Start an LLC in Kansas

If you are ready to start the process of opening an LLC in Kansas, you need to understand the requirements of the law. 

In this article, we will outline LLC filings and costs as well as the basic steps to launch a new business and maintain a Kansas LLC in good standing with the state. Follow this guide, and your business operating in Kansas will move forward confidently.

Step 1: Name for Your LLC

Your Kansas LLC business name determines how potential customers, partners, and investors will perceive your company. A successful name must be memorable, concise, and, of course, legal. 

The requirements for an LLC name are as follows: 

  • Uniqueness, i.e. it must not be used by an LLC already registered in the state, otherwise, the Kansas Secretary of State will reject your application;
  • Having an “identifier” designating the company as an LLC:
    • LLC;
    • Limited Liability Co.;
    • Limited Liability Company;
    • L.L.C.
  • No words that indicate a connection with the state: “FBI”, “State Department”, etc.;
  • To use such words as “attorney”, “insurance”, “bank”, etc., you should have special permission and a licensed person.

You can proceed to register an LLC in Kansas only if the chosen name meets all of the criteria listed above. If the name is already in use, you have to make substantial changes by replacing, adding, removing keywords and choosing synonyms, or coming up with a new one. For more information, you can visit the Secretary of State’s official website.

In addition, you can get a business name reserved in case you have an appropriate name, but you are not ready to register a business yet.

Name Availability Search

Since the available LLC name is one of the keys to registering and doing business in Kansas, it’s important to check it before starting the official procedure. Before you enter your chosen name into the Articles of Organization, use the Secretary of State’s Name Availability Search. If the check shows that the name is available, then you have the option of filing a name reservation or starting an official opening. Otherwise, you will need to increase the uniqueness of your business name to avoid your documents being rejected by the Secretary of State.

Optional: Name Reservation

Choosing a name is a significant step in starting a new LLC that will affect its future fate. If you already have the perfect name, but you are not ready to start your LLC business, you can reserve a business name in Kansas to protect it from third parties.

You can submit a Temporary Reservation of Business Entity Name form through the Kansas Business Center or mail it to:

Kansas Office of the Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 S.W. 10th Ave.
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1594

Reserving a name requires a $35 payment, and for that money, the state will retain your desired name for 120 days.

Since the reservation is not a mandatory step in launching a business, you can skip it and save some money. The approval of the Articles of Organization will automatically register your LLC name, securing all the exclusive rights.

Step 2: Choose a Resident Agent for an LLC in Kansas

According to Kansas Statute 17-7925, a required part of setting up an LLC is to appoint a resident agent who serves as a mediator between the LLC and the state. The functions of a Kansas registered agent include service of process, providing state and legal communications, by receiving correspondence addressed to the LLC, such as: 

  • Taxes;
  • Lawsuits;
  • Maintenance requirements, etc.

Having a registered agent is one of the basic requirements of an LLC since it ensures the smooth and stable operation of your business. Both individuals and legal entities can act as a resident agent for Kansas LLC.

Individual as Resident Agent

Although a resident agent LLC plays a crucial role in maintaining its operation, it does not require special education. To be eligible, the candidate must meet the state’s requirements, like:

  • Be a resident of the state of Kansas who is at least 18 years old;
  • Have a physical address in the state.

Resident Agent Service

The popularity of the LLC formation service in Kansas is growing these days. It is not surprising, because a professional LLC registered agent service has no drawbacks associated with low confidentiality, limited freedom of movement, and lack of confidence that can be found when using the services of an Individual Resident Agent. Well-known companies like Northwest Registered Agent or IncFile can handle agent duties flawlessly and cost-effectively. Furthermore, if you hire them for an LLC registration, they will provide you with a free registered agent for 1 year.

Step 3: File the Formation Documents with the State

To commence business in the state, one must follow the statutory procedure, complying with all the necessary formalities. Thus, the official Kansas LLC formation process begins with the preparation and filing of the Articles of Organization. This document is the basic document for all LLCs and includes the following main points:

  • LLC’s name;
  • Mailing address for your business;
  • Resident agent’s name and address;
  • Tax closing month (most businesses select December to stay on the calendar year);
  • Signature of the authorized person.

You can file your Articles of Organization online, by mail or fax, or in person. Note that the LLC filing fees vary depending on the method of delivery you choose.

Online

If you appreciate the speed and convenience of online filing, use Kansas Business Center and register your KanAccess account.

If you choose this option, the state fee will be $160, and the application will be processed immediately.

By Mail / In-Person

Download, print, complete the paper application and then send all documents to:

Kansas Office of the Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor 
120 S.W. 10th Avenue 
Topeka, KS 66612-15941

You can pay the $165 state fee by check, with a money order, or by credit card.

The processing time is usually 3-5 business days.

Fax 

You can fax the completed form to:

(785) 296-4570

This filing method is the most expensive since you have to pay a registration fee of $185.

Faxed documents are processed within 3-5 business days. 

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement for Your Kansas LLC

An Operating Agreement is an internal LLC document that outlines its management structure, guidelines, and operating procedures.

An Operating Agreement is optional when creating an LLC in Kansas, but the benefits it provides are worth the effort and time it takes to prepare.

Here are a few main reasons why you may want to adopt operating agreements:

  • An LLC status confirmation, which will give you more respect in the eyes of the courts and government agencies;
  • Limited liability protection by making a clear separation between the LLC’s assets and the owners’ personal property. If the company becomes a party to a lawsuit, this will confirm that it is a separate business entity, distinguishable from its owner. Thus, creditors can only claim business assets, not the personal property of LLC members;
  • The chance to avoid Kansas default laws, that may be not beneficial to your company because of their general nature.

You can entrust drafting an Operating Agreement to an attorney, but most startups find their rates too high. Fortunately, there are many free templates available online, and most of them are quite high-quality. Besides, if you hire ZenBusiness to help you set up an LLC, you’ll get a free LLC operating agreement with any of the service packages it offers.

Step 5: Get an EIN

As a rule, to officially operate in Kansas, an LLC must have The Employer Identification Number (EIN), sometimes also called a FEIN or FTIN.

An EIN is a personal 9-digit code issued by the IRS for easy and quick identification of a company.

You will probably need to get an EIN for things like:

  • Managing and paying Kansas taxes;
  • Hiring employees;
  • Opening a business bank account.

You can apply for an EIN by choosing the most convenient way for you: online, using the EIN Assistant, by mail, or by fax.

Online

If you file online, you can receive your EIN as soon as you fill out the form. However, there is an important detail that the order process must be completed between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday. You need to also have a valid individual taxpayer number, such as a Social Security Number.

By Mail

If you don’t mind waiting about 4 weeks, you can send the Form SS-4 to the address:

Internal Revenue Service Operation
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax

If you prefer faxing, the finished Form SS-4 should be sent to:

(855) 641-6935

Processing time is 4 working days.

Step 6: Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your Kansas LLC expands your company’s financing options and makes bookkeeping easier. However, its most valuable advantage is to ensure liability protections, by separating business assets from the owners’ personal funds.

Having a bank account is a crucial step in launching a new LLC in Kansas, which can make its work more comfortable and stable. For this reason, after obtaining an LLC’s EIN, it is worth taking care of opening a business account.

Banks usually ask for the following documents:

  • A copy of the Kansas LLC Articles of Organization;
  • Operating agreement;
  • EIN;
  • Bank resolution.

Step 7: Taxes, Licensing, and Income Reporting

To stay in good standing with the state and provide Kansas business activity after you start doing LLC business, you have to strictly adhere to the law. Only when you comply with federal, state, and local government regulations, can your company grow and prosper.

Taxes

After we have looked at how to create an LLC, let’s move on to taxes, which are an integral part of any company’s work.

  • Federal Taxes: business profits and losses are normally reported on the owners’ personal 1040 tax returns and/or Schedule C instead of the federal corporate LLC tax form. However, the owners have the right to choose the corporate LLC taxation by applying to the IRS;
  • Commonwealth Taxes: LLCs in Kansas do not pay income taxes, passing the duty to file tax returns to the owners. Moreover, there are no “franchise” or “privilege” taxes in this state;
  • Additional Taxes: depending on the specifics and location of your company, it may be subject to additional taxes. The most common are Withholding and Unemployment Taxes, as well as Sales and Use Taxes.

To pay taxes, you have to register with a specialized state agency. For Sales, Use, and Withholding Taxes, you can file the Kansas Business Tax Application online or use a paper application.

You will also need to apply to the Department of Labor if your LLC hires employees.

Licensing

Approval of the Articles of Organization makes the business legitimate, but you also need to figure out how to get an LLC license to get started. In most cases, the process of getting a license in Kansas is mandatory, and their number and cost depend on the specifics of the LLC.

Are you wondering if you need a license? You can find the answer to this question by checking out Kansas’ comprehensive list of business licenses.

Among the most popular licenses are the following:

  • Business licenses: although there is no general business license in Kansas, some cities impose such a rule;
  • Specific licenses: some types of services, such as builders, nurseries, companies that sell goods over the Internet, and others require a professional license.

Reporting

All registered LLCs in Kansas are required to file Annual Reports by the 15th day of the 4th month after the end of the fiscal year.

Generally, you will need to provide the following basic information to complete an Annual Report:

  • LLC name and mailing address;
  • Name and address of each member who owns at least 5% or more of the LLC capital;
  • EIN;
  • Tax closing date;
  • Name, signature, phone number of a member.

The Annual Report must be submitted with the Kansas tax return, and the amount of the fee depends on the way you submit it. For online submissions, the fee will be $50, and your application will be processed immediately. For hard copy filings, the state fee will cost a little more, $55, and the processing time will increase to 3-5 business days.

Annual Report is an important recurring filing, and if you fail to submit it, the state will take measures. There is no late fee, but if the Kansas LLC annual filing requirements violation reaches 90 days, the LLC will be administratively closed.

Of course, Kansas LLC dissolution is a last resort. To prevent this, mark the date of the next annual report submission on your calendar or set an alert on your phone. These simple rules will help you meet deadlines and maintain the company’s good reputation.

Need Help Creating Your Kansas LLC?

If you plan on starting a business in Kansas but you are busy, then you can hire an online LLC formation service that will be a great choice. Services like IncFile and ZenBusiness have the lowest rates online, years of experience, and an excellent reputation. Any of them can take care of your legal paperwork and effectively form your business. Furthermore, IncFile does it for free! This is one of the cheapest LLC services whose basic service package costs $0.

IncFile and ZenBusiness will also provide you with LLC resident agent services in Kansas at no cost for 1 year. Considering that every LLC in America is required to designate and maintain a resident agent, this is a really good offer.