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Grimes: New laws affect Kentucky businesses

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is the state’s chief business official. Several state laws that went into effect Thursday impact Kentucky businesses, she said.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 17, 2012) — Laws adopted by the General Assembly during the 2012 Regular Session went into effect Thursday, some of which effect important changes in Kentucky’s business statutes, according to Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The Secretary of State’s office is obtaining copies of the occupational license tax return forms for Kentucky businesses used by each of the more than 200 taxing districts in Kentucky, pursuant to House Bill 277, now codified in Chapter 67 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes. Beginning Nov. 1, the forms will be available on the Secretary of State’s website, saving businesses time and money often spent gathering returns from each district in which they operate.

House Bill 341 enacted long-overdue updates to Kentucky’s statutory trust laws. The existing statutes had not been updated in approximately 50 years and did not reflect intervening changes in business entity laws or the uses of statutory trusts. The modernized statutes, which adopt the Uniform Statutory Trust Act, apply current legal concepts, including limited liability and taxing methods, to statutory trusts. With the new laws, Kentucky is among the first states to enact statutory trust laws that accommodate mutual funds.

And business owners, particularly those in the agriculture community, have a new option when selecting a business structure. Under House Bill 441, the Uniform Limited Cooperative Association Act, Kentucky law now permits the formation of “new generation cooperatives.” With new generation cooperatives, patrons can bring in outside capital to pursue modern projects while still maintaining many of the hallmarks of traditional cooperatives. Codified at Chapter 272A of the Kentucky Revised Statutes, the Act promotes rural economic development by combining traditional cooperatives with modern financing mechanisms. Kentucky is only the 12th state to adopt statutes that allow new generation cooperatives.

“I am proud that, by working together with members of the General Assembly, we enacted legislation that modernizes and streamlines our business entity laws and facilitates more efficient interaction between businesses and government,” said Grimes, the state’s chief business official. “The laws enacted this year will help ensure that Kentucky truly is open for business.”