What Is a Kansas Business Entity Search?

A Kansas business entity search allows you to research existing business names before deciding on your own. Before establishing an LLC in Kansas, it's important to search your desired name to ensure it's free to use. Your preferred name for your Kansas LLC must follow specific state rules and be one-of-a-kind.

Kansas LLC Name Requirements

Abbreviations for LLC must also be used. While “LLC” is the most common for Kansas LLCs, “L.L.C.” is also acceptable. Since Kansas LLCs are not corporations, you cannot use the words “incorporated,” “corporation,” or any of their abbreviations.

The LLC name you choose must be different from any other registered business name in the state of Kansas. Having a different designator at the end of the business name, such as “Inc.” or “LLC” does not count toward its uniqueness.

Choosing a name with slightly different grammar isn't enough to distinguish it from other businesses either. The name must be completely different. For instance, you cannot do any of the following:

  • Add Inc. or LLC to an existing business name
  • Change another business name to possessive, plural, or singular
  • Switch “&” and “and”
  • Add “the,” a”, or “an”
  • Add punctuation
  • Spell out numbers

Given these rules that demand uniqueness, the following examples do not qualify:

  • Jones Investments, LLC vs. Jones Investments, Inc.
  • Cedar Farm, LLC vs. Cedar Farms, LLC
  • Paper Shop, LLC vs. The Paper Shop, LLC
  • Sun & Moon, LLC vs. Sun and Moon, LLC
  • Two Men Moving, LLC vs. 2 Men Moving, LLC

The LLC name you choose cannot refer to certain services such as law, medicine, banking, or others, unless you have obtained the necessary licenses or have otherwise received permission to use them. In some cases, you may need to establish a Professional LLC (PLLC) instead.

Searching the Kansas Name Databases

You can perform a search for a business name using a variety of means, either with the name itself, associated key words, a filing number, or through a registered agent. Try using the Name Availability Search feature for straightforward “yes” or “no” answers. Browse all businesses with the Business Entity Search Station to ensure your name is truly distinguished from others.

Name Availability Search

Navigate to www.kansas.gov/businesscenter/ and look for the box underneath “Is Your Name Available?” This is where you can enter your preferred LLC name and designator to see if it's available. Try playing around with a comma in your LLC name. For example, “Acme, LLC” and “Acme LLC” are both acceptable names.

If the business name is available, you will receive the message “is available.” If it's unavailable, you will see the message “is not available.” In the case of the name not being available, be creative to try and come up with a distinguished variation that stands out from other names. If the business name is available, the website will allow you to place a Name Reservation. This isn't required to form an LLC in Kansas, but it's only $30 and can help ensure you get the name you want.

How to Use the Business Entity Search Station

In addition to researching and reserving an available operating name, the Business Entity Search Station function allows you to pay franchise taxes and buy a Certificate of Good Standing. After registering your business name in the Kansas.gov database, use the search function to update the company's information, such as its address or registered agent.

Note that the Kansas Secretary of State's online portal features helpful filters that allow business owners to complete these tasks easily. Visit the website and click on “Business Entity Database.” This will take you to an option to click “By business entity name.” Enter the preferred name for your LLC in the search box that says, “Name of Business.” Leave out any punctuation and the “LLC” ending. For this search purpose, don't worry about capitalization.

To ensure you cover all your bases, enter the first one or two words of your business name to make sure there isn't a similar result. For instance, if your Kansas LLC name is “Acme Apple Farm LLC,” you should first enter “Acme Apple.” Alternatively, you can just enter a portion of the first word, so if the name is “Copying Solutions LLC,” search “copy.”

When searching for these keywords, try to use a word that's less common. Common words tend to return too many results. This database consists of over 300,000 names alone, so a search would take far too long if common words had to be sifted through. Plus, search results are limited to 300 names matching the keywords you enter.

If you are performing a search using a business entity's ID number, do not use spaces or dashes. The Secretary of State's office assigns this business entity ID number, so it is not the same as the Federal Employer Identification Number, or FEIN.

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