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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a smart entity choice for most businesses starting in Kansas. The LLC provides personal liability protection for the owners and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Kansas without an attorney.
Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal entity, providing protection for the business owner’s personal assets.
In addition to the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides a number of other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.
Forming an LLC in Kansas can be both affordable and is simple enough for most people to start on their own. That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a legal professional like While the filing is pretty straightforward, it’s nice to have some support if you have questions, alerts when the annual report is due, forms like operating agreements, banking resolutions and more. There are companies like IncFile or ZenBusiness and others that do all of this for as little as $49.
To officially form a Kansas Limited Liability Company, the Articles of Organization have to be filed with Kansas Secretary of State. The filing fee is $160 when done online and $165 if filing by mail. Expect approval to take 24 hours if you file online and 3-5 days if filing by mail.
To file online – Register by signing up with the Kansas Business Center through the State of Kansas – (Instructions). The Kansas Business Center will be used for other business registrations. Register with KanAccess. After registering, choose Kansas Business Center” from the drop-down menu and then click on “Business Entity Formation (AOI)”.
To file by mail – Fill out the Articles of Organization (Form DL 51-09).
Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 S.W. 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612
Learn how to fill out the Articles of Organization and form an LLC in Kansas
Step 1 – Name the LLC
Before deciding on a name for your LLC in Kansas, there are a few rules to follow:
- The name of the LLC must be unique from other LLCs.
- The designator Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, LLC or L.L.C., LC, L.C. or Ltd. Co must be used at the end of the LLC’s name.
- You can choose to use a comma or not before the designator. For example: “Acme, LLC” and “Acme LLC” are both fine to use.
- Differences in grammar often do not create distinguishability. For example:
- The singular, plural, and possessive use of a word
- A, An, or The anywhere in the name
- The use of and, or, &
- A written number vs the number itself. Example one vs. 1
Fortunately, the Kansas Secretary of State makes it easy to search and verify if a name is in use. Here is more information on how to do an LLC name search in Kansas.
Step 2 – Name of Resident Agent & Address of Registered Office
To have an LLC or corporation in the state of Kansas, there must be somebody, named as the Resident Agent, with a physical address to act as a point of contact and receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC. The Resident Agent is referred to as a Registered Agent in most states.
The Resident Agent needs to be available during normal business hours should the LLC be served with legal documents.
Who can be a resident agent in Kansas?
- A resident of Kansas with a physical address. This can be the business owner.
- Or a company that provides resident agent services.
Even though many business owners live in Kansas, by listing themselves as the Resident Agent, their name and address is on public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs when they are doing business from home.
To fill out the second question, enter the name and street address of the resident agent. Remember that this has to be a physical street address since PO Boxes are not allowed.
Step 3. Mailing Address
Enter the name and address of where you want any normal correspondence from the Secretary of State to be sent. This can include the same address as the Resident Agent but can also include a PO Box, home address or address outside of Kansas.
Step 4. Tax Closing Month
The tax closing month is the end of the LLCs fiscal year. This date is important for tax filings. Most business owners will choose December for their tax closing month as most businesses run on a calendar fiscal year, which is January 1 to December 31.
If your LLC will tax a different fiscal year, enter the closing month in this field.
Step 5 – Effective Date
The effective date is the day the LLC officially starts. There are two choices.
- Upon filing – Selecting this will have the LLC start on the day the Kansas Secretary of State processes the Articles of Organization.
- Future effective date – If you want the LLC to begin at some point in the future, select this option and enter the date the LLC should officially start. This date can’t be more than 90 days from the Secretary of State receiving the Articles of Organization.
Step 6 – Signature
Assuming all of the information is correct, simply sign and date the form.
Step 7 – Pay the Secretary of State
If filing by mail, prepare a check or money order made payable to the Kansas Office Secretary of State for $165.
Mail the completed Articles of Organization and filing fee to:
Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 SW 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
If filing online enter your credit card information and click submit.
That’s it. Filing a Kansas LLC is pretty easy to do!
How long does it take a Kansas LLC to be approved?
It typically takes 3-5 business days for the Secretary of State to approve a new LLC by mail or 24 hours when filing online.
After filing you will receive a welcome letter and a certified copy of the Articles of Organization.
After the LLC formation is approved, you will need to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The Employer Identification Number is used to identify a business entity, similar to how a social security number identifies an individual. The reason why you want to wait to get the EIN is that the business name on the Articles of Organization and the name filed for the EIN must match. There is no cost for the EIN and takes about five minutes to file. More information about getting an EIN for an LLC.
Every year, the LLC will need to file the Annual Report. The fee is $55 when filing by mail and $50 when filed online.
While it isn’t required in Kansas, owners of many LLCs should consider preparing an Operating Agreement. This is a document outlining the rights and responsibilities of the members. More common for a multi-member LLC, it can also be important for a single-member LLC. This document isn’t filed with the Secretary of State.
One of the major benefits of the LLC is the flexibility in business taxes as the LLC can choose three ways to be taxed.
- Sole proprietorship – An LLC with one member automatically becomes a single-member LLC with the IRS and is taxed as a disregarded or pass-through entity which is how a sole proprietor is taxed.
- Partnership – An LLC with two or more members will be classified by the IRS as a partnership.
- Corporation – If an LLC files IRS Form 8832, Entity Classification Election, the LLC can choose to be taxed like a corporation. This can be beneficial and lower taxes in some situations.
If you are starting a sole proprietorship or partnership and want to operate under a business name, you do not have to register a DBA (Doing Business As). To register a name for a corporation or LLC in Kansas, you will register with the Secretary of State.
The members of a Kansas LLC are private, however the names of it’s organizers of the LLC are made public.
- Step 1 – Name the LLC
- Step 2 – Appoint a Resident Agent
- Step 3 – Include a mailing address
- Step 4 – Identify the tax closing month
- Step 5 – Enter the effective date of the LLC
- Step 6 – Sign
- Step 7 – Pay and file
The cost for online processing of a Kansas LLC is $160, while processing paper forms is $165.
Yes! Any individual, owner, member, officer, director, etc of a business entity that meets the Kansas state requirements can be a registered agent.