Kansas Business Entity Search

Kansas Business Entity Search is a tool made available by the office of the Kansas Secretary of State. This is a useful way of finding publicly available information related to business entities registered with the SOS. 

Existing businesses can use this to check their details, file some forms, and order a Certificate of Good Standing. Business Entity Search is extremely useful for those looking to start a new Kansas LLC. While our focus is on LLCs, the information is valid for other business entities and corporations as well.

When starting a new business, the first step is to select a name for your business. Kansas requires the name to be unique. It shouldn’t be confusingly similar to other business entities either. Running a business name search can make these checks easier and quicker. 

Kansas business entity search also offers a Name Availability option, which can make things easier. Let’s get started with working on this too!

Accessing And Using Kansas SOS Business Entity Search

Kansas SOS Business Entity Search is available online and is free to use. The Business Entity Search Station (BESS) offers search using the following criteria:

  • Business Entity Database
  • Name Availability
  • Charitable Organizations
  • Trademark/Service-Mark Search 

The first two are the most relevant to our requirements. It’s also worth noting that Kansas doesn’t register sole proprietorships, d/b/a, assumed name, trade name or fictitious name entities. As such, this information isn’t available on the secretary of state’s website.

Using The Business Entity Database

Choosing the Business Entity Database on BESS will lead you to the conventional business entity search options. Here’s what Kansas offers and how you can work with the available options.

  • By Business Entity Name: Using the name of a business entity is the most intuitive way to conduct a search. You can choose to enter the exact name or partial name of the entity in this option. The order of the words is important in this search. Therefore, if you don’t know the full entity name or the order of the words, a keyword search is a better option.
  • Business Entity ID Number: Each business entity in Kansas is assigned a unique ID number by the state. The entity ID shouldn’t be confused with the EIN (FEIN) which is issued by the IRS. Business entity ID search is an exact search and its result is the associated business ID.
  • By A Keyword: Keyword search is a useful name search. The tool checks the words in the search query against the names of the entities in the database and returns relevant results. The order of words is not important. As long as the words in the query appear in entity names, the results will be displayed.
  • By A Resident Agent’s Full Name: This is an exact search that needs the full name of the Kansas Registered Agent (also known as Kansas Resident Agent). The results here will show businesses represented by the said registered (resident) agent.
  • By A Resident Agent’s Name; Keyword: If you don’t know the full name of the resident agent, this option comes in handy. You don’t need the full name of the agent, or for the words to be in order. In this sense, it is similar to the Search by Keyword option for business entity names.

Running A Name Availability Search

If you intend to find a name for your business, it makes better sense to start with the Name Availability search. This search is available on the Kansas Business Filing Center and uses a slightly different algorithm than the conventional business entity search.

Once you access this search, enter the proposed (or intended) name for the business entity. If the name is available, the results page will show the following options:

  • Reserve this name – Enables name reservation for 120 days while you prepare to file the necessary documents.
  • File Formation Documents – Start the process of forming your company with the chosen name. In the case of LLCs, this means filing the Articles of Organization with the SOS. Remember, you’ll need to appoint/choose a Kansas Resident Agent before filing the Articles of Organization.

Working With Entity Search Results

If there are relevant results to a query, they’ll be displayed on the results page. The information on this page includes the following for each listed entity:

  • Entity Name
  • ID Number
  • Status
  • A “View Record” Button

Clicking on the “view record” button will take users to a page with more details for the specific entity. The information here includes entity name, ID number, type, status, and formation date. Scrolling down, you’ll see the name and address of the resident agent and information on Annual Reports.

Additionally, the page has buttons for a few actions and forms. These are:

  • File name change online
  • View history and documents
  • Update (current mailing address)
  • Certificate of Good Standing
  • Update Resident Agent and Registered Office
  • File Online (annual report)
  • Close Your Business

As we see, this page is very useful for anyone who wants to view publicly available information of an entity. It’s also useful for business owners to file documents and manage the business.

How To Reserve A Business Name In Kansas

If you have an excellent business name in mind but aren’t yet ready to start your business, name reservation is an excellent path to take. You could want more time for any number of reasons, for example, to set up logistics or administration. 

Going for a name reservation ensures that you have your choice of name available while you prepare to launch your business.

Is It Mandatory To Reserve A Business Name In Kansas?

No, the name reservation process is completely optional and at the discretion of the person filing the documents. There can be several good reasons for keeping the name available through a reservation. 

However, if you’re not concerned by name availability, it makes good sense to skip name reservation and conserve your time and resources.

How Long Does A Business Name Reservation Last And What Does It Cost?

Once the KS Secretary of State accepts a business name reservation, it is valid for 120 days. This requires filing Form NR 52-01 and a filing fee. Submitting a paper form (postal mail or other methods) requires a filing fee of $35. It costs $30 if submitted online.

Going online is the preferred method. It’s cheaper, faster, and way more convenient.

Reserving A Business Name In Kansas

You can file a business name reservation in Kansas online or via postal mail. Doing so online is quicker, cheaper, and more convenient. There are two ways to file the application online.

  1. Visit the Business Filing Center and choose Name Reservation
  2. Check for name availability, and if available, choose “reserve this name”

We’ve touched on both these methods in the previous paragraphs. The filing process is simple and can be completed without any trouble. Both these methods will essentially lead to the same process, just via different means. 

You will also have to register for a KanAccess account. This account is free and very useful for filing and managing online applications in Kansas.

If you prefer to file via paper, you’ll need Form NR 52-01 Temporary Reservation of Business Entity Name. The $35 filing fee for this form can be paid via check, money order, or credit card. The payment must be included when filing the document.

Once you’ve filled the form and have the payment ready, mail it to:

Kansas Office of the Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 S.W. 10th Ave.
Topeka, Kansas 66612-1594.

When filing for name reservation, it’s good practice to go through the state’s name restrictions. Additionally, you should also use Kansas Business Entity Search and Name Availability Search to make sure that the name is available.