Step-by-Step Guide to Forming an LLC in Kansas

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Kansas LLC Quick Facts

How much does it cost to form an LLC in Kansas?

Initial LLC Filing Fee


  • Online filing – $160
  • Mail-in Filing – $165


Annual Report Recurring Fee


  • Online filing – $50
  • Mail-in Filing – $55

How long does it take to get an LLC in Kansas?

It normally takes 24 hours for LLC approval when filing online or 3-5 days when filing by mail. Expedited processing is also available for an additional fee.

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Quick Reference

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, protecting the business owner’s personal assets.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

In addition to liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration, and management flexibility.

Steps to Form a Kansas LLC

A Kansas domestic 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.  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).”

Companies offering professional services can form a special type of LLC known as a Professional Association (PA), which are sometimes referred to as a professional LLC. A few types of licensed professional services include accountants, attorneys, architects, real estate brokers and others.

Forming an LLC can be both affordable and is something most people can do themselves. Entity formation companies like IncFile or IncAuthority help guide you through the process and make sure there are no mistakes.

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

To file by mail – Fill out the Articles of Organization (Form DL 51-09).

Step 1: Name the LLC

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

  • The company name of the LLC, which 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 your LLC name is available in Kansas.  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 to serve as service of process, 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.

You are not required to pay for a registered agent. Any individual meeting the requirements can be the agent; however, the agent’s name and address become public record, and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when doing business from home or still employed.  Hiring a registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent to be the Registered Agent will reduce unwanted phone calls and mailings.

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 and 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, 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, 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

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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 a Kansas LLC 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 fully understand 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 (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number or FEIN) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes. The EIN will be needed to hire employees, open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, and more.

There is no cost for the EIN when registering through the IRS. The number is available immediately when applying through the IRS website; however, you can also register by phone, fax, or mailing IRS Form SS-4.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Elect the LLC’s Form of Federal Income Taxation

One of the significant benefits of the Limited Liability Company is the tax flexibility it provides.  When applying for the Employer Identification Number, you will choose how the entity will be taxed for federal income tax purposes. While there are some limitations, an LLC may be classified for federal income tax purposes as a:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • C-corporation
  • S-corporation

While this may sound confusing, this refers to how the LLC is taxed, not the legal structure.

Related: How can an LLC be taxed?

By default, the taxation of an LLC is called pass-through taxation, which means the profits or losses of the LLC flow through to the members.

Single-member LLCs will, by default, be taxed as a sole proprietorship. The members can also elect to change the taxation to a C-corporation or an S-corporation.

Multi-member LLCs will, by default, be taxed as a partnership. The members can also elect to change the taxation to a C-corporation or an S-corporation.

In general, the difference between being taxed as a corporation and being taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership the profits and losses are passed to the member’s federal income tax returns based on their percentage of ownership.  As a result, the owner will pay self-employment taxes on all business profits.  As an alternative, electing to be taxed as a corporation allows the members to take a reasonable salary and then pay payroll taxes.  Any remaining profits are distributed and aren’t subject to payroll taxes, resulting in potential tax savings.

Before electing how your LLC will be taxed, consider talking with an accountant to assess which one will be best for you. Some tax elections such as the C-corporation do not benefit many people due to double taxation.

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.
  • In some circumstances, 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 various business licenses and permits needed before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business Licenses – The state of Kansas doesn’t have a general business license; however, many cities require a business license in order to operate.
  • Business Tax Application – Businesses will need to register for a Business Tax License (Form CR-16) with the Kansas Department of Revenue. The Business Tax Application allows for the registration of several licenses, such as sales tax, withholding tax, and several others.
  • Professional Licensing – Some services such as contractors, bakeries, bed & breakfasts, kennels, and businesses selling on the internet require licensing in Kansas. While this isn’t a license on the business, licensing is required to operate.

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 annual report is due the 15th day of the fourth month following the LLC’s tax closing month (December 31st for most LLCs as they operate on a calendar year) and the fee is $55 when filing by mail and $50 when filed online.

Related: How to File a Kansas LLC Annual Report


Common Questions When Starting An LLC

You can act as your own registered agent, provide you are a resident of the state and are generally available during normal business hours. 

It’s sometimes thought that the LLC and business license are the same, which they aren’t.  Business license requirements vary by location and the type of business being operated. 

An out-of-state LLC wanting to do business in another state will have to register as a foreign LLC with the new state’s Secretary of State.

Businesses that require state licensing and offer professional services such as accountants, attorneys, podiatrists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, etc. often must file as a Professional Limited Liability Company (sometimes referred to as a Professional LLC or PLLC) instead of an LLC. Filing for a PLLC is very similar to that of the LLC.

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