How to Look Up an LLC in Kentucky? (Most Effective Method)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
Methodology
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People want to look up Kentucky limited liability companies for various reasons, but mainly because they want to start their own Kentucky LLC and need a business name.

With over a decade of practice as a business consultant for limited liability companies, I will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to look up a Kentucky LLC name.

After thorough research and consulting with our team of legal advisors and attorneys, the article will include all you need to know about an LLC name search for a Kentucky LLC.

Quick Summary

  • To look up an LLC in Kentucky, utilize the Kentucky Secretary of State's website, and directly call or email the office.
  • The search can be conducted through various methods such as business name, organization number, city name, or zip code, each providing specific insights into the LLC's details.
  • According to the United States Sentencing Commission's 2017 report, there were over 66,000 copyright and trademark infringement cases, underscoring the widespread issue of intellectual property rights violations.
  • From my analysis, ensuring a business name's uniqueness and legal standing through a detailed LLC lookup and trademark search is crucial for avoiding legal issues and establishing a distinct brand identity in Kentucky.


How to Search an LLC in Kentucky?

When looking to search for an LLC in Kentucky, the most effective method is by using the Kentucky Secretary of State's website.

1. Kentucky Secretary of State's Website

This platform allows for a detailed search that can include the business name, entity number, and executive name, among other criteria.

To search for an LLC in Kentucky using the Secretary of State's website Business Entity search, follow these steps:

  • Visit the Kentucky Secretary of State's Business Entity Search page.
  • Choose how you want to conduct your search, either by Business Name, Organization Number, City Name, or Zip Code search.
  • Review the search results. Each listing will provide detailed information about the LLC, such as its status, registered agent, and filing history.

Here's a breakdown of what each search option entails:

a. Business Name

This search option allows users to look up a business entity using its legal name or a portion. It is the most common method to find information about a specific company.

To use it enter the full or partial name of the business you're interested in.

The search is not case-sensitive but may be affected by including or excluding terms like "LLC," "Inc.," etc.

It's advisable to start with a broad search term and narrow it down as needed.

This method is ideal for when you know the name of the LLC but need to find out more details about it, such as its status, Kentucky registered agent, or filing history.

b. Organization Number

The Secretary of State assigns every business entity registered in Kentucky a unique Organization Number. This option allows for a direct search using that specific identifier.

To use it input the exact Organization Number assigned to the business.

This will yield the most precise results, directly pulling up the entity's profile without sifting through similar names.

The method is best used when you have direct information about the LLC's registration and want to access its records quickly and accurately.

c. City Name

This search allows users to find business entities based on the city they are registered in. It's useful for identifying businesses within a specific geographic location.

For the City Name option, enter the city's name where the business is located.

This method is helpful for a broader search within a particular area, especially if the business name or organization number is unknown.

It is useful for local market research, understanding the business landscape of a specific city, or finding potential business partners or competitors in a given locality.

d. Zip Codes

Similar to the city name search, this option enables searches based on the zip code where the business is registered. It offers a more granular approach to location-based searching.

This search will list all businesses registered within that postal area, providing a concise view of the entities operating in a specific neighborhood or region.

It is ideal for demographic research, local compliance checks, or when planning to establish a new business and wanting to survey existing entities in the same postal region.

2. Call the State

Directly contacting the Kentucky Secretary of State's office by phone allows you to speak with a representative from the business services division.

This method is particularly useful for obtaining immediate assistance, asking specific questions about LLC searches, or resolving any issues you might encounter during your search.

For inquiries related to business entity searches, call the Kentucky Secretary of State's office at (502) 564-3490.

Prepare your questions or the information you need beforehand, including any business names or organization numbers you're inquiring about, to ensure a productive conversation.

3. Send an Email

Emailing is a convenient option for contacting the Kentucky Secretary of State's office or the business services division with your inquiries about LLC searches.

It's suitable for non-urgent requests or submitting specific information or documents to support your query.

You can send your email inquiries to the Kentucky Secretary of State's Business Services division at sos@ky.gov.

To use the email:

  • Compose an email detailing your request or question regarding the LLC search.
  • Be as specific as possible, including any relevant business names, organization numbers, or other pertinent details to help the staff effectively address your query.
  • It's also helpful to include your contact information for follow-up.

4. Other Business Entity Search Alternatives

For a broader search beyond the official state resources, consider these alternatives:

  • Search Engines like Google can help identify if the business name is in use elsewhere.
  • Social Media Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can provide insights into the business's online presence.
  • Trademark Searches to ensure the name isn't trademarked and avoid legal issues.
  • Business Directories and listings for a broader search on the business's operational status.
  • Professional Networking Sites can offer connections and background information related to the business and its executives.

"You can renew your name reservation 30 days before your 120-day period expires by paying a $15 fee and completing the Reservation or Renewal of Reserved Name form for domestic or foreign entities."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

How to Check If A Business Name Is Trademarked in Kentucky?

A card for trademark concept

To check if a business name is trademarked in Kentucky use the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) Website. You can also consider using the Kentucky Secretary of State.

In the fiscal year 2017, the United States Sentencing Commission reported over 66,000 copyright and trademark infringement cases, highlighting the significant challenge of intellectual property rights violations [1].

Hence, a trademark check helps avoid legal issues and ensures your brand's uniqueness.

Here’s how you can conduct a thorough search for trademarks:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) maintains a comprehensive database of registered trademarks and pending trademark applications at the federal level.

This search is essential because a federally registered trademark protects all states, including Kentucky.

To perform a federal trademark search:

  • Visit the USPTO's official website and use the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS).
  • You can search for trademarks by name, owner, or serial number.
  • It's advisable to use various search strategies, including the name you're interested in and phonetically similar names, to ensure a thorough search.

You can call the USPTO's Trademark Assistance Center at (800) 786-9199.

Kentucky also provides a state-level trademark search through the Secretary of State's website. According to the Kentucky Secretary of State's annual report, this tool has facilitated over 10,000 trademark searches in the last year, highlighting its critical role in protecting business identities within the state.

This search is crucial for identifying registered or pending trademarks within the state.

State-level trademarks may not be as broad in scope as federal trademarks but are important for businesses operating primarily within Kentucky.

To use the State's trademark search:

  • Access the Kentucky Secretary of State's trademark search page.
  • You can search for trademarks by keyword, owner name, or registration number.
  • This tool helps identify if a business name or logo is already used within the state as a trademark.

3. Alternatives

Besides the federal and state trademark searches, there are alternative methods to ensure the business name you intend to use is not trademarked.

These include:

  • Domain Name Search: Check if the domain name corresponding to your proposed business name is available.
  • Hire a Professional: Consider hiring a trademark attorney or a professional search firm.

You should search for an LLC in Kentucky to:

  • Ensure the business name is unique and available.
  • Identify if the business name is trademarked.
  • Gather information about competitors.
  • Check the legal standing and compliance of the business.
  • Understand the business's history and background.
  • Evaluate the reputation of the business.
  • Assist in due diligence for potential investments or partnerships.

Related Articles:

FAQs

How Do I File an Assumed Name in Kentucky?

You can file an assumed name in Kentucky by submitting a Certificate of Assumed Name with the Secretary of State. There is a filing fee associated with this service.

Can My Registered Agent Reserve an LLC Name in Kentucky?

Your registered agent can reserve an LLC name in Kentucky. This process allows the agent, who acts as your LLC's official point of contact, to secure a desired business name before you formally establish your company with the state.

Can I Renew My LLC Name Reservation in Kentucky?

You can renew your LLC name reservation in Kentucky, but no later than 30 days before your previous reservation expires. In case you miss this deadline, your entity name will become available after the first reservation ends.


References:

  1. https://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/quick-facts/Copyright_FY17.pdf

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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