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How to Start a Business in Kansas

Want to start a new business in the state of Kansas, but don’t know where to begin? You’re in good hands!

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Building from an agribusiness base, Kansas is also becoming more competitive in manufacturing, professional services, and retail trades. Kansas’s tax benefits are very attractive to the new business owner, as well as the low cost of living. Entrepreneur.com recently rated Kansas as one of the top 10 states to do business in, in 2015.

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How to Start a Business

Starting a business can be both exhilarating and challenging. It requires your full attention and energy. It all begins with an idea, an observation that there is a problem and the belief that you have a new solution – or a better one. Allow us to walk you through the steps in this free guide: How to Start A Business.

General resources for starting a business in Kansas

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Fun facts about starting a business in Kansas

Famous business founded in Kansas: Payless ShoeSource

Payless ShoeSource is a discount footwear retailer founded in Topeka, Kansas in 1956 by cousins Louis and Shaol Pozez. On May 1, 2012, it was purchased by Wolverine World Wide, Blum Capital, and Golden Gate Capital for 1.32 billion.

Famous entrepreneur born in Kansas: Clay Lacy, aviation entrepreneur

Clay Lacy, born in 1932 in Wichita, Kansas, is the founder and chief executive officer of Clay Lacy Aviation, established in 1968. His professional resume includes airline captain, military aviator, experimental test pilot, air race champion, world record-setter, aerial cinematographer and business aviation entrepreneur. Lacy has flown more than 300 aircraft types, logged more than 50,000 flight hours, and accumulated more hours flying turbine aircraft than any other pilot in the world.

“Aviation is a great field to be in and I think that most people in aviation are happy and like their work better than those in most professions. What’s the best advice I can give people wanting to get into the industry? If you’re passionate about it, and you really love it, you’ll find a way to get into it and work at it. There are many facets of corporate aviation – mechanical, pilots, manufacturing – so no matter what you want to get into, it’s up to you to find a way and work hard to get where you want to be.” – Clay Lacy

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Which type of legal structure is best for my business in Kansas?

You must consider the tax, legal, and liability implications carefully before deciding on the best legal structure. At bizHUMM, we strongly recommend your incorporate.

Here are 5 helpful steps to determine the best legal structure:

Click one of the buttons below to learn more about the different types of business legal structures and how to start them in the state of Kansas.
LLC (Limited Liability Company)
A limited liability company (LLC) is the United States-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC is not a corporation; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners.

Steps to starting an LLC in Kansas:

  • Step 1 — Choose a name for your LLC.
  • Step 2 — File Articles of Organization.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a Registered Agent.
  • Step 4 — Prepare an Operating Agreement.
  • Step 5 — Comply with any publication requirements.
  • Step 6 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 7 — File Annual Reports.
  • Step 8 — Register foreign LLCs doing business in Kansas.

For help forming your LLC in Kansas we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Alternatively, visit the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Other Kansas resources for LLCs:

Kansas Business Center Name Search: Search for the availability of your LLC name here.
File your “Application for Reservation of Name” here.
File your “Articles of Organization” here.
File your “Annual Reports” here.

Network Kansas: A list of common businesses that require registration, licensing, or permits in Kansas.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC here. If your LLC has more than one member, you must get an EIN, even if you have no employees.

Department of Revenue: Kansas Business Center: If you will be selling goods or will have employees, you’ll need to register here.

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship, also known simply as a proprietorship, is a type of business entity that is owned and run by one person, and in which there is no legal distinction between the owner and the business. The owner is in direct control of all elements and is legally accountable for all of the finances of such business.

Steps to starting Sole Proprietorship in Kansas:

  • Step 1 — Choose a business name.
  • Step 2 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 3 — Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your sole proprietorship in Kansas we recommend CorpNet (there are fees for their service).
Or, visit the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Other Kansas resources for Sole Proprietorship:

Kansas Business Center Name Search: Search for the availability of your business name here. A sole proprietor can use their own surname, or a fictitious business name. In Kansas, a sole proprietor does not have to reserve a business name officially with the state.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal database for existing trademark registrations. Click on the “TESS” link to conduct a search.

Network Kansas: A list of common businesses that require registration, licensing, or permits in Kansas.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN number for your business. You must get an EIN if your LLC has more than one member, even if it has no employees.

Department of Revenue: Kansas Business Center: If you will be selling goods or will have employees, you’ll need to register here.

Partnership
A partnership is a legal form of business operation between two or more individuals who share management and profits. The federal government recognizes several types of partnerships. The two most common are general and limited partnerships. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business and shares in the profits and losses of the business.

Steps to starting Partnership in Kansas:

  • Step 1 — Name your partnership.
  • Step 2 — File a trade name as a trademark (optional).
  • Step 3 — Create a partnership agreement.
  • Step 4 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 5 — Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your partnership in Kansas we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Alternatively, visit the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Other Kansas resources for Partnership:

Kansas Business Center Name Search: Search for the availability of your business name here. A partnership may use the surnames of the individual partners, or a fictional business name. In Kansas, a partnership does not have to reserve a business name officially with the state.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal database for existing trademark registrations. Click on the “TESS” link to conduct a search.

Network Kansas: A list of common businesses that require registration, licensing, or permits in Kansas.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your partnership here. Partnerships are required to have an EIN, whether or not they hire employees.

Department of Revenue: Kansas Business Center: If you will be selling goods or will have employees, you’ll need to register here.

S Corporation
An S corporation is a regular corporation that has elected "S corporation" tax status. Forming an S corporation lets you enjoy the limited liability of a corporate shareholder, but pay income taxes as if you were a sole proprietor or a partner. In general, S corporations do not pay any federal income taxes. Instead, the corporation's income or losses are divided among and passed through to its shareholders. The shareholders must then report the income or loss on their own individual income tax returns.

Steps to starting S Corporation in Kansas:

  • Step 1 — Name your corporation.
  • Step 2 — Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 — Issue stock.
  • Step 9 — Comply with Kansas annual report requirements.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — Register foreign corporations doing business in Kansas.

For help forming your S corporation in Kansas we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Alternatively, visit the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Other Kansas resources for S Corporation:

Kansas Business Center Name Search: Search for the availability of your corporate name here.
File your “Application for Reservation of Name” here.
File your “Articles of Organization” here.
File your “Annual Reports” here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your corporation here.

IRS S corporations: Specific instructions for your tax requirements as an S corp.

Department of Revenue: Kansas Business Center: Register here to fulfill business tax requirements.

C Corporation
A C corporation (or C corp for short), refers to any corporation that is taxed separately from its owners. A C corporation is distinguished from an S corporation, which generally is not taxed separately. In a C corporation, there can be an unlimited number of stockholders. This allows the corporation to sell shares to a large amount of investors, which allows for more funds to be raised for projects.

Steps to starting C Corporation in Kansas:

  • Step 1 — Name your business.
  • Step 2 — File Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 — Find a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 5 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 6 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 7 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 8 — Issue stock.
  • Step 9 — Comply with Kansas annual report requirements.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — Register foreign corporations doing business in Kansas.

For help forming your C corporation in Kansas we recommend CorpNet there are fees for their service).
Or, visit the Kansas Secretary of State website.

Other Kansas resources for C Corporation:

Kansas Business Center Name Search: Search for the availability of your corporate name here.
File your “Application for Reservation of Name” here.
File your “Articles of Organization” here.
File your “Annual Reports” here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your corporation here.

Department of Revenue: Kansas Business Center: Register here to fulfill corporate tax requirements.

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Why choose Kansas for my business?

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