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How to file a DBA in Kansas
Filing a Kansa DBA ('doing business as'), also known as an 'assumed name', is a simple process, but is not required.
Read below for answers to your questions about DBAs, plus important details and links, why you might consider filing an assumed name (DBA), and how a DBA can help or hurt you. If you need to research how to file a DBA in another U.S. state or territory, select it below.
Do I need a DBA in Kansas?
Kansas does not require that sole proprietorships, general partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), or out of state companies that regularly transact business in Kansas under a name different from their legal name, to file a DBA. But you can reserve the trade name up to 120 days before you start your business.
What is a DBA?
Every business has a legal name. For example, a partnership or sole proprietorship might operate under the legal name of the business owner or owners. A corporation, limited liability company (LLC) or other type of business entity might operate under the name defined in the articles of incorporation or articles of organization.
But, sometimes you don't want to operate your business under your registered legal name. There are many reasons for this. For example, the legal name might be confusing, unrelated to your business, or no longer descriptive of your business. Or you just might want a new name without changing your incorporation or registration documents.
If you do business under a name different from the legal name of your business, that is called an 'assumed name', 'fictitious business name', or 'trade name'. Legally, it's called a doing business as name (DBA).
You can operate your business under as many DBA names as you want - there are no limits. But, each DBA name must be registered in the state where you operate. This is required because the public has a legal right to know that a particular person or legal entity is conducting a business under a name that differs from its legal name.
If you want to learn more about legal business structures and get actionable insights on starting and building a successful, sustainable business, read this comprehensive guide on how to start a business.
And remember each DBA your register should have a unique brand identity so that people can easily remember your business.
What a DBA is not
Registering a DBA does not excuse you from forming a legal business entity. In fact, if you don't form a legal business entity and simply register a DBA with your state, the law assumes you're operating your business as a sole proprietorship.
While many business operate this way, there are significant disadvantages to operating as a sole proprietorship. For example, you will not have any limited liability protection from lawsuits when you operate your business as a sole proprietorship. And you'll be directly responsible for your business's debts and obligations.
An LLC, limited partnership (LP), limited liability partnership (LLP), or corporation grants the owner or owners important limited liability protections and insulates owners from the debts and liabilities of the business.
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How do I set up a DBA in Kansas?
Kansas does not require and does not have a formal or legal framework to register a fictitious trade name or DBA.
Where can I find the Kansas business forms?
All business forms for Kansas can be found here. You can also research which trade names are available in Kansas Your legal business entity must be in good standing (you can get a certificate from your state or registration showing this).
Will I have to pay taxes if I register a Kansas DBA?
You do not pay taxes specifically for a DBA. Business taxes are determined by the business's structure and each business structure has its own tax rules.
The DBA is not a business structure so while you will be required to find taxes in accordance with your actual legal business structure, you will not have to file taxes specifically for the DBA.
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How can I get a DBA in another state?
The process for filing a DBA is specific to each state.
Most states require the DBA name to be registered unless you are doing business under your personal name. Many states will allow you to register online.
Find your location below for specific instructions.
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