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Launching a new business in Kentucky requires entrepreneurs to follow some specific processes. Just as in the other states, small businesses must file formation documents with the Kentucky Secretary of State before their company can legally start doing business. Whether you’re forming a limited liability company (LLC), partnership, or corporation, this necessary step provides some real advantages to protect your interests.

As in other states, you’ll need to list a registered agent on these documents to accept legal documents on behalf of your Kentucky business entity. Not sure where to start in terms of finding and choosing a registered agent in the Bluegrass State? We’ve got some answers to entrepreneurs’ most frequently asked questions on the topic.

What is a Kentucky registered agent?

Just as you’ll find in other states, you’ll need to appoint a registered agent to have on public record when you create your LLC (or other business entity). A registered agent is a point of contact who accepts tax and/or other legal documents, including service of process, on behalf of your Kentucky business.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in Kentucky?

The registered agent is selected when filling out your LLC formation paperwork, which in Kentucky is called Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation. The registered agent’s name and registered agent’s address are listed on this document. There is a filing fee of $40 for an LLC (the fee varies for different business entity types).

Who can be a registered agent in Kentucky?

Debating whether to represent yourself as a registered agent, select another individual, or pay a company to be your registered agent? In Kentucky, the registered agent requirements are similar to those in most other states:

  • The agent must be at least 18 years of age
  • A Kentucky street address is required as the registered office  (you cannot use a P.O. box, it must be a physical street address)
  • Because legal paperwork is delivered in person, the agent must be available to accept legal paperwork at the listed registered office address during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm)
  • If the agent is a business, they must be in good standing with the state of Kentucky

Can I be my own registered agent in Kentucky?

In Kentucky, you are allowed to list yourself as the registered agent for your Kentucky LLC. Entrepreneurs frequently serve as their own registered agent, but you must meet the requirements listed above. Alternatively, some business owners appoint a friend, family member, or employee to serve in this role.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

As a start-up, money might be tight, tempting you to serve as your own registered agent. Before you make that decision, ensure that you understand the advantages of paying a professional registered agent service instead.

  • Experience. A registered agent service has a lot of experience in the business world. Aside from accepting legal notices on your behalf, they’re also proficient in compliance matters, annual reports, and other business filings which could be valuable down the road.
  • Privacy. The documents being delivered to a registered agent can be private, but sometimes, the delivery can create a spectacle. If your company is being sued, for example, the sight of a process server handing you papers and saying, “you’ve been served,” is best left to an off-site registered agent service.
  • Availability. Entrepreneurs usually can’t be tied to their home, office, or business address during regular business hours. You will probably need to run errands, attend meetings, or even travel. For this reason, a registered agent service is ideal.
  • Time savings. Registered agents will take the time to fill out your forms. Even if you have the knowledge and experience to fill out confusing or lengthy forms, using a professional service can save you time. Most services also offer an online account where you can easily and quickly access any documents you might need.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in Kentucky?

The annual cost for a registered agent service will vary. Most registered agent services in Kentucky charge between $49 and $100 (plus any additional state fees) but some companies might charge more. Usually, a higher price comes with additional services such as annual report reminders, filing annual reports, help with getting a certificate of good standing, and other general business formation help.

List of Kentucky registered agent services 

You should have no problem finding a registered agent for your LLC in Kentucky, but here are a few choices to get you started:

  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

Kentucky registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in Kentucky?

Yes, the state of Kentucky requires all businesses to have a registered agent on public record with the Secretary of State at all times.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Yes. You can easily select a new registered agent by filling out the Statement of Change of Registered Agent form with the Kentucky Secretary of State.  There is a filing fee of $10.

What’s a statutory agent?

A registered agent has several different names, depending on the state. Kentucky uses the term registered agent, but other states like Arizona, for example, use the term statutory agent. The name ‘service of process agent’ and ‘resident agent’ is also used, though registered agent is most commonly used.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

Commercial agents are professional entities or individuals who charge for their services. If you represent yourself as a registered agent, choose noncommercial on any forms that ask you to clarify which type of registered agent you’re using.