How Much Does an LLC Cost in Kentucky

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Cartoon woman holding a Kentucky LLC cost sign

    When you form your LLC in Kentucky, you’ll have to pay certain costs to officially register your business with the state.

    In addition to formation and ongoing costs, there will be business expenses like using a registered agent service, building a website, getting business insurance, and so on. So, how much does an LLC cost in Kentucky?

    In this guide, we break down the costs associated with forming your LLC, from the Kentucky LLC filing fee to LLC upkeep prices and other business expenses.

     

    Cost of Forming an LLC in Kentucky

    When forming your LLC, there are a few different costs that you may incur. These include the filing fee, LLC formation service cost, operating agreement draft, and registered agent costs.

    Kentucky LLC Filing Fee

    To form an LLC, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Kentucky Secretary of State. The filing fee for the Articles of Organization is $40You will commonly see this fee referred to as the “state fee” or “filing fee.”

    If you choose to use an LLC formation service, you will pay the $40 state fee on top of their service fee. Generally, these service fees start around $29 and increase depending on additional services you purchase.

    Recommended Service

    Most people choose to use an LLC formation service to create their LLC. The cost is low and they guarantee that your filing is done correctly. Check out our #1 rated LLC service:
    4.8 out of 5 starsNorthwest Registered Agent ($29 + state fees)

    For more details on the formation process, check out our Kentucky LLC Formation guide.

     

    Kentucky Registered Agent and Registered Office

    Every Kentucky LLC is required to appoint a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or entity you assign to receive tax forms, legal documents, or government correspondence on your LLC’s behalf. Registered agent services can cost around $130 per year or more.

    Your registered agent can be:

     

    If you haven’t yet formed your LLC, we recommend using Northwest Registered Agent to form, as you will receive one year of registered agent services for free with a $29 formation.

     

    Kentucky LLC Operating Agreement

    An operating agreement defines the roles and responsibilities of the members or managers in your LLC and will help prevent and solve any business disputes that may arise later on.

    The costs associated with the operating agreement come in the drafting of the document. For single member LLCs and simple multi-member LLCs, most people choose to create the document themselves.

    You don’t need to file this document with the Kentucky Secretary of State. Using a free operating agreement template or document builder, that means your total cost would be $0.

     

    Optional Kentucky LLC Formation Costs

    Along with the fees associated with forming an LLC, there are several optional LLC formation costs that you may encounter.

    • Reserve a Name for Your LLC – Before you register your Kentucky business name, you need to ensure it’s unique by doing a business entity name searchThe name reservation fee of $15 and is good for 120 days. This is only necessary if you aren’t forming your LLC right now, but still want to reserve the name.
    • Doing Business As (DBA) Name – To operate your business under a different name than assigned on your LLC, you will need to file for a DBA, known in Kentucky as an assumed name. The filing fee for an assumed name is $20.
    • Expedited Kentucky LLC Filing – Kentucky offers expedited filing of the Articles of Organization for an additional $10 fee per document.
    • Certified Document Copies – Getting certified copies of your Kentucky business documents that are already on file with the state validate that the documents are true and correct. The fee for requesting a certified copy is $10 for up to 5 pages and $.50 per page after.
    • Certificate of Existence – A Certificate of Existence, known in most states as a Certificate of Good Standing, verifies that your business is properly registered and legally authorized to conduct business in the state of Kentucky. This is often required by banks and other lenders. The fee for requesting a Certificate of Existence is $10.

     

    Kentucky LLC Cost and Fees Over Time

    There are a few things you need to address to keep your LLC in good standing with the state year after year. Each of these comes with costs and fees.

    Annual LLC Fee Kentucky

    Each year, your Kentucky LLC must submit an annual report. The Kentucky Secretary of State charges a $15 fee for filing this report.

    The annual report is due by June 30 each year and is required for all Kentucky LLCs.

    Note:

    LLCs may be dissolved if they do not file on time. See our Kentucky LLC Annual Report article for a more in-depth overview.

     

    Registered Agent Fee

    If you use a professional registered agent service, you will pay their fee annually. Pricing will depend on the service provider that you use, but usually costs around $130/year. Using a registered agent service will save you time and the hassle of handling important legal documents and filings for the long term.

    If you act as your own registered agent there are no maintenance fees. However, for privacy and compliance purposes, we don’t recommend being your own registered agent.

    We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which offers a year of its registered agent service for free when you use the company to form your LLC ($29 + state fees).

     

    General Costs of Running a Business

    Operating a business will obviously come with more than just LLC costs. These are a few of the expenses that you may run into.

    Business Bank Account

    An LLC separates your personal assets from your business assets. This separation is called the corporate veil. That corporate veil ensures that if your business is sued or incurs debts, your personal assets will be protected from any liabilities.

    Commingling (mixing) your personal bank account with your business can pierce your LLC’s corporate veil, which means you are no longer protected by the separated entity of your LLC.

    Using a separate bank account to accept payments and pay business expenses is the only way to prevent commingling funds and piercing the corporate veil.

    Recommended article: Check out TRUiC’s Best Small Business Banks guide to find the best bank account for your business.

     

    Business Permits and Licenses

    Depending on the type of business you operate, your business may need the proper permits and licenses to legally operate in Kentucky.

    Alongside the permits required, your business may require industry-specific licenses to operate legally. Examples include licenses like the Kentucky real estate licenseKentucky insurance licenseKentucky adjuster license, and so on.

    See TRUiC’s How to Get a Business License in Kentucky article for more information.

     

    Business Website

    Every business needs a website. There’s no better way to get in front of your customers, build your brand, and grow your business.

    Fortunately, the cost and difficulty of creating a business website have come down over the years. Websites are now simple to build and cheap to keep up.

    We advise small business owners to use the GoDaddy Website Builder. It’s an extremely simple to use system, creates great business websites, and only costs about $15/month.

     

    Business Insurance

    Having the proper insurance coverage can potentially save your entire business if there is a loss, accident, or lawsuit.

    A few of the most common business insurance policies include:

    • General liability insurance – Protects against claims of personal injury, physical injury, property damage, and more. This is the most common of all business insurance policies. Learn more about general liability insurance.
    • Professional Liability Insurance – Protects against claims of inaccurate or negligent work. It’s most common in the “professional” space where businesses offer services or advice to other businesses or consumers. Learn more about professional liability insurance.
    • Commercial Workers’ Compensation Insurance – This type of insurance protects your employees from on-the-job injuries or illnesses. This coverage is required if you have one or more employees. Learn more about Workers’ Compensation insurance.

     

    The cost of business insurance varies widely based on business type, size, location, and other factors. Getting a quote is the only way to understand the actual cost of insurance for your LLC.

    We recommend NEXT Insurance to help protect and grow your Kentucky LLC. It features instant coverage with competitive pricing that’s tailored to fit your business’ needs.




    LLC Cost in Kentucky FAQ

    Do you have to pay ongoing fees for an LLC every year?

    Kentucky requires LLCs to pay the annual report via the state’s Annual Report Filing Entity SectionThe filing fee is $15.

     

    What’s the cheapest way to form an LLC?

    The least expensive way to form an LLC is to file it yourself. The best LLC formation services start around $29. You’ll need to pay the state filing fee in either scenario. Check out our How to Start an LLC in Kentucky guide to learn how to form on your own.

     

    Can you start a Kentucky LLC for free?

    No. All applicants must pay the state filing fee to start a Kentucky LLCThe filing fee is $40.

     

    How much does a registered agent cost?

    Registered agent services start at about $130 per year. We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which is $125 per year (free for the first year when you form your LLC with them).

     

    Do I need to pay a franchise tax for my Kentucky LLC?

    No. Kentucky doesn’t require LLCs to file for franchise tax returns.

     

    How much does an LLC formation service provider cost?

    It depends on the LLC formation company you choose. We recommend Northwest Registered Agent, which starts at $29, plus the $40 state fee, and includes the first year of registered agent services for free.




    Information on this page is not to be considered legal or tax advice. Data was gathered from a multitude of sources and most recently updated in September 2022.

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