Step 1) Verify & Secure Your Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your brand name should contain the words ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, set up an account with the state to file a Temporary Reservation of Business Entity Name to reserve the name for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $35
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use WEEBLY to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
Step 2) Obtain A Registered Agent
A Kansas Registered Agent is an intermediary, responsible for receiving and helping you to handle/process all official documentation like state filings, tax forms, legal notices, and so on. This agent can be an individual or a corporate entity, but they need to be a Kansas resident (with a Kansas street address, non-P.O. Box) and be able to legally conduct business in the state.
You can hire an outside professional service and pay up to $160/year, or get a Registered Agent free when you incorporate through IncFile or Incorporate.com. They handle this along with much more depending on your startup package.
Step 3) File Articles Of Incorporation
Once you've got your agent, file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State through an online application or by mail to make your corporation official. This is a declarative document for the public record that discloses some of the basics like those listed below, so don't take this step until you're ready and everyone agrees it's time to open up shop.
- Corporate name, address, and purpose, number of shares,
- Full name and complete address of Registered Agent,
- Full name and complete address of the incorporators,
Filing fee: $90
Step 4) Start A Corporate Records Book
A Corporate Records Book, or binder, is where you put copies of all the most important core documents that make your company what it is in the eyes of the law – Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s very common. Sure, have them online or thumb drive as well, but this is a long-standing tradition for corporations.
Step 5) Appoint Initial Director, Meet, Discuss Bylaws
Appoint at least 1 director who will oversee the Kansas corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names/addresses of directors and keep in your records book. Meeting should include:
Step 6) Open A Business Bank Account
How much time did you and your corporate team spend on choosing where to establish your brand's financial foundations? Do you already have an experienced and knowledgeable CFO who understands the many different options in terms of local, state, and national banks/credit unions?
This is an important decision that shouldn't be taken lightly by any stretch of the imagination. Check out this breakdown of the perks with many mainstream Business Checking Accounts to start brushing up.
Step 7) Handle Taxation & Licensing
Honestly, this is the step where a business attorney needs to come into the picture, especially if your regulatory load is on the high-end. At bare minimum consider having a filing service handy to help.
- Get an EIN, or Employer Identification Number for free through the IRS Website.
- Bookmark the Kansas City Small Business Admin and the state’s Business Center.
- To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
- Consider professional business license research services that take care of the legwork for you.