How To Start A Business In Kentucky 2022

There are several good reasons to start a business in Kentucky ranging from low utility cost, effective networking to unmatched logistical[1]. Kentucky also offers very strong support for innovation and entrepreneurs.

The main challenge is the steps involved when setting up your business, which can be overwhelming. But with our step-by-step guide on how to start a business in Kentucky, things can get a lot easier.

11 Basic Steps To Start A Business In Kentucky 2022

You can start making money from your business in Kentucky when you follow the following 11 steps to launch your business.

Pick A Business Idea

Having a good business idea is always the first step when starting a business in Kentucky. When coming up with a business idea, take into consideration your skill, availability, resources, your interest, and the reason why you want to start a business. Also, aim at offering products and services that don’t already exist in the market. Or you should think of a way to improve existing products and services.

Plan Your Business

The next step is to draft a good plan. A good business plan will offer you an idea of ​​the start-up cost, competition, and other strategies for making money. Most importantly, a good business plan can help you get funding. A business plan is what most investors and lenders review before providing business assistance.

You can use online business plan generator software such as LivePlan, GoSmallBiz, and BizPlan to help you draft a business plan with ease.

Get Funding

Funds are the biggest entrepreneurs need to start and grow their businesses. There are several funding options for business startups in Kentucky to choose from.

To find the funding option that matches your needs, you can make use of Cabinet for Economic Development tools. Whether you want access to investors, tax credits, or small business loans, these tools will match your business with the right funding option.

Choose a Business Structure

Choosing the type of business structure to operate in Kentucky and filing the necessary paperwork is mandatory when starting a business. Kentucky Secretary of State’s Business Portal[2] offers helpful tools such as “Choose a Structure Wizard[3]“ that can help you in choosing a business structure and other steps involved in starting a business.

Sole Proprietorship

A sole proprietorship is the easiest to start and you don’t have to file any organizational document with the Kentucky secretary of state. It is simply an individual deciding to go to a business with the least amount of paperwork.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with liability protection on personal assets.


An LLC combines the benefits of liability protection with tax flexibility. For that reason, it is the most preferred and popular choice in Kentucky.

To form a limited liability company in Kentucky, you will have to file the articles of organization by the Kentucky secretary of state. You can get the form from their business forms library[4].

The state also requires that you appoint a registered agent and obtain an EIN. The state only charges the registered agent $89.

An operating agreement is also important for your LLC, though it is not a mandatory requirement by the state and you don’t have to file it with the state.

The Top 2 LLC Services


A corporation also offers liability protection just like an LLC but with more formal regulations than LLC. This makes it the best option for most large companies’ investors.

The formation process requires more paperwork than LLCs.Besides, the standard cooperation (C-corp) is subjected to double taxation – once at the corporation level than at the personal tax return. Though S-corp can save you from double taxation, it has some strict qualifications.


If you are inspired to serve your community in Kentucky, starting a nonprofit is a good idea.

Non-profit is formed to facilitate social causes and for that reason, are exempt from paying tax. It is funded by a donation rather than an investor.

However, forming a non-profit is not a one-step process, especially in the case of an incorporated non-profit[5].


A partnership comes with little paperwork just like a sole proprietorship. The only difference is it has multi-members.

That said, it doesn’t offer liability protection, and your personal asset will be at risk in case of business debts.

Related: How to Form an LLC Kentucky

Register Your Kentucky Business

Registering your business name is the first step toward making your business entity legal in Kentucky. Registering your Kentucky business with the secretary of state comes with liability protection. All registration forms are available on the Kentucky Business OneStop Portal[6].

Sole Proprietorship and general partnership that doesn’t require registration should contact the county clerk where their business is located.

For more information, contact the Kentucky Department of Revenue by phone (502) 564-3306; Fax (502) 227-0772; email or visit their main office at address:

Kentucky Department of Revenue

Division of Registration & Data Integrity

501 High Street, Station 20

Frankfort, KY 40601

Set up Banking, Credit Cards, & Accounting

You need to have separate business and personal accounts. By dedicating business banking and credit card accounts, you further proof that your business is a separate entity and this is an added liability protection.

When you use the same account as your personal and business account, your personal assets may be at risk in case of business lawsuits.

Get Insured

Insurance is a risk management tool that protects your business, your customers, and your employees. You should discuss your specific business risks with your Kentucky insurance agency. The insurance agency will let you know the types of insurance available and the exact type of insurance you should consider purchasing.

Obtain Permits & Licenses

Though Kentucky doesn’t have a statewide requirement for permits or licenses, some municipalities within the state may require that you obtain a permit or license(s) depending on your business. Depending on your business location and type, the state may require unemployment requirements, workers’ compensation, and insurance for certain businesses.

You can determine whether your business needs a special type of license or permit in Kentucky by searching their database[7]. You only key in the keyword or click on the view all if you want to have a look at the entire list.

Hire Employees

Hiring employees in Kentucky can be frightening at times because there is a lot of p[aperworkandstatelawstocomplywithForinstanceyouwillneedtogetKentuckyEmployerIdentificationNumber(KEIN)EmployerAccountRegistrationandhaveemployeesfilloutI-9EmploymentEligibilityVerificationFormamongmanyotherpaperwork[aperworkandstatelawstocomplywithForinstanceyouwillneedtogetKentuckyEmployerIdentificationNumber(KEIN)EmployerAccountRegistrationandhaveemployeesfilloutI-9EmploymentEligibilityVerificationFormamongmanyotherpaperwork

Build a Business Website

The next crucial step is to create an online presence for your Kentucky business. A strong business presence is very important for your business growth.

You can now build a business website with a lot of ease thanks to online website builders such as, Wix, Squarespace, and Zyro among others.

Promo Your Business

There are several ways you can use it to promote your new business. But as a new business owner, it will be meaningless to spend exorbitant amounts on radio adverts or billboards. You must resort to inexpensive means of promoting your new business.

In Kentucky, you have an endless list of ideas including press releases, yellow pages, opening a website, distributing business cards, and excellent customer service among others.

Important Steps After Forming A Business In Kentucky

After forming a business in Kentucky, there are some crucial steps you need to take, most of which have been discussed above. Once you register your business, you will have to set up a business bank account, get insured, obtain a permit/license, hire employees, build a business website and then start promoting your business.

Other important steps after forming your Kentucky business include:

  • Getting your tax number, which will depend on your business type
  • Obtain resources for managing employees
  • Identify regulations for your business
  • File a DBA if necessary
  • Protect your name with a trademark

Type Of Business Start In Kentucky

Kentucky is a great state to start a business and therefore, you have a lot of options here. Here are our top ten business ideas:

  • Start a blog
  • Cakeshop
  • Barbershop
  • Career consultant
  • Photography
  • Best control
  • Catering
  • DJ
  • Babysitting
  • Construction

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Business In Kentucky?

This will depend on the type of business and where your business is located. The most common costs you will incur are registration and licensing.

The cost to form or register your business in Kentucky is around $0 to $40 depending on the business entity. But some business entities like LLCs and corporations will require a registered agent which is charged $89 to $99 annually. The state also offers name reservations at $15.

That said, this is one of the cheapest states to start and run a business.

Final Thoughts

Kentucky is one of the most affordable and preferred states to start a business. If you are considering starting a business in the state, we are glad, our step-by-step guide on how to start an LLC in Kentucky has made it easier for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does it cost to form an LLC in Kentucky?

The main cost to form an LLC is filing the articles of the organization which Kentucky charges at $40 when filed online. However, there are other expenses such as registered agent service ($89) and name reservation ($15) that you may incur.

Does Kentucky require a business license?

Though Kentucky doesn’t have a statewide business license requirement, there are some municipalities that may require some types of business to have one or more licenses.

Do you need an LLC operating agreement in Ohio?

An LLC operating agreement is not mandatory in Ohio. However, you should still consider it an essential step to forming an LLC in Ohio. It highlights how your company is managed and each member’s ownership.

How do I get an EIN number in Kentucky?

Just apply online by filling out a form on the IRS website. You can also call the IRS at (800) 829-4933, but make sure to review Form SS-4 Instructions to equip yourself with answers to the questions that the IRS will ask about your business.

Who can be a registered agent in Kentucky?

A registered agent in Kentucky can be an individual or a business entity. This individual can be an employer or employee of a business over the age of 18 years with a street address in Kentucky.

How long does it take to register a business in Kentucky?

Kentucky approves online LLC filing within 24 hours. Mail filing taxes 2-3 weeks.

Leave a Comment