What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Kansas?

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Starting a business in Kansas will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state and local agencies.  Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Kansas.

Business License – There is no general state of Kansas business license, however many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Wichita –  Certain types of businesses in Wichita are licensed, a few of which include ice cream vendors, businesses selling alcohol, massage therapists, pawnbrokers and many others. 

Overland Park The City of Overland Park requires a few types of businesses to get licensing including; contractors, businesses selling alcohol, pawnbrokers, home-based businesses and a few more. 

Kansas City – All businesses operating within the Kansas City, KS city limits are required to file an Occupation Tax application with the Neighborhood Resource Center office.  Some activities such as a business having coin-operated devices, mobile food vendors, pawn shops and others have additional licensing requirements.

TopekaBusiness registration in Topeka is only required for certain businesses such as those the offer cleaning services, haunted houses, mobile food vendors, pawnshops and several others.    Business applications are filed with the City Clerk’s office.

Olathe – The City of Olathe issues business licenses for entities operating as massage therapists, pawnbrokers, retail businesses and others. 

Costs for city business licenses in Kansas vary depending on the type of business and location. 

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification Number.  The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual.  Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number. 

There is no cost for an EIN and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

Kansas Business Tax License – Businesses selling goods, admissions, or provide taxable services must file a Business Tax Application with the Department of Revenue. 

Resale Exemption Certificate – Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Kansas Resale Exemption Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License – A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Kansas include; contractors, bakeries, bed & breakfasts, kennels, businesses selling on the internet and many more.   Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the state of Kansas.

In addition to professional licenses, businesses in a variety of industries such as food establishments, daycares, scrap metal dealers and many others require licensing.

Assumed Name Registration – In most states, for a sole proprietorship or partnership to operate under a name other than the owner’s full first and last name they would have to file for an assumed business name.  An assumed name for a business is often known as a fictitious name, a trade name, or doing business as (DBA).  Kansas is unique in that sole proprietorships and general partnerships are not required to file an assumed business name in Kansas.  A business owner is free to operate under any name, provided it’s not trademarked.

These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are way too many licenses and permits in Kansas for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.