- Step 1. Naming Your Kansas LLC
- Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent
- Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
- Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
- Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
- Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
- Kansas LLC Resources
- Kansas LLC FAQs
Step 1. Naming Your Kansas LLC
One of the most essential steps in setting up your LLC is selecting a suitable name. You should select one that fits your business and follows any naming rules and regulations in the state.
Legally Required Designation
According to Kansas LLC naming regulations, your chosen name is required to contain the phrase “limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations:
- Limited Company
The name you choose for your LLC should be unique from all other businesses in the state. You can ensure this by running a search of business entities on file with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. If you see a name you like, you can file a name reservation with the Secretary of State.
Name reservations can be filed online or by mail using this form. There is a $30 online filing fee or a $35 mail fee, and the document will hold your chosen LLC name for up to 120 days before you officially establish your business.
Additionally, you may want to look for available domain names that match your chosen LLC name. Purchasing a matching domain name ahead of time can save you stress when it comes to establishing your business website further down the road.
As you decide on an LLC name, remember not to include words that may run the risk of confusing your business with a government entity. This can include words like “IRS,” “Treasury,” or “State Department.”
You should also be aware that using words such as “bank,” “attorney,” or “chiropractor” may require the presence of a properly licensed individual in your LLC and filing separate paperwork. Kansas does allow for the formation of professional LLCs, so if you would like to offer a professional service through your LLC, this entity might be a better choice for you. General filing instructions can be found here.
Using a Fictitious Name
A fictitious or DBA (doing business as) name is used by businesses who wish to interact with the public under a different name from their legally registered one. Kansas does not have a formal state-wide registration process for using DBA names, so you need to check with the local government offices where your LLC is located to figure out whether you need to register to use your DBA.
In most cases, you must perform a search on the Secretary of State’s database to ensure the name you are using is unique. This should be done before contacting the County Clerk’s office where your LLC is located and filling out a registration form. There may also be a fee that you need to pay, depending on the county.
Step 2. Choose a Registered Agent
It is essential for every LLC operating in Kansas to appoint a registered agent (also called an agent for service of process) to their business. This agent will be responsible for receiving all communications between the government (both federal and state) and your business; this may include important notices about lawsuits, state compliance, and tax documents.
You can appoint any Kansas resident or an authorized business in the state as your registered agent. You should note that your appointee should have a valid Kansas street address that isn’t a P.O. Box; they also must be at least 18 years old and available during regular business hours.
Step 3. File Your Articles of Organization
To officially establish your LLC in Kansas, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office. This document must include essential information about your business, some of which you can preview below.
- Your LLC’s name
- Your LLC’s registered agent name and address
- Your LLC’s mailing address
- The last month of your LLC’s tax year (typically, this is December)
- The signature of an authorized LLC organizer
You can file your articles online or through the mail. There is a $160 filing fee for online filing or a $165 fee for mail filing.
To file your Articles of Organization online, you need to access the online business service portal through the Kansas Secretary of State website. From there, you can select the option to “File Business Formation Documents” and then create an account. After your account is established, follow the instructions to file your document. Upon submittal, you will be prompted to pay the $160 filing fee.
If you wish to file your Articles of Organization through the mail, you must print out and complete this form. After it is filled out, place it into a secure envelope along with a check for $165 made out to the Kansas Secretary of State. Then, mail the sealed envelope to the below address.
Kansas Office of the Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 S.W. 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612
Step 4. Create an Operating Agreement
Your Kansas LLC will not be required to create or file an operating agreement, but you may want to draft one up anyway. An operating agreement sets clear guidelines for how your LLC is managed, any rights that members or managers have, and what to do in the case of LLC dissolution or a lawsuit. You may also need to show an operating agreement when applying for business financing to demonstrate your business is legally established and operating in the state.
It is important to note that if you decide not to create an operating agreement for your LLC, Kansas LLC law will determine how your LLC should function in the case of dissolutions, conflicts, or lawsuits. Generally, is not in your business’s best interest, so creating an operating agreement is the best way to protect yourself, your business, and your assets.
Step 5. Get an EIN/Tax ID Number
After your LLC has been officially established in Kansas, you must apply for a Tax ID number, more commonly known as an EIN (Employer Identification Number), through the IRS. Any LLC that has more than one member — or for any single-member LLC that wants to hire employees or chooses to be taxed as a corporation — is required to apply for an EIN.
Your EIN is used to identify your business to the IRS on all tax documents and necessary government filings; the number acts as a social security number for your LLC. If you want to hire employees, file federal taxes, open business bank or credit accounts, or apply for business funding, you need an EIN.
It is free to apply for your EIN with the IRS, and you can file the application online or by mailing it in. Keep in mind that if you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, you must file for your EIN through the mail.
The quickest and easiest way to apply for your EIN is online; you will receive your number once your application is completed. Visit the IRS website to apply for your EIN for free.
You need to fill out this form when applying for your LLC by mail. If you are a foreign filer or do not have a social security number, leave section 7b blank. Mail the completed form to the address below. You can follow up on any questions with the IRS at (267) 941-1099.
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Step 6. Keeping Your LLC Running
Every business that operates in Kansas is required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State’s office. The report is due by the 15th day of the fourth month after the LLC’s tax year ends. For most businesses with a tax year ending in December, this means the report is due by April 15th; filing ahead of this deadline is allowed.
Separate Your Business Finances
Your Kansas LLC is not required to open up separate business bank accounts, but it is advisable to do so anyway. A business credit or debit account can keep your LLC’s finances separate from personal ones: this officially establishes the LLC as an independently operating business. This is something that can protect your assets in the case of a lawsuit against your business.
You most likely need to show your Articles of Organization, operating agreement, EIN, or other LLC documents to open a bank account. Compare all your options before deciding which bank account to open, as banks will have varying minimum required balances or credit spending limits; you want to be sure that you select what is best for your LLC’s needs.
Keep Up With Federal and State Taxes
It is important that you keep up with federal and state taxes while running your business, as this will help you avoid major penalties or fines.
Federal Tax Requirements
There are several tax structures you can choose from to use in your LLC that may meet different company needs; each structure comes with its own unique federal taxation. This article can help you gain an in-depth understanding of the differences between each type and help you decide which is best for you.
In general, most LLCs are taxed as pass-through entities. This means you are expected to file Schedule C along with your individual income tax return to declare income that you receive through your LLC. When using this tax structure, you should keep in mind that you will likely need to pay self-employment tax (at a rate of 15.3%), in addition to any income tax. You may also need to make quarterly estimated tax payments to avoid IRS fines; the IRS website gives more details on this.
Also, you can choose to have your LLC taxed as a corporation, like an S Corporation or a C Corporation. You need to fill out IRS Form 8832 and IRS Form 2553 to declare this. After these forms are processed, your LLC will be treated as a corporation and expected to file a separate corporate tax return with the IRS.
Kansas Business Taxes
There is no general business tax requirement in Kansas for LLCs that are taxed as pass-through entities. For these tax structures, you need to include your business’s profits and losses on your individual state income tax return.
If you want your LLC to be taxed as a corporation, you likely need to pay Corporate Income tax to the state. More information on this can be found through the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website here.
If your LLC sells goods or services in Kansas, you need to register your business to pay sales taxes with the Department of Revenue. More information and instructions on registering your business can be found here.
State Employer Taxes
For LLCs that have employees, you must register for withholding taxes and unemployment insurance taxes. Withholding taxes are handled by the Kansas Department of Revenue, while unemployment insurance taxes are registered through the Kansas Department of Labor.
Acquire Necessary Permits and Licenses
Kansas does not have a general business license requirement, but your LLC may be required to obtain licenses on a county or city level. You should check with the county or town clerk’s office of the area your LLC is operating in to ensure that you have met all licensing requirements.
If you are offering professional services, you can check whether you need a license or permit using this website. You may also want to ensure that you meet all national requirements for licensing in your profession.
On a federal level, you may be required to obtain certain permits and licenses for your LLC, depending on the type of business you run and the services you offer. For help determining if you need to meet additional federal licensure requirements, you can use the directory on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website.
Kansas LLC Resources
Use the below list of resources to guide you as you work to establish your LLC in Kansas.
- Available LLC name search
- LLC name reservation
- Available domain name search
- Articles of Organization online file
- Articles of Organization form
- IRS EIN online application
- Annual Report online file
- Kansas Department of Revenue
- Kansas Department of Labor
- Kansas business licensing and permit information
- S. Small Business Administration
Kansas LLC FAQs
The answers to these frequently asked questions may put to rest any remaining worries about starting your LLC in Kansas.
In Kansas, it will cost $160 (online filing) or $165 (mail filing) to file your Articles of Organization and establish your business in the state. You may also want to pay $30 (online filing) or $35 (mail filing) to reserve your chosen LLC name ahead of filing.
The cheapest way to start your LLC in Kansas is to file your Articles of Organization online without reserving an LLC name. Doing it this way will only cost $160 to get your business fully established.
How much your LLC pays in taxes depends on the individual structure you have set up for your business. If your business is taxed like a pass-through entity, you only need to file an individual income tax return with the state. LLCs taxed as corporations need to pay a separate corporate income tax to the state.
You also must pay any applicable federal taxes and may be liable to pay sales taxes or state employer taxes, depending on how your business operates.
In Kansas, you need to file state reports on an annual basis. These are due by the 15th day of the fourth month after your LLC’s tax year ends and can be filed online for $50 or by mail for $55
If you are finished conducting business under your LLC, you must file a dissolution of your business entity with the Kansas Secretary of State. This can be done online by following the instructions listed on the portal.
You also need to check with any operating agreement or internal documentation that you have and proceed with any agreed-upon terms for dissolution. This can involve things like notifying creditors, investors, or paying off business debts.