Everything You Need to Know About Kansas Corporations:
Kansas Incorporation Options
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How to Incorporate in Kansas
To start a corporation in Kansas, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Incorporation with the Kansas Secretary of State. You can file this document online or by mail. The articles cost $90 to file by mail and $85 to file online ($89 including credit card processing). Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Kansas corporation.
Per KS Stat § 17-7925 (2019), every Kansas corporation must appoint a registered agent (also called a “resident agent”). You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your articles wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your corporation. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit the Kansas Business Filing Center’s Name Availability Search and browse until you find the perfect name for your corporation.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your corporation name is, you’re ready to file your Kansas Articles of Incorporation. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Kansas Articles of Incorporation
Learn more about each Articles of Incorporation requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Better yet, skip the form entirely and hire us to incorporate your Kansas business. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private. And for the cheapest way to start a business? Pay just $44 out the door with our Corporate Guide Service monthly payment option.
1. Corporate Name
Your name must include one of the following: Association, Church, College, Company (or “Co”), Corporation (or “Corp”), Club, Foundation, Fund, Incorporated (or “Inc”), Institute, Limited (or “Ltd”), Society, Syndicate, Union or University. Tip: Most corporations keep it simple with “Corp” or “Inc.”
2. Resident Agent and Registered Office Address
For your Kansas registered agent, you can list an individual state resident (like yourself) or a business that provides registered agent service (like Northwest). Your registered office is the Kansas street address – not a post office box or rural route – where your registered agent will accept legal notifications on behalf of your corporation. Tip: Our address will go here when you hire Northwest.
3. Mailing Address
This is where the state will send you mail (besides legal notifications—those go to your resident agent). Tip: Keep things simple with one address for all your mail. Hire Northwest as your resident agent and you can use our Kansas address for your mailing address as well.
4. Tax Closing Month
If your corporation runs on a standard calendar year, enter “December.” If your corporation operates on a fiscal year, enter the month your fiscal year ends. Tip: Most corporations list “December.”
5. Effective Date
You can either have your corporation begin upon filing, or you can choose a start date up to 90 days in the future (for example, to line up with the beginning of a tax period). Tip: Most corporations start upon filing.
6. Nature or Purpose
The state is asking what sort of activities your business will do. You can get into specifics if you want, but it is sufficient to write a general purpose, such as “to engage in any lawful act or activity for which corporations may be organized under the Kansas general corporation code.”
If your corporation will have the authority to issue stock, list the number of shares you are creating (if you have multiple classes, list the number for each class). You’ll also need to include the par value of each share. The par value (also called the “face value”) is the value listed on stock certificates and is typically the lowest price at which the share will be sold. If any class of shares comes with special rights or limitations, you’ll need to include that information too. Tip: Most corporations are stock corporations.
Starting a nonstock corporation? You must indicate if the conditions of membership are fixed by the bylaws. If not, state the membership conditions.
8. Kansas Incorporator
Your incorporator is the person who signs and submits your Articles of Incorporation. Incorporators must include their name and address. Your incorporator doesn’t have to be a director, officer, or anyone in the corporation—just a legal entity you authorize to sign and submit your form, and their role in the business can end once filing is done. Tip: We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest to form your Kansas corporation.
9. Board of Directors
You’re not required to list the number of directors or the information for any directors or officers in your articles. However, if the incorporator’s power terminates after filing the Articles of Incorporation, this section must be filled out with the names and mailing addresses of each board member. If privacy is a concern, you can list a PO Box or business address instead of a home address. Tip: When you hire Northwest as your resident agent, you can use our Kansas address for all your mailing addresses.
Want your corporation to continue indefinitely? Choose “perpetual.” Rather put a self-destruct timer on your business? Enter the date your corporation will cease to exist. Tip: Most corporations are perpetual.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your KS Corporation?
Professionals in Kansas hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent for incorporation—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. Our office is in Wichita, KS. We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Secretary of State office. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Wichita registered office address on your corporation’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Topeka, do you really want your apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding, Business Address and More
At Northwest, we do everything a registered agent should do and more. You can list our address as your business address on your state filings. We include limited digital mail forwarding with registered agent service (up to 5 pieces of regular mail per year; $15 a doc after that).
Plan on accepting credit cards? We also offer a Free Credit Card Processing Consultation. Our specialists work with processors to negotiate low rates and better contracts for our clients.
And now, try our in-house Northwest Phone Service for 60 days, free of charge with our formation service. Get a virtual phone number with your choice of area code, make and receive calls from any device, and more—for just $9 a month.
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your corporation in Kansas. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
What Do I Do After My Kansas Corporation Is Formed?
After your Kansas Articles of Incorporation are approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting bylaws, holding your first meeting, opening a bank account, and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
Your federal employer identification number (commonly known as an EIN or FEIN) is similar to a social security number for your business. The IRS assigns these numbers and uses them to easily identify individual corporations on tax filings, including federal corporate income tax returns.
Why does my Kansas corporation need an EIN?
The IRS requires corporations to get an EIN for their federal tax filings. You may also be asked for your EIN when opening a bank account, securing a loan, or applying for local business permits and licenses.
How do I get an EIN for my corporation?
You can get an EIN directly from the IRS. The application is free, and most businesses can apply online. However, if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to submit a paper application form. Can’t bear to fill out yet another application? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our incorporation service. Or choose our Corporate Guide Service—an EIN is included.
Write Corporate Bylaws
Bylaws are the internal rules you set for your business. They put into writing how decisions will be made and who gets to make those decisions. All the major organizational processes and procedures for your corporation will go in your bylaws.
For more on Kansas Corporate Bylaws (including free Corporate Bylaws templates), see our Kansas Corporate Bylaws resource.
Do I need bylaws for my Kansas corporation?
Per KS Stat § 17-6009 (2019), bylaws may be adopted, but the state statutes don’t specifically state that they must be adopted. That said, bylaws are not just annoying paperwork. They’re one of your corporation’s most critical internal documents. Your bylaws lay out the key facts, policies and processes for your corporation. Your corporate bylaws should be kept with your other corporate records, such as meeting minutes and resolutions.
What should bylaws include?
Corporate bylaws cover basic policies and procedures for issues such as company finances and management. Bylaws should cover a range of topics, answering key questions like those below:
Meetings: When and where will meetings for shareholders and directors be held? How many attendees are required to transact business? What are the procedures for voting or proxy voting? How do you call a special meeting? What actions can be taken without a meeting?
Stock: How are stock certificates issued and transferred? How is voting affected by issues such as corporate stock owners or fractional shares?
Directors and officers: How many directors must there be? Which officer positions are required? What powers do they have? How do you fill a vacancy or remove a director or officer?
Finances: What are the procedures for retaining profits, issuing dividends, and paying bills? Who can withdraw money from the corporate bank account or sign checks?
Records: Where is the corporate book to be kept? What information will be maintained? How are requests for review or access honored? Can records or copies be kept or distributed digitally?
Amendments and emergencies: Who can amend bylaws and how? Can emergency bylaws be adopted in the case of disaster?
Your bylaws can cover pretty much anything as long as it isn’t contrary to Kansas law. For example, according to Kansas statute§ 17-6009 (2019), bylaws can’t impose liability for corporate expenses or attorney fees on stockholders.
How do I write bylaws?
Creating bylaws can be overwhelming—where do you start? Northwest can help. We give you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your Kansas corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We offer many other free corporate forms as well, including templates for resolutions and meeting minutes.
Hold an Organizational Meeting
An organizational meeting is the first official meeting of the corporation after the business is legally formed with the state. At this meeting, bylaws are adopted, officers are appointed, and any other initial business is conducted. The first meeting minutes should also be recorded and added to your corporate record book.
Are there any special rules for Kansas organizational meetings?
You’re required to give a minimum of two days written notice before holding the meeting. Attendees can, however, waive their required notice in writing. The meeting is not required to be held in Kansas.
Open a Corporate Bank Account
Businesses that mix personal and business finances together risk losing their liability protections, so your corporation will need its own bank account. In addition, a corporate bank account is essential for easily accepting payments, paying bills and holding funds.
How do I open a bank account for my Kansas corporation?
To open a corporate bank account in Kansas, you’ll need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the Kansas corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
The corporation’s bylaws
The corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account. The resolution would state that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation. At Northwest, we provide free corporate bank resolutions, along with many other free corporate forms, to help you get started fast.
File Kansas Reports & Taxes
In Kansas, corporations file an annual report each year. In addition, corporations are subject to state taxes, including a corporate net income tax.
What is the Kansas Annual Report?
The Kansas Annual Report is a filing you must submit each year. In the annual report, you provide current information about the company’s principal address, and the names of officers and directors along with their addresses. The annual report also includes information about total shares of capital stock, the nature of the business, whether the corporation owns more than 50 percent of another Kansas business entity, and whether the corporation owns or leases land in Kansas that can be used for agriculture.
Filing the annual report requires a Business Entity ID number, which is not the same as an EIN. This number is assigned when the corporation is registered with the Secretary of State’s office, and can be found by searching the database on the Secretary of State’s site.
How much is the Kansas Annual Report fee?
The Kansas Annual Report has a flat fee of $55 for for-profit businesses, or $50 when filing online.
When is the Kansas Annual Report due?
The filing is due on the 15th day of the fourth month following the end of the taxable year. For example, since December is the default tax closing month, most businesses in Kansas are required to file by April 15th.each year.
These filings can be easy to forget—which is why we send our clients automatic reminders. Or better yet, let us file for you. With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Kansas corporate taxes?
Kansas corporations have one major tax requirement, a corporate net income tax.
The corporate income tax rate is a flat 4%. An additional 3% is added for taxable income over $50,000 for a total of 7%.
The Kansas sales tax is 6.5%. City, county and specialty sales taxes can be tacked on as well, making the average total sales tax 8.052%.
Do corporations have to register with the Kansas Department Of Revenue?
Yes, if you conduct business in Kansas, you’re required to register with the Kansas Department of Revenue. You can register via the Kansas Department of Revenue Customer Service Center or by filing a Kansas Business Tax Application (form CR-16). You’ll need your EIN before you can register.
Kansas Corporation FAQs
How can I submit the Kansas Articles of Incorporation?
You can file Kansas articles online through KanAccess or send them by mail. Mailed filings must be submitted to the following address:
Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 S.W. 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-1594
How much does it cost to start a Kansas corporation?
The base fee to file online is $85. However, there’s also a credit card processing fee of a few dollars, which brings online filings up to $89. It’s $90 to file by mail.
Hire us for a one-time fee of $314, which includes state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, a business address and more. Or, pay just $44 out the door with our Corporate Guide Service monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start a Kansas corporation?
After completing your online registration, business filing is effective immediately and a certified copy of the formation document can be printed. Registration by sending forms through the mail may take several days.
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your Kansas corporation formed within 24 hours.
Does a Kansas corporation need a business license?
There’s no general, statewide business license required in Kansas, but some cities and counties require general business licenses or registration when doing business within their limits. In addition, certain kinds of businesses require a specific professional license in order to operate in Kansas. A partial list of these businesses can be found here on the Kansas Business One Stop website.
For some license applications you may need an EIN or a certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation. At Northwest, we can streamline the process and get these for you—simply add on these items during checkout.
What is a foreign Kansas corporation?
A corporation formed outside of Kansas—but which conducts business in the state—is considered a foreign Kansas corporation. For example, if you incorporated in Nebraska but decide to open a storefront in Kansas, you would be a foreign Kansas corporation. This also means you would need to register with the state by filing an Application for Registration of Foreign Covered Entity with the Kansas Secretary of State. Foreign corporations are required to file the Kansas Annual Report each year as well.
Can Northwest help me form a nonprofit corporation?
Absolutely! We’re happy to start a nonprofit corporation for you. Incorporating a Kansas nonprofit uses the same form as for-profit corporations, but the filing fee is lower ($20). Nonprofit organizations in Kansas need to submit a Business Tax Application to the state’s Department of Revenue in order to register for tax accounts that may be relevant to the nonprofit’s activities.
Kansas nonprofits must also file an annual report each year ($40).
How can I get a Kansas phone number for my corporation?
It’s a conundrum: you need a local number to display on your website and give to customers, but you don’t want to make your personal number quite so…public. We get it. And we’ve got you covered with Northwest Phone Service. We can provide you with a virtual phone number in any state—plus unlimited call forwarding and tons of easy-to-use features. You can try Phone Service free for 60 days when you hire us to form your corporation, and maintaining service is just $9 monthly after that. No contract required.
How to Order Kansas Incorporation Service
Our Kansas incorporation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
We offer flexibility with two different options for payment. You can pay everything up front, which includes a full year of registered agent service. Or, pay just $44 out the door with our Corporate Guide Service monthly payment option. With our Corporate Guide Service, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
Next, we’ll prepare and submit your Kansas Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the Kansas Secretary of State has approved your filing, we notify you that your Kansas corporation has been legally formed. You can now move on to next steps, like holding your organizational meeting and opening a bank account.