Last Updated: June 7, 2024, 10:12 am by TRUiC Team

How to Start an LLC in Kansas (2024 Guide)

Wondering how to start an LLC in Kansas? We’ve got you covered.

To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a registered agent, and file your Articles of Organization with the Kansas Secretary of State ($160 - $165 filing fee). 

You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized Kansas LLC formation service (recommended).

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Northwest ($29 + State Fees)

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LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)

Cost to Start an LLC in Kansas

How to Form an LLC in Kansas in 6 Steps

In order to form your LLC in Kansas, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:

  1. Name Your Kansas LLC
  2. Choose a Resident Agent
  3. File the Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your Kansas LLC

Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your Kansas LLC. 

This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under Kansas law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.

1. Important Naming Guidelines for Kansas LLCs:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Words or terms that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (e.g., “FBI,” “Treasury,” “State Department,” etc.) are not permitted for use in business names.
  • Your name is required to be “distinguishable upon the record”, from all other entity names already on file with the Secretary of State. A small difference in spelling, or even the addition of an extra letter or word, is enough to allow the name.
  • In order to use certain restricted words in your name — such as “Bank,” “Attorney,” or “University” — your LLC will often need to obtain additional paperwork as well as hire an appropriately licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer.
  • Names containing symbols, such as tildes (~), vertical bars (|), carets (^), and underscores (_), are not considered to be valid by the Secretary of State.

We recommend checking out the Kansas Name Availability Guidelines for a complete list of naming rules in this state.

2. Is the name available in Kansas?

To check whether your desired name has already been taken by another business entity in Kansas, you can perform a name search on the State of Kansas website.

If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name for up to 120 days ($30 processing fee).

For more information, you can have a look at our Kansas LLC Name Search guide.

3. Is the URL available? 

You should check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it, potentially saving you both time and money in the long term.

Find a Domain Now

Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.

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If you need additional information before getting started, you can have a look at our in-depth comparison of the Best LLC Services in 2024 instead.

FAQ: Naming a Kansas LLC

LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while still providing personal liability protection from business debts. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.

Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?

You must follow the Kansas LLC naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:

  • Include the phrase "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
  • Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.

If you are having trouble coming up with a name for your LLC use our LLC Name Generator. That will not only find a unique name for your business but an available URL to match.

No. In general, DBAs are not required to operate a business. In Kansas specifically, the Secretary of State does not require or allow businesses to register or file for a DBA.

Step 2: Choose a Resident Agent in Kansas

After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate a Kansas registered agent, known in the state as a resident agent. This is a necessary step in your Articles of Organization (i.e., the document used to file and register your LLC with the Secretary of State).

What is a resident agent? A resident agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your business. You can think of your registered agent as your business’s primary point of contact with the state.

Who can be a resident agent? A resident agent must be a resident of Kansas or a corporation that is authorized to operate in the state. This can include an LLC member (such as yourself), a business attorney, or a registered agent service (recommended).

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent

Yes. When it comes to choosing your agent, you have a lot of flexibility: you can choose to serve as your own agent, designate someone within your LLC, consult a business attorney, or engage a professional registered agent service, which is generally recommended.

For more information, we recommend having a look at our What is a Registered Agent article.

Opting for a professional registered agent service is a great way to handle your LLC's governmental paperwork on a budget. In fact, the majority of our readers find that the benefits provided by these services greatly outweigh the annual costs associated with them.

Step 3: File the Kansas LLC Articles of Organization

To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. You can do this online, by mail, or by fax.

Kansas LLC Formation Document

Before filing, make sure you have completed your Articles of Organization correctly. You will need to have filled in the following sections:

  • The effective date of this document (if it’s not upon filing)
  • The name of your LLC
  • The name of your resident agent and their Kansas address
  • The mailing address of your LLC (to receive official mail)
  • Your tax closing month (by default, this is December)
  • The signature of an authorized person to form this LLC

File the Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form DL by Mail

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $160 Online, $165 by Mail (Nonrefundable)

Mailing Address:
Kansas Office of the Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Ave.
Topeka, KS 66612

For help with completing the form, visit our Kansas Articles of Organization guide.

Note: If you're expanding your existing business to the state of Kansas, you'll need to register as a foreign limited liability company (LLC).

FAQ: Filing Kansas LLC Documents

The state processes your Articles of Organization immediately after receiving payment online and in approximately two days by mail.

An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Non-domestic LLCs are foreign entities that are registered in one state (e.g., Texas) and operate in a different state (e.g., California).

For more information on the difference between these two, check out our What Is a Foreign LLC article.

Filing your Articles of Organization with the Kansas Secretary of State costs $160 online and $165 by mail. While this should form the bulk of your LLC’s startup costs, some other factors can also influence the total startup cost of your LLC, such as whether you decide to reserve a business name or opt to hire a professional registered agent service.

We explore this topic in greater detail in our guide on the cost to form a Kansas LLC.

Step 4: Create a Kansas LLC Operating Agreement

In Kansas, limited liability companies are not required to have an operating agreement, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all LLC owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our LLC operating agreement guide.

FAQ: Creating a Kansas LLC Operating Agreement

No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many other states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.

Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Kansas LLC

You can get an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

  • To open a business bank account for the company
  • For federal and state tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

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

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

FAQ: Getting an EIN

An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more here about applying as an international applicant.

All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.

Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.

When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.

However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs. S Corp guide.

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Beginning January 2024, LLC owners must file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing LLCs can file their report any time between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs must file their report within 90 days of formation

This contains similar information to that of your Articles of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, and can be filed online for free. Failure to file an accurate report on time can result in a $500 per day fine.

Note: There are certain filing exemptions, such as for large companies (i.e., more than 20 full-time employees), tax-exempt business entities, and publicly traded companies. 

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

We reviewed and ranked the top LLC formation services. Find out which is best for you.


Maintain Your Kansas LLC

After you’ve successfully formed your LLC, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to periodically take in order to maintain it, including:

  • Submitting an annual report
  • Sorting out your taxes

Submit a Biennial Information Report

Kansas requires all LLCs to file a biennial information report with the Secretary of State. This keeps their records updated with current information about your business entity, such as its current officers and directors, registered agent information, and tax closing date. 

You’ll need to file this report every two years, which can be done either online ($100) or by mail ($110), by one of the following deadlines:

  • LLCs with a calendar year tax period: Can file this report at any time after the end of their tax period by the April 15th deadline.
  • LLCs with a tax period other than a calendar year: Must file an information report no later than the 15th day of the fourth month after your LLC’s tax period ends.

Note: Failing to file your information reports by these deadlines will result in “delinquent status”, which means your business entity will be "forfeited," and lose its legal status if you fail to submit this annual report and pay the associated fee within 90 days after the due date.

Sort Out Your Taxes

Regardless of where your LLC is registered, you will be required to pay certain federal taxes. This includes corporation and employer taxes (for LLCs filing as a C corporation), and federal income tax and self-employment taxes (for LLCs taxed as pass-through entities).

In addition, there are a number of different taxes you’ll be required to pay at a local and state level, which can vary depending on the nature of your business.

Below are some of the most common Kansas business taxes:

Income Taxes

As the owner of an LLC based in Kansas, there are several key statewide income taxes to be aware of in addition to your federal tax responsibilities, including:

  • Individual Income Tax: In Kansas, the members of an LLC with pass-through taxation status (which are passed similarly with a sole proprietorship or partnership) are required to pay the state’s personal income tax at a rate that varies between 3.1% and 5.7% depending on the size of their distribution. Each member will need to submit an individual tax return using Form K-40.
  • Corporate Income Tax: If your Kansas LLC elects to be taxed as a C corp, it will need to pay the state’s corporate income tax on its total taxable income at a rate of 4% on everything below $50,000 and 7% on everything above it. You can submit a return for this tax using Form K-120.

Many of our readers find it far easier and quicker to file these state income tax returns electronically using one of the options provided by the Kansas Department of Revenue.

Sales and Use Taxes

Sales tax in Kansas is applied at a base rate of 6.5% to the sale of tangible goods as well as certain taxable services. On top of this, your LLC may be required to pay additional local sales tax rates, which can reach up to a maximum of 4.25%, depending on where it’s based.

You can use the Department of Revenue’s Kansas Sales and Use Tax Rate Locator to find out the specific rates in effect in your local jurisdiction.

Your LLC will be assigned a filing frequency for this tax by the Kansas Department of Revenue based on its annual sales. Depending on its filing frequency, your LLC will need to pay this tax through the KDOR’s eTAX System by the following deadlines:

  • Monthly filers: Due by the 25th of the taxable month
  • Quarterly filers: Due by the 25th of the month following the quarter
  • Annual filers: Due by January 25th of the following year

Note: If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Customer Service Center section of the Kansas Department of Revenue website.

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Steps After LLC Formation

After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, sort all required business licensing, and get business insurance, among other things. 

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

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