Starting a Business in Kentucky? Here’s Everything You Need When Obtaining a Business License in The Bluegrass State. 

Kentucky, the state known for horse racing, bluegrass music, and college basketball, is an ideal place to get your business license. Whether you are located in Louisville or Lexington, Kentucky has plenty of places for you to start your business. So if you’re interested, read on for our clear and simple guide for getting your Kentucky business license. 

Ready to jump-start this process and skip all the reading? Reach out to one of our PRIME advisors for a free consultation! 

Before We Begin…There Are Three Primary Business Licensing Jurisdictions in Kentucky:

  • State 
  • Local 
  • Federal 

State Business Licensing in Kentucky: 

The primary permit is called the sales-tax permit, commonly known as a seller’s permit.

This permit must be obtained if you are:

  • Engaged in business in the state 
  • Are created for the purpose of selling or leasing tangible property or services ordinarily subject to taxes 

To obtain this permit, you must create an account with the Kentucky Online Gateway and then register with the Kentucky Business One Stop Portal. There is no fee. If additional permits are required, the Department of Professional Licensing offers that information. Once this permit is filed, there is no renewal requirement. 

Local Business Licensing in Kentucky:  

Additional licensing may be required from your local government, in addition to the state. This requirement varies by location. 

In order to see if your business requires local permits, you can research your Kentucky city government office.  

Need help determining if you need additional licensing? Reach out to one of our PRIME advisors for a free consultation! 

Federal Business Licensing in Kentucky:

Federal level licensing requirements vary based on business’ purpose and zoning location. Any activity which is regulated by the federal government requires appropriate licensing.

The federally-regulated business activities include: 


Alcoholic beverages


Firearms, ammunition, and explosives

Fish and wildlife

Commercial fisheries

Maritime transportation

Mining and drilling

Nuclear energy

Radio and television broadcasting

Transportation and logistics

If you need help navigating the research process, reach out to one of our PRIME advisors for a free consultation! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Obtaining a Kentucky Business License:

Do I need a national business license in Kentucky?

You do not need a national business license unless you are selling products or services in a federally regulated field as listed above. 

How much does a business license cost in Kentucky?

There is no fee associated with obtaining a business license in Kentucky. 

When do I need to renew my business license in Kentucky?

For Kentucky’s sales tax permit, you do not have to renew it. Other levels of licenses are subject to their respective regulations.