Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Kentucky. In certain situations, it may be beneficial to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life.
In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name can be helpful and guide you through all the steps involved.
No. The Kentucky Secretary of State’s office gives business owners the option to reserve their future LLC names, but it isn’t an obligatory part of the process. If you’d rather jump straight to starting your business, you can go ahead and file your Articles of Organization, which will register your name automatically.
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Kentucky LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you a $15 fee. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name automatically.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve a Kentucky business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability by performing a Kentucky LLC name search. Make sure your desired name doesn’t match any already on file by using the Secretary of State’s Name Availability Search. Don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Kentucky (find them all here). All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief — you’re ready to reserve it or form your LLC.
Get started by selecting the “Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name” on the Secretary of State Forms page. Indicate whether the filing is for a reservation or renewal, then enter your proposed name, select “Limited Liability Company,” and provide your name and mailing address. When finished, mail your form, along with your $15 payment, to:
Alison Lundergan Grimes
Office of the Secretary of State
P.O. Box 718
Frankfort, Kentucky 40602-0718
Your other option, if you live near Frankfort, is to drop it off in person, and you can do so at:
Capitol Building, Room 154
700 Capital Ave.
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
*Hours of operation are 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Mail and in-person are the only two filing methods, as online filings aren’t available for this form. You can pay your $15 fee with a check made out to “Kentucky State Treasurer.”
Kentucky Secretary of State’s Office normally processes documents the same day they are received, although it can take up to three business days.
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Kentucky can reserve an entity name. Filing your name reservation prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of Kentucky places a hold on your desired name for 120 days.
If you don’t end up forming your LLC within this window, you can renew your name reservation as many times as you’d like. The reservation and renewal forms are one and the same: “Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name.” Each time you renew your reservation, you will be charged an additional $15 fee.
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However, if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Kentucky to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $15 for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $40 Kentucky LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $15 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, LLC tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate.
Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state. While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, ZenBusiness is an entrepreneur favorite. Other than that, IncFile and Northwest are two other popular options with appeals of their own.
Kentucky has a handful of terms that are restricted from business use, including those that indicate an association with the insurance industry, words that misrepresent the scope of the business, and more. For further info, take a look at the state’s Prohibited Names document.
No. In fact, Alabama is the only state that requires entrepreneurs to reserve a business name before forming an LLC. In Kentucky and the other 48 states, this is an optional and largely unnecessary step.
The state of Kentucky is home to nearly 320,000 small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and business types find that Kentucky is a great place to own and operate a small business.
The Kentucky chapter of the Small Business Development Center is a great place to start, as they offer a wide variety of tools and resources for Kentucky LLCs. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Kentucky District Office is another valuable resource, and the state’s small business resource page also has plenty of good info.
The overall costs of operating a Kentucky LLC can vary considerably based on the specifics of your business. However, we created a helpful guide to help you identify and plan for every expense your LLC will face in this state.
The answer to this question lies in your personal preferences, but we can give some general pointers. An attorney will cost the most by a mile, but also provides expertise you won’t find with the other options. The DIY route is free of charge but can require quite a bit of legwork and provides no peace of mind that the process is being completed correctly.
Using an LLC service means your business will be formed by professionals who know what they’re doing, while also costing significantly less than a lawyer. This “best of both worlds” attribute is what makes LLC services our preferred option.
Kentucky Business Resources
How to Reserve an LLC Name in all 50 States
We break down the LLC Name Reservation process for all 50 states. View all of our guides below.
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