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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business entity choice structure for many 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.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

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 is something most people can do on their own, but it’s nice to have some support in case you have questions or get stuck.  IncFile and Inc Authority provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!

Related: Should you use a Formation Service, Hire an Attorney or Do it Yourself?

Learn how to fill out the Articles of Organization and form an LLC in Kansas

A Kansas LLC can be filed online or by mailing in Form DL 51-09

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).

Step 1 – Name the LLC

Before deciding on a name, there are a few requirements for naming an LLC in Kansas.

  • The name of the LLC must be unique from other LLCs.
  • The designator Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, LLC or LC must be used at the end of the LLC’s name.
  • The name may contain the following words: “company,” “association,” “club,” “foundation,” “fund,” “institute,” “society,” “union,” “syndicate,” “limited” or “trust” (or abbreviations of like import)
  • 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.

You may also want to see if a domain name is also available to have a matching website address.

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

Tasks After Forming Your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
  • Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future

Related: Kansas operating agreement template

Obtain an EIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit number for a business. Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.

The EIN will be needed in order to open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, pay payroll taxes and more.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the age of the LLC, a Kansas Certificate of Good Standing may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons and others must be licensed.
  • Business Tax License – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Kansas Department of Revenue will be necessary.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Kansas?

File Annual Reports

Every year, the LLC will need to file the Annual Report with the Kansas Secretary of State.  The fee is $55 when filing by mail and $50 when filed online.

Related: How to File a Kansas LLC Annual Report