancellation is $40.
Are there publishing requirements for Kentucky LLCs?
Unlike Arizona and New York, you have no publishing requirements in Kentucky.
Do I need a business operating agreement for my LLC in Kentucky?
Kentucky does not require you to submit an LLC operating agreement to the state.
But, having one in your company’s files is always a good idea to avoid future misunderstandings. It can be oral or written.
Does Kentucky have an annual franchise tax?
In Kentucky, you do not have an annual franchise tax. Your LLC may be subject to limited liability entity tax (LLET) based on business net worth.
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