How to Start an S Corp in Kansas

Starting an S corporation (S corp) in Kansas is easy, and electing an S corp tax designation could potentially save your business money in taxes. Our guide will walk you through the process of starting your Kansas S corporation and provide you with tips on maintaining your S corp.

Want to form an S corp elsewhere? Check out our other How to Start an S corp guides to learn more.

We recommend using a professional formation service like Tailor Brands to get your S corp up and running in no time.

Factors to Consider Before Starting an S Corp in Kansas

Before forming an S corp, you have to consider the following factors:

  • Is an S corporation the best strategy for your business?
  • S corporation restrictions
  • Are S corp tax advantages right for you?

Is an S Corporation the Best Strategy for Your Business?

For help with choosing the right structure for your business, visit our Choosing a Business Structure guide.

S Corporation Restrictions

S corps have several restrictions, such as being limited to one class of stock and 100 shareholders. Read our What Is an S Corporation guide for full details.

Are S Corp Tax Advantages Right for You?

An S corporation is a tax designation that can be elected by an LLC or corporation. With an S corp, business owners are considered employees of the company and must receive a reasonable salary. Since all S corps technically have employees, the s corp must run payroll. 

In order to benefit from a Kansas S corp tax designation, your business needs to make enough money to offset payroll expenses. Furthermore, S corps are beneficial for business owners who take large distributions in addition to their salary.

To learn more about the tax advantages of an S corp, read our LLC vs. S corp guide and take a look at our S corp tax calculator.

Businesses that elect S corp status will need to hire payroll and accounting services.

Payroll Services Review | Accounting Services Review

How to Form a Kansas S Corp

There are two main ways to start an S corp:

  • By forming an LLC and electing S corp tax status from the IRS when you request your employee identification number (EIN)
  • By forming a corporation and electing S corp status from the IRS

We recommend not starting a corporation with the S corp tax status because the S corp negates all of the benefits of a corporation.

Recommended: If you have an existing LLC, visit our How to Convert an LLC to S Corp guide.

Steps for Forming an LLC and Electing S Corp Status in Kansas

Starting a Kansas LLC and electing S corp tax status is easy. You can use our guides to start an LLC with the S corp status yourself, or you can hire a service provider like Tailor Brands to guide you through this process.

There are five basic steps to start an LLC and elect S corp status:

Step 1: Name Your LLC

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement

Step 5: Get an EIN and File Form 2553 to Elect S Corp Tax Status

Step 1: Name Your LLC

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC in Kansas.

Be sure to choose a name that complies with Kansas naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

1. Follow the naming guidelines for a Kansas LLC:

  • Your name must include one of the following terms or abbreviations: Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, L.L.C., L.C., LLC, or LC.

  • Your name can include the name of a member or manager of the LLC.

  • Your name can also include one of the following words: Company, Association, Club, Foundation, Fund, Institute, Society, Union, Syndicate, Limited, and Trust.

  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).

  • Certain restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual to be part of your LLC.

  • Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state.

You can also read the Kansas state statute about LLC naming guidelines for more information.

2. Is the name available in Kansas? You can use the Business Entity Search Station on the Kansas Business Center website to see if your desired LLC name is available.

3. Is the URL available? We recommend checking to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

Step 2: Choose Your Kansas Registered Agent

You must elect a resident agent, also known as a registered agent, for your Kansas LLC.

An LLC registered agent will accept legal documents and tax notices on your LLC's behalf. You will list your registered agent when you file your LLC's Articles of Organization.

Many business owners choose to hire a registered agent service. Many of these services will form your LLC for a small fee and include the first year of registered agent services for free.

Step 3: File the Kansas LLC Articles of Organization

The Kansas Articles of Organization is used to officially register an LLC.

File Your Kansas Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With KanAccess

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form DL 51-09 by Mail

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $160 online and $165 by mail, payable to the Secretary of State (Nonrefundable)

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

Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement

An LLC operating agreement is a legal document that outlines the ownership and member duties of your LLC.

For more information, read our Kansas LLC Operating Agreement guide.

Our operating agreement tool is a free resource for business owners.

Step 5: Get an EIN and Complete Form 2553 on the IRS Website

An EIN is a number that is used by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify and tax businesses. It is essentially a Social Security number for a business.

EINs are free when you apply directly with the IRS.

Elect S Corp Tax Status
During the online EIN application, the IRS will provide a link to Form 2553, the Election By a Small Business form.

Visit our Form 2553 Instructions guide for detailed help with completing the form.

This is the form to elect S corp tax status for your LLC:

Screenshot of IRS online EIN application.

Ready to start saving on your taxes?

We recommend using a formation service to start your Kansas S corp for you, so you can focus on the things that matter most - growing you business.


Keep Your Kansas S Corp Compliant

After filling out formation paperwork and electing an S Corp tax designation, you will want to make sure you follow state and local requirements to keep your business in good standing. Each year you will need to be sure to file an annual report and pay taxes.

Kansas S Corp Annual Report

All Kansas LLCs will need to file an annual report with the Kansas Secretary of State. Since your business is an LLC taxed as an S corporation, you must still comply with this requirement. The annual report is used to provide the state with up-to-date information on your business’s address, tax closing date, and registered agent contact information. 

Even if your business is not profitable or does not undergo any changes, you are still required to file an annual report every year. There is a filing fee, and the annual report is due by the 15th day of the fourth month after the end of the business’s taxable year. Meaning, if your S corp has a tax year ending in December, you need to file by April 15th. If you do not file an annual report, the state of Kansas may dissolve your business.

Check out our Kansas Annual Report guide for a step-by-step overview.

Kansas S Corp Taxes

S corporations benefit from pass-through taxation, meaning the business’s profits pass-through to S corp owners’ individual tax returns. S corp owners make money from their reasonable salary and distributions, and Kansas S corp owners will need to pay various taxes.

Federal Self-Employment Taxes

Self-employment taxes cover social security and medicare. The self-employment tax rate is 15.3%, and money you take as salary will be subjected to the self-employment tax. However, distributions are not subjected to this tax.

Federal Income Taxes

Your federal income taxes will depend on your tax bracket, and the cutoffs for individual tax brackets as well as the percent owed will change each year. Both your salary and distributions are subjected to federal income tax.

Kansas Income Taxes

Kansas’s graduated income tax rate ranges from 3.10% to 5.70%, depending on your income bracket. Many local jurisdictions have a local income tax on top of this. Given that some states have income tax rates upwards of 10% and others have rates of 0%, Kansas fits right in the middle of the spectrum.

Register for Kansas State Business Taxes

In order to pay state business taxes, your business must register online with the Kansas Department of Revenue. Do this before beginning to do business in the state.

Kansas Sales and Use Tax

Kansas has a 6.50% statewide sales tax rate, and many local jurisdictions have an additional tax on top of this. However, local tax rates are capped at 4%. Therefore, no matter where you are in Kansas, the total sales tax rate is less than 10.5%. 

Additional State Taxes

Kansas’s Department of Revenue outlines numerous taxes specific to the state that your business may need to pay depending on your industry, number of employees, and location. 

Examples of taxes Kansas business may need to pay include:

  • Charitable gaming tax
  • Cigarette and tobacco licensing and tax
  • Clean drinking water fee
  • Mineral severance tax
  • Sand royalty tax

Visit Kansas’s Department of Revenue’s Tax Division website for more information.

Kansas Local Taxes

Local jurisdictions may have specific laws that impact your business. Whether you do business in Wichita, Kansas City, or a smaller town in the state, you should check with your local jurisdiction to ensure you are aware of any laws impacting your business.

Start an S Corp FAQ

What is an S corp?

An S corporation (S corp) is a tax designation for which an LLC or a corporation can apply.

Are taxes for LLCs and S corps the same?

No. The default taxes for an LLC and taxes for an S corp are not the same.

With an S corp, owners pay personal income tax and self-employment tax on a predetermined salary. They may then withdraw any remaining profits from the business as a “distribution,” which isn’t subject to self-employment tax.

With an LLC, all company profits pass through to the owners’ personal tax returns, and then the owners must pay personal income tax and self-employment tax on the entire amount.

What is a reasonable salary for an S corp?

S corp owners are required to earn a “reasonable” salary, which basically means a fair market rate based on the individual’s qualifications as well as their duties and responsibilities at the company. The purpose of this requirement is to prevent S corp owners from paying themselves an artificially low salary in order to pay less self-employment tax.

What is a distribution?

A distribution is a dividend that a shareholder/owner can take from the business profits that remain after a company pays all of its employee salaries. Shareholders must pay personal income tax on distributions, but distributions aren’t subject to self-employment tax.

Can I still use my DBA name if I elect to be an S corp?

LLCs and corporations that operate under a “doing business as” (DBA) name can choose the S corp election.

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