Form a Limited Liability Company in Kentucky
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How to Form a Kentucky LLC in 10 Steps
An LLC or Limited Liability Company is a typical structure of business that is quite common in Kentucky.
All profits that an LLC earns will be passed through to each LLC member. This structure of business reduces the owner(s)’ exposure to liability from company activities and also allows one or more individuals to own a part of a business. Lastly, an LLC does not have to file tax returns separately (like corporations do).
Forming a Limited Liability Company is a fairly basic process. There are several steps you'll want to follow, which we’ve listed below:
1. Choose Your Company Name.
You need a company name that no other business has the rights to use. See our SunDoc article Is My Business Name Available? for help conducting your own name search, or SunDoc can run your name search for a reasonable fee. At a minimum, your preferred name must be available in the State of Kentucky. It is also wise to check for a registered trademark on your preferred name.
2. Understand the LLC Organizer Requirement.
An organizer is the person or company that drafts your LLC. By preparing on-line with us, SunDoc Filings will be your organizer. If you choose to prepare and upload your filing with SunDoc, you can name your own organizer.
3. Designate a Registered Agent.
Now, you must choose your LLC’s registered agent. This can be a firm or an individual. The agent will also need to be included in your Articles of Organization form. If you are unsure what a registered agent is or why the role is important, we've created this article: Registered Agent Service.
4. Decide Your Ownership and Management Structure.
How do you want your LLC managed? Do you want one or multiple managers to manage your LLC? Or would you prefer that all members manage your LLC?
5. Create an Operating Agreement.
An Operating Agreement is another essential document you will need for your LLC.
First of all, the Operating Agreement manages working capital, handles the payout of profits, creates your company’s governance, and handles all money matters. This includes voting, fiduciary constraints, liability, and the formation of all provisions, regulations, and rules. It essentially outlines the functional and financial decisions that your company will have going forward.
If you'd like to learn more about this document, you can use the guides, Member-Managed LLC and Manager-Managed LLC — both created by SunDoc. It may also be a good idea to consult a lawyer for additional advice.
6. File the Articles of Organization.
Usually, all states require that you file the Articles of Organization. A form that simply provides company details that the state needs. Once accepted by the Secretary of State of Kentucky, this form actually marks the creation of your LLC.
You will require several pieces of information for your Articles, including: your LLC’s new name, your company's new address, who your registered agent is and who your organizer will be, and lastly, your management method. In certain cases, you might have to provide and file member names too.
If time is an issue for you and your other owners and members, SunDoc can file your Articles on your behalf. We are always on time and reliable.
7. Obtain an EIN and Open a Business Bank Account.
Congrats! As soon as your articles are accepted by the Secretary of State of Kentucky, you have a registered LLC. The next step is getting an EIN.
An EIN is also required by most banks in order to open a business account. If you've been paying business expenses out of a personal account up until now, this is a good time to set up your company's fiscal management. Make sure you keep all receipts for reimbursement no matter the account you’ve used for payments. At this point you may also want to find an accountant for help with business matters.
8. Pay Kentucky State Taxes.
Every year (including your LLC’s first year of operation), Kentucky taxes and fees are required. You’ll need to check with the State of Kentucky’s tax web site to find exactly what state taxes you need to pay, and if you plan on selling goods within Kentucky state lines, remember that you’ll likely need to collect sales tax as well.
9. Determine Necessary Licenses and Permits.
Most states require companies to have one or more business licenses or permits to operate at the city or county level. Use your state's business website to find the requirements for your business. It’s important to check this website even if you think your business is exempt. You may be surprised to discover what’s required. Operating without the proper license or permit can result in expensive fines.
10. File an Annual Report (Biennial Report or Initial List).
Within a certain timeframe, you will need to file what's called a Biennial Report or an Annual Report. SunDoc can do this on your behalf if you like because it is essential to file this document within the required time frame after forming your LLC. If you do not, you face having to pay an expensive filing fee — much more expensive than the initial fee.
You can find the Annual Report form and all other necessary filing forms on the Kentucky business web site.
If you're not sure what the Annual Report actually is, it's a basic document that keeps the state abreast of pertinent information about your company. You will need to file one every year (or every two years) after the formation of your LLC. You also need to file an updated form if you end up making any changes to your company.
Important Notice: It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss your potential insurance needs, or matters relating to employees. You should consult an attorney or accountant with any questions about legal or financial matters. Please note that nothing in this article can be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice.
For additional learning, please visit our LLC FAQs.
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