Steps To Start a Small Business in Kentucky

Starting a small business is an exciting, but somewhat confusing and consuming process. The Kentucky Small Business Development Center recommends following the steps below and contacting your local SBDC office for assistance.
  1. SBDC led training seminars are offered throughout the Commonwealth for people interested in learning how to start a small business in Kentucky. Attend one of these sessions. 
  2. Consult with a SBDC business coach to discuss your options and to determine your needs. Request an appointment with a SBDC business coach near you.
  3. Research and understand how to comply with environmental regulations (EPA), safety and health regulations (OSHA), and local zoning regulations.
  4. Develop a detailed business plan. A successful business start-up begins with the development of a detailed business plan. The business plan captures your knowledge of industry and your plans for success. You must address these elements:
  5. Secure financing. If financing is required submit your business plans to lending agencies.
  6. Select a business name and choose an operating entity.
  7. Register with the Kentucky One-Stop Business Portal.
  8. Register any trademarks or service marks with the Secretary of State.
  9. Secure a zoning license/certificate of occupancy from the local zoning department.
    1. Secure permits for any remodeling or new construction.
    2. Secure sign permits for any exterior signage.
  10. Obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.
  11. Obtain city and county occupational/business licenses.
  12. Register with the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet as required for the following:
    1. Employer’s Withholding Tax
    2. Sales and Use Tax
    3. Consumer’s Use Tax
    4. Corporation Income Tax
    5. Limited Liability Entity Tax (LLE)
    6. Transient Room Tax
    7. Motor Vehicle Tire Tax
    8. Coal Severance and Processing Tax
  13. Check with the Kentucky One Stop Business Portal and your local city and county clerks to determine if any special licenses are required for your business.
  14. Report new employees immediately to Kentucky New Hire Reporting (1-800-817-2262)
  15. Establish a business checking account. Consider a business savings account.
  16. Secure liability insurance, worker’s compensation insurance and other coverage appropriate for your business.

Steps to starting a business may seem overwhelming, but the Small Business Development Center coaches are available to guide you through the process and ensure you are on the right track to owning and operating a successful small business.

Skip to content