Kentucky LLC Cost

We’ve compiled the most common fees so you know exactly what to expect when starting your Kentucky LLC.

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Start Your LLC in Kentucky

FAQs on how to determine Kentucky LLC costs

  • You have to file Articles of Organization to start your LLC. Completing these filing requirements can be tricky, but we’ll walk you through the process. We can help you get your LLC started quickly and easily with our Kentucky LLC Formation Service

    We can handle the task of filing your Kentucky LLC documents for $0 plus state fees.

  • When you start your business in Kentucky, you’ll pay some one-time fees to form your business. Once you’ve been in business for a year, you’ll owe taxes and annual payments to stay in compliance. Here are the top three costs to start a business in Kentucky.

    Kentucky LLC Filing Fee

    $40: In Kentucky, it costs $40 to file an LLC’s Articles of Organization.

    Limited Liability Entity Taxes

    $175+: While not subject to a Corporate Income Tax, Kentucky LLCs will pay a Limited Liability Entity Tax (LLET) each year. The minimum LLET is $175. You’ll pay a higher amount if your LLC makes more than $3 million in gross receipts or gross profits.

    Registered Agent Fee

    Free: You can list yourself as your LLC’s Registered Agent in Kentucky and avoid a fee. However, as the Registered Agent, you must be available at the office during business hours to accept legal notices. Many entrepreneurs hire a commercial registered agent for a small fee. Your Registered Agent will contact you if they receive service of process on behalf of your company. With our Kentucky Registered Agent Service, we can help you find the best Registered Agent for your LLC.

  • While filing the Articles of Organization forms your LLC, there are several other fees you might need to pay. The average cost to start a business in Kentucky depends on your location and business activities.

    Certificate of Existence

    When you apply for loans, enter into long-term contracts, or seek venture financing, you might need to provide a Certificate of Existence for your LLC. This document certifies that your LLC is duly organized and in existence; has filed its annual reports; and has paid the fees, taxes, and penalties owed. To request a Certificate of Existence, the cost is $10.

    Letter of Good Standing

    In some cases, you might need a Letter of Good Standing certifying that the LLC has filed its tax returns and paid in full. You can request a Letter of Good Standing from the Secretary of State for $10. The Kentucky Department of Revenue does not issue a separate Letter of Good Standing.

    DBA Name in Kentucky

    If your LLC uses a name other than its registered name, you’ll want to file an assumed name. Unlike many states, your Kentucky assumed name must be distinguishable from other business names on the record. Also known as a “doing business as” name or DBA, you will file a Certificate of Assumed Name for each assumed name you use. Once you pay the $20 filing fee, the Certificate is good for five years, and you can renew it.

    Foreign LLC

    When you previously formed your LLC in another state and want to do business in Kentucky, you need to qualify to do business in the state. To legally operate an out-of-state LLC in Kentucky, you will file an Application for Certificate of Authority with the Secretary of State. The filing fee for this document is $90.

    Business Licensing

    The Secretary of State does not issue any business licenses. Still, your LLC might need to apply for a license with the city or county or the federal government. You might have to pay fees for:

    • Business licenses
    • Permits
    • Registrations

    You might owe fees and taxes depending on the type of business you engage in or your location. You’ll also need to register with the Kentucky Department of Revenue if you have employees or engage in a taxable activity.

    To help you with this step, try a Business License Report from our partners at Avalara. We’ll provide a comprehensive list that breaks down the specific licenses, permits, and registrations your business needs.

    For just $0 plus state fees, we can form your Kentucky LLC for you in just minutes. No LegalZoom promo code required: Pay just $0 plus filing fees for fast LLC formation in Kentucky. 

  • Yes. If your LLC doesn’t keep up with paying its filings and fees, you’ll be charged late fees and interest. If you remain out of good standing, the government can initiate proceedings to administratively dissolve your business.

  • If you don’t pay the filing fee, the Secretary of State can refuse to file your documents. Usually, entrepreneurs form limited liability companies to protect their personal assets from business debts. If you haven’t paid your fees, you could legally be considered a sole proprietorship or general partnership and face increased liability.

  • You pay your Articles of Organization fees to the Kentucky State Treasurer. 

  • When it comes to the cost to start a business in Kentucky, your largest LLC fee is your Articles of Organization fee, which is $40. After your first year of business, the biggest fee is $175 for your LLET. The amount of fees you owe will depend on your business activities, your business location, and your business needs.

  • You can pay your filing fees with a credit card, Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH), or prepaid account. If filing by mail, you can include a check. You may also pay with cash if filing in person.

How do I form my LLC in Kentucky?

1. Name your LLC

The first step to forming your Kentucky LLC is to choose a name. Your business name represents your brand to the public, and you’ll need to use it on all official documents. While you can be creative when coming up with your name, the name must:

  • Contain the phrase or abbreviation “limited liability company,” “limited company, ” “LLC,” or “LC”
  • Be unique from other names on file with the Secretary of State

Once you pick your name, you can file a Reservation of Reserved Name with the Secretary of State. After a $15 fee, you’re entitled to exclusive use of the name for 120 days. 

2. Select a Registered Agent

It’s important that you receive notice as soon as your LLC is served with legal summons or subpoenas. That’s why you need a reliable, professional Registered Agent. Registered Agents are responsible for receiving service of process and other important legal notices on behalf of your LLC. A Registered Agent has to have a physical address in Kentucky, and it’s important that they are consistently available during regular business hours to receive important notices for your LLC.

You can act as your own Registered Agent, but you’ll need to be at your registered office during business hours. Many entrepreneurs prefer to use a Registered Agent Service to comply with this requirement. 

3. File your LLC’s Articles of Organization

Your LLC is officially formed once you file your Articles of Organization. You can file with the Secretary of State by mail, in person, or online using your Kentucky Online Gateway (KOG) account. If filing by mail, send your Articles of Organization and filing fee to:

Michael Adams

Office of the Secretary of State

P.O. Box 718

Frankfort, KY 40602-0718 

4. Create an Operating Agreement

When you form an LLC, your Operating Agreement sets the rules for running your LLC. You can describe how you want distributions to be made, divide liability for contributions, and set the circumstances for a new owner to join the business. The LLC owners (called members) often write their own Operating Agreement and set their own rules for resolving disputes. Kentucky doesn’t require LLCs to have Operating Agreements. But, if you don’t have one, you’ll have to follow the default rules in the Kentucky Limited Liability Company Act.

To help you write an Operating Agreement that meets your goals, try our Operating Agreement Template.

5. Get an EIN

To remain in good standing, your LLC needs to keep up with its tax obligations. Your LLC needs to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if it has more than one member, pays employees, or operates as a corporation. The IRS issues EINs to identify the business when it pays federal taxes and reports wage withholding. At the state level, you’ll apply with the Kentucky Department of Revenue for a Commonwealth Business Identifier (CBI).

Even if the IRS doesn’t require your business to have an EIN, it’s a good idea to help protect your personal information. You can use your EIN instead of your Social Security number on business tax documents. You also need an EIN to open business bank accounts and acquire business insurance policies. 

To get an EIN, you have to file an application with the IRS. We can complete the paperwork for you with our Employer ID Number Service.

Check Kentucky Annual Requirements

Every Kentucky LLC needs to pay an annual Limited Liability Entity Tax (LLET). For an LLC, the tax is due within four and a half months of the start of the business’s tax year. Also, LLCs must file an annual report before June 30 each year. If you fall behind on filing your annual reports or paying taxes, you’ll be placed in bad standing. To avoid fines and penalties, use our Annual Report Service to help you stay on top of your LLC’s annual reporting obligations. 

Stay Legally Compliant

As your business grows and changes, you’ll need to keep your business filings up to date. Filing an amendment has a $40 filing fee. If your business details change, we can help you Amend your Articles of Organization. When you use our Worry-Free Compliance Service, we’ll include up to two amendments per year and send reminders of upcoming compliance deadlines. 

We can help!

We know entrepreneurship is challenging, especially when it comes to legal compliance. We created our Worry-Free Compliance Service and Formation Service to help you get your business up and running quickly and effortlessly. Our business experts can help save you money and guide you through the requirements to keep you in good standing.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.


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