Kentucky Name Search

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Kentucky LLC Name Search

How to form an LLC in Kentucky
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Kentucky.

Detailed Lessons:

 

Kentucky LLC costs:
State filing fee: $40 (one-time fee)
Annual fee: $15 (every year)

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

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The first step to forming an LLC in Kentucky is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it is available for use.

Your Kentucky LLC name must be unique and must follow certain state requirements.

Kentucky LLC Name Requirements

Before searching your LLC name in Kentucky, there are a few requirements you need to know:

1. The abbreviations “LLC” or “L.L.C.” must be used at the end of your Kentucky LLC name. The abbreviation “LLC” is the most common.

2. Because a Kentucky LLC is not a Corporation, your desired LLC name cannot use the word “Corporation”, “Incorporated,” or their abbreviations (“Corp.” or “Inc.”).

3. Your desired LLC name must be distinguishable. This means it must be different and unique from all other businesses registered in Kentucky.

Differences in designators, which are the identifiers at the end of a business name (LLC, Inc., etc.) do not create distinguishability.

Differences in grammar also do not create distinguishability.

For example:
• LLC, L.L.C, Inc., Corp.
• singular, plural, and possessive
• A, An, The
• and, or, &
• hyphens, slashes, periods, commas
• three vs. 3

The following examples are NOT distinguishable:
– Smith Investments, LLC vs. Smith Investments, Inc.
– Apple Farm, LLC vs. Apple Farms, LLC
– Print Shop, LLC vs. The Print Shop, LLC
– Night & Day, LLC vs. Night and Day, LLC
– Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC vs. Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Inc
– Three Teachers Consulting, LLC vs. 3 Teachers Consulting, LLC

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)

Searching the Kentucky Name Database

Kentucky has 2 ways you can search your desired LLC name:

• Call 502-564-3490 and the state will check name availability for you over the phone.

• Use the FastTrack Business Organization Search Station and search your LLC name online.

FastTrack Business Organization Search Station

1. Visit the FastTrack Business Entity Search Station
https://app.sos.ky.gov/ftsearch/

2. Search Your LLC Name
Enter your desired LLC name in the search box.

• Leave out the ending “LLC” and any punctuation.

• Capitalization doesn’t matter.

• To be thorough, just enter the first word or two of your LLC name to ensure you see everything that is potentially similar. (Ex: if your desired Kentucky LLC name is “Johnny Apple Farm LLC”, just enter “johnny apple”).

• To be even more thorough, just enter a part of the first word. (Ex: if your desired Kentucky LLC name is “Printing Solutions LLC”, just enter “print”).

3. Browse the Results
Click the “Continue” button and browse the list of existing Kentucky businesses:

• If a “No matching organizations were found” message appears, that means your desired LLC name is unique and available for use.

• If the results show names that are not too similar to yours (meaning yours is distinguishable), then your desired LLC name is available for use.

• If your desired LLC name appears exactly as you want it in the search results, your desired Kentucky LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.

• If the search results show a name that is deceptively similar to your desired LLC name, your desired Kentucky LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to think of a new name or use some creativity and come up with a unique variation.

Tip: If you’re not 100% sure that your desired Kentucky LLC name is distinguishable, just file your paperwork with the state. If your name is not available, the Kentucky Secretary of State will send back your filing and let you know that the name needs to be changed.

Next Step

Once you find a Kentucky LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next lesson: Kentucky LLC Registered Agent.

Kentucky Secretary of State Contact Info

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

Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, 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! LLC University® teaches people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your business journey.
Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

4 Comments

  1. Angela May 16, 2018

    I have a business name already established (I am guessing, maybe, as a DBA as my name also?) with a DOT number . (No EIN number assigned-just my social security number. I am wanting to make this existing business an LLC. Thinking about changing the name also. Would I, when I register on the IRS site, list the new name as the LLC, then have it be DBA my old business name? Would that be an acceptable replacement to establish the company as an LLC?

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz May 16, 2018

      Hi Angela, hmmmm… there’s a lot going on here. Here’s my analysis. You’ll want to form an LLC first, wait for that to be approved, then get your EIN. Then either apply for a new DOT number or look into whether or not you can transfer that DOT number from your Sole Proprietorship to your LLC. Hope that helps.

      reply
  2. Imam January 20, 2019

    Hi,
    Your website is really helpful. I want to register my business as LLC in KY state. I am confused on how to get a trademark for all states? Do I need to register in all states if I want to deliver goods in all states? Will it be more difficult, if I register the company with my legal name but want a different name as DBA or no? Thanks much.

    reply
    • Matt Horwitz January 22, 2019

      Hi Imam, an LLC, a DBA, and a trademark are all separate and distinct things. You don’t need to register your LLC as a foreign LLC in all states where you deliver goods. That’s just interstate commerce. If you want national protection on your brand name, you’d file a federal trademark with the USPTO. Best practice is to work with an IP/trademark attorney there. And about the DBA, we have info here: do I need a DBA for my LLC? Hope that helps!

      reply

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