How to Set Up a DBA in Kansas

Last updated: March 18th, 2024
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Interested in starting a business in Kansas? Many small business owners consider establishing a DBA to get their small business off the ground. In most states, a DBA is registered at the state level or in the county where the business is located, but Kansas is different. Kansas does not register DBAs at any level. So, what should your small business do? Is there another option? Read on to see if there’s another option for your business.

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DBA meaning

A DBA is an acronym for “doing business as,” sometimes known as a fictitious name, trade name, or DBA name, depending on which state you live in. Simply put, a DBA is just another name you can use for your business.

Sole proprietors can benefit from using a DBA because instead of using their personal name to run their business, they can use a DBA to operate under a different name. 

However, Kansas does not register any DBAs in the state.

Besides a DBA, what are your other options?

If you want to run your business under a different name than your own name, you need to set up a different kind of business entity. For example, you can set up a:

  • Limited liability company
  • For-profit corporation
  • Not-for-profit corporation
  • Limited partnerships

All of these business entities are required to register with the state. The name of the business will differ from your own registered name.

How to search for available business names in Kansas 

All business names in Kansas must be unique. No two businesses can have the same name. To ensure no duplicates, each business owner must check on name availability before registering it with the state. 

Here’s how to pick an available name in the state of Kansas:

1
Think of a name first

If you haven’t already, come up with a list of potential names for your business. Instead of choosing just one, you can create a list of names that you like. You’ll check each one for availability.

2
Search for business name availability

Visit the Kansas Secretary of State website and use the simple business name search tool to see if any businesses with your proposed name already exist. All you need to do is input the name you want to use for your business.

3
Check the results

If there are no exact matches to your search, the name you have selected is free for you to use. If there’s already a business with your proposed name, you need to pick another name. 

Remember that you can’t make a name plural or adjust the name’s spacing to make it unique. If there’s a chance the two businesses can get mixed up, the state will reject your application.

4
Reserve the name

If you see a name you want but aren’t ready to register it yet, you can reserve it here

You can reserve the name for 120 days for a filing fee of $30. When filing online, you can pay with a credit card. 

Reserving a name is temporary. Once your register the name with the state as part of your business formation paperwork, the name is yours. You won’t reserve the name anymore. 

Have a name in mind? Check on name availability first here.

How to register an LLC in Kansas

Since DBAs aren’t registered in Kansas, you’ll need to register a different business entity, likely an LLC. With an LLC, you’ll create a business name that’s different than your legal name and register it with the state.

If you plan to go this route, you can follow the directions below. 

1
Think of a business name

Check the steps above to learn how to select an appropriate name for your business. Your business name must be available. If it’s unavailable and you try registering your LLC, your application will be rejected.

2
File your Articles of Organization

The official LLC formation documents are called Articles of Organization. You can find them online through the Secretary of State Business Portal here. You will need to create an account, but having an account means you can submit, edit, and track the status of your application anytime. 

You can also file paper documents. If you are filing via mail or in person, you will need to download and fill out this form here.

Either way, you’ll be asked to provide the business name, address, company description, date established, and contact information. 

3
Pay the filing fee

To file Articles of Organization for an LLC in Kansas, the filing fee is $165. If you submit the paperwork online, you can submit your payment online at the same time via debit or credit card.

4
Wait for the application to be processed

It might take several weeks to process your application, but it will usually be completed within 10 to 14 business days. Once you have your name certificate and LLC established, you can start operating your business as soon as you complete the next steps.

Ready to register your DBA? Fill out these forms.

What comes next

The next thing you should do after filing your articles of organization forms is to get the other necessary requirements to run your business. Here are the next steps to follow:

1
Obtain an EIN

LLCs that plan to hire employees and file taxes with the IRS need an Employer Identification Number or EIN. You can get one online through the IRS website. Once you have this 9-digit code, it will serve as a number for your business, similar to your SSN. 

Having one allows you to hire employees, get worker’s compensation and insurance, and open a business bank account. 

If you plan to get an EIN, you can do so on the IRS website.

2
Open a business bank account

Now that your business has an EIN and is registered with the Secretary of State, you can open a business bank account. You can accurately track your expenses and earnings with a separate bank account.

3
Get business permits and licenses

Some small businesses are required to obtain business licenses and permits, depending on the nature of the business. You can visit the Kansas State Business website, which will give you more information about permits.

4
Create a business website for your new business

You’ll need a business website to succeed in today’s digital world. If you’re trying to start your business on a budget, there are many DIY builders you can try. If you have a startup budget, you can hire a website designer to get your site up and running.

Before you start designing, you need to buy the domain name. Ideally, the domain and business names match to avoid customer confusion.

Take the time to plan out your website design, navigation, and the features you want it to have.

In states other than Kansas, who typically sets up a DBA?

A DBA is best for a sole proprietorship that wants to operate or do business under a different name other than its legal name. For sole proprietors, a DBA allows them to work under an assumed name of your business without having to file or open a separate LLC business structure.

Note that a DBA differs from an LLC or any other business entity. While your LLC is a formal business structure, a DBA is just another name your business can operate under. 

Since Kansas does not register DBAs, you’ll need to set up a different type of business to establish a company name. No DBA filing exists.

FAQs

Why aren’t DBAs registered with the state?

Unlike most states, Kansas does not have DBA processing. State law does not require DBAs to be registered at any level. Other business types, like LLCs, are registered, though.

Are fictitious names registered in Kansas?

Fictitious names are the same as DBAs. There’s no DBA registration process in Kansas or fictitious business name registration.

What are the benefits of registering an LLC in Kansas?

Aside from using a business name rather than your personal name, an LLC offers personal liability protection. It separates your personal assets from your business assets. In the event of bankruptcy or a lawsuit, your personal assets aren’t used to cover business debts.

Can you get grants to fund your Kansas business? 

Yes, there are several grant programs that entrepreneurs can explore in Kansas. The state website has a full list of options and criteria on its website.

Can sole proprietors hire employees in Kansas?

Yes, you can hire an employee or employees in Kansas as a sole proprietor if you get an EIN from the IRS. An employer identification number will allow you to hire employees and freelancers to help you run your business. You can also apply for worker’s compensation and insurance for their benefit. 

Are sole proprietorships registered in Kansas?

Sole props aren’t registered in Kansas either, nor are DBAs.

Does a sole prop need to file taxes in Kansas?

Yes, sole proprietorships need to file taxes, but instead of filing a separate one for your business, you can just file your personal taxes. 

How long does it take to register an LLC in Kansas?

Registering an LLC in Kansas is quick and easy to do. You need to make sure your business name is available, file the proper paperwork, and pay a filing fee. Submitting the paperwork is easy to do, and the approval process takes up to 14 days.

Find out how to set up your DBA

Click on your state below to get started.

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