How to Start an LLC in Kansas: Cost and Registration Steps

22 Min Read
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Last updated November 24, 2022
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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When starting a business, you have to make sure that it has a friendly business environment. Luckily, people incorporating companies in Kansas rarely need to consider such concerns. After all, the state boasts various transport modes and production facilities. Thus, you can get your goods produced and shipped off or have goods delivered to you, which you can store in a warehouse. How convenient is that!

how to start an LLC in Kansas

Besides the highways, rail services, air service, and inland waterways available to you, there is also the benefit of skilled and unskilled labor. With millions of people ready and willing to put in the work to make your business a success, the ball is literally in your court. And once you factor in the low utility and living costs, you start to see why this state ranks so high regarding business friendliness.

This guide covers how to start an LLC in Kansas and the Kansas LLC registration guidelines. Ultimately, you should know what to do to take advantage of all the economic factors in your favor.

How to Form an LLC in Kansas: Step by Step

Before we get into how to start an LLC in Kansas, let’s first focus on what this means for your business. What is an LLC in Kansas? An LLC implies that you have created a limited liability company. The key term here is limited liability, which separates you from the business. As such, your business becomes a legal being that has the right to sue and be sued. Any aggrievances lodged against your business should not hurt your personal finances. However, this only holds water if you comply with the Kansas LLC registration and operation guidelines. To be on the right track, ensure you check every box indicated below:

Step 1: Name Your LLC

Before you can think of how to create an LLC in Kansas, you should think of what you will name the business. Legal aspects aside, your name influences just how marketable your brand will be in the future. You should also consider if it coincides with your business's mission, vision, and value statement. It’s always best to start with about ten names that you can seriously consider that feel right for the business. Then you can narrow the list down by finding the name that meets the below criteria:

  • The name must contain the term ‘limited liability company’ or have a suffix that implies the same. For example, if you are starting a business called ABC Wineries, it should be ABC Wineries LLC or something that shows its legal nature;
  • The name should be clear, showing that your business has nothing to do with government agencies. That means you cannot throw words like ‘state department’ around as these would imply you have some government connections and can take on state duties. The state department will not consider such an application. And if found doing business under such a name, you could be in for quite a lot of trouble;
  • If you are a professional, you can use words like ‘attorney,’ ‘doctor,’ or anything that shows that you provide such specialized services. However, you have to have supporting documentation, which you can provide during the Kansas LLC registration process. Please note that this naming policy also applies to organizations offering services like banking and education, as these are highly specialized;
  • No other state business should be using the name or something close to it. For example, if someone already has a business called ABC Tiles and Carpets, you cannot come up with an ABC Tile and Carpets. The similarity of the names would cause confusion, and the state will not allow you to do something that can disrupt someone else’s operation. You can determine if your name will go through by doing a search. Most websites allow you to do this for free so you can make an informed decision.

Once you have found a name that meets all these guidelines, the next step is to check if you can register a website under the same name. In this digital age, having a business that does not have an online presence can be detrimental to your success. So, also consider this as you take the next LLC registration Kansas step.

Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent to Get an LLC in Kansas

You may have noticed that when people talk about how to form an LLC in Kansas, they often broach the question of the registered agent. But who is this, and why do you need one to start an LLC in Kansas in 2022? Remember when we said that your business gets a legal identity? Well, this also allows it to receive communique from the state department on an array of issues – pending paperwork, lawsuits, etc. But your business cannot do this alone as it does not have such capability. That’s why you must assign someone or a company to receive these documents on its behalf. Please note that you cannot follow through on the process of how to get an LLC in Kansas without delegating this role.

Can you take on this role? Some people prefer to represent their businesses in all matters communique while others prefer delegating it. To simplify things, yes, you can be the person listed as the agent on your paperwork. However, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old;
  • Be available during business hours to receive documents from the state;
  • Have a physical and mailing address in the state (you will need to prove both of these);
  • Be able to enter contracts.

That means you or anyone else you see fit can fill these shoes. It’s often best to hand over this responsibility to a trusted third party. It allows you to leave the office when you want and helps you enjoy privacy because law enforcement officers won’t just show up at your door. Moreover, you also get someone to look through your documents and alert you whenever you need to file something with the state. That can save you a lot of trouble moving forward.

Step 3: File Your LLC Articles of Organization

Once you have figured out what you will name your business and who will represent it during correspondence, you can start filing the Articles of Organization. But what are these? The crucial step when it comes to how to get an LLC in Kansas is having the paperwork that establishes the business. This document outlines who you are, what your company does, where it operates, how it operates, and other details pertinent to its existence. That way, the state department can review your proposition and decide if it is a good fit for the state. Please note that you cannot use this document to establish a business that does illegal business.

So, what is the right way to fill this document when starting an LLC in Kansas?

Access the Articles of Organization Using the Kansas Secretary of State’s Website

 Here, you will have two options. You can either create an account and fill in the form online, allowing you to complete your application online, pay the LLC Kansas cost, and wait for your documents. 

Or you can download the said document, fill it out, and send it to the state department via mail. In the latter case, you will need to include the LLC Kansas cost in the mail.

Fill in the Required Details

The long and short of how to create an LLC in Kansas is to include the following information in your application. Ensure they are accurate, otherwise, the state can reject your application, forcing you to start from square one. And in that time, someone else can grab your proposed name!

  • Your proposed business name, which should meet the criteria indicated earlier;
  • Where the business will operate, i.e., the address;
  • How the business will operate – you need to include whether you will have members or managers taking up this role;
  • How the state can reach you if it wishes to share documents with you, i.e., your registered agent;
  • When your business fiscal year will end. You will notice that December is the default in Kansas.

Submit the LLC Kansas Application

Review what you have filled in and crosscheck it with your earlier propositions to be sure. If you are filling in the form online, you can submit it via the portal. If not, you can send the complete document to the secretary of state using the address below:

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

Step 4: Draft an Operating Agreement

An LLC is generally protected by the law, which keeps you safe from incurring losses related to business mistakes. However, that protection has a caveat, and you may sometimes be held answerable for some of these errors. An easy way to protect yourself and other stakeholders is to create an Operating Agreement when starting an LLC in Kansas.

While Kansas does not require businesses to have one, this document outlines how the company operates and can prove handy when something goes wrong. Generally, it should spell out:

  • Who owns the business? If you share ownership with others, declare this and outline how much each of you owns in the business. As you do this, include who has the right to do what in the business. For example, you can have equal voting rights or carve out privileges based on ownership;
  • Who manages the business? Some people prefer being in control and thus run the day-to-day operations of the business. Such a structure is member-managed. Others have members who would prefer to delegate this role. If that’s the case and an outsider takes on this role, your structure becomes manager-managed;
  • How much capital have you invested in the business? It is always good to point out how much money each person has brought into the business. You can have a fixed limit per person or allow people to contribute more to earn more shares, rights, etc. Be clear about this, as it affects a lot moving forward;
  • How much is each member allowed to take from the business? You should be clear about how you will share the profits and losses. Will you consider the number of shares per person, or will you distribute the wealth equally?
  • Can other people join the company? As the business grows, you will attract interest from third parties who may wish to be part of the business. Will you allow them to join, and if so, what policies will guide this process? As you consider this, consider whether current members can sell their shares to outsiders and the guidelines for this;
  • How will you dissolve the business? It’s easy to think about an entity in the long term, hoping that it will transcend several generations. But this does not always happen, and you should create guidelines on how you can dissolve the business. You probably don’t want to think about this when your mind is on how to register an LLC in Kansas, but planning is always essential to progress.

You can draft the agreement yourself or engage an expert to help with the same. The goal is to be on the same page with your partners and protect yourself legally.

Step 5: Fulfill Kansas LLC Publication Requirement

Do you need to publish your LLC? You will notice that when it comes down to how to get an LLC in Kansas, you will not find any mention of publishing the company. The publication is a requirement where business owners must notify other people that they have established the said business. And this is only important if you live in the following states:

  • Nebraska;
  • Arizona;
  • New York.

That means that you will not need to keep up with this, which lowers your cost of setting up an LLC in Kansas. You will not even need to file the statement of information. Even so, you must remain compliant with all the applicable laws for LLC formation in Kansas. You should ensure you have all the permits needed to run your business. These vary based on the nature of your operations, and you may need to talk to the local authorities to get a feel of what you need. Moreover, you must ensure you file your taxes on time and get your annual report ready without fail.

While not publishing your company won’t cause trouble, failing to comply with the above regulations will. And you can have your company suspended, thus undoing all the hard work you put into creating an LLC in Kansas.

Step 6: Get an EIN for Your Kansas LLC Registration

The next step is to determine how you will pay taxes and how the authorities will identify your business. And the way to do this is by getting an EIN, also known as an employer identification number, which comprises 9 digits. You will need this number for many reasons, including opening a bank account. However, please note that you should not apply for one until you successfully start your business. Once you have confirmed that your business exists, you can start the application process.

Does your business need an EIN?

Good question! You may notice that some people open LLCs in Kansas and run them without this number. That’s because not everyone needs to have one. Generally, you should only make an application if:

  • You will hire employees;
  • You are liable to pay excise duties;
  • You will withhold taxes for non-wage income payable to non-resident aliens.

You can still operate without the EIN if you run the business alone. However, that is not advisable as it locks you out of the following opportunities:

  • You cannot legally hire employees to help you run your business: Did you know that to have people on your payroll, you must have this tax number? That enables you to register for employer taxes and other benefits and duties that accrue from hiring people. And if you cannot hire people, you will struggle with running the business. After all, teamwork makes the dream work;
  • You will have difficulty maintaining the separation between you and the business. We mentioned that forming an LLC in Kansas allows you to keep your personal finances separate from the business. But if you use the same tax details for yourself and the business, that undermines that separation. It is further undermined when you use the same bank account for business and personal transactions. That is because most banks will not allow you to create a separate business account without this tax number;
  • You will not appear credible. People find it easier to trust entities with clear distinctions. And without the tax number, investors and other possible stakeholders might shy away from transacting with you. You can prevent this side-eye by getting these nine digits that make all the difference;
  • You will leave your SSN exposed. If you continue transacting like an individual, you will need to use your SSN many times. And that leaves you at risk of having someone steal your identity and even access your accounts. And you can keep them away by using a different tax number.

Please note that opening a separate bank account for the business also goes a long way in helping you establish a good relationship with the bank. And it makes it easier for you to qualify for loans and other perks you cannot get with a personal account.

How to Get an EIN

We can agree that this tax number can save you many headaches in the future. So, how can you make the application?

  • Access the IRS website and look for the EIN assistant;
  • Follow the prompts on the site – you will need to provide proof of business registration, details of the principal officer, etc.;
  • Complete your application and submit it.

If you cannot access the online portal, you can still get a tax number by completing form SS-4 and submitting it via fax ((855) 641-6935) or mail, as shown below:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

The application will not incur any additional charges as it is free. However, service fees are applicable if you process the taxpayer number using a third party.

LLC Kansas Cost: How Much is an LLC in Kan?

The Kansas LLC cost is probably one of the things you would like to hone in on as you get your documents in order. So, how much can you expect to spend on your impending filing?

If you are filing the application by yourself and will not rely on external services, all you will pay are the filing fees. Online applications incur a charge of $160, while mail applications cost $165. This fee is not refundable; you must factor it in when considering how to set up an LLC in Kansas. It also applies to people who already have existing businesses in other states and want to register them in Kansas. They will need to pay $165 to get their paperwork in order.

Besides this fee, you will also need to consider the costs of maintaining your business. Each year, you must file a report with the Secretary of State. Doing it online will cost you $50 while doing it via mail will set you back $55. Thus, the average cost of setting up a business in the state is $210 to $220.

However, if you use additional services to get your business up and running, you should be ready to fork out more cash. Below are some of the extras that can rack up your costs:

  • Hiring a registered agent. While you can perform this role, you may want to consider delegating it to someone better suited for it or more available. The cost of doing so will depend on whether you hire a company or an individual and what other services they will provide to the business;
  • Acquiring permits. Did you know that some types of businesses are subject to various permits? Take the example of someone who wants to start a restaurant in the state. They will need to prove that their premises are clean and get the permits to undertake such a business. Obtaining these permits comes at a cost that you must add to your budget;
  • Reserving your name. Sometimes, you may have a good name in mind but do not have the money to start the business. Or you may not have everything ready and may want to buy some time. Doing so can leave you at risk of having someone else bag your name. That’s why the state allows you to reserve your proposed name for 120 days at the cost of $30 online and $35 by mail.
  • Certifying your documents. Do you want to use your business documents for official use? Certifying them is a great way to do so. The state will charge you the applicable fees at the time.

So, how much does an LLC cost in Kansas? There is no direct answer to this as it depends on what you need from the state and what it takes to operate your business. However, you can save a lot of money by taking on some duties, like filing the required paperwork to establish the company.

First Tasks After Creating an LLC in Kansas

Congratulations on setting up your business. Now, you need to put in some work to set it up for success by helping it run smoothly. How do you do this?

Open a Bank Account

One of the key benefits of having an LLC is keeping your personal funds separate from those of the business. But this is only possible if the distinction is clear. You can enforce this separation by opening a bank account under the business details and taxpayer number. 

That way, business expenses and income go to this account, making accounting easy and making your company look credible to investors.

Insure Your Business

If you think of Murphy’s law (anything that can go wrong will go wrong), you realize how important it is to secure yourself from unforeseen circumstances. But how do you do this? By getting insurance. 

There are many options you can get, including general liability. These insurance policies act as barriers to protect you from incurring losses or being subject to lawsuits because of errors in the line of business.

Establish an Online Presence

Marketing has become much easier thanks to technological advancements in recent years. And now is the best time to take advantage of these technologies by creating a website, launching social media pages, and creating personalized emails. All these will go a long way in cementing your brand and will help you stand out from the fray. You can still benefit greatly from this exposure even if you work offline.

Finally, start marketing your company and let people know you are in business. You can employ various techniques, including word of mouth or hype your brand using influencers.

Keep Your Company Compliant

Legal costs can be so burdensome that they can cripple your company even before it has the chance to stand out. That’s why you cannot afford to ignore the state requirements. What must you do to be on the right side of the law?

  • You must seek permits if your business needs them. Say, for example, that you want to set up a hospital. You will need to check what the authorities require and obtain those permits. Otherwise, running the business without this paperwork can land you in legal trouble, resulting in fines or worse;
  • You must register for and pay your taxes. Now that you have a tax number, you must ensure that the government gets its share of the cut. Find out which tax laws apply to the nature of your business at the state and federal levels and ensure you do not skimp on making payments;
  • You must update the state on the status of your business by filing an annual report. You can do this online or via mail by the 15th day of the 4th month after your tax closing month. So, you must keep track of when you pay your taxes and follow this timeframe. Not doing so results in the dissolution of companies 90 days after the due date, so you cannot take your time with this.

If you can keep up with these three requirements, you will be good to go for many years. If you have trouble keeping up, you can always hire someone to help with the paperwork and have one less task on your to-do list.

Start an LLC

A limited liability company is a welcoming legal structure for many businesses. Start an LLC is easy. Select your state to start.

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