How to Start a Kentucky Corporation


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Kentucky Corporation

When you plan to start a business in Kentucky, you must decide on the appropriate structure. Starting a corporation may be more complicated than creating an LLC in Kentucky or a sole proprietorship. However, it is not that difficult as well. There are a few guidelines that you should be aware of when it comes to creating Kentucky corporation. Starting a corporation involves a legal process, that is, the process of incorporation.

In this article, I will share a step-by-step guide to start a corporation in Kentucky. I will also enlighten you on the advantages and disadvantages of having a corporation. Some people consider starting a corporation in Kentucky more than other business structures since it has many advantages over other forms.

What is a Corporation in Kentucky

In definition, a corporation is a formal organization established by stockholders, shareholders, or other people to make a profit. Like individuals, corporations can undertake contracts, own assets, sue and be sued, pay taxes, limit state and federal taxes, and loan funds from banking institutions.

Common Types of Corporations

Before you start with the process of forming a corporation, you should know what type of corporation you will form. There are several different forms of corporations you can take into consideration, depending on your corporation’s objectives and ownership structure.

  • C-Corporation: C-Corporation is the most known type of incorporation. They have almost all corporate distinguishing characteristics. Profits are distributed to corporate owners who are taxed at an individual level. The corporation is taxed similarly to a business unit.
  • S-Corporation: An S-Corporation is set up similarly to a C-corporation but has different tax implications and owner limits. S-corps have no more than 100 stockholders and are not taxed separately. These business units must also file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain their status.
  • Non-profit Corporation: Nonprofit businesses are frequently used by religious, educational, and charity institutions to run their operations without making a profit. Thus, a nonprofit corporation is exempt from paying taxes. The nonprofit organization’s gifts, contributions, or cash are reinvested in the company to fund its growth, future endeavors, or operations. Read how to start a nonprofit corp in Kentucky to learn about nonprofit corporations.

If you have a small business, it is recommended that you form an LLC instead of a corporation in Kentucky. LLCs have more tax benefits than other structures. Besides, LLCs protect your personal assets. However, it is wise to consult a legal expert before you start setting up your business in Kentucky.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Start a Corporation in Kentucky

To start a corporation in Kentucky, you must follow the below steps that, include forming a corporation name, appointing a board of directors, filing for Articles of Incorporation, drafting corporate bylaws, meeting with the board of directors, issuing stocks, creating a shareholders agreement, requesting for an EIN, and getting a license and permit. All these steps are basic ones. It can be changed depending on the type of corporation you form and the nature of your business.

Step 1: Choose a Corporation Name in Kentucky

Naming your business is one of the most crucial activities during the startup phase. Your corporation name serves as the foundation for your brand. Legal procedures should be taken into account when choosing your corporation name. Choose a corporation name that will enable you to develop a strong brand identity without being hampered by irrelevant factors.

If you are forming an LLC, there is a complete guide on Kentucky LLC name guidelines for a proper LLC name. Here are some guidelines you must follow while naming your corporation in Kentucky-

  • Your business name must contain entity identifiers, such as “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” or “Company,” or an abbreviation, such as “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”
  • Exclude any words in your business name, such as “Trust,” “Bank,” “Credit Union,” or “Trustee,” or words related to a government agency, such as “FBI,” “State Department,” or “Treasury.”

Step 2: Board of Directors Initial Appointment

To form a corporation in Kentucky, you must appoint an initial board of directors before making them permanent once the corporation is formed. In Kentucky, you may appoint at least Three board of directors. The initial board of directors is in charge of guiding the overall strategy of your business. The structure, responsibilities, and powers given to a board of directors are determined by the bylaws of a company or organization. So, appointing your corporation’s initial board of directors in Kentucky is a big step in forming a corporation.

Step 3: Filing the Articles of Incorporation in Kentucky

After you appoint the initial board of directors in your Kentucky corporation, the next step is to write and file a Articles of Incorporation. In writing, the Kentucky Articles of Incorporation, the corporation name, principal place of business, the purpose of business, Kentucky Registered Agent contact information, and the names and addresses of incorporators and/or initial board members, should be written.

Filing a Articles of Incorporation in Kentucky may be done with two ways, online and by mail. The Articles of Incorporation fee may vary from different states. However, in Kentucky, it costs $40 for filing online and by mail.

  • Online Filing: Get the online form from Secretary of State, fill it up, and submit. Don’t refresh the page during the process. It will erase everything.
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail to Michael G. Adams, Office of the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 718, Frankfort, KY 40602

Step 4: Draft Corporate Bylaws

Now you are done filing a Articles of Incorporation in Kentucky, the next step is to draft corporate bylaws. Corporate bylaws are the basic rules that control a corporation. It includes the organization’s structure, processes, laws, and rules. As a result, all personnel, managers, and corporation members must obey the firm’s rules.

In creating corporate bylaws, you should include the following on how the decisions will be made-

  • The responsibilities are given to each officer.
  • How will judgments in business be made?
  • Where and when are the annual shareholder meetings?
  • The minimum number of shareholders required for decision-making.
  • Location and timing of dividend payments.

Step 5: Hold the First Board of Directors’ Meeting

After drafting the corporate bylaws, gather all the board of directors for the first meeting. This meeting will be finalized by appointing directors to manage the company’s daily operations, approve the bylaws, choose the corporation’s accounting year, and approve the stock issue. All board meetings should have minutes taken and stored with the company’s records.

Step 6: Issuing Stock in a Corporation

After starting your Kentucky corporation, one of the first official corporate actions is issuing stock to the shareholders. Keep track of the number of shares issued to each shareholder and the purchase price. A corporation in Kentucky is managed by its shareholders, who contribute to the business in exchange for ownership shares.

Step 7: Draft and Finalize a Shareholders Agreement

Even though drafting and finalizing a shareholders agreement is unnecessary, I suggest you still comply since it will benefit your corporation and its shareholders. A small business’s shareholders enter into a shareholder agreement contract. It establishes how ownership will be handled in unexpected situations, like a shareholder passes away, retires, becomes disabled, or quits the corporation. Early on in the life of your Kentucky corporation, signing a shareholders’ agreement can help maintain corporate continuity and prevent future disputes.

Step 8: Request an EIN in Kentucky

After everything is in place, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your Kentucky corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

The application of an EIN in Kentucky can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The EIN online application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your corporation the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 9: Get Licenses and Permits for your Corporation in Kentucky

Before your corporation operates in Kentucky, you must have a business license. A business license is a document issued by a government agency that permits you to operate your business in the geographic region that that agency governs. To legally operate your corporation, you’ll need a business license. Numerous corporate licenses need to be filed and renewed regularly. Check out how to get business licenses and permits in Kentucky to know more.

You must also register a DBA name if you intend to conduct business using a name other than your corporation’s legal name. The DBA name is sometimes known as “doing business as” or a “fictitious business name.” Depending on your location, you may need to register the DBA with your state, city, and county. You can skip this step if your business solely uses your legal company name.

Important Information

Paying your Taxes in Kentucky

Even if you have established your corporation in Kentucky, pay your taxes and keep everything up to date so you won’t pay any penalty. Unlike an LLC, there is a corporate tax that every corporation in Kentucky has to pay. On the other hand, they must pay income taxes based on their business income. Some other types of taxes in Kentucky are sales tax, franchise tax (not applicable to all the states), and other state taxes.

Cost of Forming a Corporation in Kentucky

A filing and annual fee must be paid to form a corporation in Kentucky. Without it, your corporation won’t operate. The initial filing fee for a corporation may vary depending on the state. However, in Kentucky, it costs $40 for filing online and by mail. The corporation in Kentucky also has to file an annual report (though it might not be mandatory, it is recommended to file one). Ensure you comply with all the necessary fees and costs so your corporation will run successfully and smoothly. If, in the future, you make any changes to your corporation, you must file the Kentucky Amendment. It costs $40.00 to file an amendment in Kentucky.

Advantages of Starting a Corporation in Kentucky

  1. Limited Liability: The biggest advantage of setting up a Kentucky corporation is that the shareholders are not personally responsible for the debts of the company. As a result, when you incorporate as a corporation, personal assets like homes, vehicles, and other possessions are prohibited. One of the main benefits of setting up a corporation over a general partnership or sole proprietorship business structure is that neither the business nor the owners are held legally responsible for the obligations of the business, even if it means giving up their personal assets.
  1. Limitless Corporation: The fact that a corporation’s existence is independent of its owners is another significant benefit of incorporation. In other words, a corporation has an endless life and will continue operating normally even if the owner dies or decides to sell their ownership.
  1. Advantages in Tax: The deduction of health insurance premium payments made on behalf of an owner-employee is one of the many financial benefits to which corporations are entitled. Corporations also save on self-employment taxes since their revenue is not subject to workers’ compensation, Social Security, or medical taxes. Tax rates on corporate profits are lower than those on individual income.

FAQs

What are the steps to start a corporation in Kentucky?
The steps to start a corporation in Kentucky include choosing a business name, filing Articles of Incorporation with the Kentucky Secretary of State, appointing a registered agent, preparing bylaws, issuing stock, and registering with the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
What is the filing fee to incorporate in Kentucky?
The filing fee to incorporate in Kentucky is $50.
What is the process of registering a business name in Kentucky?
The process of registering a business name in Kentucky includes reserving a name by filing an Application for Reservation of Name with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
Who can serve as a registered agent in Kentucky?
A registered agent in Kentucky must be an individual who is a resident of the state or a business entity authorized to do business in the state.
What are the legal requirements for forming a corporation in Kentucky?
The legal requirements for forming a corporation in Kentucky include preparing Articles of Incorporation, appointing a registered agent, preparing bylaws, issuing stock, and registering with the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
Does a corporation in Kentucky need to have an annual meeting?
Yes, a corporation in Kentucky must hold an annual meeting of shareholders to review the corporation’s financial statements and appoint directors.
What are the taxes for corporations in Kentucky?
Corporations in Kentucky are subject to income, sales, and payroll taxes.
Are there any special rules for foreign corporations doing business in Kentucky?
Yes, foreign corporations doing business in Kentucky must register with the Kentucky Secretary of State and obtain a Certificate of Authority to transact business in the state.
What is a registered agent in Kentucky?
A registered agent is a person or business entity that acts as a point of contact between the corporation and the state government. The registered agent must be located in Kentucky and must be available during regular business hours to accept legal papers and documents on behalf of the corporation.
What are the filing fees for incorporating a business in Kentucky?
The filing fee for incorporating a business in Kentucky is $40. In addition, there may be additional fees for publishing the required notice in a newspaper.
What is the minimum amount of money required to start a corporation in Kentucky?
There is no minimum amount of money required to start a corporation in Kentucky. However, you will need to have sufficient funds to cover the filing fee, the cost of publishing the required notice, and any other associated costs.
What taxes must a corporation in Kentucky pay?
Corporations in Kentucky must pay state income tax, corporate franchise tax, and unemployment insurance taxes.
What are the advantages of incorporating a business in Kentucky?
Incorporating a business in Kentucky has several advantages, including protection of personal assets, limited liability, and the ability to raise capital through the sale of shares.
What are the advantages of forming a corporation in Kentucky?
Forming a corporation in Kentucky offers many advantages, including limited personal liability, tax efficiency, and the ability to raise capital.
What are the fees for forming a corporation in Kentucky?
Filing fees for forming a corporation in Kentucky are $45 for the articles of incorporation and an additional $15 for the name reservation.
What information is needed to form a corporation in Kentucky?
The information needed to form a corporation in Kentucky includes the company name, registered office address, type of corporation, incorporator’s information, and the number of authorized shares.
What is the timeline to form a corporation in Kentucky?
The timeline to form a corporation in Kentucky is typically between 2 to 5 business days.
What types of corporations are available in Kentucky?
Kentucky offers several types of corporations, including general and non-profit corporations.
Is there a minimum capital requirement to form a corporation in Kentucky?
No, there is no minimum capital requirement to form a corporation in Kentucky.
Is there a limit on the number of shareholders in a Kentucky corporation?
No, there is no limit on the number of shareholders in a Kentucky corporation.
What are the annual filing requirements for a corporation in Kentucky?
Corporations in Kentucky must file an Annual Report each year. The filing fee for the Annual Report is $15.
Does a corporation in Kentucky need to have a registered agent?
Yes, all corporations in Kentucky must have a registered agent, who must be a resident of the state.
Does a corporation in Kentucky need to have a board of directors?
Yes, all corporations in Kentucky must have a board of directors.
Does a corporation in Kentucky need to issue stock certificates?
Yes, all corporations in Kentucky must issue stock certificates.
Does a corporation in Kentucky need to hold annual meetings?
Yes, all corporations in Kentucky must hold annual meetings.
Does a corporation in Kentucky need to have corporate bylaws?
Yes, all corporations in Kentucky must have corporate bylaws.
How are corporate taxes paid in Kentucky?
Corporations in Kentucky pay corporate taxes to the Kentucky Department of Revenue.
What is the corporate tax rate in Kentucky?
The corporate tax rate in Kentucky is 6%.
Does Kentucky have any special tax incentives for corporations?
Yes, Kentucky offers a variety of tax incentives for corporations, including the Kentucky Corporate Income Tax Credit, the Kentucky Investment Tax Credit, and the Kentucky Industrial Revitalization Act.
Does Kentucky have any restrictions on foreign corporations?
Yes, foreign corporations doing business in Kentucky must register with the Kentucky Secretary of State and may be subject to additional requirements.
Does Kentucky require corporations to file annual financial reports?
Yes, all corporations in Kentucky are required to file annual financial reports with the Kentucky Secretary of State.
Does Kentucky require corporations to keep records of corporate meetings?
Yes, all corporations in Kentucky are required to keep records of corporate meetings.
Is there a fee for dissolving a corporation in Kentucky?
Yes, the fee for dissolving a corporation in Kentucky is $30.

Also Read

Why Kentucky Corporation is So Important

First and foremost, Kentucky Corporation provides employment opportunities for thousands of individuals in the state. By creating jobs and hiring local residents, the corporation plays a key role in boosting the economic well-being of the community. These employees in turn spend their hard-earned money in local shops, restaurants, and services, thereby supporting other businesses and stimulating overall economic growth.

Additionally, Kentucky Corporation contributes to the state’s tax revenue through corporate taxes, which help fund essential public services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. This tax revenue is crucial for the state government to provide for its citizens and invest in projects that benefit the community as a whole. Without the contributions of Kentucky Corporation, the state would struggle to meet the needs of its residents and maintain a strong and vibrant economy.

Moreover, Kentucky Corporation fosters innovation and creativity through its research and development efforts. By investing in technology and new ideas, the corporation drives progress and helps shape the future of industries such as technology, healthcare, and manufacturing. This innovation not only benefits the corporation itself but also has a ripple effect on the broader economy, inspiring others to think creatively and push boundaries in their own fields.

Furthermore, Kentucky Corporation plays a critical role in fostering community relationships and giving back to the places where it operates. Through philanthropic initiatives, corporate social responsibility programs, and community engagement events, the corporation demonstrates its commitment to making a positive impact beyond just its bottom line. By investing in local charities, supporting education initiatives, and participating in volunteer efforts, Kentucky Corporation shows its dedication to being a good corporate citizen and enhancing the quality of life for all residents.

In conclusion, Kentucky Corporation’s importance cannot be overstated. From providing jobs and generating tax revenue to driving innovation and giving back to the community, the corporation plays a multifaceted and essential role in the economic and social fabric of the state. It is imperative that both the state government and the public recognize the value of Kentucky Corporation and support its growth and success for the betterment of all.

Conclusion

When determining which corporate form is best for you, be selective. You must know which business structure is bet-fitted for your product/service in Kentucky. Consult a legal professional before you take the first step while setting up your business. Finding the ideal ratio of corporate advantages and legal protection that meets your unique needs is very important. In forming a corporation in Kentucky, you need to ensure that every detail is well-formed so that your corporation will be successful. And if you have any questions, share them in the comment section below.

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