How To Incorporate In Kentucky

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1. Choose a Name for Your Kentucky Corporation

Check on Available Names in Kentucky: You need to have a unique corporate name for your business in order to incorporate your small business in Kentucky. Before you file to incorporate, you should be sure that the name that you have chosen is not already in use by another corporation. You should conduct a thorough search of online records and other databases to make sure that the name that you have chosen is not already in use by another corporation. To check name availability in Kentucky, go to the official website of the Secretary of State: Kentucky Corporation

Reserve a Corporate Name: It is not required for you to reserve the corporate name that you have chosen, but if you would like to reserve a name until the time that you can file to incorporate, you can submit an application to the Kentucky Secretary of State. You can download the application online at Reserve A Kentucky Corporate Name. It costs $15.00 to reserve a corporate name. The name will be reserved for a period of 120 days.

Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: It is important to recognize that even though the name that you have chosen for your corporation may not be in use by another corporation in the state of Kentucky, a corporation could be using the same name in another state. You may encounter some restrictions in your use of the name that you have chosen for your corporation. It is best to consult an attorney when you are preparing to incorporate your small business. An attorney can advise you of what these restrictions may be and help you how to take steps to trademark the name that you have chosen. View the article on how to choose a name for your corporation.

Kentucky Corporate Name Requirements: According to Kentucky state law, the name of your corporation must include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “limited,” “company,” or an abbreviation of one of these words.

2. Find a Registered Agent in Kentucky 

Your corporation needs a registered agent in order to incorporate in Kentucky. Registered agents act as agents for service of process and are responsible for receiving legal and tax documents for corporations.  There are corporate services companies that provide registered agent services to corporations for a fee. You must include the name and address of your registered agent in the Articles of Incorporation document.

3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Kentucky Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements: You need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State in order to incorporate your small business. You can file online or download the form at Kentucky Corporation Start Up. Your Articles of Incorporation must include your corporate name, the physical address of your main office and the physical address of your initial office in Kentucky, the number of shares that your corporation is authorized to issue, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name and address of each incorporator. The Articles of Incorporation must be signed by the incorporator and the registered agent.

Other Kentucky Legal Provisions: When you are preparing to file Articles of Incorporation with the Kentucky Secretary of State, consider including additional legal provisions as part of the document. It is advisable to consult an attorney when you are preparing the Articles of Incorporation document so that you can be sure to include any additional legal provisions that may be appropriate and beneficial for your company.

Where to Submit Form: You can mail your completed Articles of Incorporation document and payment to the office of the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 718, Frankfort, KY 4602-0718.

Filing Fee: There is a fee of $50.00 to file Articles of Incorporation in Kentucky. Checks should be made payable to “Kentucky State Treasurer.”

4. Create Other Kentucky Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)

The next step after creating and submitting your Articles of Incorporation document to the Secretary of State is to begin taking certain actions in your corporation. These actions might include appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, obtaining a tax ID number, and acquiring the necessary business licenses. You might also consider creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements that determine when stock can be sold, and documents that explain what will happen if an owner decides to leave the company. These kinds of documents are especially important for corporations that have multiple owners. It is best to consult an attorney when you are creating these documents to be sure that you are in compliance with all the legal requirements that may apply to your corporation. You might also decide to consult one of the various corporate service companies that help corporations to prepare these types of documents for a fee.

5. Qualify Your Kentucky Corporation to Do Business in Other States

Your corporation needs to qualify in order to do business in states outside of Kentucky if the main office of your corporation is located in another state. Most other states require corporations to qualify in order to do business there and will require you to pay taxes in your home state. To learn about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states, visit Registering a Business in other states.

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Kentucky

All corporations that are registered in the state of Kentucky are required to submit an annual report. There is a $15.00 fee to file this report. The report must be filed by June 30. In the report you will be able to update information about your corporation. You can find more information and file online at Kentucky Annual Corporation Filing.

Your corporation will be subject to Kentucky state taxes. You must file a corporate income tax return and pay the necessary Kentucky state income taxes. You can learn more about the taxes for Kentucky corporations at the official website of the Kentucky Department of Revenue: Kentucky Corporate Tax.
When it is time to prepare tax documents for your corporation, it is best to consult an accountant so that you can better avoid costly mistakes in the preparation of your tax documents.

You will face many complex decisions in the process of incorporating your small business, especially if the business has multiple owners. However, if you consult an attorney and an accountant during the incorporation process, you can feel more confident that your paperwork is being processed correctly.

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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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