Kansas LLC – How To Form An LLC In Kansas

The process of how to form an LLC in Kansas is fairly straightforward. The most important step is filing the Kansas Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. However, you’ll need to handle a few formalities and do some due diligence before your Kansas LLC is approved.

To create a Kansas LLC, the articles of organization will need to be accompanied with a fee of $160 or $165, depending on if you file online or through mail. All LLCs in Kansas must also file annual reports.

Let’s start with this quick guide on creating an LLC in Kansas.

1. Choosing A Name For The Kansas LLC

If you’re looking to set up an LLC, there’s a good chance you have a name in mind. However, the name you choose should also conform to requirements of Kansas law. The LLC’s name should be unique and easily differentiated from other business entities registered with the state.

Additionally, it should not be misleading to the public or include words that are usually beyond the scope of an LLC’s operation. For example, the LLC can’t be named to be similar to a government agency or have words like “bank” or “Inc.” in its name.

Kansas Business Filings center has a helpful document on naming requirements and restricted words.

A quick way to check the availability of an LLC name is to search through the Kansas Business Center’s Name Availability page. To be more thorough, visit the Business Entity Search Station (BESS) for a more thorough search. 

Choosing A Designator

All LLC names must end with a proper designator. The most common designator is ‘LLC’. However, you can choose other designators too. Accepted Kansas LLC designators are:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • LLC
  • LC
  • L.L.C.
  • L.C.

Name Reservation (Optional)

The State of Kansas allows reserving a name for your LLC without fully forming the company. Reservations are valid for 120 days and cannot be renewed. To reserve a name, you’ll have to file a form for Temporary Reservation of Business Entity Name with the Secretary of State.

Filing Form NR 52-01 for name reservation must be accompanied by a filing fee of $35. It’s possible to file for the reservation online, at the cost of $30. 

2. Appoint A Kansas LLC Resident Agent

Every LLC in Kansas must maintain a Resident Agent for service of process in the state. The role of this agent is similar to other states, although several states use the name ‘Registered Agent’. 

The Resident Agent receives legal documents like lawsuits, summons, subpoenas (service of process) on behalf of a Kansas LLC. Some general communication may also be directed to the Resident Agent, but their primary role remains to receive the service of process.

Kansas requires that the resident agent have a physical street address in the state. PO Box addresses or similar are not accepted. It’s also important for the agent to be available during normal working hours in case service of process arrives.

Given these requirements, the following can act as the Resident Agent of Kansas LLC:

  • Any adult who is a legal resident of the state.
  • A business entity, whether domestic or foreign, which is allowed to do business in the state and maintains an office in Kansas.

Many people setting up the LLC choose the second option and go with a commercial resident agent. While it is possible to serve as the Resident Agent yourself or have friends or family take on that role, it might not always be the best option. 

Commercial agents can professionally execute their role as resident agents and also offer other valuable services to LLCs.

3. Filing Articles Of Organization With The Kansas Secretary Of State

Filing Articles of Organization with the Kansas Secretary Of State is the key step in forming your LLC. An LLC comes into existence as soon as it’s approved by the Secretary of State (of course, that’s assuming you haven’t set a later date in the submitted Articles of Organization). 

The best way to file the documents is online, or by postal mail. 

Filing online is fairly convenient and fast. The LLC filing fee for submissions made online is $160 and the approval time can be as quick as 24 hours. Filing online requires creating a free KanAccess account.

To file via mail, you’ll have to download and fill Form DL 51-09. The filing fee for the Articles of Organization submitted via mail is $165. Relevant payments can be made through check, money order, or credit cards. Check and money order should be made payable to the ‘Secretary of State’. 

There is no need to send copies of the Articles of Organization via mail. The mailing address is:

Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594

It is also possible to file Articles of Organization for your KS LLC via fax, although this isn’t a recommended method. The documents are filed with Business Services, 785-296-4570. This will need an additional $20 processing fee on top of the $165 filing fee.

4. KS LLC Operating Agreement

Like most states, Kansas doesn’t require LLCs to form an operating agreement. However, the same remains highly advisable and you should get an agreement for your LLC. 

The operating agreement defines various facets of your business, including things like approach to taxation and hiring. Other details like the role and responsibilities for members, voting, dispute resolution, etc. can also be included. A detailed agreement may provide something like a constitution for your business.

While multi-member LLCs see great benefits of having an agreement, single-member LLC should get one too.

5. Federal Tax ID Or EIN For The LLC

EIN (Employer Identification Number) is the Federal Tax ID for your LLC. This is a 9-digit number issued by the IRS. In many ways, the EIN for an LLC is similar to an SSN for an individual.

Filing for the EIN is free, however, you should do this only after your LLC has been approved. The easiest and quickest way to get an EIN is to file for it online.

There may be situations where you can’t file online. In such cases, you’ll have to file Form SS-4. You’ll have to download and fill this form. Form SS-4 can be submitted to the IRS via fax or mail. Fax is faster with processing time of a few days. Filing via mail can take several weeks to process.

6. Kansas LLC Annual Reports

All LLCs in Kansas must file annual reports. Technically, the filing date for LLCs is on the fifteenth day of the fourth month after they finish their financial year. Since most LLCs finish their financial year with the calendar year, their annual reports are due each year by April 15 and can be filed as early as January 1. It is possible to file the reports online or via mail.

Filing the annual report online costs $50 and the processing is as fast as 24 hours.

To file via mail, you’ll have to submit Form LC 50. The fee for filing via mail is $55. 

7. KS LLC Licenses, Permits, And Taxation

Requirements for licenses, permits, and taxation depend on the industry of the LLC and where the business is located. The location is important because various cities/counties may have their own rules related to licensing and taxation. Similarly, the specific industry may attract the need for various state or even federal permits.

There are several types of licenses and permits. You’ll have to consider those that apply to your LLC. 

For federal taxation, LLCs are treated as pass through entities by default. The income from the LLC can be reported as part of your tax returns filed with the IRS. However, this depends on the way you structure your Kansas LLC for taxation. The requirements can also change depending on whether it’s a single-member or multi-member LLC.

LLCs must comply with various licensing, permits, and taxation requirements. It might be useful to hire a professional to handle these requirements in case you’re not fully aware and knowledgeable about all these things.