Kentucky Filing Forms

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Kentucky LLC
Articles of Organization Instructions

In this lesson, we will walk you through filing your Articles of Organization with the Business Services Division of the Kentucky Secretary of State. This is the document that officially forms your Kentucky LLC.

Kentucky LLC Secretary of State Business Filings

(Kentucky Secretary of State, Business Filings Building)

You can file your Kentucky Articles of Organization by mail or online. The filing fee in both cases is $40.

If you file by mail, the approval time is 2-3 business days (not including mail time). If you file online, the approval time is 24 hours or less.

You will find instructions below for both filing by mail and filing online.

Here are the pros and cons: filing by mail is really simple (the form is easy to complete), but the approval time is a little longer. Filing online has a faster approval time, but the online filing system was poorly designed and can be a little confusing.

Note: Before proceeding with this lesson, make sure you have searched your LLC name and selected your LLC’s Kentucky Registered Agent.

Also, Kentucky has a funny requirement about recording your LLC with the County Clerk. More details are below.

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

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

Instructions for Filing Kentucky Articles of Organization by Mail

Download Articles of Organization (Form KLC):
http://www.sos.ky.gov/bus/business-filings/Forms/Documents/AOProfit.PDF

Important: If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, you’ll need their signature on the form before you submit it. You’ll need to contact them to get their signed Articles of Organization. If you need to hire a Registered Agent in Kentucky, we recommend Northwest ($125 per year). Northwest has been in the business for over 20 years and they have great customer support. Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded to your online account.

How to fill out the Articles of Organization paper form:
Fill the form out on your computer or by hand (using a blue or black pen). Print on regular white paper (8.5” x 11”).

Article I. Name of your LLC
On the first line, enter your LLC name exactly as you would like it, including your preferred capitalization, as well as the designator “LLC” or “L.L.C.” (the abbreviation “LLC” is the most common).

You can use a comma in your Kentucky LLC name or you can leave it out. Ex: “ABC Widgets, LLC” and “ABC Widgets LLC” are both acceptable.

Article II. Registered Office and Registered Agent
Enter the street address (PO boxes are not allowed) of your Registered Agent in the first line and their name in the second line.

If your Registered Agent is an individual, they must be a resident of Kentucky. If your Registered Agent is a company, they need to be authorized to do business in the state.

Note: if you’re not sure who can serve as your Kentucky LLC’s Registered Agent, please refer to this lesson: Kentucky Registered Agent.

Article III. Mailing Address
Enter your name and your LLC’s mailing address. This address can be your home address, an office address, or the address of your Registered Agent.

Article IV. Manager-Managed or Member-Managed
Check off box A (if your LLC is manager-managed) or box B (if your LLC is member-managed).

Note: Most LLCs are member-managed, where all the owners run the business and day-to-day operations. An LLC can also be manager-managed, where one, or a few designated people, run the business and day-to-day operations (while the members play more of a passive/investor role).

To learn more about member-managed LLCs vs. manager-managed LLCs, read this short article.

Article V. Effective Date
Leave this section blank if you want your LLC to be effective upon filing. This means your LLC will go into existence on the date it is filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State.

If you need your LLC to go into existence at a later date, enter that date (can’t be more than 90 days out).

Tip: If you’re forming your LLC in October, November, or December, and you don’t need your business open during those months, forward date your filing to January 1st. This will save you the hassle of filing any taxes for those 1-3 months. For more information, please see LLC effective date.

Signature of Organizer and Registered Agent
Only 1 Organizer (the person filing the documents) needs to sign, but there is room for 2 Organizers if needed.

Above “Signature of Organizer”, sign your name. To the right, print your name and title (ex: “John Doe, Member”) and then enter today’s date.

Below, print the name of your Registered Agent (may be a person’s name or a company name), and then have your Registered Agent sign the form. To the right of their signature, print their name and enter today’s date.

Remember, if you If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, you’ll need to contact them to get their signed Kentucky Articles of Organization.

Prepare Payment:
Prepare a check or money order for $40, made payable to “Kentucky State Treasurer”.

Mail Documents:
Send your completed Articles of Organization and $40 filing fee to:

Secretary of State
PO Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602

Approval by Mail:
The Kentucky Secretary of State will process and approve your LLC in 2-3 business days (not including mail time). Once your LLC is approved, the state will mail you a postcard with instructions on how to go online and download a copy of your approved Articles of Organization.

The instructions are as follows: search your LLC name here, click on your LLC name, scroll down to “Images available online”, click “Articles of Organization”, then download/save a copy to your computer. We recommend saving a few copies (both physical and digital) and keeping them with your business records.

You’ll use a copy of your Articles of Organization and your Federal Tax ID Number to open a business bank account for your LLC (we’ll discuss this in a later lesson).

Instructions for Filing Kentucky Articles of Organization Online

Register for Kentucky’s OneStop Business Portal

1. Go to Kentucky’s OneStop Business Portal’s login page, then click the “Click here to create a user account” link.

2. Create a username and then enter your email address. Enter your name in the “display name” field, then your first and last name again. Then create a password. When finished, click the “Create Account” button

Tip: your password must be between 8 and 15 characters long, and must include at least 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, 1 number and 1 special character. We recommend keeping your login credentials in a safe place.

3. The state will send you an email with an activation link. Please check your email and click the activation link. You will be re-directed to the OneStop Login Page. Enter your username and password, then click “Sign In”.

Complete your Articles of Organization Online

Get Started
In your Kentucky OneStop Portal, click “Business Registration”, then click the “Business Registration” icon again on the next page.

Select Business Type
Select the first option, “A business that will be formed in Kentucky” and choose “Limited Liability Company” from the drop down menu, then click the “Next” button.

Disclaimer
Check off the box agreeing to the terms and conditions, then click the “Next” button at the bottom.

Registration Contact Information
Enter your name, email address, and phone number, then click “Add Registration Contact”.

If your information appears again on the next page, click the “Next” button.

Business Formation
The Business Formation page will appear again. Make sure “A business that will be formed in Kentucky” is checked off and that “Limited Liability Company” is selected from the drop down menu. Then click the “Next” button to proceed.

LLC Name
In the “Business Name” box, enter your LLC name exactly as you would like it, including your preferred capitalization. Don’t include the abbreviation “LLC” in this box. Instead, choose your preferred designator from the “Suffix” drop down menu to the right (the abbreviation “LLC” is the most common).

You can use a comma in your Kentucky LLC name or you can leave it out. Ex: “ABC Widgets, LLC” and “ABC Widgets LLC” are both acceptable. Make sure to select the Suffix with or without the comma, depending on your preference.

Check off the “disclaimer” box, and then click the “Search” button. This will make sure your desired LLC name is available for use.

If a “Business Name Available” message appears, select “Yes” and then click the “Next” button.

If a “Business Name Unavailable or Invalid” message appears, that means your LLC name is not unique and distinguishable. You’ll need to use some creativity and come up with a variation or a new LLC name.

Registered Agent
In the drop down menu, select whether your LLC’s Registered Agent will be a person or a company.

Note 1: After you make your selection from the drop down menu (“Individual” or “Business”) it can take 5-20 seconds for the boxes to appear below.

Note 2: You can leave the “ATTN” box empty. It’s not required.

• If your LLC’s Registered Agent is an individual, select “Individual” from the drop down menu, enter their information in the corresponding boxes, then click “Add Registered Agent”.

• If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, select “Business” from the drop down menu, and enter their contact information in the corresponding boxes. You’ll need to contact your Commercial Registered Agent and get the name of the individual responsible for signing and enter their name, phone number and email address. When finished, click “Add Registered Agent”.

If you hired Northwest Registered Agent, their official name in Kentucky is “Northwest Registered Agent LLC”. Enter Tom Glover as the individual signing. His email address is [email protected] and his phone number is 509-768-2249.

After you click the “Add Registered Agent” button you’ll see a popup message which may tweak your address slightly so that it is USPS certified. Select “USPS Certified Address” if it appears correctly. If the certified address is not correct, select “Entered Address”. Then click the “Ok” button.

You may need to click the “Add Registered Agent” button again to proceed to the next step.

Note: if you’re not sure who can serve as your Kentucky LLC’s Registered Agent, please refer to this lesson: Kentucky LLC Registered Agent.

Principal Office Address
You can leave the “ATTN” box empty or you can enter your first and last name.

Then enter the Principal Office Address for your LLC. This address can be a home address, an office address, or the address of your Registered Agent. If using the Registered Agent address, check off “Use a Previous Address”.

Once finished, click the “Next” button.

After you click the “Next” button you’ll see a popup message which may tweak your address slightly so that is is USPS certified. Select “USPS Certified Address” if it appears correctly. If the certified address is not correct, select “Entered Address”. Then click the “Ok” button to proceed.

You may need to click the “Next” button again to proceed.

Member-Managed or Manager-Managed
Select whether your LLC will be managed by Members or Managers, then click the “Next” button.

A member-managed LLC is when all of the owners (members) run the day-to-day business operations.

A manager-managed LLC is when one (or a few) designated people run the day-to-day business operations and the owners (members) take a passive/investor role.

Tip: Most LLCs are member-managed. If you’d like to learn more about member-managed LLCs vs. manager-managed LLCs, read this article.

Business Representative
Select “Individual” from the first drop down menu and then “Organizer” from the second drop down menu. Check off “Use Information from Previous Association” and select your name from the drop down menu. Then click the “Add Business Representative” button.

Note: another USPS Certified Address box may pop up again. And you may need to click the “Next” button again to proceed to the next step.

Delayed Effective Date
If you want your LLC to officially go into existence on the date it is filed with Secretary of State, select “No” to the right of the “Do you want to enter a delayed effective date and time?” question.

If you want your LLC to go into existence at a later date, select “Yes” and use the calendar and clock icon to enter that date and time (it can’t be more than 90 days out).

Tip: If you’re forming your LLC in October, November, or December, and you don’t need your business open during those months, forward date your filing to January 1st. This will save you the hassle of filing tax returns for those 1-3 months. For more information, please seeLLC effective date.

Business Administrators
The next page may sound a little confusing, but all you need to do is select “Make me the OneStop Business Administrator” and then click the “Next” button.

Electronic Signatures
On this signature page, both the Organizer (the person forming the LLC, which is most likely you) and the Registered Agent must electronically sign the filing.

Select your name from the drop down list (after the word “I”), then enter your full name in the “Signature” box, and enter today’s date.

• If your Registered Agent is an individual, enter your/their full name in the signature box and then select today’s date.

• If you hired a Commercial Registered Agent, you’ll need to enter the full name of the individual person who is responsible for signing and then select today’s date.

If you hired Northwest Registered Agent, enter “Tom Glover” in the signature box.

Summary and Review
On the next page, review all the information you entered for accuracy and check for typos. If you need to make any changes, click the “edit” links to the right of each section. If no changes are needed, click the “Next” button at the bottom to proceed.

Note: the page may take up to 20-30 seconds to load.

Payment Method
Select “Credit Card” from the payment method drop down list, then click the “Next” button.

Check Out
Enter your billing and contact information on the next page. Click the “Next” button at the bottom to submit your payment to the state.

Congratulations, your Kentucky LLC has been filed for processing! Now you just need to wait for approval.

Approval Online:
The Kentucky Secretary of State will process and approve your LLC within 24 hours. Once your LLC is approved, the state will send you an email with instructions on how to go online and download a copy of your approved Articles of Organization.

The instructions are as follows: search your LLC name here, click on your LLC name, scroll down to “Images available online”, click “Articles of Organization”, then download/save a copy to your computer. We recommend saving a few copies (both physical and digital) and keeping them with your business records.

You’ll use a copy of your Articles of Organization and your Federal Tax ID Number to open a business bank account for your LLC (we’ll discuss this in a later lesson).

Requirement to Record with the County Clerk

Kentucky has an annoying and not strictly enforced law (KRS 14A.2-040) where you need to record an approved copy of your Articles of Organization with your County Clerk. The County Clerk where you record your approval must be located in the same county as your LLC’s Registered Agent.

The recording fees are usually between $9 – $15, but since there are 120 counties in Kentucky, you’ll need to call your County Clerk and verify the details. Ask to speak to the “recording department”, find out the recording fees, and get detailed instructions on how to send your approved copy. Most of the time you’ll be able to send a copy and a written request via mail. A few counties may require you to drop your documents off in person though.

Next Step

Once you file your LLC Articles of Organization, and it’s approved by the Kentucky Secretary of State, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Kentucky LLC Operating Agreement.

Kansas Secretary of State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the Kentucky Secretary of State at 502-564-3490.

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Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at LLC University
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! We teach people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.

4 Comments

  1. Lisa March 27, 2018

    I registered as a single member operated LLC with the state of Kentucky and was sent an approval message in the OneSTop Portal. Now to Apply for the EIN number. Should I select S Corportaion? Is this an option with a single member LLC?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz March 27, 2018

      Hi Lisa, you should not select S-Corporation when obtaining your EIN since you have not elected S-Corporation at this time. Also, if you’re just starting out, it’ll likely cost you more in administrative, payroll, bookkeeping, and accounting costs that any benefits of an LLC taxed as an S-Corporation. Usually it takes around $70,000 in net income for the LLC taxed as an S-Corp to be worth. I recommend following our EIN tutorial lesson in addition to reading LLC taxed as S-Corp and how are LLCs taxed. Hope that helps!

      reply
  2. Vestina Mayfield January 16, 2019

    I have had my own business in Kentucky since 2004. I am now wanting to convert it to an LLC. What do I have to do different or in addition to what I would do if I were just starting the business?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 18, 2019

      Hi Vestina, if you have a Sole Proprietorship, you can simply form a new LLC. We have a page on changing over from a Sole Proprietorship to an LLC: change from Sole Proprietor to LLC. Hope that helps.

      reply

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