Step 1) Decide on a Name for Your Kansas Non-Profit

Choose a Business NameForming a Non-Profit in Kansas requires that you decide on a name in which your organization will be recognized. Aside from the standard naming convention in which the name should be unique from any existing Non-Profit filed with the Secretary of State of Kansas, there are also a few other requirements to observe so you can register the name.

For one, the Kansas Non-Profit name should be rendered in Roman characters. Then, any of the following words or their equivalent abbreviations must be in the actual name: ‘incorporated’, ‘corporation’, ‘limited’, ‘association’, ‘company’, ‘foundation’, ‘institute’, ‘society’, ‘union’, ‘syndicate’, ‘church’, ‘club’, ‘college’, or ‘fund’. To check if the name you have decided on is available, use the Kansas business name search tool.


Step 2) Elect Officers and Directors for Your Kansas Non-Profit

Choose the Initial DirectorsAs part of the requisites for starting a Kansas Non-Profit, it is your responsibility to initially elect your Kansas Non-Profit officers and directors.

In this state, a minimum of one director should be elected to legally incorporate.


Step 3) Choose a Kansas Registered Agent for Your Non-Profit

Choose a Registered AgentA Kansas Registered Agent is required for the legal incorporation of your Non-Profit, so it is imperative that you meet all the state requirements for hiring one to successfully incorporate.

A Registered Agent in Kansas should be a person who lives in the state or a domestic or foreign business entity, provided that it is legally registered to operate within Kansas. That said, you can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get a Kansas Registered Agent free of charge when you incorporate your Non-Profit with IncFile.


Step 4) Process and File Your Kansas Non-Profit Articles of Incorporation

Register an LLCThe Non-Profit of Articles of Incorporation should be filed to the Secretary of State of Kansas to be legally registered as a Non-Profit. Make sure to fill out all required information accordingly and precisely before filing it.

This form can be filed online at the Secretary of State of Kansas website or through mail submission using the address provided together with the form.

In addition to the standard form, you are also to include the following provisions when filing your form. These provisions should meet with the requirements of the IRS to be granted the 501(c)(3) tax exempt status:

(1) A statement of purpose in accordance with IRS criteria for 501(c)(3) status; (2) A statement that your Non-Profit will not engage in any unlawful activity regardless of its nature; (3) A statement of dissolution of assets bequeathing your assets to another 501(c)(3) organization at the end of your Non-Profit’s life.


Step 5) Have an Initial Meeting with the Elected Board of Directors

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of DirectorsThe first board of directors meeting is a crucial official conference as the following agenda will have to be decided at this time:

The minutes of the meeting should be prepared, signed by all the meeting’s participants, and stored in the Corporate Record Book.


Step 6) Maintain a Corporate Records Binder for your Kansas Non-Profit

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsFrom your Kansas Non-Profit registration forms to your paperwork on business licenses, permits, and taxes, everything should be kept in a safe and orderly place.

With this, you must maintain a Corporate Records Binder where you can place all these documents for safekeeping purposes. A Corporate Records Binder can be purchased at your nearest office supply chain or you can directly order via Amazon.


Step 7) Process for an Employer Identification Number for Your Kansas Non-Profit

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn Employer Identification Number is a series of numbers that uniquely identifies your Non-Profit organization from the rest of the other registered Non-Profits in Kansas.

A Kansas Non-Profit EIN can be processed for free at the IRS website.


Step 8) Open a Business Bank Account

Best Business Bank AccountBy opening a bank account you will be able to keep your personal and business finances separate. This way, you can ensure that all your personal assets will not be mixed up with your business assets.

To find out which is the best bank for your Kansas Non-Profit, do the research. Visit this quick roundup for a list of our favorites.


Step 9) Apply for Federal and State Tax Exemptions

Small Business TaxesWhen you incorporate as a Non-Profit, you need to know about the policies for Kansas Non-Profit tax registration to give you an idea on how to go about it. From registering for Non-Profit taxes to obtaining federal and state tax exemptions, here are some steps you must adhere to:

1) File your Federal Tax Exemption Requirements

To get this process started, you must file Form 1023, Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As this form is quite lengthy, exercise caution when filling it out to ensure that everything is clear and correct. An alternative to this form is Form 1023-EZ, Streamlined Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Only small Non-Profits with an estimated annual gross of less than $50,000 and net assets of less than $250,000 are allowed to use this form. Compared to the former form, Form 1023-EZ is relatively shorter and simpler.

2) Obtain State Tax Exemptions

As soon as you have filed for federal tax exemptions, the next step is to obtain Kansas state tax exemptions. As there are several tax types your Non-Profit might be exempted from, head on to the Kansas Department of Revenue to complete all the necessary requirements.

3) Process Additional State Report and Registration Requirements

When you conduct fundraising activities or charity events, you might also be required to file for report or register the said activity. All these requirement may depend on the gravity of the activity and the size of your organization. You can check with the Attorney General’s Office in Kansas for further details.


Step 10) Handle Your Kansas Business Licenses & Regulations

Business LicensesAfter making sure your business is registered for taxes, adhere to the appropriate licenses, permits, and regulations. This will help you operate legally at a state and federal level.

To learn more about the obligations you will need to adhere to, check out this resource roundup built by the SBA. If you are nervous about this step and would rather professionals do the research for you, here is a great package.


To-Do After Starting a

Kansas Non-Profit

Now that you have followed the steps above, you are an official Non-Profit organization in the state of Kansas. Other than those 10 steps that are based on state guidelines, here are 2 additional steps based on best practices for starting a successful organization. Not required, but highly recommended.

1) Make a Plan for Your Kansas Non-Profit

Write a Business PlanEvery organization gearing up for success can learn from experts that it is always prudent to have a strong business plan implemented in place. A business plan is an outline of how to achieve business goals and how to curtail possible challenges that your business faces through its operations.

With a business plan, there is a clearer path to setting goals and achieving expectations. Learn how to write a business plan effectively with the resources below.

How to Write a Business Plan Quick Links


2) Build a Business Website

Build a Business WebsiteThe next step when starting a Kansas Non-Profit is to build a professional website that represents what you offer. Thankfully you don’t have to be tech savvy to start a website since there are platforms like WordPress that are easy to get started.

Recommended Resource: Learn how to start a website and customize it through this step-by-step guide.

This is an informational article meant to give only information on starting a Non-Profit organization in Kansas. This guide should not be taken as a legal documentation or advice. Always consult a lawyer’s expertise when it comes to specific questions and details about Kansas Non-Profit organizations or starting a new business in Kansas.  

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