How Much Does an LLC Cost in Kentucky

Written by: Mary Gerardine

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How Much Does an LLC Cost in Kentucky

The minimum LLC Cost in Kentucky is $40, which covers the processing fee for filing your LLC formation document (known as the Articles of Organization).

Having said that, the total cost of forming a Kentucky LLC will depend on several factors, including your personal preferences and business needs.

In our How Much Does an LLC Cost in Kentucky article, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about the different costs associated with launching and maintaining an LLC.

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LLC Cost in Kentucky

In the table below, you can find a summary of the main requirements of forming a Kentucky limited liability company (LLC) and their associated fees.

Articles of Organization$40
Registered Agent$0-$150+
LLC Name$0-$35
Operating Agreement$0+

Kentucky LLC Filing Fee ($40+)

LLCs in Kentucky are required to submit their Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State in order to be registered with the state.

If you decide to submit your LLCs Articles of Organization yourself, you will need to pay a filing fee of $40 to the Kentucky Secretary of State.

If you are registering a foreign LLC instead, you will need to apply for a Certificate of Authority and pay an increased filing fee of $90.

If you choose to use an LLC formation service, the cost will be a little higher as it will include a small service fee in addition to Kentucky’s state filing fee.

The fees for an LLC formation service can range significantly, but can start from as low as $29, increasing if you decide to purchase any additional offerings.

Note: For more details on the formation process, you can check out our in-depth Kentucky LLC Formation guide.

Kentucky Registered Agent ($0+)

As part of the process of filling your Articles of Organization (or Certificate of Authority), you’ll need to appoint a registered agent.

This is a person or entity that you must assign to receive tax and other governmental correspondence on behalf of your Kentucky LLC.

While you can act as your own registered agent at no cost, it’s often recommended to hire a professional service in order to avoid any potential penalties or legal issues caused by non-compliance with state regulations.

It can also be a great way of ensuring that your personal information is kept private (i.e., out of public records).

Professional registered agent services in Kentucky typically cost between $80 to $100, though some providers may offer rates as low as $49 or as high as $150.

Keep in mind that your LLC’s registered agent must accept their appointment by signing the relevant section of the Articles of Organization or by submitting the Statement of Consent of Registered Agent form to the Secretary of State.

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Naming Your Kentucky LLC ($0-$35)

When forming your Kentucky LLC, you’ll be required to pick a suitable name that’s available to use.

There are two potential costs to be aware of when naming your LLC.

Reserving Name

If you decide on a name for your LLC but aren’t ready to launch your business, you will have the option of reserving it in order to safeguard it from others.

To reserve your preferred name, you will need to complete a Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name form and pay the $15 application fee.

Once your application is processed, your chosen name will be held for a period of up to 120 days.

Note: Prior to filing your application, we recommend conducting a search on the Secretary of State’s Name Availability Search tool in order to make sure that your desired LLC name is actually available.

When choosing a name for your LLC, it’s important to select one that corresponds to an available domain. This is because a matching domain ensures consistency between your LLC’s name and its online presence, which helps to strengthen its brand recognition and credibility.

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Doing Business As (DBA) Name

If you want to operate your Kentucky business under a name other than the one it’s legally registered as, you’ll need to obtain a Doing Business As (DBA) name — also known as an Assumed Name in this state.

Prior to filing your application, you will need to conduct a search on the Kentucky Secretary of State’s website to check whether your desired DBA name is available.

Once you’ve confirmed that it is, you will need to file the Certificate of Assumed Name — either by mail or in person — with the Secretary of State.

Keep in mind that you will need to pay a $20 filing fee for your LLC’s DBA name, which will secure it for a period of five years.

Note: In order to renew your DBA, you will need to complete and submit the Certificate of Renewal of Assumed Name form and pay the $20 fee.

Kentucky LLC Operating Agreement ($0+)

While not mandatory, it’s good practice for LLCs to have an operating agreement.

This document 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.

While you can opt to hire an online service or business attorney to draft this document for you (which typically costs at least a few hundred dollars), it’s actually quite straightforward to do it yourself at no extra cost.

It’s also important to note that this doesn’t actually need to be filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State — it’s purely an internal document.

Additional Kentucky LLC Formation Costs

On top of the more common fees outlined above, there are a number of potential additional formation costs that LLCs in Kentucky may encounter depending on their circumstances.

We’ve summarized some of these additional costs below:

Local Business Licenses

In order to comply with the local-level regulations of your city and county, your business may be required to obtain some local business licenses.

While very few municipalities impose a general licensing requirement for businesses operating within their limits, your LLC might need a municipal license if it’s involved in certain activities.

For example, if your LLC operates a restaurant in Louisville, you will be required to obtain a health department license from the city, which comes at a cost of $80.

Certificate of Existence

A Kentucky Certificate of Existence is a document often required to open a business bank account; it can also be requested by lenders looking to verify that your LLC is legally authorized to conduct business in the state.

You can apply for your Certificate of Existence by visiting the Secretary of State’s website and paying a $10 processing fee.

Keep in mind that the Secretary of State can also certify copies of any other document filed on record upon request.

This certification, which bears the Secretary’s signature and the seal of the state, costs $10 for the first five pages, with an additional charge of $0.50 for each additional page thereafter.

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Cost to Maintain an LLC in Kentucky

In addition to the cost of forming an LLC in Kentucky, there are also several ongoing costs you’ll be responsible for paying each year.

We’ve outlined these recurring costs associated with maintaining a Kentucky LLC below.

Annual Report

To support the Secretary of State in maintaining accurate public records, all business entities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky are required to file an annual report by June 30 each year.

Reports can be filed any time between January 1 and June 30, which can be done online, by mail, or in person.

It should be noted that your LLC’s annual report must be signed, dated, and accompanied by a $15 filing fee.

Please be aware that changes to the principal and registered agent/office cannot be made on the annual report form.

For these changes, you must file one of the following documents instead:

Note: If you have already filed your annual report and need to make changes to it, you can do that by filing an amended annual report.

Limited Liability Entity Tax

All multi-member LLCs in Kentucky are subject to the Limited Liability Entity Tax (LLET), which starts at a minimum rate of $175 annually.

Having said that, tax rates can adjuster depending on a business’s gross receipts and/or profits:

  • $950 for every $1 million in Kentucky gross receipts (if exceeding $3 million per annum)
  • $7,500 for every $1 million in Kentucky gross profits (if exceeding $3 million per annum)

The applicable rate is determined by whichever amount results in the lower tax obligation.

To comply, your LLC will be required to submit Form 720 and make the necessary payment by April 15th of the year following your fiscal year’s end.

Registered Agent Maintenance

If you decide to take advantage of a professional registered agent in order to handle your legal documents, you’ll be required to pay an annual fee in return for their services. This fee commonly ranges between $35 and $300 depending on the provider and features you select.

While you’re not required to use a professional registered agent service, it’s highly recommended for most small business owners.


In addition to the federal taxes your LLC is required to pay regardless of the state it’s based in, there are a variety of state-specific taxes in Kentucky you need to be aware of, including:

  • Sales tax
  • Employment taxes
  • Business privilege taxes
  • Property taxes

Additionally, there are various local taxes your LLC may need to pay depending on the municipality or county it’s based in, such as:

  • Sales and use taxes
  • Property tax

Kentucky vs Other States

Kentucky’s appeal for business owners stems from its affordability, charging $40 for LLC formation and $15 for annual report filing.

In comparison, California imposes an annual franchise tax with a minimum fee of $800, which is over 4 times the minimum Limited Liability Entity Tax in Kentucky.

Regardless, you should know that the best state to form your LLC will almost always be one in which you plan to primarily operate your business from.

This makes it far easier to stay legally compliant on a number of levels, including taxation, licensing, and filing requirements, and cuts down your costs significantly as you’ll only need to comply with one state’s set of rules.

LLC Cost in Kentucky FAQ

How much does LLC cost Kentucky?

The initial Kentucky LLC cost is $40 for filing the Articles of Organization. In addition, you may need to budget for local business licenses, which will depend on your LLC’s specific activities and location, as well as third-party services. Interested in finding out more? Check out our How to Start an LLC in Kentucky guide.

What is needed to start an LLC in Kentucky?

To start an LLC in Kentucky, you’ll need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State and pay a $40 filing fee. To do this, you will need to know your LLC’s name, business address, registered agent information, and management structure.

Is Kentucky a good state for LLCs?

Yes, Kentucky is considered a good state for LLCs due to its affordability and simplicity in both formation and maintenance requirements. Additionally, Kentucky’s legal structure provides solid protection for personal assets, which adds an extra layer of security for LLC owners.

Do you have to renew your LLC every year in Kentucky?

Yes, LLC owners are required to file an annual report by June 30th of each year and pay a $15 filing fee in order to maintain their business’s good standing with the Kentucky Department of State. For more information, take a look at our article on How Much Does it Cost to Start an LLC.

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