How to Get Business Licenses in Kansas | A Comprehensive Guide

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
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Kansas Business License

Starting a new business is an exciting venture, but it’s essential to understand the various licenses required to operate legally within Kansas. Forming an LLC in Kansas requires licenses, as different industries and locations have specific regulations. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to Kansas Business Licenses, helping you navigate the process and ensure your new venture complies with all necessary requirements. By understanding the permitting landscape in Kansas, you can ensure that your business is fully prepared to succeed while avoiding potential legal pitfalls.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you easily obtain a business license in Kansas. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

What is a Business License in Kansas?

A business license is a legal authorization, permit, or document that allows a business to operate within a specific jurisdiction, such as a city, county, or state. Kansas business licenses are issued by Kansas Secretary of State and ensure businesses comply with applicable laws, regulations, and standards in their respective industries.

A business license protects public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring businesses operate responsibly and lawfully. Acquiring a business license often involves registering the business, paying applicable fees, and meeting specific requirements or qualifications for the type of business.

Business licenses can vary greatly depending on the location and nature of the business. Some common types of business licenses include:

1. General Business License: This is a basic license required for most businesses to operate within a specific jurisdiction, such as a city or county.

2. Professional and Occupational Licenses: These licenses are specific to certain industries or professions, such as healthcare, construction, real estate, or cosmetology, and are typically issued by state licensing boards or agencies.

You must have a professional and occupational license to form Kansas General Partnership and offer your service. 

Here are some examples of Professional and Occupational Licenses:

  • Medical License: Physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals must obtain a medical license to practice medicine in a specific state. The Kansas medical board issues this license after verifying the applicant’s education, training, and examination results.
  • Realtor License: To become a realtor in Kansas, you must obtain a real estate license to buy, sell, or lease properties on behalf of clients. Kansas has its own real estate commission or board responsible for issuing licenses and regulating the industry.
  • Contractor License: General contractors, electricians, plumbers, and other construction professionals must often have a contractor license to work in Kansas. 
  • Cosmetology License: Professionals in the beauty industry, such as hairstylists, estheticians, and nail technicians, must obtain a cosmetology license to provide services. Kansas Boards of Cosmetology oversee licensing and regulations for this industry.
  • Certified Public Accountant (CPA) License: Accountants who wish to become a CPA in Kansas must designate and provide specific services, such as auditing financial statements and obtaining a CPA license from Kansas’s Board of Accountancy.
  • Architect License: Architects must obtain a license to practice architecture in Kansas. This typically involves meeting education and experience requirements and passing the Architect Registration Examination (ARE).
  • Attorney License: Kansas Business Attorneys must obtain a license to practice law in a particular jurisdiction, typically by passing the state’s bar examination and meeting other requirements set by the Kansas bar association.

3. Health and Safety Permits: Kansas businesses involved in food service, hospitality, or other industries directly impacting public health and safety may require specific permits from local health departments or regulatory agencies.

4. Environmental Permits: Kansas businesses that involve activities that may impact the environment, such as waste disposal, air or water emissions, or hazardous materials handling, may require permits from local, state, or federal environmental agencies.

5. Sales Tax License: Kansas businesses that sell goods or services may be required to collect sales tax from customers and remit it to the appropriate tax authority. A sales tax license is typically required to collect and remit sales tax legally.

Kansas business owners must research the specific licensing requirements for their business in their jurisdiction and obtain all necessary licenses and permits to operate legally and avoid potential fines, penalties, or legal troubles.

Requirements For Getting Business Licenses in Kansas

If you start an LLC or any other type of business, you must wait until your Kansas business registration is complete. Once you have completed the necessary steps to register your business in Kansas, you must be prepared with the required documents to apply for business licenses.

  • Name of your company
  • Phone number and company address
  • Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • Your company’s legal structure (Corporation, Partnership, or LLC)
  • Your business strategy, which includes revenues and costs

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How to Get a Business License in Kansas

To get a business license, you must follow the guidelines below, including determining if your Kansas business requires a license or permit, identifying the appropriate licensing agencies, researching license and permit requirements, completing and submitting license applications, and maintaining license and permit requirements.

Step 1: Determine The Required License or Permit

The first step in obtaining a business license is determining if your business needs one. Some businesses may not require a license or permit, while others may need multiple licenses depending on their industry and location. Some businesses typically require some form of licensing or permit:

  • Professional services, such as medical, legal, and accounting
  • Food establishments, including restaurants, bars, and catering businesses
  • Retail businesses, including stores, shops, and online retailers
  • Construction and contracting companies
  • Manufacturing and industrial businesses

State Licenses

The licenses that you must get first are the licenses within the state. Kansas state licenses require individuals or businesses to engage in certain activities or professions legally. The state government issues these licenses and serves as proof that the license holder has met certain qualifications and standards set by the state. The types of licenses vary depending on the profession or activity, including but not limited to healthcare professionals, contractors, real estate agents, and drivers.

State licenses assure the public that the license holder has undergone the necessary training and education to perform their duties safely and competently.

Federal Licenses

Federal licenses in Kansas are granted by federal agencies and are required for certain activities and industries that fall under federal jurisdiction. These licenses ensure compliance with federal laws and regulations and are necessary for individuals or businesses engaged in the following services.

  • Agriculture: License issued by The U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Aviation: License issued by The Federal Aviation Administration
  • Alcohol & Tobacco: License issued by The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Ammunition, Explosive, & Firearms: License issued by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
  • Commercial Fisheries: License issued by The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries Service
  • Mining & Drilling: License issued by The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement
  • Nuclear Energy: License issued by The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Radio & Television (Broadcast): License issued by The Federal Communications Commission
  • Transportation by Sea: License issued by The Federal Maritime Commission
  • Wildlife & Fisheries: License issued by The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Obtaining a federal license in Kansas involves meeting specific criteria and adhering to federal laws and regulations, which can vary depending on the activity or industry.

City-Based License

City-based licenses in Kansas are granted by local municipalities and are required for certain activities or businesses operating within the city limits. These licenses ensure businesses comply with local regulations and ordinances and typically cover business operations, health and safety, zoning, and permits.

City-based licenses vary depending on the location and the nature of the business, but examples may include restaurant licenses, liquor licenses, taxi licenses, and street vendor licenses. Obtaining a city-based license in Kansas involves submitting an application, paying the necessary fees, and meeting specific requirements set by the local government.

Home-Based License

Home-based licenses in Kansas are required for individuals or businesses that operate from their residential property. These licenses regulate and permit activities conducted within a residential setting, such as home-based businesses or rental properties. Home-based licenses ensure these activities comply with local regulations, building codes, zoning requirements, and health and safety standards.

The specific requirements for obtaining a home-based license in Kansas can vary depending on the type of activity and the local municipality but typically involve submitting an application, paying any necessary fees, and meeting specific criteria set by the local government.

Professional License

Professional licenses in Kansas are mandatory for individuals pursuing specific careers or professions that require specialized knowledge, skills, and expertise. The state government grants these licenses and serves to regulate and ensure the competency and ethical practice of professionals in fields such as law, medicine, engineering, teaching, and accounting.

To obtain a professional license in Kansas, individuals must meet education, experience, and examination requirements specific to their profession. These licenses assure the public that they receive services from qualified professionals and protect consumers from potential harm or malpractice.

Step 2: Identify the Kansas Licensing Agencies

Once you’ve determined that your business requires a license or permit, you must identify the appropriate Kansas agencies responsible for issuing these documents. In Kansas, numerous agencies oversee licensing and permitting, including:

  • Kansas Secretary of State: This office is responsible for issuing licenses for many professional services, including legal, medical, and accounting.
  • Kansas Department of Health: Food establishments, healthcare providers, and other businesses related to health and safety may require licenses from this department.
  • Kansas Department of Revenue: If your business sells goods, you may need a sales tax license or permit from this department.
  • Kansas Department of Labor: Businesses that involve construction or contracting may need licenses from this department.
  • Local City or County Governments: Depending on your business’s location, you may also need to obtain licenses or permits from your local government.

Step 3: Research License and Permit Requirements

After identifying the appropriate agencies, research the specific requirements for each license or permit your business needs. This may involve reviewing the Kansas agency’s website, contacting their office directly, or consulting a legal or business professional. Some common requirements for obtaining a business license or permit include:

  • Completing an application form
  • Providing proof of insurance or bonding
  • Passing background checks or inspections
  • Paying application fees

Some licenses or permits may have ongoing requirements, such as annual renewals, inspections, or reporting.

Step 4: Complete and Submit License Applications

Once you’ve gathered all the necessary information and documents, complete the application forms for each required license or permit. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions provided by each Kansas agency, as incomplete or incorrect applications can lead to delays or denials.

In addition to the application forms, you may also need to submit supporting documentation, such as:

Proof of Business Registration

You can find it on the Kansas Secretary of State’s website. There should be a search feature specifically for businesses. This will often be labeled “Kansas Secretary of State Business Entity“. In the search feature, enter the name of the business you are looking for, and once it appears, you will now have proof of your business registration.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Aside from opening a bank account, you must have an Employer Identification Number in Kansas to file and submit for a business license. An EIN, also known as a Federal Tax Identification Number, is used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify your business for tax purposes. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, file taxes, and hire employees. 

The application of an EIN in Kansas can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

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Proof of Insurance, Bonding, or Worker’s Compensation Coverage

To have a business license, you need proof of insurance, bonding, or worker’s compensation. You need to obtain a certificate or policy document as additional documents for your proof of insurance. Also, there is a database of businesses with worker’s compensation coverage or require businesses to register their insurance or bonding information. Visit your Kansas Department of Labor, Department of Insurance, or another relevant agency website for information about the business’s coverage.

Professional Certifications or Licenses

As I have mentioned, if you will form a general partnership and offer your service, you must have professional certifications or licenses. 

Submit your completed applications and the Kansas business license fee, which ranges from $50 – $300. The processing times for license and permit applications can vary, so plan accordingly and allow ample time for approval.

Step 5: Maintain License and Permit Compliance

Once you’ve obtained the necessary licenses and permits for your Kansas business, it’s essential to maintain compliance with all requirements. This may include:

  • Keep your Kansas licenses and permits current by renewing them on time, typically annually.
  • Reporting any changes to your business, such as a changing Kansas LLC address. You may amend your Kansas Articles of Organization if you change anything in your Kansas business.
  • Maintaining proper insurance, bonding, or worker’s compensation coverage.
  • Complying with any inspection, reporting, or record-keeping requirements.

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Additional Considerations

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are a few additional considerations to keep in mind when navigating the Kansas business licensing process:

  • Licenses and permits are often industry-specific, so research your business type’s requirements.
  • Some businesses may need licenses or permits from multiple agencies at the state and local levels. Be sure to research and comply with all necessary requirements to avoid complications.
  • If your business operates in multiple locations or across state lines, you may need to obtain licenses or permits for each jurisdiction in which you operate. You can form Kansas Foreign LLC
  • Stay informed about licensing and permitting requirements changes, as regulations can change over time.

FAQs

How do I obtain a business license in Kansas?
You can contact the Kansas Secretary of State’s office to obtain a business license.
What is the cost for a business license in Kansas?
The cost of a business license in Kansas varies depending on the type of business you want to start.
What types of businesses require a license in Kansas?
Most businesses, such as retail shops and restaurants, require a business license in Kansas.
How long is a Kansas business license valid for?
A Kansas business license is typically valid for one year.
Can I apply for a business license online in Kansas?
Yes, you can apply for a business license online through the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.
What information do I need to provide when applying for a business license in Kansas?
You’ll need to provide basic information about your business, including its name and address, as well as information about the ownership and management.
Do I need to renew my business license each year in Kansas?
Yes, you’ll need to renew your business license annually.
What is the penalty for operating a business without a valid license in Kansas?
Operating a business without a valid license in Kansas can result in fines and other legal penalties.
Who can help me with my business license application in Kansas?
The Kansas Secretary of State’s office can provide assistance with your business license application.
What is the website for the Kansas Secretary of State’s office?
The website for the Kansas Secretary of State’s office is www.sos.ks.gov.
Are there any special requirements for obtaining a business license in Kansas?
Depending on the type of business you’re starting, there may be additional requirements you’ll need to meet.
How long does it take to obtain a business license in Kansas?
The amount of time it takes to obtain a business license in Kansas varies, but it typically takes up to a few weeks.
Can I operate a business in Kansas without a physical storefront?
Yes, you can operate a business in Kansas without a physical storefront, such as an online business.
Can I operate multiple businesses under one license in Kansas?
This depends on the type of business you’re starting. Answer:
How often do I need to file taxes for my business in Kansas?
You’ll typically need to file taxes for your business in Kansas yearly.
Where can I find more information about taxes for my business in Kansas?
You can find more information about taxes for your business in Kansas on the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website.
Is a business license required for a sole proprietorship in Kansas?
Yes, a business license is still required for a sole proprietorship in Kansas.
Can I transfer my business license to a new location in Kansas?
Yes, you can usually transfer your business license to a new location in Kansas.
Do nonprofit organizations need a business license in Kansas?
Yes, nonprofit organizations typically need a business license in Kansas.
How do I contact my local government to obtain a business license in Kansas?
Contacts will vary based on your specific area, but usually, county and state contacts may help.
How do I check the status of my business license application in Kansas?
You can check the status of your business license application by contacting the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.
How do I renew my business license in Kansas?
You can renew your business license in Kansas by submitting a renewal application to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.
How do I change the information on my business license in Kansas?
You must go to www.sos.ks.gov and request to amend your business name registration.
Do I need a separate license to sell alcohol in Kansas?
Yes, you’ll need a separate license to sell alcohol in Kansas, such as a liquor license.
Is it legal to operate a business from home in Kansas?
In most cases, it is legal to operate a business from home in Kansas.
How do I obtain a zoning permit for my business in Kansas?
You can typically obtain a zoning permit for your business by contacting your local zoning department.
What is the penalty for operating a business without a zoning permit in Kansas?
Operating a business without a zoning permit in Kansas can result in fines and other legal penalties, and you may even need to shut it down.
Can I open a temporary business in Kansas without a license?
No, you’ll still need to obtain a temporary business license even for a temporary operation in Kansas.
Do employees need to be licensed if they work for a business in Kansas?
In most cases, employees do not need a separate license to work for a business in Kansas.
What type of business entities can I register in Kansas?
Sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, and nonprofit organizations are the types of business entities you may register in Kansas.
How do I register my business name in Kansas?
You must register your business name with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office as a part of the business entity name reservation process.
Is a business license required in Kansas for all types of businesses?
No, individual professions and industries in Kansas have specific licensing requirements; it varies according to the nature of the business.
How much does it cost to apply for a business license in Kansas?
It varies according to the entity type and the fees range between $55 and $165.
Can I apply for a business license in person or by mail in Kansas?
Yes, you can apply for a business license in person or by mail in Kansas; applications are also accepted online.
Do I need to register for state taxes when I apply for a business license in Kansas?
No, separate registration will be required with the Kansas Department of Revenue.
How do I register for state taxes in Kansas?
You can complete an online registration on the Kansas Department of Revenue’s website.
Do I need to register for federal taxes when I apply for a business license in Kansas?
Yes, separate registration will be required with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
How do I register for federal taxes in Kansas?
You can complete an online registration on the IRS website, or by calling their toll-free number.
Are there any insurance requirements to obtain a business license in Kansas?
No, there are no insurance requirements to obtain a business license in Kansas, unless it is mandated by the profession or industry.
Can I operate my business without registering for a business license in Kansas?
No, you must register and obtain a valid business license to legally operate your business in Kansas.
How long does it typically take to receive a business license in Kansas?
It normally takes between 1 to 2 weeks to receive a business license in Kansas.
Are there any educational requirements to obtain a business license in Kansas?
No, there are no educational requirements to obtain a business license in Kansas.
Can I transfer my business license to another person or entity in Kansas?
The business license cannot be transferred from person to person.
Can I operate multiple businesses with one business license in Kansas?
Every business requires a separate business license regardless of the number of businesses you have.
When do I need to renew my business license in Kansas?
Business licenses in Kansas must be renewed annually by April 15, with the Kansas Secretary of State’s office.
Can I still operate my business if my business license has expired in New York?
It is illegal to operate any business that has an expired Kansas business license.
What type of documentation do I need to provide while applying for a business license in Kansas?
Documents required depend on your entity type, structure, and other criteria. Consult the Kansas SoS website.
What is the buyer beware lesson in obtaining a business license in Kansas?
It is important to familiarize yourself with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office rules, regulations and procedures.
How can I verify the status of my Kansas business license?
Information on your business registration and business entity status in provided by the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office.
Can I obtain a temporary business license in Kansas?
Temporary licenses are not required for most business situations in Kansas.
Can I qualify for a business license as a non-US legal resident?
It depends on the entity type and several criteria. Being a U.S. legal citizen is not a specific requirement.
How do I change the name of my business entity or update my registration information?
The Kansas SoS provides specific instructions on changes to the entity’s registered information on its website.
Can I apply for a business loan without having a business license first in Kansas?
Lenders may require you to have a valid business license before granting any business loans.
What happens if I don’t apply for a Kansas business license?
You may be subject to fines, penalties, lawsuits, and other legal actions. You are not authorized to plying your trade too.

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Conclusion

Obtaining the necessary licenses and permits is crucial in starting a new business in Kansas. Following the steps outlined in this guide and consulting with the appropriate agencies or professionals, you can ensure that your business complies with all state and local requirements. This will protect your business from legal issues and help establish your reputation as a responsible and trustworthy business operator.

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