Start a Business

The following is a general list of steps you might need to take when starting a business.  Some of these steps may not be applicable depending on the type of business that you open.

WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN

More than likely you have already put a great deal of thought into this new business venture, but before you present it to potential funding agents you may want to get some things down on paper. The Kentucky Small Business Development Center at Murray State University offers their service and assistance with this free of charge. It would be well worth a call to them to get things moving in the right direction for you. Call (270) 809-2856 or go to their website at www.ksbdc.org

Other sites that may be helpful in getting you started on the right track are:    
http://www.toolkit.cch.com
http://www.entrepreneur.com
http://www.smallbizideas.com

SECURE FINANCING

Perhaps you been saving up and are already in a position to finance your start up business on your own, if not there may be some sources around that will assist you.  A key ingredient for any business loan is having some collateral.  The Purchase Area Development District in Mayfield, KY operates a Business Lending and Development Services Department to assist businesses and entrepreneurs within the eight county Purchase area.  This may be through federally funded financing programs in the form of direct loans to eligible businesses or loan packaging assistance for other federal, state and local programs.  Call 270-251-6117 for more information.  Another option, sometimes with less paperwork and less 'jumping through hoops' is to present your business plan to your own local bank and work out a business loan with them. 

KENTUCKY SECRETARY OF STATE

Any small business which has elected to conduct operations as a small business corporation must be aware of the strict state requirements for a corporation's creation, maintenance of its status, and additional reporting and tax obligations unique to corporate existence at both state and federal levels. First you will need to determined your form of business structure:  Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation, or Limited Liability Company.  You may want to seek legal advice from an accountant and attorney to help you determine which would be best, then select a business name.  Sole proprietorships and general partnerships operating under their real name aren't required to register their business name with the Secretary of State, but there are business filing fees for corporations, limited liability partnerships and LLCs which must register with the Secretary of State's office.  Required forms can be obtained at http://sos.ky.gov/forms or if you have further questions call (502) 564-2848.

REGISTER WITH KENTUCKY REVENUE CABINET

To determine the applicability of the sales and use tax regulations to the proposed business activity, all prospective businesses should contact the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet located at 200 Fair Oaks Lane, Frankfort, KY 40620 or call (502) 564-4590.  If the business is responsible for collecting and reporting the sales and use tax, proper registration forms will be provided upon request or go to www.revenue.ky.gov/business

 

OBTAIN FEDERAL EMPLOYER'S ID NUMBER (EIN)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration use an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to identify business on all returns, statements and other documents.  To apply for an EIN, file an SS-4 Form, available at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/fss4.pdf or call the IRS Business & Specialty Tax Line (800) 829-4933. For questions concerning federal employer responsibilities and associated forms call (800) 829-3676.

MARSHALL COUNTY BUSINESS PAYROLL TAX APPLICATION

Any business operating in Marshall County in which payroll to employees is in existence requires that the business pay 1% of gross payroll wages to the County Treasurer located in the Marshall County Courthouse at 1101 Main Street, Benton, KY 42025.  Phone number is (270) 527-4725 if you have further questions.  There is no fee for this application.

If your business is located within the city limits of Benton, a business license is required, the cost of which, varies depending on type of business.  This license can be obtained at the Benton City Hall located at 1009 Main Street, Benton, KY  42025.  Also a .05% tax on your business's gross payroll wages is due to the City of Benton.  Contact Lois Cunningham at (270)527-8677 for more information.

If your business is located within the city limits of Calvert City, your business is subject to a .05% tax of gross payroll wages due to the City of Calvert City, but no business license is required. Calvert City Hall is located at 1315 5th Avenue SE, Calvert City, KY 42029 or you can contact them at (270) 395-7130.

If your business is located within the city limits of Hardin, no payroll tax or business license is required.  Hardin City Hall is located at 90 Commerce Street, Hardin, KY  42048, or you can contact them at (270) 437-4361.     

LOCAL OCCUPATIONAL TAX FOR SCHOOLS

Kentucky statute allows school districts to levy occupational license taxes on the net profits of businesses.  Any Marshall County business with payroll requires that the business pay .05% of gross payroll wages to the Marshall County School's Finance Office located in the Marshall County Board of Education at 86 High School Road, Benton, KY 42025. Phone number is (270) 527-6759 if you have further questions.

LOCAL PLANNING & ZONING

Each new business should check with the county planning & zoning department to insure that their business meets zoning and city code requirements, secure permits for any remodeling or new construction, and secure sign permits for any exterior signage if required.  The County Planner is located in the Marshall County Courthouse at 1101 Main Street, Benton, KY 42025.  Phone number is (270) 527-4743 or 527-4744 if you have further questions.

PROPERTY VALUATION ADMINISTRATOR

For any business locating in Marshall County it would be a wise move to pay a visit to the county Property Valuation Administrator's office to make them aware of your plans to either take over a current building, build a new building, or convert a residence into a business, as each one of these will affect the value of the property thereby effecting the amount of property tax you will have to pay annually.  Call them at (270) 527-4728.

MARSHALL COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

If your business operations in any way involve the purchase, processing or sale of food items, or the cutting, styling or care of hair, a permit may be required by the Marshall County Health Department, located at 307 E 12th Street or call the Environmental Office at (270) 252-2719.

ENVIRONMENTAL PERMITTING

Even the smallest businesses may need to obtain an environmental permit or license.  If your business will use or produce any chemicals or materials that could be considered hazardous or have a significant impact on the environment, the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet offers assistance in the area of environmental permitting. Their Division of Compliance Assistance can tell you what environmental permits, if any, are required for your business. (502) 564-0323.

IF HAVE EMPLOYEES, DO THE FOLLOWING:

A) Register with the Kentucky Department for Employment Services. (502) 564-3906

B) Purchase Workers' Compensation Insurance from an independent insurance agent.

C) Report new employees immediately to KY New Hire Reporting. (800) 817-2262

ESTABLISH A BUSINESS CHECKING ACCOUNT & CONSIDER A BUSINESS SAVINGS ACCOUNT

SECURE LIABILITY INSURANCE & OTHER COVERAGE APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR BUSINESS

CHECK WITH THE BUSINESS INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE

  Any new business would be wise to contact the Business Information Clearinghouse and request an employee application packet which will provide you with basic state and federal employee information for new and expanding businesses.  The clearinghouse can also help you determine if any more special licenses are required for your business.  Contact them at 1-800-626-2250.