12 Steps


The Cabinet of Economic development operates the Business Information Clearinghouse which prepares packets of needed information for establishing a small business. These packets can be ordered by calling toll free (KY only) (800) 626-2250 or (502) 564-4252/4202.

The arrangement of the following steps does not imply a required sequence of events but suggests a convenient progression. For more information on a particular step just click on the text.

  1. If the business is to be incorporated, file Article of Incorporation with the Secretary of State (or Certificate of Authority, If corporate headquarters is out of state). Limited partnerships must also file with the Secretary of State:

    Kentucky Secretary of State
    Corporate Division
    Capital Building, Room 152
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    Phone (502) 564-3490
    Fax (502) 564-5687

  2. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from one of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service District Offices in your area. This is needed if you're planning to form a corporation or partnership,maintain a payroll, or planning to perform commercial or government jobs. Ask for form SS-4.

    Local IRS Walk-in in Service
    845 5th Ave.
    (Old Post Office)
    Huntington, WV
    Hours: 8am - 4pm

    Internal Revenue Service
    601 Broadway, 550 Main Street
    Louisville, KY 40202
    Toll Free (866) 816-2065

  3. File a Kentucky Tax Registration Application (Form 10A100) with the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet in your area:

    Ashland Taxpayer Service Ctr.
    Kentucky Revenue Cabinet
    134 - 16th Street, Greenup Ave.
    Ashland, KY 41101
    (606) 920-2037

    Kentucky Revenue Cabinet
    200 Fair Oaks Lane
    Frankfort, KY 40602
    (502) 564-7456

  4. File state license applications, as required, for businesses or professions with the appropriate state government agency. Information on all state licenses and permit requirements may be obtained from the Business Information Clearinghouse:

    State Licenses Business Information Clearinghouse
    Division of Business & Entrepreneurship Development
    Cabinet for Economic Development
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 564-4252/4202 or (800) 626-2250
    Email Craig Kelly

  5. Register with the Kentucky Department for Employment Services (Form U11) to establish a state unemployment insurance account:

    State Unemployment Insurance Tax
    Division for Unemployment Insurance
    275 E. Main Street
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 564-2900

  6. Check with the local city or county planning and zoning commission to assure that the location of the business is in compliance with existing local zoning regulations:

    (606) 564-9419 ext. 321

    Fleming County
    (606) 845-1223

    Buffalo Trace Area Development District
    (606) 564-6894

    **Bracken, Lewis and Robertson Counties has no zoning regulations.**

  7.  Obtain a local business license from the city clerk (where required in municipal locations) or from the county clerk (where required outside of city limits):

    *If the business is located in Maysville city limits or Mason County, contact:

    Maysville City Building Mason Co. Clerk
    216 Bridge Street P.O. Box 502
    Maysville, KY 41056
    (606) 564-9419 ext.310 (606) 564-3341

    *If the business is located in another city or county, contact any of the below offices for specific city and county business license requirements.

    Bracken County Clerk (606) 735-2952
    City of Brooksville (606) 735-2501

    Fleming County Clerk (606) 845-8461
    City of Flemingsburg (606) 845-5951

    Lewis County Clerk (606) 796-3062
    City of Vanceburg (606) 796-3044

    Robertson County Clerk (606) 724-5212
    City of Mt. Olivet (606) 724-5816

  8. Obtain certain permits, when applicable, before construction of any facility or occupancy of any existing facility.

    a) Permits to build and operate in compliance with environmental regulations from the KY Department for Environmental Protection. If you need information about air, water, land uses, solid waste and hazardous materials call or write:

    One Stop Environmental Permit Coordinator

    Office of Commissioner, Dept. for Environmental Protection 14 Reilly Road Frankfort, KY 40601 (502) 564-2150

    *Air pollution sources, including large parking areas:

    Division for Air Quality
    803 Schenkel Lane
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 573-3382

    Kentucky Business Environmental Assistance Program (KBEAP) provides free and confidential air quality assistance to small businesses with 100 or fewer employees.

    227 Gatton College of Business and Economics
    University of Kentucky
    Lexington, KY 40506-0034
    (800) 562-2327

    *Sewage systems discharging into KY waters, withdrawal o f water exceeding 10,000 gallons per day from public waters, and building sites in a flood plain:

    Division of Water
    14 Reilly Road
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 564-3410

    *Solid and Hazardous waste:

    Division of Waste Management
    14 Reilly Road
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 564-6716

    b) Approval of construction plans for compliance with building, electrical, plumbing and boiler codes by the KY department of Housing, Buildings and Construction:

    *Building Codes: Division of Building Codes Enforcement Office

    *Electrical and boiler codes: State Fire Marshall's Office

    (both offices located at)
    Sea Hero Road, Suite 100
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 573-0364

    c) Apply for a Building and sewer connection (where required) from the city or county government. The construction contractor usually accomplishes this.

  9. Obtain Worker's Compensation coverage for employees, by either:
    1. Buying insurance from a private carrier.
    2. Joining an approved self-insurance group.
    3. Becoming qualified as a self-insured employer by the KY Labor Cabinet.
  10. Worker's compensation premiums are based on employee salaries. Very few insurance carriers will write worker's compensation policies unless you maintain other forms of business or personal insurance with their company. Contact your current insurance carrier to obtain worker's compensation insurance rates. For more information concerning Worker's Compensation coverage for your employees: (502) 564-7456 or visit the

    KY Workforce Investment website


    Post state required posters in a conspicuous location at the place of business: Kentucky Wage and Hour Law Kentucky Child Labor Law Nondiscrimination of Wage Payments based on sex Safety and Health Protection Equal Employment Opportunity and Americans with Disabilities Act Unemployment Insurance Benefits Equal Service in Business establishments Equal Housing Opportunity (only in businesses selling or leasing housing)

    All businesses with employees are required to comply with state and federal regulations regarding the protection of employees. OSHA outlines specific health and safety standards adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor. For information contact:

    Kentucky Labor Cabinet
    Occupational Safety & Health
    1047 U.S. 127 South
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 564-3070

    A set of posters that include all required state and federal mandatory postings are available from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

    at a cost of $18.75 for Chamber members or $25.00 for non-members. These can be ordered by mail from:

    The KY Chamber of Commerce
    464 Chenault Road
    Frankfort, KY 40601
    (502) 695-4700   Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

    For assistance or clarification with the ADA:

    (800) 669-3362  

    Free one-to-one confidential small business counseling and free and low-cost training seminars are available to individuals who wish to run and operate a business in Bracken, Fleming, Lewis, Mason and Robertson Counties in Kentucky. Call to schedule an appointment or to receive a packet of information describing the services provided by the Morehead State University/Small Business Development Center. M.S.U./Maysville SBDC

    201 E. Third Street

    Maysville, KY 41056

    Phone: (606) 564-5534

    Fax: (606) 564-5535