The process to form a Kentucky limited liability company is pretty simple, if you have the right tools. We sell a kit for just $34.95 that walks you through the steps to file the necessary paperwork, discusses the pros and cons of an LLC, and provides samples of the articles of organization and operating agreements. To just get a hand on what needs to be filled out, how, and where it needs to be sent, read these instructions below.
1. Check if the LLC name you want is available
As a first step, you may want to check if the LLC name you want to use is even available. Here’s an easy and free way to do this: You can search for a similarly named LLC using the Kentucky Department of State’s online database at:
Additionally, preliminary name availability check can be made by writing to:
Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 718
700 Capital Avenue, Suite 156
Frankfort, KY 40601
or by phoning (502) 564-2848 or (502) 564-3490.
Tip: An Application for Reserved Name is available from the Secretary of State for $15 to reserve a name prior to formation of a particular business, although this step is not required. If the name being applied for is available, that name can be reserved for a nonrenewable 120-day period.
2. Download the LLC application from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s web site, and then print this form
The URL, or web page address, for this form is as shown below.
Tip: Using the same basic steps as I provide here for a paper filing of your LLC articles, you may alternatively file online using Kentucky’s One Stop service at:
3. Identify the name you want to use for your new LLC
Enter your business or investment name onto the lines provided. (I used the example name, “Acme Explosives LLC.”) The limited liability company name must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “LC.” The word “Limited,” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and the word “Company” may be abbreviated ad “Co.” For example, all of the following names should be acceptable:
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Company
- Acme Explosives LLC
- Acme Explosives LC
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Liability Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Liability Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Liability Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Company
- Acme Explosives Limited Co.
- Acme Explosives Ltd. Co.
4. Provide the registered agent’s address to the Secretary of State’s office
The registered office of the limited liability company must be in Kentucky and contain a street address or other specific location (Highway, Rural Route, Building etc.). A post office box only is insufficient for the registered office address. The registered agent may be an individual resident of Kentucky, a Kentucky corporation, a Kentucky nonprofit corporation, a Kentucky limited liability company, a foreign corporation, a foreign nonprofit corporation, a foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business in Kentucky.
5. Indicate the address in which the LLC offices are located
The principal office is the office (in or out of state) where the principal executive offices of the limited liability company are.
6. Identify how the LLC will be managed
If you will have a manager manage your LLC, then you check the Manager box. If you or another member of the LLC will manage the company, then you will check the Member box. Often times, small LLCs are member managed.
7. Sign the form
The articles of organization must be signed by the organizer(s). Be sure to write the date, sign your name, and then print your name below your signature. Additionally, the registered agent must sign his/her consent. The example Kentucky articles show me as both the organizer and the registered agent so my signature appears twice.
8. Submit the application
After you complete the Articles of Organization document mail the document, one exact copy, and a check for $40 to:
Secretary of State
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, KY 40602-0718
Courier or personal delivery address for the documents (between the hours of 8am and 4:30pm) is:
Room 154, Capitol Building
700 Capital Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Processing lead times vary, but in general, it takes several weeks to get your LLC certificate back from the Secretary of State’s office.