How to find a registered agent in Kentucky

Kentucky registered agent requirements

According to state law in Kentucky, all corporations and LLCs (limited liability companies) require a registered agent. This can be an individual or a registered agent service.

Being your own registered agent

Individual registered agents are often family members or trusted employees. Sometimes, the business owner lists themselves as their own registered agent. Either option is acceptable as long as the individual is at least 18 and a resident of Kentucky. They also need to have a non-P.O. box address (located within Kentucky) where they can be found during business hours Monday through Friday.

Hiring a registered agent service

Companies who are registered agents need to be registered to conduct business in Kentucky. They also need a street address in Kentucky (no P.O. boxes) and must be there during regular business times.

No matter who you choose as your registered agent, they must accept the position and be prepared to accept official business mail and legal documents (like service of process) on behalf of your Kentucky LLC or corporation.

Recommended registered agent services

Northwest Registered Agent will scan all documents you receive for your business so that you can easily see them in your online account. There, you’ll have unlimited cloud storage as well as strong business data protection, and help from their friendly customer service staff when you need it. A yearly subscription for their registered agent services costs $125.

See the full Northwest review here.

ZenBusiness is one of the most popular registered agent services, and many say they’re the best. They can help you with the process of LLC formation while also becoming your registered agent, and the total fee is just $99 per year — a great price. ZenBusiness is known for its competitive pricing, excellent customer service, and easy-to-understand plans.

See the full ZenBusiness review here.

Incfile will include their registered agent services free for the first year when you purchase their LLC formation services. After that, you’ll pay $119 per year to keep them on as your registered agent. With Incfile, you can instantly see and access your business’s important documents and legal notices by using their convenient dashboard. So that you know instantly when your business receives new mail, you’ll also receive a direct SMS notification and an immediate email.

See the full Incfile review here.

Why you need a registered agent

All Kentucky LLCs (limited liability companies) and corporations need to have a registered agent listed in their formation documents when they register their business with the state. Your registered agent needs a physical street address in Kentucky where they can collect mail on your behalf.

Registered agents are important because they ensure that the government can contact you when they need to and that you are aware of legal process notifications and other important correspondence as soon as possible.

Tax documents that may come from the state or lawsuit documents that arrive when someone is suing you are important to act on immediately. Your registered agent (also known as a statutory agent or resident agent) will handle these documents and ensure that your business stays in compliance at the same time.

Businesses may choose to hire an attorney to be their registered agent, or they can act as their own registered agent. Registered agent service companies are also available to provide professional registered agent services and other business filings for an annual fee.

When you need a registered agent

Selecting a registered agent isn’t the first thing new business owners should worry about when creating and registering their new Kentucky business. First, you’ll need to select a business name.

When choosing your business name, check the business entity database on the Kentucky Secretary of State website. You can do a search there for the names you are considering. If another company has already chosen the same name (or one very similar), you’ll have to select something new. Other business name guidelines must be met as well.

Only after you’ve selected an available name for your new corporation or LLC (limited liability company) can you fill out the registered agent information on your Articles of Incorporation (Articles of Organization).

There are several other steps to follow in order to finalize the incorporation process. See the business registration section of the Kentucky Secretary of State website for more information.

Why use a registered agent service

When forming an LLC in Kentucky, you’ll need to decide whether you want to act as your own registered agent or select a commercial registered agent service to take on this position.

At first glance, it may seem like a good idea to be your own registered agent. After all, all you have to do is be at an office address during business hours throughout the week, right?

In actuality, the role of registered agent comes with much more responsibility than this, so it’s something you’ll almost certainly want to outsource to a company that specializes in these services.

Below, we go over the top advantages of selecting a commercial registered agent service to be your Kentucky registered agent.

Your personal life can be kept separate from your business.

The address of your registered agent needs to be listed on public record. So, if you appoint yourself as your company’s registered agent, you risk your privacy and possibly even your safety.

Avoid mixing your personal life and work, and keep your business’s publicly listed address separate from your home address. Go with a professional company when it comes to choosing your registered agent.

Legal matters can be kept separate as well.

Let’s say someone decides to sue your business. If they do so, you will be “served,” which means service of process will be delivered to your registered agent address.

Service of address usually arrives by way of law enforcement, which is certainly not an occurrence you want to have happen at either your home or your actual business address.

You’ll have peace of mind knowing you’re in good standing with the state.

Remaining in good standing is something all businesses in Kentucky need to be concerned with. Your LLC or corporation must meet annual filing deadlines and ensure all paperwork and documents are filled out correctly, or you risk paying hefty fines to the state. Your registered agent company can ensure your small business always remains compliant.

You’ll have an easier time conducting business in other states.

Lastly, if you plan on spreading your goods or services to other states, you’ll need to incorporate your company in each state where you plan to do business. This is far easier when you can work with just one large company instead of finding a brand-new registered agent in every state.

A professional registered agent service is usually national, which means they will be able to incorporate your business in any number of the 50 states. This is a key service of large professional registered agent companies and why many business owners prefer them to individual registered agents.

Kentucky registered agent costs

Typically, a registered agent service company will charge between $50 and $300 for their services. This charge usually happens every year.

If you have not yet incorporated your business, you might consider finding a commercial registered agent service who will include registered agent services with their incorporation fees for the first year. This is quite common. After the first year, you’ll need to pay a flat rate to keep up their registered agent services, but this makes a nice transition and lessens the hassle on your part.

Businesses who want to pay more for more services may benefit from due dates reminders leading up to tax season or deadline reminders for their Annual Report.

If you want to be your own registered agent, there is no fee.

How to change your Kentucky registered agent

From time to time, you may need to change who is listed as your registered agent. Each state has different requirements regarding this process. In Kentucky, follow these directions to change your registered agent:

  • Select who your new registered agent will be. Tell your previous registered agent that you’ll no longer be needing their services. Transfer any documents to your new service.

  • Obtain the necessary paperwork. You’ll need a Statement of Change of Registered Agent form, which you can get from the Secretary of State of Kentucky.

  • Fill out the form, and send it in by mail or online. You can also deliver it in person. There is a $10 filing fee for changing your registered agent in Kentucky, so be sure to include this. You can pay the fee by credit card.

Note: Some registered agent companies will offer to perform a change of registered agent filing for you and will also pay the fee.

List of forms

Need to choose a registered agent or perform other important business filings in Kentucky, but not sure where to begin? Use the government sites linked below to get started:

FAQs

Who can be a Kentucky registered agent?

Anyone over the age of 18 can be a Kentucky registered agent. The individual needs to be a resident of Kentucky and have a physical address (not a P.O. box address). You can also hire a business entity to be your registered agent. There are numerous professional registered agent service companies that provide these services on behalf of businesses.

How do I become a registered agent?

There are only a few minimum qualifications necessary if you want to become a registered agent. In general, first, you need to be at least 18. You also must be a resident of the state where you plan to be a registered agent. Finally, you need to have a street address in that state, and you need to be reliably present at that address during work hours.

What happens to my documents with a registered agent?

Your registered agent will receive and accept all important documents directed to your business (service of process, tax paperwork, etc.). These documents will then be filed and forwarded to your business. They are often made available in an online account, though different registered agents perform their duties in different ways, and you have options as the client as well.

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