How to Get a Registered Agent in Kentucky

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Lexington Kentucky Campus | Swyft Filings
Alexis Konovodoff
Written byAlexis Konovodoff
Zachary Ace Aiuppa
Edited byZachary Ace Aiuppa
Updated September 11, 2023

Kentucky state law dictates that every Kentucky business needs to appoint or hire a registered agent.[1] But what does this role entail, and how does it benefit business owners and entrepreneurs? 

This article covers registered agents’ responsibilities, requirements, benefits, and the election and change process in the State of Kentucky. We also include the factors to consider when choosing the right one for your business operations.

Key Takeaways 

  • Registered agents can be state residents, company owners, or third-party services.

  • P.O. boxes and mail forwarding services don’t qualify as the physical street address for a registered office.

  • Failure to elect a Kentucky registered agent in a business’s formation documents will lead to automatic filing rejection.

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What Is a Registered Agent? 

A registered agent is an entity appointed by corporations, organizations, nonprofits, and LLCs to serve as a point of contact with government bodies. A Kentucky registered agent may also be called a statutory agent, resident agent, or sometimes an agent for service of process.

Most states, Kentucky included, mandate that business owners elect a registered agent. Without one, a Kentucky LLC won’t remain in good standing, and its initial business filing can receive a rejection by the Kentucky Secretary of State.

Registered Agent Responsibilities 

Many states require registered agents to accomplish three tasks. The same applies to Kentucky.

  1. Accept and forward legal communication and corporate filings with the Kentucky Secretary of State [2]

  2. Receive and forward service of process for clients hit with lawsuits

  3. Operate during regular business hours at a physical business address listed in the public record

Your registered agent will handle all your legal documents, from compliance and tax notices to service of process. Some standard documents include your Kentucky annual report, initial report, and certificate of good standing. However, a Kentucky registered agent may accept other responsibilities, such as:

  • Managing principal office relocation forms and notifications

  • Providing same-day mail forwarding

  • Offering advisory services

  • Automating legal correspondence 

  • Ensuring discretion and privacy when sharing sensitive documents

Some registered agents will tackle more responsibilities based on expertise, fees, and other considerations.

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Choosing Your Kentucky Registered Agent 

Choosing a Kentucky registered agent for your business is mandatory, but not everyone qualifies. Let’s look at the requirements and factors you should keep in mind. 

Kentucky Registered Agent Requirements 

The state will reject a business application that does not name a registered agent in its formation documents. Additionally, failure to promptly elect a new registered agent invites financial and legal consequences. The Kentucky Secretary of State may even dissolve a non-compliant company or suspend its authorization to do business.

It’s clear that it’s essential to elect a Kentucky registered agent, but you want to make the right choice. Kentucky businesses can choose an LLC registered agent (foreign or domestic) and individuals as long as they meet the following requirements:

  • Be a Kentucky resident over the age of 18, if an individual

  • Have a physical address that can serve as a registered office

  • Be in good standing to serve in the state

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Kentucky? 

You can be your own registered agent in Kentucky. This method allows you to use your office or home as your registered office, among some additional benefits:

  • Avoids appointing a third-party liaison with the Kentucky Secretary of State

  • Eliminates an extra expense during your startup stage

  • Assures that legal communications with the state are kept confidential

However, while this option appears to be the most straightforward approach, being your own registered agent in Kentucky has some drawbacks. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Forces business owners to stick to normal business hours

  • Limits the ability to travel, implement irregular schedules, or work from home

  • Lists your home or business address in the public record

  • Adds additional expenses from renting an office to do business within the state

  • Creates unwanted situations if the company is served in front of clients and employees

  • Includes the time-consuming responsibility of managing legal documents

  • Leads to financial penalties if corporate filings are misplaced or forgotten

  • Requires extra commitment to keep up with state legislation

  • Makes it hard to identify and prioritize legal documents in large amounts of junk mail

  • Creates a need for improved organizational skills 

Benefits of a Third-Party Registered Agent 

Fortunately, you won’t run into most of the above issues if you elect a third-party registered agent. Having the best registered agent service can be crucial to your company’s ability to grow in a new market and stay in good standing with the state.

The benefits of using a third-party point of contact often include the following:

  • Maintains regular business hours Monday through Friday

  • Frees up your time to network, travel, and work from home

  • Includes physical addresses your company can use as your registered office 

  • Saves money by avoiding investing in more office space or hiring onsite employees

  • Allows you to enjoy privacy and discretion as your intermediary point of contact

  • Notifies you of urgent legal correspondence with same-day mail forwarding

  • Accepts, files, sorts, and prioritizes mail and documents on your behalf

  • Makes it easier to relocate or change an existing agent to a different service provider

  • Automates notification processes and schedules key reminders

  • Lowers the risk of missing crucial corporate filing due dates

Most importantly, a third-party registered agent gives you more time to focus on high-value productive business operations while knowing that all legal documents and correspondence are in expert hands. 

We’ll assist you with your LLC formation in Kentucky and fulfill your registered agent requirement, so you get complete peace of mind.

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How to Set Up Your Kentucky Registered Agent 

New business owners must know how to appoint an individual or Kentucky LLC as a registered agent or submit the relevant notice of change paperwork. Here’s a step-by-step guide to electing or changing your registered agent.

Electing a Kentucky Registered Agent 

Forming a business entity like a Kentucky LLC, nonprofit, or corporation is a lengthy process, and electing your registered agent is one of the most crucial steps. You’ll submit your registered agent’s information in your formation documents.

Depending on your business structure, you must submit one of the following forms:[3]

Our registered agent service takes the paperwork out of your hands for a seamless business formation process. If you prefer to file your own paperwork, you can fill in the requested information and submit the appropriate form at the following address.

Michael G. Adams

Office of the Secretary of State

P.O. Box 718

Frankfort, KY 40602-0718

Alternatively, you can submit your business formation documents in person at this address:

Room 154, Capitol Building

700 Capital Avenue

Frankfort, KY 40601

It costs $40 in state filing fees to submit LLC and NLC formation documents, $50 for for-profit corporations, and $8 for nonprofit corporations. A Statement of Qualification for limited liability partnerships costs $40.

Changing a Kentucky Registered Agent 

Sometimes a business owner wants to make a change and get a new Kentucky registered agent. If that’s the case for you, you’re in luck. We can handle the change paperwork for you and be your new registered agent service. Alternatively, you can always change your statutory agent for your Kentucky LLC, nonprofit, or corporation on your own.

All business entity types must submit a Statement of Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office Address to the Kentucky Secretary of State Division of Business Filings.[4] You can mail or file in person at the above addresses or use the online portal to file.[5]

The standard filing fee to change your registered agent is $10, regardless of for-profit or nonprofit status. Make sure to include your new registered agent’s address, name, and other details on the form.

Why Choose Swyft Filings as Your Kentucky Registered Agent
  • Avoid Penalties: Every business is legally required to have a registered agent in any state where it operates.

  • Prioritize Your Privacy: We go on record with the government so you don’t have to, meaning any legal actions come to us, not your home or office.

  • Stay Flexible: We are always available at a physical address during business hours, so you’ll never miss an official notice.

Secure My Registered Agent

FAQs 

Who can be a Kentucky registered agent?

A company can’t be its own Kentucky registered agent, but most business owners, state residents, and business entities are eligible. A registered agent in Kentucky must maintain regular business hours at a registered office. Individuals have the additional provisions of being a state resident and at least 18 years old. 

How much does a registered agent in Kentucky cost?

Kentucky registered agent service prices can vary, but the rates may start higher than in other states. They start at around $100 and can exceed $300 in some cases, as many factors influence the price. 

How can I change my registered agent in Kentucky?

You must fill out and submit the Statement of Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office Address to the Kentucky Secretary of State Division of Business Filings to change your Kentucky registered agent.[4] Online, in-person, and mail filings are accepted, and you must pay the $10 filing fee. Alternatively, a third-party registered agent service can complete the change for you.

How can I find a registered agent in Kentucky?

You can type a business name in the Kentucky Secretary of State’s business database to find information on registered agents. Other online search engines may accomplish the same thing. You can also seek a local Kentucky registered agent for your company by asking other business owners for recommendations.

What is a Kentucky registered office?

A Kentucky registered office is a registered agent’s physical street address and place of business. It’s where the Secretary of State can send legal correspondence during regular business hours. A registered office must be a physical business address, not a P.O. box, UPS service, or similar mailing address alternative.

What’s the difference between a registered agent and a resident agent or statutory agent?

It doesn’t matter if you refer to your Kentucky registered agent as a resident agent or statutory agent. You can even call them an agent for service of process, as it will still have the same meaning. The term registered agent is the most common.

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is a third party that fulfills the registered agent requirements on behalf of the business. Swyft Filings offers a reliable registered agent service that maintains your privacy, provides immediate access to vital documents, and gives you more time to focus on your business.


Bibliography

  1. Kentucky Legislature. “Statute 14A.4-010: Registered Office and Registered Agent Required.” Accessed December 29, 2022.

  2. Kentucky Secretary of State. “Business Filings Information.” Accessed December 29, 2022.

  3. Kentucky Secretary of State. “Business Forms Library.” Accessed December 29, 2022.

  4. Kentucky Secretary of State. “Statement of Change of Registered Agent and/or Registered Office Address.” Accessed December 29, 2022.

  5. Kentucky Secretary of State. “Online Service: Statement of Change.” Accessed December 29, 2022.

Originally published on March 30, 2023, and last edited on September 11, 2023.

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