Kentucky – 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted

Welcome to the first state west of the Appalachian Mountains — Kentucky! Known primarily as an agricultural area in the 20th century, this state is a major coal producer in the United States. It is also famously noteworthy as the home of the Kentucky Derby and bluegrass music.

According to the Kentucky Secretary of State, nearly 250,000 entities have filed to do business in the Commonwealth. In fact, statistics have shown that small businesses in Kentucky make up roughly 97% of all employers and employ about 48% of the private labor force. With mom and pop storefronts helping to grow so much of Kentucky’s economy, the state is dedicated to assisting small businesses with plenty of resources. If “The Bluegrass State” feels like it should be the home for your company, here’s what you need to know about incorporating in Kentucky.

1. Kentucky’s Secretary of State website provides a business filings division that assists companies with forming, maintaining, and dissolving their businesses. First, you’ll need to choose an entity — and if you’re not sure which one to pick, you can use their Choose a Structure Wizard tool to determine if you’re meant to incorporate as an LLC, corporation, or another legal structure. Once you know which entity you’ll incorporate as, this will help determine what paperwork needs to be filed to stay in compliance with the state.

2. Once you’ve incorporated your business, you need to choose a name and file an application to reserve or renew it. The Secretary of State’s website has an online search engine that will help you determine the availability of your business’s name, so you know it is not already in use elsewhere.

3. Don’t forget to file for any necessary trademarks or service marks to register and claim the mark as your own. Your entity will also have a series of ongoing filing obligations including the need to file an annual report by June 30th of each year. This ensures your business doesn’t fall into bad standing with the state.

4. Entities that are formed in or do business in Kentucky must maintain a principal, physical office. This office may be located in or out of the state and is where all correspondence is mailed. You must also have a designated registered agent and file a state of change, should your entity change its principal office or RA.

5. Need help registering or operating your business? The State of Kentucky has a One Stop Business Portal program available to ‘treps that can help them set up business plans, make sure all necessary documents are filed, and that correct licenses and permits are accounted for among other resources. Check it out!

For all the latest news in the small business community follow the Kentucky Secretary of State on Facebook and Twitter.

Thinking about starting a small business in Kentucky? Give us a call at 1(877) 692-6772 or visit us at if you have any questions about forming a business or the regulations required.

Welcome back to the 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted where we share what it takes to start a business in each of the 50 states. Join us biweekly for advice on how to start an LLC or corporation across the United States.