In this section, we will help you take the first official steps in creating your new business. You should have already done some planning in the previous section of the Kentucky Business One Stop to help you prepare for getting your business up and running. These first few steps are critical to the foundation of your business venture, so make sure you take enough time to review all of the information and options available to you.
- Step 1: Choose a name and structure
Before you can register your business you’ll need to choose a legal structure and a name.
- Step 2: Register your business
Registration with the Secretary of State and Department of Revenue In order to legally conduct business in Kentucky most businesses are required to register with the Kentucky Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue. Kentucky Business One Stop provides a consolidated registration process to put your business on the fast track.
Local Many cities and counties also require registration for individuals and firms conducting business within their jurisdiction. To learn about your requirements in this area, consult your local county and city clerks.
- Step 3: Get your tax numbers
Federal Begin this section by understanding federal tax requirements. If you did not obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) during the One Stop registration process in step 2 above, you may need to do that now before proceeding.
State Depending on your industry and business type there may be additional state tax requirements for your business.
Local Many cities and counties require a local business license and/or impose an occupational tax or other type of tax on individuals and firms conducting business within their jurisdiction. To learn about your requirements in this area, consult your local county and city government officials.
- Step 4: Insurance requirements
Unemployment Insurance If you hire employees your business is required to register for unemployment insurance to operate in Kentucky.
Workers' Compensation Kentucky also requires workers’ compensation insurance for many employers. Kentucky does not sponsor a state-run insurance program. Therefore, it is the employers' responsibility to secure the insurance from a private insurance carrier or self-insure.
Other Forms of Business Insurance Make sure you adequately protect your business before you open.
- Step 5: Licenses and permits
Federal licenses If your business is involved in activities supervised and regulated by a federal agency, you may need to obtain a federal license.
Operational licenses Kentucky doesn't have a statewide business license that applies to all businesses, but certain types of businesses are required to have a special license or permit to legally operate. In some cases, more than one license may be required.
Environmental permits If your business will use or produce any chemicals or materials that could be considered hazardous or have a significant impact on the environment (such as high volume water usage or discharge, emission of potential air pollutants, etc.) you will need to acquire environmental permits.
Local Many cities and counties require a local business license. To learn about your requirements in this area, consult your local county and city government officials.
Local Occupational License Tax Form Database - Pursuant to KRS 67.766, occupational license tax forms for each Kentucky taxing district that imposes such a tax are now available online.
Building and Zoning New business locations and business locations undergoing renovation may be subject to state building codes, local zoning requirements, and Americans with Disabilities Act public access requirements.
- Step 6: Employer responsibilities
Make sure your business is safe for customers and employees. As an employer in the Commonwealth you have certain requirements in managing employees.
- Step 7: Identify regulations for your business
Learn about regulations and ordinances that affect your industry and can impact your business.