How to form an LLC in Kansas in 6 easy steps
Nothing is more empowering than working for yourself, and when it comes to starting your own business in Kansas, there are several ways to set up the structure for your company. Entrepreneurs: It’s essential to evaluate your business’s needs and operating strategy to determine which business structure best fits your organization’s unique requirements.
One business entity option that checks a wide range of boxes for small business owners in Kansas is the Limited Liability Company, or LLC. An LLC provides a corporation's legal protections and tax benefits to your business while also providing the ease and flexibility of a sole proprietorship. If you think you’d like to start an LLC, the following 6 steps will help you learn the basics for what’s necessary to launch a successful Limited Liability Company.
1) Check if your business name is available
The first step to forming an LLC in Kansas is to select a compelling company name. The name should be memorable and one that resonates with you on a personal level, especially since you’ll be using it with great frequency. However, before you lock in a specific name, you must verify that it’s available for use in the state of Kansas.
Determining the availability of your business name is a pretty straightforward process that you can complete online by conducting a name search through the Kansas Business Filing Center on the Kansas Secretary of State’s website. Once you’ve ensured your desired name is available, you’ll need to decide how you want to represent your LLC designation at the end of your business name. Under Kansas law, the last words of an LLC’s name must contain “Limited Company,” “Limited Liability Company,” or the abbreviations “L.C.,” “LC,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” Under federal law, your business name cannot contain words like “FBI,” “State Department,” or “Treasury,” since using that vocabulary could confuse your company with a government entity. You can include restricted words like “University,” “Bank,” and “Attorney,” though you may need to fill out extra paperwork to do so.
After you’ve double-checked the availability of your business name, it’s recommended you secure the same name for a potential website by locking in your business’s domain name. Whether you choose to build a website as part of your LLC’s formation or plan to keep the domain name on the back burner, registering the domain name of your business will prevent any person or company unaffiliated with your LLC from acquiring it.
If you can’t decide which business name you want to move forward with, you can reserve a name by filling out the Temporary Reservation of Business Entity Name form, or Form NR 52-01. The form can be filled out online for a $30 filing fee or by mail for a $35 filing fee, which will reserve your business name for 120 business days.
2) Claim your name
Before formalizing your LLC name, it might make sense to appoint a registered agent in the state of Kansas who can handle the flow of tax and legal documents—such as a service of process—for your business. In Kansas, you are required to nominate a registered agent, so you might as well take care of this step before filing any paperwork. Your registered agent can be either a company—such as a registered agent service—or an individual—such as yourself—provided the company is legally allowed to operate in Kansas, and the individual possesses a Kansas street address.
With your registered agent—or resident agent—selected, you’ll be more organized to register your LLC with the state of Kansas and file your Kansas Limited Liability Articles of Organization. To file your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to submit them to the Kansas Secretary of State online or by mail, along with a nonrefundable $160 to $165 filing fee. After the Secretary of State receives your forms, the turnaround time to receive the official documents is 2 business days.
For the actual Articles of Organization paperwork, the information you’ll be asked to provide includes: The name of your LLC, the name and address of your LLC’s registered agent, the mailing address for your LLC’s registered office, an authorized person’s signature, the tax closing month, and your LLC’s effective date. However, there’s additional paperwork to fill out if you’re planning to form a foreign LLC.
A foreign LLC is an LLC established in a state other than Kansas that allows you to legally conduct business in Kansas, meaning you’re one business operating across multiple states. To register a foreign LLC in Kansas, you’ll need to submit a Foreign Limited Liability Company Application to the Kansas Secretary of State, along with a $165 filing fee. The submission process can be online or by mail, with parcels being sent to the 10th Avenue address listed on the Kansas Secretary of State website.
3) Write your operating agreement
While it’s not required for LLCs to create operating agreements in the state of Kansas, we highly recommend they do so anyway as part of your business formation process. Operating agreements lay the groundwork for your organization’s day-to-day procedures and can be great tools for managing conflict between LLC founding members. Think of an operating agreement as a constitution explicitly written for your company. Much like the Declaration of Independence, your LLC operating agreement provides LLC members with their rights and responsibilities and the company's direction. It can also act as a guide to answer questions about how the company should handle unforeseen circumstances, should they arise.
Another benefit of writing an LLC operating agreement is that in the event of a lawsuit, the document can show how your LLC is legally its own separate entity, rendering your personal assets lawfully untouchable. If you do not create an operating agreement, your LLC could be subject to the LLC state laws of Kansas, which may not vibe with the trajectory of your company.
When writing your operating agreement, you’ll want to include the following information: The name of your LLC, the management and voting structure of your LLC’s members, the financial contributions of each member to the LLC, any distributions sent from the LLC to its members, how current membership is evacuated and new membership is accepted, and the process for dissolving the business.
4) File your Statement of Information
Every year, all LLCs in Kansas must file a Statement of Information, or annual report. You can submit The Kansas LLC Annual Report by mail or online via the Kansas Secretary of State’s website. The online filing fee for the report is $50 and $55 if submitted by mail.
The timeline for submitting the annual report is a bit funky in Kansas, whereby business owners need to file by the 15th day of the fourth month following the LLC’s tax closing month. In other words, if your LLC’s tax closing month is January, the due date of your annual report each year is May 15th. But be forewarned! Kansas LLCs that fail to submit their annual reports within 90 days of the due date will result in their dissolution.
5) Pay your taxes
As an LLC business entity, you have the option of paying business taxes as a sole proprietor or as a corporation. If you go the route of a sole proprietor, you’ll be taxed as a pass-through entity, whereby your Social Security Number is used to track your income. Suppose you elect to be taxed as a corporation—either an S corporation or a C corporation. In that case, your LLC will be taxed as a separate entity, and you’ll need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service.
If you visit the IRS website, you can apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number—or Employer Identification Number—which the IRS uses to monitor your state and federal tax activity. Your Employer Identification Number can also be used as a Social Security Number for your business, allowing you to open a business bank account or business credit card or begin the steps to hiring employees. There is no cost to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number.
For single-member LLCs electing to be taxed as sole proprietorships, be aware of how the state of Kansas handles personal income tax rates, as there are a few ranges that correspond to different state fees. For incomes between $0 and $30,000, an income tax of 3% is assessed. If the income generated by your LLC is over $30,000, but under $60,000, you’ll be charged $925 plus 5% of the amount over $30,000. For income over $60,000, you’ll be charged $2505 plus 6% of the amount over $60,000.
6) Wrap up other regulation and sales tax requirements
Congratulations! The finish line is just around the corner, and you're about to conclude your LLC formation process in Kansas. Only a few key elements remain.
To help ensure your LLC is compliant with all state tax and federal tax laws and regulations, it might make sense to hire a business accountant who can review all of your LLC's paperwork before you submit it. A business accountant will also make sure that your LLC is properly set up so that you’re organized to meet all of the state and federal requirements when filing your tax returns.
Depending on the nature of your LLC, you may need to obtain business licenses or permits, which vary based on where in the state your organization is located. To help determine if you’ll be required to possess any business licenses or permits, consult the Network Kansas Common Business Licenses and Permits document on the state of Kansas website.
It’s also important to note the sales tax in Kansas is 6%, but because local governments can add their own taxes on top of the state’s, the general sales tax throughout Kansas falls more between an 8% to 11% range.
Lastly, it’s worth looking at the Kansas business insurance requirements since LLCs with one or more employees must purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Other popular policies that might apply to your company are general liability insurance and professional liability insurance, which cover different types of professional and business services.
Get LLC insurance in minutes by following these steps
The heavy lifting has been done, and you can now breathe easy knowing your LLC has been properly set up in the state of Kansas. To help keep your stresses low and your mind focused on growing your company, it’s wise to consider purchasing LLC insurance. There are many insurance options available to you, which is why it’s so important to choose a company like Huckleberry that makes selecting the proper coverage for your organization a breeze. Here’s how Huckleberry can help:
- Visit Huckleberry.com and select the “Instant Estimate” option. In a few short minutes, you’ll receive insurance coverage options specifically designed to meet the specific needs of your enterprise.
- Type in your business's specific industry so Huckleberry can filter insurance selections to only those most relevant to your LLC.
- Answer a few questions about your LLC’s formation so that Huckleberry can draft accurate quotes.
- In less time than it takes to buy Kansas City Chiefs tickets, you’ll get quotes for a variety of small business insurance options.
- The quick rate estimator can provide you with a ballpark figure on insurance costs if you're short on time. Whether you need coverage like general liability insurance or professional service liability insurance, the Huckleberry calculator can provide you with an accurate cost estimate.
The final checkbox you should tackle before finalizing your LLC in the state of Kansas is purchasing small business insurance. Not only will small business insurance keep your LLC legally protected, but it will free up your time and energy to focus on growing your business.
When it comes to small business insurance, Huckleberry has you covered for all of your policy needs. From workers’ compensation insurance to personal liability insurance, get the right policy for your LLC with zero hassle, zero gimmicks, and 100% professionalism.