Kansas entrepreneurs with a great idea for a business can introduce it to the public by setting up an LLC. Formally establishing a business in the state requires a few things, which include filing LLC formation paperwork with the state and selecting a registered agent.
A registered agent is a person or company that receives official documents for the company. These documents are sometimes mailed or delivered in-person and can include things like tax notifications or service of process paperwork, which is filed when a company is sued.
To help start-up owners understand how to set up an LLC in the state of Kansas and how to select a registered agent, we’ve created this guide that answers frequently asked questions on the topic.
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How is an LLC formed in Kansas?
In Kansas, the LLC formation paperwork is called the Articles of Organization. On this paperwork, the owner will be asked for several pieces of information including the name and address of a registered agent. Before you start filling out this paperwork, here’s what you should do:
1. Name the company
Before filling out any documents, make sure the company has a name. While you might have a great name picked out, it’s not always that simple. In the state of Kansas, owners must select a company name that’s unique, which means the name can’t already be in use.
To check on the availability of a name, go to the Kansas Secretary of State website and conduct a name search. During this process, an owner can decide to reserve a name for 120 days prior to filing the Articles of Organization.
In addition, Kansas has other rules you should know about, which include:
- The name must include the phrase “Limited Liability Company,” or “LLC.”
- A company cannot use a name that makes it seem like it’s associated with the government in any way.
- There are some names that may need additional approval. Names with words like “academy” or “financial,” for example, may require additional proof before moving forward.
2. Pick a registered agent
With a name selected and checked, you need to know who you plan to select as a registered agent for the company. The registered agent will receive sensitive business documents, so this person or company should be trustworthy.
The registered agent’s name and address must be listed on the Articles of Organization.
3. File the Articles of Organization
To officially establish a business in Kansas, an owner must fill out and submit the Articles of Organization to the secretary of state. These documents can be found online and can be submitted electronically or printed and sent via mail.
The Articles of Organization requires the company name and address, the name and address of the registered agent, a list of services or products provided, the names of managing members, and the signature of the LLC organizer.
To file this paperwork, there is a fee of $165.
4. Create a company operating agreement
Creating an operating agreement should be the next item on the list. The operating agreement explains how the business runs, who the investors are, how decisions are made, and how profits and losses are handled. The state of Kansas doesn’t require a copy of this agreement, but that doesn’t mean it should be neglected.
Creating an operating agreement before a company opens will serve as a binding contract and can avoid costly problems in the future.
5. Obtain an EIN
To hire employees, pay taxes, or open a business bank account, entrepreneurs need an EIN or an employer identification number. This number is unique to your business and is issued by the IRS. A short question-and-answer session on the IRS website results in an instant EIN online. The process takes minutes.
6. File an annual report
All Kansas LLCs must file an annual report. The report can be found online and submitted or it can be printed and mailed. The cost to submit it electronically is $50. The cost to submit it by mail is $55.
What is a Kansas registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or company that accepts official documents on behalf of a company. Documentation received could be tax notifications or service of process papers filed during a lawsuit.
LLC organizers can select a person, including themselves, or a company to serve this role. A registered agent service is also an option.
Do I really need a registered agent in Kansas?
Yes. The State of Kansas requires every LLC to list a registered agent on its paperwork. Should the state or legal system need to contact your company, they need a way to do so.
Can I be my own registered agent in Kansas?
Yes. An owner can serve as his or her own registered agent. It’s actually fairly common for the owner or another employee to take on this role. However, there are other options. The owner can elect someone outside of the company, like a neighbor, friend, or even another company or service.
Who can be a registered agent in Kansas?
As mentioned, an LLC organizer has a lot of choices when it comes to selecting a registered agent. However, there are a few rules that must be followed.
In Kansas, a registered agent can be:
- A person over the age of 18 with a physical street address in Kansas, or
- A company that’s in good standing with the state of Kansas with a physical street address in the state, as opposed to a P.O. box.
- The person or company must have availability during the day to accept paperwork in-person. Ideally, this person or company is present during normal business hours.
Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service?
A registered agent service is a company that’s paid to be another company’s registered agent. There are services specifically set up for this role. These companies are open during normal business hours, let owners use their address, notify the owner if documents are received, and can help with paperwork like filing annual reports.
While many owners do serve as their own registered agent, there are some reasons to go with a service, like:
- Convenience. Hiring a registered agent service is easy. It takes the responsibility of receiving in-person documents out of the owner’s hands, which is why some entrepreneurs opt to pay for the service.
- Peace of mind. With a registered agent in charge, a company owner has peace of mind. The owner knows that nothing gets missed. If documents are sent, the owner will be notified.
- Privacy. One of the documents that a registered agent can accept are service of process papers. These are the legal documents that are served during a lawsuit. Rather than “being served” in front of employees and customers, these documents will go to a registered agent located offsite.
List of Kansas registered agent services
There are many registered agent services available in Kansas, but here’s a look at a few options so entrepreneurs have an idea of features and prices offered in the area:
- Incfile.com: Incfile.com can help entrepreneurs file their LLC formation paperwork and serve as the company’s registered agent. The online company offers a host of beneficial business services that includes filing reports and other necessary documents with the state. The first year is free. After that, it’s $119 a year.
- Northwest Registered Agent: For $125 a year, Northwest Registered Agent offers an online portal, real-time updates when mail is received, and pricing that remains the same each year. The company offers its services in several states and has years of experience in the field. Additional business services are also offered.
- Swyft Filings: Swyft Filings offers registered agent services that start at $149 a year. Users get an online dashboard, report and filing reminders, and secure document storage for this fee. In addition, the company has a buffet of other business services available when you have a need.
How much does a registered agent service cost in Kansas?
Start-ups have to watch the bottom line, so it’s natural to inquire about the cost of a registered agent service. In Kansas, the cost will vary depending on what kind of services you want. For basic services, where a company receives documents and notifies you of delivery, services can cost as little as $50 a year.
A registered agent service with features like same-day document scans and assistance with compliance paperwork and annual reports will cost more. Expect to pay between $100-200.
How does an owner select a registered agent in Kansas?
To select a registered agent in Kansas, the LLC organizer lists the person or company on the LLC formation paperwork. The Articles of Organization ask for the name and contact information of the company’s registered agent.
Can a company change its registered agent?
Yes. The registered agent can be changed anytime. To do so, a change form can be found on the secretary of state’s website. There is a $30 filing fee.
What’s a statutory agent?
A statutory agent is another term for a registered agent. There are states, like Arizona, for example, that use the term statutory agent. In Kansas, the common term is registered agent though.
What’s a commercial registered agent?
A commercial agent is a company that’s paid to be a registered agent. So, if a business owner decides to pay for a registered agent service, that company has a commercial agent. If an owner is his or her own agent or if they elect another employee to serve as a registered agent, it’s called a non-commercial agent.