Last Updated on February 5, 2022
To get started, register with the Kentucky OneStop Business Portal. Alternatively, you can download the Articles of Organization PDF and file by mail. If you are starting a business that requires occupational licensing (such as accountants, architects, veterinarians, etc) you will want to instead file for a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC).
After registering, select Register a new business.
Step 1: Business Formation
You are asked to select the choice that best describes the business or organization you are organizing. Most new LLCs will choose “A business that will be formed in Kentucky.” The other choices are for out-of-state businesses wanting to do business in Kentucky. Assuming your LLC will be located in Kentucky, choose the first.
Next, you are asked to select the business structure. Assuming the chosen entity is an LLC, select “Limited Liability Company” in the drop-down menu.
Step 2: Disclaimer
Read and agree to the disclaimer and then click on the “Next” button.
Step 3: Registration Contact Information
Enter the Name, email address, and phone number of the individuals representing the business. Anybody can be the registrant, including a member, attorney, accountant, friend, etc. Enter the contact information and click on “Add Registration Contact.”
Step 4: Name the LLC
Enter the name you want for the LLC and be sure to follow naming guidelines. The primary naming guideline is that the LLC’s name also has to differ from other entity names registered with the Kentucky Secretary of State. Check on Kentucky LLC name availability before filing.
Next, check the box if this will be a veteran-owned business.
Last, the name of the LLC must include one of the following words or abbreviations from the drop-down menu. Some of the more popular ones are:
- Limited Liability Company
- Limited Liability Co.
Enter the name of the LLC you would like to use in the “Business Name” field, accept the terms of the disclaimer, and click “Search.” If the name is available, a message will show up saying the name is available and whether you would like to request that name for the LLC.
If the name is not available, a message saying “Business Name Unavailable or Invalid due to the following reasons.”
Step 5: Registered Agent
To have an LLC in Kentucky, a Registered Agent must be identified. The Kentucky Registered Agent can either be a resident of Kentucky (select “Individual” from the drop-down menu) or a registered agent service (select “Business” from the drop-down menu). The agent must have a physical address in Kentucky and is available during normal business hours to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC.
When selecting “Individual” if the registered agent will be the same person in Step 3: Registration Contact Information, select the checkbox to copy that information over. If this is a different person, add their contact information, address, county, email, and phone number.
If you were to hire a registered agent service, their contact information would go in these fields.
In either case, the ATTN field is optional and not used by most when filing the LLC.
Step 6: Principal Office Address
In this section, enter the physical street address, city, state, and zip code of the initial principal office. This address can be the LLC’s physical address, or it can be the address where the business records are stored. This does not have to be an address in Kentucky, but you may not use a PO Box for the designated office.
Step 7: Member-Managed of Manager-Managed
This section asks if the LLC is Member-Managed or Manager-Managed.
- Member-Managed LLCs have members (owners) that are active in the day-to-day operations of the business.
- Manager-Managed LLCs have managers hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.
Most LLCs are member-managed. Select the one that applies and click on “Next.”
Step 8: Business Representative
This section asks for information about the business representative. If one of the members is filling out the Articles of Organization, most will select “Individual” from the first box and LLC Organizer from the second. An additional menu will pop up, asking for contact information. Once entered, click on the “Next” button to continue.
Step 9: Delayed Effective Date
The next step asks about the effective date of the LLC. By default, the LLC is effective on the date submitted. If you prefer to have the LLC officially start at a later date (up to 90 days), select “Yes” to the question “Do you want to enter a delayed effective date and time?” and enter the date and time in the following fields. Otherwise, select “No” and click on “Next” to continue.
Step 10: Business Administrators
One business administrator must be assigned to the Limited Liability Company. Most will select the checkbox to make the business representative be the administrator. Select the checkbox if that is so, otherwise add a new contact for the business administrator.
Step 11: Electronic Signature
Select the name of the business administrator from the drop-down menu and sign the Articles.
Next, the registered agent has to sign as well.
Step 12: Registration Summary
Review that the information is correct. If so, continue.
Step 13: Pay and File
Pay and file the Articles of Organization.
In approximately 24 hours, if filing online or around a week if filing by mail, your new Kentucky Limited Liability Company will be approved.
If mailing the Articles of Organization, send payment to:
Office of the Secretary of State
PO Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602
Payment will be made to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
If you have questions, contact the Kentucky Secretary of State at 502-564-3490.