Kansas Incorporation

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How to Incorporate in Kansas

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If you’re looking to incorporate in Kansas, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you file formation documents, get tax identification numbers, and set up your company records.


Paperwork Cost Time
  • Form CF: Kansas For-Profit Corporation Articles of Incorporation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Form CR-16: Kansas Business Tax Application
  • Incorporation: $90 + optional $20 fax fee
  • Incorporation: Immediately online. ~2-3 business days by paper.

How to Incorporate in Kansas

1 Choose a corporate structure

Incorporating means starting a corporation. If you want to form an LLC, please see "How to Form an LLC in Kansas".

Is your corporation for-profit or not-for-profit? If you are starting a nonprofit, please see "How to Start a Non-Profit Organization in Kansas".

C-Corp and S-Corp refer to taxation with the IRS, not to legal structures. Your corporation is taxed as a C-Corp unless you file an election to be taxed as an S-Corp (explained below).

2 Check Name Availability

The legal name of your corporation may not conflict with any other registered name. Check availability of your desired name by conducting a name search.

Name Search:
Kansas Business Center
Name Reservation:
Optional
Suffix:
The name of the corporation which, except for banks, shall contain one of the words "association," "church," "college," "company," "corporation," "club," "foundation," "fund," "incorporated," "institute," "society," "union," "university," "syndicate" or "limited," or one of the abbreviations "co.," "corp.," "inc.," "ltd.," or words or abbreviations of like import in other languages if they are written in Roman characters or letters K.S.A. §17-6002
3 Appoint a Registered Agent

Identify the corporation’s Kansas registered agent. This individual or company receives notice of lawsuit and other legal service for the corporation.

4 File Kansas Articles of Incorporation

File the articles of incorporation to create your corporation.

Agency:Kansas Secretary of State
Form:

Form CF: For-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Filing method:

Mail , fax, in-person, or online

Agency fee:

$90 + optional $20 fax fee or $85 online

Turnaround:

Immediately online. ~2-3 business days by paper.

Law:

K.S.A. c17

5 Establish Bylaws & Corporate Records

Your corporation must keep correct and complete books and records. These typically inlcude minutes of all meetings of its shareholders and board of directors, a record of all actions taken by the shareholders or board of directors without a meeting, and a record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of the board of directors on behalf of the corporation.

Your filed articles of incorporation are the first document for your corporate records. Your corporation will generate many other official records such as bylaws, meeting minutes, and your EIN.

Office supplies intended for a corporation will help you stay organized and save time. Optionally, get a corporate record book, seal, and document templates.

Draft bylaws (potentially using a template) which is the governing document for the corporation. The bylaws may contain any provision, not inconsistent with law or with the articles of incorporation, relating to the business of the corporation, the conduct of its affairs, and its rights or powers or the rights or powers of its stockholders, directors, officers or employees (K.S.A. §17-6009). You will review and ratify the bylaws at your first board of directors meeting.

6 Appoint Initial Directors

The initial directors serve on the board until the annual meeting of shareholders (when directors are elected to the board). If the initial directors are not named in the articles of incorporation, they are appointed by the incorporator. The incorporator documents and signs this action for the corporate records.

7 Hold Organizational Meeting

Hold the organizational meeting of the incorporators or initial directors in compliance with K.S.A. §17-6008. The meeting may held in or out of Kansas. Keep minutes of this meeting.

The following state laws apply unless overridden by the organizational documents, where permissible.

Directors Officers
  • Number: One or more required.
  • Qualifications: None.
  • Quorum: Majority of directors, unless bylaws fix a different number. No less than one third.
  • As stated in the bylaws, but a minimum of one. One person may hold multiple offices. One officer is required to be responsible for maintaining corporate records.
8 Issue Stock Certificates

The owners may be issued stock certificates to serve as proof of ownership in the corporation. Remember to hold the first annual meeting of the shareholders (the owners of the corporation) according to bylaws and keep minutes of this meeting.

The following state laws apply unless overridden by the organizational documents, where permissible.

Shareholders Annual Shareholder Meeting
  • Qualifications: N/A
  • Stock Certificate: Not required.
  • Voting Trusts Allowed: Yes.
  • Required: Yes, unless directors are elected by written consent.
  • Action by written consent: Allowed if by all shareholders entitled to vote on the action. May be altered by bylaws.
9 Get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Your corporation must obtain an EIN regardless of whether it will hire employees.

Submit to:
Internal Revenue Service
http://www.irs.gov/
Form:
IRS Form SS-4
Guidance:
IRS Pub 1635: Understanding Your EIN
Filing Method:
Mail, phone, fax, or apply online with the IRS
Fee:
$0
Turnaround:
Immediately online
Notes:
The IRS website is only available during certain hours. Print your EIN before closing your session.
10 Get Kansas State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

If your organization is required to pay Kansas tax, then you must register:

Submit to:
Kansas Department of Revenue
http://www.ksrevenue.org
Form:
Form CR-16: Kansas Business Tax Application
Filing Method:
Mail or online
Fee:
The state fee varies based on the tax accounts / licenses required.
11 Consider Electing S-Corp Taxation

By default, your corporation is taxed as a C-Corporation. Some corporations, especially smaller ones, benefit from electing S-Corp tax treatment:

  • C-Corps suffer from double taxation: the corporation pays taxes on profits then members pay taxes on their distributions. If profits exceed $250,000 per owner, you provide employee benefits, or you will re-invest most of your profit in the business, you may benefit from the low tax rates on retained earnings under C-Corp treatment.
  • S-Corp treatment avoids double-taxation. It is generally the best choice for small businesses. To accomplish this, file Form 2553: S-Corp Election with the IRS.
12 Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

To run your business legally, you must obtain applicable licenses and permits. The easiest way to navigate the wide range of federal, state, and local requirements is to search by your business type and locality using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit look-up tool.

13 Ongoing Filings to Maintain Your Corporation

You must file federal and state tax returns. You must also file:

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