How to File for an LCC in Kansas

Updated on January 22, 2024

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Kansas can be a great way to formally structure your small business. An LLC combines aspects of partnerships and corporations to provide personal liability protection while allowing pass-through taxation. There are a few key steps you need to take to form an LLC in Kansas. First, you’ll need to name your LLC and register it with the Kansas Secretary of State by filing articles of organization. Next, you’ll create an operating agreement establishing ownership percentages and rules. You’ll also need to obtain necessary business licenses and permits. Additionally, be sure to set up accounting procedures and obtain an EIN from the IRS. With the right preparation, you can ensure your Kansas LLC is set up properly from the start.

Understanding LLCs

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that combines aspects of partnerships and corporations. LLCs provide liability protection for the owners, called members, so their personal assets are generally protected from business debts and claims. At the same time, LLCs allow pass-through taxation like partnerships, avoiding double taxation on business income.

Some key things to know about LLCs:

  • LLCs can be owned by one or more members, and ownership is outlined in an operating agreement.
  • LLCs need to register articles of organization with the state to formally create the business.
  • LLCs still require some formalities like keeping records, holding meetings, and filing annual reports.
  • For taxation, LLCs can choose between being taxed as a partnership, S corporation, or C corporation.

I aimed to give an overview of LLCs, their liability protection and tax treatment, the operating agreement, formation requirements, and formalities. I included external links and formatting like paragraphs, bullets, and transitions words (“at the same time,” “some key things”). Please let me know if you need any changes to this section!

Choosing a Name for Your LLC

When starting an LLC in Kansas, one of the first steps is choosing a business name. Here are some tips for choosing an LLC name:

  • Make sure the name is available by checking the Kansas business entity search. The name must not already be taken by another business entity registered in the state.
  • Include words like “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” at the end of the LLC name to identify the type of business structure.
  • Choose a name that reflects the type of business you will operate and the location if it is important.
  • Opt for a short, memorable name without too many words if possible. This can help with branding and marketing later on.

The LLC name plays an important branding role. Take the time to develop a name that works for your Kansas business before filing formation documents.

Selecting a Registered Agent

One of the requirements for forming an LLC in Kansas is designating a registered agent. This is a person or business that agrees to accept legal documents and notices on behalf of your LLC. When selecting a registered agent, you have a few options:

  • You can appoint yourself, another LLC member, or company officer to serve as the registered agent. This doesn’t require any fees but you must have a physical Kansas address where you can receive legal papers.
  • Hire a commercial registered agent service. Many companies like Incfile and MyCorporation offer this for $100-300 per year. They handle all mail and legal notices on your LLC’s behalf.
  • Use the Kansas Secretary of State as your registered agent for $40 per year. However, this means your personal home address will be publicly listed.

When listing a registered agent with the Kansas LLC articles of organization, be sure to get their official consent first. Choose carefully as you cannot easily change registered agents after forming your LLC.

Filing Your LLC Paperwork

Once you have chosen a business name and registered it with the Kansas Secretary of State, the next step is to file your LLC formation documents. This paperwork legally establishes your LLC. Here’s an overview of what needs to be filed:

  • Articles of Organization – This document contains basic information about your LLC, such as the business name, registered agent, and address of your official company office in Kansas. The filing fee is $165.
  • Annual Report – LLCs in Kansas must file an annual report and pay a $40 fee each year to maintain active legal status. The first annual report is due by the last day of the anniversary month in which your articles of organization were filed.
  • Operating Agreement (optional) – While not required, it’s highly recommended to set up an operating agreement to outline ownership stakes, voting rights, rules, and regulations for your LLC.

You must file your paperwork with the Kansas Secretary of State. This can be done online through the Business Center portal on their website, which helps guide you through each step. You can also download paper forms and mail them in.

Take care to ensure all documents and information provided are accurate and complete. Processing times vary but generally take 1-2 weeks after submission. You cannot legally operate your Kansas LLC until the state has officially approved your business registration.

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Drafting an LLC Operating Agreement

After officially forming your Kansas LLC, the next important step is to create an operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure, member responsibilities, distribution of profits and losses, voting rights, management structure, and other important rules and procedures for running your LLC.

While an operating agreement is not legally required in Kansas, it is highly recommended for all LLCs. Here are some key things to address in your Kansas LLC operating agreement:

  • Ownership percentages – Specify each member’s percentage of ownership interests in the LLC.
  • Member roles and responsibilities – Define what each member’s duties entail.
  • Profit and loss distribution – Determine how profits and losses will be shared among members.
  • Member voting rights – Establish voting procedures for business decisions.
  • Rules for transfer of ownership – Set rules for what happens when a member wants to sell their interest.
  • Management structure – Outline if your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed.
  • Amendment procedures – Define how changes can be made to the operating agreement.

Drafting an effective operating agreement prevents disputes among members and gives your Kansas LLC credibility and structure. You can find an operating agreement template online and customize it to meet your LLC’s specific needs. However, it is wise to have an business attorney review the agreement before finalizing it.

With a solid operating agreement in place, your Kansas LLC will be set up for success both legally and financially as you start operations.

Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers

One of the steps for forming an LLC in Kansas is obtaining tax identification numbers from federal and state agencies. This allows your LLC to pay taxes properly.

At the federal level, you must get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. This is essentially the Social Security Number for your business. You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website. It only takes a few minutes to get your EIN.

At the state level, you must register with the Kansas Department of Revenue to get a Kansas Taxpayer Identification Number. This allows you to pay state taxes, including sales tax if applicable. You can register for your tax accounts online after you formally create your LLC.

Properly getting identification numbers from the IRS and Kansas DOR ensures your new LLC pays its tax obligations appropriately as a formal business entity. This helps avoid tax penalties or problems operating legally in the state.

Pros and Cons of Starting an LLC in California

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) can be a great way to formally structure your small business in Kansas. However, it’s important to understand the key advantages and potential drawbacks before making your decision.

Here are some of the main pros and cons to consider:

  • Pros:
    • Limited personal liability – An LLC helps separate your personal assets from the business
    • Tax flexibility – LLCs can choose corporate taxation or pass-through taxation
    • Credibility – Forming an official LLC can make your business appear more legitimate
  • Cons:
    • Increased legal formalities – LLCs require more legal paperwork and record keeping
    • Higher taxes – In some cases, an LLC may be subject to a higher self-employment tax

Weighing these key pros and cons will help you decide if forming an LLC is the right choice to start your Kansas business.

Cost Considerations

When starting an LLC in Kansas, there are several costs to consider. The filing fee to form an LLC with the Kansas Secretary of State is $165. You may also need to pay an annual report fee and franchise tax, which can range from $40-1,000 depending on revenue. Additionally:

  • You may need an operating agreement, which costs around $40-150.
  • There are costs associated with obtaining proper business licenses and permits at the state and local level.
  • You’ll likely need to register your LLC with the Kansas Department of Revenue.

Factor these recurring compliance costs into your business planning and budget. The Kansas Small Business Development Center also has useful resources on estimating costs.

Economical LLC Formation Options

Forming an LLC in Kansas does not have to be an expensive endeavor if you choose the right formation path. While hiring an business formation service or attorney may provide extra legal protection, there are more affordable DIY options.

Some economical LLC formation options in Kansas include:

  • Using an online LLC formation service like LegalZoom or Incfile. These services charge around $100-200 to form your LLC and include the required paperwork and filing with the Kansas Secretary of State.
  • Filing yourself using the standard articles of organization paperwork from the Kansas Secretary of State. This option only costs the $165 filing fee, but requires you to understand all legal paperwork yourself.
  • Using LLC formation templates or self-help legal books. These resources provide the required forms and instructions at a fraction of the cost of a formation service or attorney.

Choosing the DIY route over hiring a professional can significantly reduce the cost of starting your Kansas LLC. Just make sure you fully understand all legal requirements to avoid mistakes in the formation process.

Pre-Formation Steps

Taking the proper pre-formation steps when starting a Kansas LLC can ensure your business gets off to the right start legally and logistically. Here are some key pre-formation steps to take:

  • Choose a business name – Make sure the desired LLC name is available by checking the Kansas Secretary of State business entity search.
  • File a name reservation (optional) – You can reserve an available business name for up to 120 days for a $40 fee.
  • Select a registered agent – All Kansas LLCs require a registered agent, which can be an individual resident or business entity in the state.
  • Create an operating agreement – This document outlines the operations, members’ rights and responsibilities, contributions, distributions, etc.
  • Obtain EIN from the IRS – An Employer Identification Number is needed to open business bank accounts and file taxes.

Taking care of these key items early on will set your Kansas LLC up for an organized start and smooth operations down the road. The Kansas Secretary of State website also offers helpful resources for each pre-formation step.

Comparing Business Entity Types

When starting a business in Kansas, you have several options for structuring your company. Some of the most common business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Here is a comparison of some key factors to consider when choosing an entity type:

  • Formation Requirements – Forming an LLC in Kansas involves filing articles of organization with the Secretary of State, while corporations have more complex formation requirements. Sole proprietorships and partnerships require no formal registration but should have partnership agreements.
  • Liability Protection – LLCs and corporations provide personal liability protection for their owners, while sole proprietors and partners are personally liable. This means LLC and corporate assets are generally protected if the business is sued.
  • Taxes – LLCs and partnerships allow pass-through taxation meaning no taxes at the entity level. Sole proprietors report profits/losses on personal returns. Corporations have more complex tax considerations.
  • Ownership Flexibility – LLCs can have unlimited owners and more flexibility in dividing profits/losses. Partnerships are generally limited to a small number of owners.

In summary, LLCs provide personal liability protection with pass-through taxation and fewer formalities than corporations. For many small Kansas businesses, forming an LLC can be the best choice. However, speaking to an accountant or attorney can help weigh the pros and cons for your specific situation.

After Filing Your LLC in Kansas

Once your articles of organization have been filed and approved by the Kansas Secretary of State, there are still some important next steps to take to properly set up your LLC.

  • Create an operating agreement – An operating agreement establishes rules and regulations for your LLC’s ownership and operations. While not legally required, having one can help prevent disputes among members down the road.
  • Get an EIN – Obtain a federal employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS by applying online. This number will be used to identify your business for tax purposes.
  • Set up accounting – Establish a business banking account, accounting procedures, and a record keeping system for your LLC. Keeping detailed financial records is important for paying taxes properly.
  • Understand tax obligations – LLCs do not pay taxes themselves. Instead, earnings and losses flow through to the personal returns of members. Be sure to understand Kansas tax requirements for your LLC.
  • Obtain licenses and permits – Research if your LLC needs any state or local licenses, permits, or registrations to operate legally based on your industry and location.
  • Open a business bank account – Having a dedicated business bank account can help you stay legally compliant and keep your personal and business finances separate.

Properly completing these key next steps after forming your LLC can set your new business up for success in Kansas. Reach out to accounting and legal professionals if you need help getting everything in order.

Business Licenses and Permits

When starting an LLC in Kansas, you may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits depending on your industry and location. Some common licenses and permits include:

  • Business license – Most cities and counties in Kansas require all businesses to register for a business license. Fees typically range from $20 to $100 annually.
  • Sales tax permit – If you plan to sell products, you’ll need to apply for a Kansas sales tax permit to collect and remit sales tax.
  • Food service permit – Food-based businesses need a food service license from the county health department.
  • Liquor license – Businesses selling alcohol need a liquor license issued by the Kansas Department of Revenue.
  • Professional license – Certain professional services like medical, legal, accounting, etc. require special licenses.

Be sure to research if your type of business needs any industry-specific permits or licenses to operate legally in Kansas. The requirements can vary by city and county as well.

Growth Considerations for Your LLC

As your Kansas LLC grows, there are some key things to consider. You may need to bring on additional members or employees, so be sure to have an operating agreement in place outlining ownership stakes, responsibilities, salaries and more. You’ll also want to maintain organized records and keep your annual annual report filings up-to-date.

Additionally, examine if your current business structure still makes sense or if you need to consider restructuring. An LLC taxed as an S corp may be better depending on your situation. As you scale, also make sure to review your business insurance needs, hire a knowledgeable accountant and lawyer to protect your interests, and develop a growth strategy with financial projections.

Additional Resources

Forming an LLC in Kansas can seem complicated, but there are many useful resources available to guide you through the process. As you take the next steps to establish your business, the following online tools may prove helpful:

Kansas Secretary of State official Kansas SOS website has information and forms for filing your articles of organization.
IRS Tax Information for LLCs IRS website provides important tax considerations and requirements for establishing your LLC.

Additionally, speaking to an accountant or business lawyer can help ensure you understand all regulations and protect your personal assets. With the right preparation, you will be well on your way to operating your Kansas LLC successfully.


Forming an LLC in Kansas provides important legal and tax benefits for small business owners. By following the key steps outlined in this article, you can officially establish your business as an LLC with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. Some final tips are to choose a unique business name, register with the correct state agencies, and stay compliant with all ongoing reporting rules.

In summary, the main steps to form an LLC in Kansas are:

  • Name your business and check availability
  • File Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State
  • Create an operating agreement and apply for an EIN
  • Comply with licensing, permits, regulations for your industry
  • File annual reports to stay in good standing

Following these key steps allows you to establish an LLC in Kansas fairly smoothly. Please consult our business formation services if you need any personalized guidance on starting your Kansas LLC.


What are the requirements to form an LLC in Kansas?

To form an LLC in Kansas, you need to file articles of organization with the Kansas Secretary of State. You’ll need to include the company name, address of the registered office, name and address of the registered agent, and name and address of each organizer. There is no minimum capital contribution required.

Do I need a registered agent if I form an LLC in Kansas?

Yes, Kansas requires all LLCs to designate a registered agent, which must be a Kansas resident or a business entity registered in Kansas. The registered agent’s address will be the registered office of the LLC.

What are the filing fees for organizing an LLC in Kansas?

The filing fee to organize an LLC in Kansas is $165. You may also need to pay a publication fee of approximately $40 to publish your intent to incorporate in an approved local newspaper.

Is there an operating agreement requirement for Kansas LLCs?

No, Kansas does not require an operating agreement for an LLC, but it is highly recommended to establish membership rights, voting procedures, rules for assigning interests, and other governance issues.

Do I need to file an annual report for a Kansas LLC?

Yes, Kansas requires all LLCs to file an annual report by the 15th day of the fourth month after the close of their tax year. The annual report fee is $40. Failing to file an annual report may lead to administrative dissolution of the LLC.

Frank Gogol

A seasoned SEO expert, Frank has a long history of working with and for startups. Starting in mid-2018, Frank served as the SEO Strategist for Stilt, a fintech startup that provided fair loans for immigrants in the US and other underserved markets. While with the company, he scaled site traffic from zero to more than 1.5 million unique visits per month, driving the bulk of the company’s lead generation until it was acquired by J.G. Wentworth in December 2022. As employee #5 at Stilt, Frank was witness to, and part of, the successful building and sale of a fintech company, uniquely positioning him to create content for founders about all things startups.