How much does an LLC cost in Kentucky? (2024 details)

Home » Kentucky LLC » How much does an LLC cost in Kentucky? (2024 details)

Need to save time?

Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee)
LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

Deal alert! Northwest will form your LLC for $39 (60% discount). See details.

LLC Cost
Starting an LLC in Kentucky comes with more costs than just filing the initial paperwork. But it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you think.

We explain all of the initial and ongoing Kentucky LLC costs below, as well as give you tips on how to save money.

How much does a Kentucky LLC cost?

It costs $40 to form an LLC in Kentucky. This is a fee paid for the Articles of Organization.

You’ll file this form with the Kentucky Secretary of State. And once approved, your LLC will go into existence.

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(Learn why Northwest is #1 in Northwest vs LegalZoom)

In addition to this LLC filing fee, there are other costs to be aware of when forming a Kentucky LLC (Limited Liability Company).

Costs to forming a Kentucky LLC

There is a $40 one-time state filing fee to form a Kentucky LLC.

There are also ongoing fees (like a $15 Annual Report fee and potential business license costs), which we discuss below.

Limited Liability Company Costs in Kentucky

LLC Name$0
Registered Agent$0 or $125 per year
Articles of Organization$40
Operating Agreement$0 (free on our site)
EIN Number$0 (free through IRS)
Annual Report$15 (every year)
Taxesvaries (filed and/or paid every year)

Kentucky LLC Articles of Organization Filing Fee ($40)

Starting an LLC costs $40 in Kentucky. This is the state filing fee for a document called the Kentucky Articles of Organization.

The Articles of Organization are filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State. And once approved, this is what creates your LLC.

The $40 fee is a one-time fee. You don’t have to pay any monthly (or annual) fees to start your Kentucky LLC.

Note: LLCs are the most common business structure used in Kentucky. They are the most popular business entity because they offer liability protection for the LLC owners.

Depending on the state, the Articles of Organization form is sometimes called a Certificate of Organization or Certificate of Formation. Articles of Organization is the most common name – but they all mean the same thing: the form used to create your LLC.

Kentucky business name cost ($0)

Naming your Limited Liability Company doesn’t cost anything. Your Kentucky LLC Name is approved (at no extra cost) when your Articles of Organization filing is approved by the state.

You may have read online that LLC Name Reservations are required. However, this is not true in most states. Kentucky doesn’t require a Name Reservation to form an LLC. You’ll simply enter your desired LLC name on the Articles of Organization. No extra forms to file or fees to pay.

How much does a DBA cost? ($20)

A DBA is filed with the state to reserve an alternate name for your LLC. In Kentucky, a DBA costs $20.

Note: A DBA is sometimes called a Trade Name, Fictitious Name, Assumed Name or Fictitious Business Name. They all mean the same thing.

Tip: You aren’t required to get a DBA for your LLC. It’s optional. For more information, read our article: Do I need a DBA?

Kentucky Registered Agent Fee ($0 or $125/year)

Kentucky law requires that you designate a Registered Agent when forming your LLC.

A Kentucky Registered Agent is a person or company who receives legal documents and state notices for your LLC. A Registered Agent needs a street address in the state and should generally be available during normal business hours.

There is no additional cost if you will be your own Registered Agent, or have someone you know be your LLC’s Registered Agent. This could be one of your business partners, or a friend or family member.

However, you have the option of hiring a Registered Agent service. This will cost you between $100 to $300 per year. But Registered Agent service companies offer other helpful business services and can protect your privacy.

Hiring a Registered Agent service is a good idea if:

  • You don’t have an address in the state (Kentucky law requires Registered Agents to have a physical address in the state)
  • You want to keep your address off public record (depending on which company you hire, you may be able to use their address to keep your address private)

Special offer: Hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), and you'll get a free year of Registered Agent service.

(Why is Northwest the best? Read our Northwest Registered Agent review)

LLC Operating Agreement Fee ($0)

A Kentucky LLC Operating Agreement is a written contract between the LLC Members. Operating Agreements include detailed information about LLC ownership, how the LLC is managed, and how profits are distributed.

Single-Member LLCs and Multi-Member LLCs should draft an Operating Agreement, keep it with their business records, and give a copy to each Member.

Most websites charge $50 to $200 for LLC Operating Agreements. But you can save money by writing your own Operating Agreement.

Here at LLC University®, we offer free LLC Operating Agreement templates for all types of LLCs.

Download a free LLC Operating Agreement:
Member-managed: Google DocWordPDF
Manager-managed: Google DocWord

(What's better? See Member-managed vs Manager-managed LLC)

LLC EIN Number Fee ($0)

An EIN Number is also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN) or a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

This number is used to file income taxes, to open an LLC bank account, and to hire employees (if applicable).

Although many websites charge a service fee to get an EIN for your LLC, it can actually be done for free.

You can obtain an EIN for your LLC from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) at no cost. The online filing can be completed in a few minutes.

Kentucky LLC Annual Report Fee ($15/year)

Kentucky requires you to keep your LLC’s information up to date by filing an Annual Report.

This keeps your Kentucky LLC in good standing and in compliance with state law so it can continue operating. You simply confirm the information on the Annual Report, file it with the Kentucky Secretary of State, and pay the Annual Report fees.

The Kentucky LLC Annual Report costs $15 per year. This fee is paid every year for the life of your LLC.

Kentucky Business License and Permit Fees (varies)

Depending on where your LLC does business in Kentucky and the industry you’re in, you may need to obtain additional Business Licenses or Permits. For example, you may need to get a City Business Permit.

The costs for these other business licenses or permits will vary depending on location and industry, but usually the fees are not very high. Some licenses and permits are issued at the state level, and others are issued by a municipality (the town, city, or county).

LLC Taxes (varies)

There are many different types of Kentucky LLC taxes that owners must pay, so this annual cost varies widely.

Some of the taxes LLC owners pay include:

  • Federal taxes
  • State income tax
  • Local income tax
  • Business taxes
  • Self-employment taxes
  • Kentucky sales tax
  • Limited liability entity tax
  • Payroll tax (if you have employees)
  • Property tax (if the LLC owns property)

Your Kentucky LLC taxes depend on your industry and amount of business activity, so we’re not able to provide an estimate. Every business owner is different, and your specific circumstances determine what taxes apply to your LLC.

Note: By default, a Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship. And a Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership.

Hiring an Accountant

How much your small business pays in taxes is best determined by working with a qualified accountant in Kentucky.

The amount you’ll pay your accountant will vary. However, most accountants will charge $300 per year for a simple tax return, or up to $900 for more detailed filings.

Note: We recommend speaking with a few accountants in Kentucky to make sure they can help you meet all of your federal, state, and local tax obligations. We offer detailed tips on How to Find an Accountant.

Kentucky Secretary of State

If you have any questions about the cost of opening a Kentucky LLC, you can contact the Kentucky Secretary of State at 502-564-3490.

Kentucky LLC Secretary of State Business Filings

(Kentucky Secretary of State, Business Filings Building)

Kentucky LLC Costs FAQs

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

It costs $40 to start a Kentucky LLC. This is a one-time filing fee for the LLC Articles of Organization.

Some LLCs may need a business license in Kentucky. This depends on your industry and where your LLC is located. The cost of local business permits varies.

How much does an LLC in Kentucky cost per year?

All Kentucky LLCs need to pay $15 per year for their Annual Reports. These Kentucky LLC fees are paid to the Secretary of State. And these are the only state-required annual filing fees. You have to pay this to keep your LLC in good standing.

If you hired a Registered Agent service, you’ll have an annual subscription fee to pay each year. This is usually about $125 per year.

Some LLCs may need a business license in Kentucky. This depends on your industry and where your LLC is located. You’ll need to check with your municipality to see if there are any annual renewal fees for the business permit.

Should I hire an LLC formation service?

You aren’t required to hire a professional service company to form your Kentucky LLC. You’re allowed to complete the LLC formation process yourself if you’d like. If you do it yourself, you only pay the filing fees.

However, if you want to save time and make sure your LLC is filed correctly, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent.

Northwest Registered Agent has excellent customer service and they include Registered Agent services free for the 1st year. They also offer other services, like an Operating Agreement and filing your Annual Report.

Check out Best LLC Services for more suggestions.

Do I need to hire an attorney to form an LLC?

No, you aren’t required to hire an attorney to form your Kentucky Limited Liability Company. You’re allowed to form your LLC yourself if you’d like.

However, some people may want to hire an attorney if their LLC has a complex ownership or management structure, has investors, or requires industry-specific documentation.

A business attorney usually charges between $800 and $2,500 to form an LLC.

How do I start an LLC in Kentucky?

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Kentucky:

  1. Choose an LLC business name and make sure it’s available
  2. Choose who will be your Kentucky Registered Agent
  3. File the Kentucky Articles of Organization
  4. Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS
  6. Open an LLC bank account
  7. Check whether you need a business or sales tax license in Kentucky
What’s the cheapest way to start an LLC?

You can get an LLC cheaply by filing your formation documents yourself. You’ll also save money by being your own Registered Agent, and using our free LLC Operating Agreement template.

By forming your LLC yourself, being your own Registered Agent, and using our Operating Agreement template you can save over $400.

Correctly filing your LLC documents is essential to maintaining the LLC protection of your personal assets.

How long does it take to get an LLC in Kentucky?

How long it takes to get an LLC in Kentucky depends on how you file your Articles of Organization.

You can get an LLC in Kentucky approved immediately if you file online. On the other hand, filing by mail takes about 1 business day (plus mail time).

How much does a Kentucky business bank account cost?

It varies. Some banks charge monthly fees ($10 to $20 per month), but these can sometimes be avoided by meeting certain requirements. For example, if you make a certain number of direct deposits or maintain a specified minimum balance, then they’ll waive the monthly fees.

And you might be able to find a bank that doesn’t charge any monthly fees.

Before you open your LLC business bank account, we recommend calling and asking if there are ways to avoid the monthly maintenance fees.

How much is a Kentucky Foreign LLC?

A Foreign LLC is an LLC formed in another state that must register (aka Foreign Qualify) in Kentucky. This is because the LLC is doing business in both states.

The Kentucky Foreign LLC cost is $90.

If you form an LLC in Kentucky, it is called a “Domestic LLC”. If you formed your LLC in another state, it would be a Foreign LLC once you register it in Kentucky.

Is Kentucky a good state for an LLC?

Yes, Kentucky is a great state to start a business. Kentucky doesn’t charge a state business license fee, has quick approval times and helpful representatives at the Secretary of State if you have questions.

However, the most important factors in deciding where to start a business are where you live and where you’re doing business (aka your business location).

Meaning, if you live in or do business in Kentucky, then you should start your business in Kentucky. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business. And just because a certain state has cheaper LLC fees doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to form your LLC there.

For example, if you form an LLC in Wyoming, but live in and conduct business in Kentucky, you’ll also need to register your Wyoming LLC in Kentucky (and pay fees). And you’ll end up paying Kentucky taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.

In summary, if you are a Kentucky resident, then yes, Kentucky is the best state to form an LLC. If you don’t live in and do business in Kentucky, then no, Kentucky probably isn’t a good state to start an LLC.

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

Want our free email course?

Get simple LLC lessons sent right to your inbox.

Thanks! You're subscribed √
Your email address is already subscribed.

Leave a comment or question

Comments are temporarily disabled.