How to Start a Business in Kansas:
Kansas is known for its agriculture, cattle production, energy, aviation, and biofuel industries. The agricultural industry also produces nonfood products such as fibers, chemicals, and various construction materials, and businesses that rely on these resources can greatly decrease their costs by making Kansas their home.
As the national leader in advanced biofuel production, your business will enjoy some of the lowest energy costs in Kansas.
Companies like Spirit Aerosystems and Airbus were founded in Kansas, so despite the higher tax rates and lack of venture capital, it is possible to build a successful brand in this State.
A good network of angel investors, great business incentive programs, and a supportive community help ensure long-term business growth in Kansas.
Formation documents for corporations, nonprofits, limited liability companies (LLCs), and limited partnerships (LPs) can be filed online, in real-time. The process is much simpler than in some other states, and business owners are able to access and print their certified documents immediately after filing.
Form your business.
Review Kansas formation options.
Kansas offers 6 ways of forming your business. Review these closely and pick the one that fits your business best.
Name your business.
Name registration is not required by the state of Kansas. Name reservation is not a requirement either, but names may be reserved by those wanting to file articles of formation but who require extra time.
If you need help finding a business name, be sure to check out NameSnack's free business name generator.
Make sure your business name adheres to the guidelines set by the state of Kansas.
Before deciding on a name, run a name availability search to determine whether your desired name is available. If it is, you can reserve the name if you need to.
The state of Kansas does not register DBAs, assumed names, trade names, fictitious names, or sole proprietorships.
Get an employer identification number (EIN).
Nearly all businesses will need to register for federal taxes by applying for an employer identification number. You can apply for your EIN directly via the IRS.
You can apply online, via mail, or by fax.
International applicants can phone (267) 941-1099 between 6:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Register your business in Kansas.
To register your business in Kansas, you must create an account with the Kansas Department of Revenue. Once logged in, you should be able to register your new business, make changes to any existing businesses, and more.
To register your business in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Revenue's website and click on "Customer Service Center" in the top right-hand corner.
From the Login Page, click on the "Register Now" button.
Supply details for all the required fields, then hit the "Continue" button.
You will receive an activation email. Once you open it, click on the link or enter the code in the applicable box onscreen.
Once you are logged in to the Customer Service Center, click on "New Tax Registration."
From the "Kansas Business Tax Application" page, follow the prompts and continue to the end of the process. If you are unsure which tax boxes to click, complete the short survey.
Obtain necessary permits and licenses.
Certain businesses may require licenses and permits before they can operate. Some professionals and industries that require additional licenses and permits include:
- Aviation occupations.
- Bank and trust companies.
- Day care facilities.
- Land surveyors.
Remember to keep a record of when your permits and licenses should be renewed. Certain state agencies allow for online renewals.
Visit Kansas Business One Stop to find the relevant licensing organizations for your industry and/or business activities.
Obtain local permits.
Depending on your location, you may be required to obtain certain permits and licenses. Get in touch with your local municipality to learn more about its regulations and additional license, permit, and zoning requirements.
Visit your county website to find out more.
Register your business for taxes.
Determine the type of tax you need to pay.
If need help deciding which taxes to register for, simply complete the survey on the Kansas Department of Revenue's Customer Service Center once you've logged in. After you've completed the survey, the relevant tax boxes will be checked.
Register for tax.
When you register your business with the Kansas Department of Revenue, you automatically complete the tax application as well.
Depending on your business, you may be required to register for:
- Retailers' sales tax.
- Retailers' compensating use tax.
- Consumers' compensating use tax.
- Withholding tax.
- Transient guest tax.
- Tire excise tax.
- Vehicle rental excise tax.
- Dry cleaning surcharge.
- Liquor enforcement tax.
- Liquor drink tax.
- Cigarette vending machine permit.
- Retail cigarette/electronic cigarette license.
- Corporate income tax.
- Privilege tax.
- Non-resident contractor's bond.
- Water protection/clean drinking water fee.
Alternatively, you can read the tax guide, complete the form toward the end of the document, and mail or fax it to the Kansas Department of Revenue in Topeka.
No fee is required with your application unless you're a wholesale cigarette dealer, in which case, include a $25 check with your application.
Hire employees and report them to the state.
Report your employees to the New Hire Directory.
Employers in Kansas must report all newly hired and re-hired workers as per federal and state law requirements within 20 days of their employment date. This includes any employees who have returned to work after being furloughed, laid off, granted leave without pay, or terminated from employment for 60 days or more.
The easiest way to report new hires is with electronic reporting. This method is faster, cheaper, and helps to avoid errors.
Ensure that you provide the following information.
- First, middle, and last names.
- Social security number.
- Date of hire.
- State of hire (if you are a multistate employer).
- Corporate name.
- Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN/EIN). Those who have more than one FEIN should use the FEIN used to report quarterly wage information to the Kansas Department of Labor.
You may also use the Upload Method when reporting electronically.
If you employ workers in more than one state, register as multistate employer.
Hit the button for "Enter new hire information."
Type in your FEIN or EIN and Kansas Serial Number.
For liable employers, hit "Continue" from the Liable Employer Verification Page.
For non-liable employers, switch to the Non-Liable Verification link, then enter your FEIN and zip code.
Enter the information for your new hire.
At the top of the page, "Employee record inserted successfully" will appear briefly.
You will remain on the data entry page and can add any new additional hire information immediately.
Nonelectronic Reporting: You can submit a printed list of the required information in 10-point font size and put the employer's corporate name, FEIN, and address clearly at the top of the report. Alternatively, fill out the first page of the W-4 Form.
Obtain workers' compensation insurance.
The state of Kansas requires all public and private sector employers with a payroll of $20,000 or more to take out workers' compensation insurance.
Business owners can purchase an insurance policy from an insurance company or buy it through their insurance broker from the Kansas Insurance Department (although this should be a last resort).
Employers exempt from taking out workers' compensation insurance: Those with a payroll of below $20,000, some agricultural workers, independent realtors, certain firefighters, and owner-operator vehicle drivers who are covered by their own occupational accident insurance.
Display the mandatory posters in your workplace.
The state of Kansas requires all employers to display labor law posters at their worksites. These posters are available for free and can be downloaded from the Kansas Department of Labor website.
Required state posters include the:
- Unemployment Insurance Poster.
- Workers Compensation Poster.
- Child Labor Poster (only if employing workers under 18).
- Equal Opportunity in Employment Poster.
- No Smoking Poster.
Required federal posters include the:
- Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Poster.
- The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Poster.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Poster.
- Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) Poster.
- Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Poster.
Additional federal posters can be downloaded from the U.S. Department of Labor's website.
Kansas Business Types:
Kansas corporations are legal entities that comprise shareholders, directors, and officers. A corporation is controlled by a board of directors elected by shareholders. Liabilities and claims are obligations of the corporation and not the shareholders. Profits of the corporation are taxed and shareholders may also pay tax on their dividends.
Corporation owners have limited liability and enjoy easier ownership transfers. Should any shareholder die or be incapacitated, this will not negatively affect business activities. The state of Kansas requires all corporations to register with the Secretary of State. Additional filings may be required depending on your type of business.
2. Limited Liability Company (LLC).
This business structure combines the limited liability benefits of a corporation with flexible management advantages. Members are not held liable for company debts or other liabilities. LLCs may be subject to pass-through income tax depending on its structure. LLCs in Kansas are not required to keep any minutes of meetings and/or resolutions.
Registration with the Secretary of State is mandatory and additional filings may be required depending on your business activities.
3. Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs).
Partners in this business structure are protected from claims against the partnership and are not held liable for the actions of other partners. LLPs must maintain a registered office and there is no need to reform the LLP in the event of a partner's death. An annual report should be sent to the Office of the Sectary of State.
All LLPs must register with the Kansas Secretary of State and also complete additional filings, as necessary.
4. Limited Partnerships (LPs).
LPs comprise one or more general partners who have the same liability as those in a general partnership and one or more partners with limited liability. General partners act as managers in this business structure and a written agreement must be drawn up between the partners. Limited partners do not make management decisions in the partnership.
Partners pay tax on their individual profits. LPs must maintain a registered office that may be a place of business in Kansas. An LP is regarded as a separate entity; as such, it can continue in the event of a partner's death. No reformation is required if a partner dies.
Registration with the Secretary of State is mandatory. LPs may be required to complete additional filings.
5. General Partnerships.
General partnerships are owned by two or more people who share equal rights and management responsibilities. All debts and obligations fall to the owners, while a written agreement contains the details of profit and loss distribution.
General partnerships enjoy few initial costs and are easy to organize. Partners are taxed on their share of the profits. In the event of a partner's death, the general partnership may be reformed or dissolved. Registration with the Secretary of State is optional.
6. Sole Proprietorships.
Sole proprietorships are owned and controlled by one person who receives all the profits and is responsible for any debts incurred. Profits are taxed at the owner's individual income tax rate. Sole proprietorships in Kansas do not require paperwork and have minimal startup and/or maintenance fees.
The state of Kansas does not require sole proprietors to register with the Secretary of State.
Fees for Starting a Business in Kansas:
Articles of Incorporation for Corporations
Not-For-Profit Articles of Incorporation for Nonprofits
Articles of Organization for Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Certificate for Limited Partnership (LP)
How much does it cost to register a business in Kansas?
Depending on your business structure, it can cost between $20 and $190 to start a business in Kansas.
What permits do I need to start a business in Kansas?
Certain professionals and industries require licenses and permits before they can operate. Visit Kansas Business One Stop to find the relevant licensing organizations for your industry and/or business activities. You may also need to obtain local permits/licenses. Contact your local municipality to learn more.
Is Kansas a good place to start a business?
Despite higher-than-average tax rates, Kansas has a good network of angel investors, great incentives for new businesses, and supportive communities that promote long-term business growth. Thanks to its booming agricultural and biofuel industries, business owners can also cut costs on certain raw materials and energy.
How do I get a tax exempt certificate in Kansas?
You can apply for a tax-exempt entity certificate by logging in to the Kansas Department of Revenue's Customer Service Center. Simply follow the on-screen prompts.
How do I get a Kansas sales tax ID number?
You can obtain a sales tax ID number by logging in to the Kansas Department of Revenue's Customer Service Center and registering your new business.
How do I file for an LLC in Kansas?
Simply create a KanAccess account and file business formation documents for your LLC with the Kansas Secretary of State. This process can be completed online for $160.