How to Start an LLC in Kansas

Written by Nikki Winston – CPA, updated on

Interested in starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Kansas?

Good idea! Kansas has a reasonable cost of living and attractive tax rates. If you plan to hire employees, you’ll have access to a talented workforce. Ample startup resources are available through the Kansas business center.

If you want to launch a new business in the Sunflower State, you’ll have to complete several administrative formalities.

These include preparing company incorporation documents, business license applications, and tax registrations.

In this guide, we show how to form an LLC in Kansas.

Steps to start an LLC in Kansas

Step 1: Choose a business name for your Kansas LLC

Kansas has specific naming requirements for new business entities.

Your Kansas LLC name should be different or distinguishable from other active business entities.

For example, the Secretary of State recognizes “10” and “ten” as distinguishable. A plural version of a word is considered different from the singular version of the same word.

The Kansas Secretary of State has a name search tool for verifying business name availability.

Name availability tool
Name availability tool. Source: Kansas Secretary of State.

The state also provides extra naming guidelines for using symbols, abbreviations, and characters in your LLC’s name.

Try different combos to come up with a fine brand name!

Name reservations

Kansas allows you to reserve available business names for up to 120 days. This prevents other business entities from registering it within that time frame.

To reserve a name in Kansas, you must file a name reservation form. The filing fee is $35 if mailed and $30 if filed online.

Form TSA to register your trademark in Kansas
Form TSA to register your trademark in Kansas. Source: Kansas Secretary of State.

Trade name

If you started your LLC under one name but want to operate it under a different business name, you can file a trade name registration (also called a “DBA”) in many states.

Kansas, however, doesn’t recognize fictitious names.

Your alternative to assumed name registration in Kansas is registering a state trademark.

Like name reservations, trademarks must also be distinguishable from other registered marks. You need to apply for a trademark/service mark registration with the Kansas Secretary of State. The filing fee is $40.

Step 2: Select a registered agent

You’ll have to choose a registered agent before filing your formation documents.

A registered agent is a person or a legal entity you appoint to receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC (including service of process).

As the business owner, you can serve as your own registered agent if you decide to. A registered agent must be at least 18 years old, have a physical business address in Kansas (not a P.O. Box), and be available during normal business hours.

Some small business owners choose to outsource registered agent responsibilities to free up their time during the day. You’ll pay about $100 annually for a professional registered agent service in Kansas.

But the cost is worth it since you won’t have to be available every day at the registered office address in case of service of process.

Step 3: File the Kansas LLC Articles of Organization

To form an LLC in Kansas, you have to file Form DL, Articles of Organization for a domestic LLC with the Secretary of State.

Kansas Articles of Organization to create a Limited Liability Company
Kansas Articles of Organization to create a Limited Liability Company. Source: Kansas Secretary of State.

If you formed your LLC in a different state, you’d file Form FA for authority to do business in Kansas as a foreign LLC.

State filing fees are the same for domestic and foreign LLCs at $165.

On the Articles of Organization form, you must provide the following details:

  • Your LLC‘s name and address
  • Your registered agent details
  • Tax closing month

Unlike other states, Kansas doesn’t require listing the names of all LLC members. You can include one LLC organizer, giving owners some extra privacy.

You can file your formation documents by mail at the Kansas Secretary of State‘s office in Topeka. You can also fax your documents for an additional $20.

Online filing is best for quicker processing. But it’s only available for domestic LLCs and costs $5 less – $160.

Step 4: Get certified copies of LLC registration documents

After the Kansas Secretary of State approves your Articles of Organization, you're officially allowed to do business in Kansas.

But before you get too far along, be sure to obtain certified copies of your approved LLC formation documents. You'll want to have these with your company's permanent business records. And you may need to provide copies when opening a business bank account or applying for business loans.

In Kansas, certified document copies are $35 plus $1 per page.

Step 5: Draft an LLC operating agreement

If your LLC has multiple members, it’s best to consider creating an operating agreement.

An operating agreement is supplementary to your LLC formation documents. It’s a document outlining company management principles, members’ voting rights, ownership percentages, profit distribution agreements, and other operational matters.

An operating agreement is the go-to legal document in case of disputes among members.

Your LLC's operating agreement doesn’t have to be filed with the Kansas Secretary of State, but it’s good to have it created and ready.

You can draft your own LLC operating agreement using an online template or hire a corporate attorney to handle it for a fee.

Step 6: Acquire an EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the IRS

Once you create your LLC, determine whether or not you’ll need an employer identification number (EIN).

An EIN is a unique nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service for new businesses. It’s similar to a social security number for an individual.

Having an EIN is mandatory for multi-member LLCs to track federal income tax and employment activities. Single-member LLCs, reporting taxes as sole proprietorships, will need to get an EIN only if they choose to hire employees.

You can apply for an EIN on the IRS website. You’ll get the number issued immediately after answering several questions about your new business.

Once your LLC has an EIN, you can also use this number to establish business credit and open business bank accounts.

Costs to set up an LLC in Kansas

Kansas is a relatively inexpensive place to start your LLC. Your expenses will depend on the complexity of your LLC and how much professional assistance you receive.

Here's a summary of the costs you may incur to form your LLC in Kansas.

  • Name reservation: $35
  • Trademark registration: $40
  • Professional registered agent: $100+ / annually
  • Filing Articles of Organization: $165
  • Certified document copies: $35+
  • Operating agreement: $0 – $2,000
  • GRAND TOTAL: $375 – $2,375

Last steps

You're almost finished with the administration of setting up your Kansas LLC.

Don't forget about the last few things.

Register with the Kansas Department of Revenue

You may have to register for a sales tax permit in Kansas if your LLC provides taxable services or sells taxable products.

The state sales tax rate in Kansas is 6.5%.

However, it doesn’t include local taxes, charged at the city/county level. These rates vary by locality.

The Kansas Department of Revenue issues sales tax permits. Online filing is mandatory. Kansas sales tax returns are due by the 25th of the following month.

Open a Kansas business bank account

LLC owners should open a business bank account separate from their personal accounts.

You’re legally not allowed to commingle personal and company assets. Or else you risk losing the LLC protections of limited liability and personal asset protection.

Business bank accounts include debit cards and online banking for quick access to transactions. Kansas City Credit Union, Bank Midwest, and the Central Bank of Kansas City offer banking services for small businesses.

You can typically open an account for under $100.


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Last updated: Dec 2023
Nikki Winston, CPA

Article by:

Nikki Winston


Nikki Winston is a CPA who enjoys writing about accounting, tax, personal finance, and career advice. Catch Nikki on Twitter @NikkWinstonCPA.

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