Apply For A Business License Kentucky - KY

Are there any state registration requirements for my business?

Yes. While sole proprietorships and partnerships that operate under their own names do not generally need to register with the state, all other businesses – including corporations, LLCs, and other partnerships – do need to registered their business and business name with the Secretary of State prior to opening for business.

Does my business need a license for Kentucky?

Maybe. Kentucky does not have a general license that all businesses in the state must have, but many occupations and professions do need to get licenses from the state in order to conduct business there. Also, depending on where your business is located you may need to get additional licenses from the city and/or county.

How can I find out if I need a business license?

You can find out if your occupation or profession requires a state license by checking with the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development at For local licenses, you should always check with your local city and county business departments to find out what licensing requirements you may need to meet, or you can find out more information by clicking on your city link above.

What are the local licensing requirements?

Whether you need a city/county business license or what kind of business license you need will depend on local regulations. However, generally businesses need to register with the city or county where they are located and pay an occupational license fee every year. The occupational license fee is a percentage of the income paid to business employees and/or a percentage of the business' net profit. The rate that must be paid varies by location. In addition to general requirements, some cities such as Louisville and Frankfort also require special registration for businesses operating out of home offices. It's best to check with your local government to see what may be required for your business.

What type of information do I need to register my business or get a license?

The information request varies by application, but there are certain things that almost all business applications in Kentucky request. These include:

  • Name of business
  • Business address
  • Mailing address
  • Type of business (sole proprietor, corporation, LLC, etc.)
  • Name of owners, partners, or officers of the business
  • Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) available from the IRS or your social security number
  • Number of employees
  • Nature and purpose of the business

If your occupation is regulated by the state, then you may need to provide additional information about your business activities.

Click the link to your city below to apply for a business license

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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