You have a big idea, truckloads of ambition, dreams of a thriving Kansas LLC, and you’re mentally prepared to make it happen. But the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and for you, that first step is filing the Articles of Organization.
With such grand plans, the last thing you might want to do is file paperwork, but completing the Articles of Organization is what authenticates your LLC, making it official in Kansas. It’s perhaps the most important step in starting your Kansas LLC. Following this guide will help take the tedium out of paperwork and get your business started quickly.
But before you dive into the Articles of Organization, you should have a few pieces of information ready to help streamline the process.
Quick Note: If you’d rather have a service file the Articles of Organization with the state of Kansas on your behalf or simply need to save time, an LLC formation service can take care of the paperwork for you.
Choosing an LLC Name
Before anything else, you will need to decide on an LLC name. You must include a business name on your Articles of Organization, and if the Secretary of State deems that name unacceptable or unavailable, the document will be rejected, so make sure you nail down a good name right away.
While narrowing down your name options, each one must adhere to the state’s requirements by using a term that’s indicative of its business type, like “limited liability company,” “limited company,” “L.L.C.,” “L.C.,” “LLC,” or “LC.” Got a good one? Confirm that it’s distinguishable from all other names on record with the Secretary of State by performing a name search.
Once you’ve found your perfect name, include it on your Articles of Organization to automatically register it. In the event that you’re not quite ready to file an LLC, you can place a 120-day hold on your name by submitting a name reservation request.
Choosing a Kansas Resident Agent
A resident agent is your LLC’s liaison to the state, the mediator who takes care of all your important legal, tax, and compliance documents, keeping your business in good standing. Without a valid resident agent’s name and address, your Articles of Organization will be incomplete, so make sure you have an agent ready beforehand.
Your agent can either by an individual – who must be a Kansas resident with a physical in-state address – or a business entity that’ authorized to do business in the state, like a resident agent service.
Quick Note: If your first choice doesn’t work out, don’t worry. You can always change your resident agent in the future.
Preparing to File Your Kansas Articles of Organization
Now for the main event: the Articles of Organization. Here’s your opportunity to get your LLC officially on record and authorized to conduct business in Kansas.
Considering the Articles of Organization’s profound importance in the LLC formation process, it’s surprising how short and simple the form is. Collect all the required information before you begin, and this filing will be smooth sailing. Here’s everything that you’ll need:
- The LLC name
- Resident agent name and address
- The LLC’s mailing address
- Tax closing month (December is the default)
- An effective date up to 90 days following the filing (optional)
The hardest part of the Articles of Organization, in fact, might be the payment. As you decide how you’d like to file, keep in mind that the filing fee is different for each method. Online submissions cost $160, mailed or in-person filings are $165, and faxed forms are $185.
Finally, processing time varies depending on which option you choose. If you’re in a hurry, consider the online option which will process immediately. All other options will take three to five business days.
When it comes to filing your Articles of Organization, The Kansas Secretary of State has your LLC’s best interests in mind, providing four different options: online, mail, in person, and fax.
The Kansas Business Center is your hub for electronic business filings. You will need a KanAccess account if you haven’t already created one. Once you’re logged in, select “Business Entity Formation (AOI),” follow the instructions, and you’ll be on your way. After you finish, your form will be processed immediately.
Find a paper application here. Download, complete, and mail it (along with your payment) to:
Kansas Office of the Secretary of State
Memorial Hall, 1st Floor
120 S.W. 10th Avenue
Topeka, KS 66612-15941
Live in Topeka? You can take a break from the office and hand-deliver your form and payment to the same address.
If you prefer to submit documents by fax, you can send it to (785) 296-4570.
Mailed, hand-delivered, and faxed forms take just a little bit longer to process, 3-5 business days to be exact.
What About Foreign LLCs?
The process outlined above works for domestic LLCs (those formed in Kansas), but what if your business is expanding to Kansas from another state? In this case, you can disregard the Articles of Organization because your LLC will take a different path.
Instead, you will need to file an Application for Registration of Foreign Covered Entity. This is called “foreign qualifying” your LLC. Be careful not to conduct any business in the state before foreign qualifying, or your business might face some serious fines and penalties.
But after you’ve successfully filed your Application for Registration, you’re free to kick off your business activities in Kansas.
Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?
Let’s be honest: you’ve got a lot on your plate. Filing paperwork can take time away from your other tasks, ones more focused on setting your budding LLC up for success.
The good news is that you don’t need to file the Articles of Organization yourself. But if an attorney is out of your price range, hiring an LLC creation service is a great option.
There’s no shortage of business incorporation services out there, but not all of them are equal. Each one offers different packages, costs, and processing times, so it’s important to find the right fit for your LLC.
While each service has optional upgrades and perks packages, on the most basic level, they will review your business information, prepare your formation documents, and submit them to the Kansas Secretary of State. They will complete everything outlined in this guide and notify you when your Articles of Organization has been filed. You won’t have to lift a finger.
There are other benefits too. Some services will include a year of free resident agent service when you hire them. Other services offer order tracking, notifications on future documents (like Annual Reports), assistance drafting your operating agreement, or coverage of certain LLC formation costs.
Which is the Best LLC Service?
All you need to do now is research every service extensively and make side-by-side comparisons for each option. Easy, right? Just kidding – we did all of that for you.
And from our meticulous research of reviewing and ranking the top LLC services, we’ve drawn the conclusion that IncFile and Northwest are your best overall options.
They might not have the brand recognition of LegalZoom, the industry giant, but both have amazing customer support, affordable prices, and include a year of resident agent service.