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 necessary 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 is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
Are You Required to Reserve a Business Name?
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.
Should You Reserve Your LLC Name?
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.
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.
How Long Does a Kentucky Business Name Reservation Last?
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Kentucky can reserve an entity name. Filing your name registration 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.
How do I Reserve a Business Name in Kentucky?
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. 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.
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.
Wrapping up and Choosing the Best Route
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.
Save Time by Using a Professional LLC Service
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, 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 of Wyoming.
While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, we highly recommend looking into ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent. We’ve done the research so you don’t have to, and these two are reliable, professional, and efficient.