Whether you’re searching for the ideal business name for your Kansas S Corp or Kansas C Corp, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on how to conduct an KS Secretary of State business search, plus business naming rules, fictitious names and trademarks.
General Rules for Corporation Names
These rules generally apply to all corporations, wherever they're formed.
The name you select cannot be in use by any other business in the state. This is why it's so important to perform a Kansas State corporation search before you begin your incorporation paperwork.
It’s not enough for your corporation name to be unique. It also cannot be comparable to the name of another business in the state. In addition, you cannot use any of the following features in an attempt to differentiate your corporation name from that of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., etc.
- Definite articles, such as “A,” “An,” or “The”
- The conjunction "And," or “&"
- Numbers in place of numerals (or vice versa), e.g., "One World" is the same as "1 World"
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of words
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All corporations must use one of the following in their names, usually at the end of the name: “Incorporated,” “Corporation,” “Limited” or their abbreviations.
Most states will not allow you to incorporate with names that:
- Are similar to the name of a federal or state agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Kansas Department of Labor, Kansas Rangers, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the International Olympic Committee
- Imply a purpose that would be illegal for your business to carry out
Specific Rules for Kansas Business Names
In addition to the general rules listed above, you'll need to follow some Kansas corporation laws that apply to naming your business.
For example, per the Kansas Statutes Chapter 17, Article 79, § 17-7919, the name of a corporation or foreign corporation must contain:
Coming Up with the Ideal Business Name
The perfect business name can be difficult to find. Incfile has a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but essentially, you'll want to choose a name that will:
Need help coming up with business name ideas? Try our free name generator.
Kansas Corporation Name Search
Once you have an idea of the name you want, perform a KS corporation search to make sure another business isn't already using that name.
You can use the state's name availability search to check to see if your preferred name is already in use.
You can also use our simple and convenient Business Name Search Tool, which will search the state's business registry for you.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must also be careful that your Kansas corporation name doesn't infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to ensure you're not infringing is to perform a trademark search through Incfile. You may even register the trademark yourself if it isn't already in use.
Let Incfile run a trademark search for you.
Register a DBA in Kansas
Many states allow you to do business under a different name from your legal corporation name. In some states, this is called a DBA (doing business as) or trade name. In Kansas it is called a fictitious name.
For example, your business might be called Opulent Events, Inc, and under that company, you have a chain called Opulent Catering. You could file for a DBA or a fictitious name just for that company.
The state of Kansas currently does not have any formal requirements or permit the registration or filing of a DBA. In this case DBA registration will generally occur at the local or county level, so check with your local municipality to see if you are able to register a DBA. Or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our DBA service.
In order to keep your business names unique, you can also use the Kansas business entity search. You can perform a Kansas fictitious name search to find out whether any other companies are already using the name you want. We can also help you with this via our DBA name service.
Note: A trade name is not the same as a trademark. Learn more about trademark vs. DBA.
Register Your Business Name with the KS Secretary of State
You’ve performed a Kansas SOS business search, checked availability, followed the naming rules and determined whether you need a fictitious name. Now you can register your corporation name in one of two ways.
Incorporate in Kansas for $0 + State Fee ($90)
FAQs About Naming Your Kansas Corporation
Use our free Business Name Search Tool and enter your chosen business name. You can also perform a search of the state's registry, which will tell you whether any other corporations or businesses in the state are already using that name.
Yes. Most corporations will be bound by general rules (applicable to all corporations) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Kansas). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Yes. You can conduct business under a fictitious name. Details are above.
Yes. The KS Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you're not ready to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you do want to start your business right away, you don't need to reserve a name.