Forming a Business Entity
One of the most important decisions to make before starting a new business is whether to form a business entity. Three of the most important questions to answer are:
1. How does forming an entity impact my personal liability?
2. How does forming an entity affect the amount of tax I will have to pay?
3. How is each entity different?
The information available using the "Choose a Structure Wizard" here is intended to provide a quick summary of basic business structures, but it should not b considered a subsitute for professional legal or tax advice regarding your business.
If you decide to form an entity, you can complete most filings online through the Kentucky One Stop Portal or this website. You can check the availability of a name through an online search, in writing, or by phone at (502) 564-3490. If you are not quite ready to form a business entity but you would like to reserve a business name, you can file an
application for reservation or renewal of reserved name.
Next steps after forming a business entity
1. File a certificate of assumed name (DBA) if you plan to transact business using any name other than the exact legal name of your business entity Click Here
2. Obtain a federal employer indentification (FEIN) number from the IRS Click Here (nonprofits will also file an application for 501(c) tax-exempt status Click Here )
3. Contact the Kentucky Department of Revenue to establish state tax accounts Click Here
4. Review Kentucky local occupational license fee information by county and city Click Here
5. Review federal subject/industry index to indetity applicable federal regulatory agency Click Here
6. Review regulations and licensing requirements by applicable Kentucky agency Click Here
7. Contact county clerk in the county where transacting business to review ordinances for permit requirements Click Here
8. Search municipal listing and contact city officals for any additional permit or license requirements Click Here
9. Establish reserve accounts with the Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance Click Here
10. Confirm workers compensation coverage provided to Department of Workers Claims Click Here
Ongoing obligations with the Secretary of State
All entities transacting business in Kentucky must file an
annual report by June 30 of each year after the year they are formed. Failure to file the annual report by June 30 will result in the entity being listed in bad standing with this office and could lead to administrative dissolution or revocation of authority to do business in Kentucky.
Entities operating in the Commonwealth must also file documentation of certain changes. Every entity formed or doing business in Kentucky is required by law to maintain a principal office, which can be located in or outside the state. All correspondence from this office will be mailed to an entity's principal office. Each entity must also designate a registered agent and registered office in Kentucky upon whom a process (such as summons and subpoenas) may be served. Service on the registered agent is deemed to be service on the entity, regardless of whether the registered agent actually forwards the notice to the entity. Any time an entity changes its principal office, registered agent or registered office, it must file a statement of change with this office.
Statement of Change of Principal Office (POC)
Statement of Change of Registered Agent and Office (RAC)
Other changes that require filings with the Secretary of State include amendments to articles of incorporation, mergers and
dissolutions. In addition, any individual or entity that conducts business under an assumed name must file a
certificate of assumed name.
research resources are available on this website. For additional information, please consult the
frequently asked questions or contact the filings division:
• Mail: Office of the Secretary of State
700 Capital Ave.
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602
Protect Your Business From Identity Theft
In addition to regularly reviewing your business filings online, make sure you provide your email address on your business filings so the Secretary of State's office can notify you of any changes or filings made with respect to your business.
More resources, including tools for prevention and recovery, are available at
www.IdentityTheft.gov/. This website was developed with the help of the National Association of Secretaries of State and can help you understand and reduce the risk of business identity theft.
Additional Information on Forming a Business in Kentucky
One Stop Business Portal is a comprehensive resource for opening and operating a business in Kentucky.