Kentucky Business Opportunities

The Eastern Kentucky Coalfield is known for its rugged terrain.
The Eastern Kentucky Coalfield is known for its rugged terrain.[1]

A Quick Glance at Kentucky

Kentucky, whose nickname is The Bluegrass State, first obtained its statehood in 1792. With a population of 4,395,295 people, Kentucky is the twenty-sixth most populated state in the United States.

If you are considering starting your new business in Kentucky, you might want to look into one of Kentucky's top three most populous cities - Louisville, Lexington or Owensboro and also in the commonwealth's capital of Frankfort.

Top Industry

The largest industry in the commonwealth of Kentucky is food and beverage and tobacco products manufacturing.

  • The gross domestic product (GDP), of this industry, is roughly $6.6 billion and accounts for 3.4% of Kentucky's GDP.
  • Food and beverage and tobacco products manufacturing also employs 1.6% of Kentucky's private workforce.

Small Businesses

In the United States, the more than 600,000 plus franchised small busineeses account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for some 8 million people. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), their standard definition of what constitutes as a small business includes a maximum of 500 employees or operations with and/or up to $7 million in revenue, depending on the industry.

  • There are 687,294 small businesses, in the commonwealth, of Kentucky.
  • Small businesses in Kentucky, make up 33% of the commonwealth's private workforce.

State and Local Taxes

Listed below are the state and local taxes, for the commonwealth of Kentucky, and how they rank against other states in the U.S.

State Tax Rate Avg. Local Tax Rate Combined Rate Combined Rank* Max Local Tax Rate
6% 0% 6% 38 n/a
*Combined Rank is rank from highest to lowest tax percentage

California has the highest state tax rate in the United States at 7.25%, but Lousinana has the highest combined tax rate, overall, at 9.98%. Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon share the spot for lowest combined tax rates at 0%.

Additional Information

If you need additional information about how to start a business in Kentucky, their official state page might be a good place to start. If you are looking to own your own established franchise in Kentucky, we have collected a comprehensive list of companies that are actively looking to expand in Kentucky, for you to explore.


  1. By J654567 - Own work, GFDL
  3. Comparison between U.S. states and countries by GDP (nominal) from Wikipedia
  4. Largest Industry in Each State from 24/7 Wall St.
  5. 2017 Small Business Profiles for the States and Territories from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  6. Small Business Trends from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  7. Civilian Labor Force and Unemployment by State from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
  8. State and Local Sales Tax Rates in 2017 from the Tax Foundation
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