How To Do A Kansas Business Name Search
Before forming an LLC or corporation in Kansas, you will need to do a business entity search to see if the name you want is available. Kansas requires each corporation or LLC to have a unique name, so before filing, you will want to check and see if the name is available. The Kansas Secretary of State maintains the records of all registered business entities through the Business Services Filing Center. Sole proprietorships and partnerships do not need to register their name.
When searching, be sure to search with and without the required designators. The entity designators are those that designate what type of entity the business is (LLC, Limited Liability Company, Inc, Corporation, etc).
Also, try some different spellings as a slightly different spelling may not make the name unique. The plural form of a word is considered distinguishable, for example, dog vs dogs. Numbers are also distinguishable from words representing the number 1 vs one.
There are a few ways to search for a registered business in Kansas:
- Filing number
- Business entity name
- Registered agent information
Below are instructions on searching by the business entity name. The state of Kansas offers both a way to do a quick name search and a search that provides more details. Instructions on how to do the quick search is provided below.
Searching Corporation and LLC Names In Kansas
To do a quick business entity search, first, visit the Kansas Business Center. The name availability search box on the right side of the page can be used for an initial quick answer.
Enter the business name you would like to use and click search. In this example, we will look up “Sew What”. In this search, don’t use the entity designation such as Limited Liability Company, LLC, Inc, etc.
The name availability search provides a quick message with “Is Available” or “Is Not Available”. For our Sew What example, we get a message that the name is not available.
If the message shows that the name is not available or that there are names that are similar, then the name is not available to use. To find who is using that name, see how to do a detailed search as shown in the next section.
If the name is available, there will be a message that you can file a Name Reservation. In this example, we looked up Cowboy Cleaners. Registration is $30 and is optional as the business name is selected when forming the entity. If you aren’t ready to file the LLC or corporation right now and are concerned with someone taking the name before you plan to file, the $30 fee may be worth the peace of mind.
There are three results from a name search.
1. Active and in Good Standing – This means a company has the name registered and is being used. This name can’t be registered.
2. Dissolved – This was a business entity that officially closed. This name was used in the past, but is no longer being used and is available to use provided the name has been dissolved for over one year.
3. Forfeited – Failed to Timely File – This means someone did not file their annual report and/or pay the annual fee. This name is available if the name has been forfeited for over one year.
The name or number you searched for was not found in the business entity database – Which means nobody has registered that name nor is there a similar name. This name is available to use in Kansas.
What information can be found on the Kansas business entity database?
The database search can find several pieces of information about the business. Some of the highlights include:
- Business Name
- Mailing Address – This could be the business’s physical address, or it could be an address where business records are stored.
- Status – Active means the entity is in good standing, and all reports and filing fees are up to date. If the status is “Inactive,” the names of these results may be available to register.
- A Certificate of Existence can also be ordered to prove the status of the entity.
- Registered Agent’s information – A Kansas Resident Agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should a legal, or tax notice need to be sent to the business. This is often one of the owners, and if their home address is used, that address becomes public information. Many people find this concerning and use a Resident Agent service like Northwest Registered Agent, so their home address isn’t publically listed.
Can I do a DBA business name search for sole proprietors or partnerships in Kansas?
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information on corporations and LLCs registered in Kansas. The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships do not need to be registered.
How do I set up an LLC in Kansas?
Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use. Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form a Kansas LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.
While not required in Kansas, an Operating Agreement, which contains the rules for how the LLC operates, is a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.
Also, be sure to register for Kansas business licenses and obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to ensure the business is legal to operate.
What are the requirements to name an LLC in Kansas?
In addition to the name being unique, the name of the LLC must include a special designator such as Limited Liability Company, Limited Company, Company, LLC, LC, Co, etc., in addition to not using restricted words such as bank or insurance, unless the entity is licensed to operate as such.
Can an LLC name be reserved?
If there is a name you want but are not ready to register the LLC, you can reserve a name with the Kansas Secretary of State. The name reservation will hold a name for up to 120 days at the cost of $30.