Starting your own business is an important and a daunting decision to take. There are many success stories, but there are many more failures. However, it is the ability to learn from your mistakes and move forward that counts. So, if you fail in your first attempt at running your own business, don’t let it stop you.
Being successful in business is the result of a combination of hard work, persistence, smart planning and a bit of luck. All you can do is equip yourself with the right knowledge, the right skill set and experience and take the step. Some spend years as employees, honing their skills, garnering every bit of available information as well as experience in order to be able to, one day, run their own business. Some might jump straight into it, without any experience. There are brave entrepreneurs who simply need to be in charge.
You have already drawn the outlines of your business plan. Now you are working on the details, looking closer into the market dynamics, understanding the supply and demand balance and scouting for niche markets. You have set your sights on a market gap and you are ready to exploit it. You have already made contact with a number of suppliers and are ready to go. But all this is part of running a business you have not actually started it. When you come to think of it, you have never had to start a business from scratch and there are certain rules, laws and regulations you have to follow, and you have not really read much about it. Well, continue reading here as this short guide will help you in those steps you have to take before you open the doors of your business to the public, with the focus on the state of Kansas.
Like any other state, Kansas requires you to go through several steps before you can be sure that your business is operating within the legal framework. There are registrations, permits, taxes and a lot more, but let us start from the beginning.
The state of Kansas urges all new entrepreneurs to set up a business plan before taking any further steps. Depending on the scale of the operation you plan on running, a well structured business plan can help you in sourcing outside funding and set specific goals that will help you manage your company in a certain direction. If you have not already built a plan, you can contact the closest Kansas Small Business Development Center Office to set up a meeting with a counselor.
If you already have a business plan in place, your next step is to choose the legal structure of your business, which is one of the most important decisions you will have to take in the start-up process. The legal structures in the state of Kansas are the same as those in other federal states. They range from the sole proprietorship to corporations, limited liability companies or not-for-profit corporations. Each one of these forms have their advantages and disadvantages, and the right one for your business can only be determined by you, depending on the scale of your business. Each structure has to be registered with the Kansas Secretary of State, either personally or through an online form.
Your next step is to select a business name. However, the government advises not to use a certain name unless you are certain it is unique. You can check the name availability and reserve it with the Secretary of State.
The step that follows might be the most complicated one, but it is also an essential part of the registration process. This whole step is significantly influenced by the business structure you chose at the start. You will most probably be required to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), if you chose to operate as a sole proprietorship without any employees. You might also need to register for Kansas business tax and you might also need certain permits specific to your business. Permits are registered at the state or local level and here are the common business licenses and permits in the state of Kansas.
In Kansas, your business might be liable for collecting or paying a number of taxes which depend on whether your business is qualified as an employer or self-employed. You might also be subject to a Kansas Business Tax administered by the Kansas Department of Revenue.
Now, if you plan on selling goods or maybe provide services that are taxable, you might be required to register with the DoR to collect sales tax. But this process also has a number of steps. The first box you have to tick is the sales tax nexus box. This means that you are required to apply for a sales tax permit only if you have a significant presence in the state in form of an office in the state, an employee, goods in a warehouse, retailers or non-resident contractors.
The Department of Revenue has a thorough guide on the Kansas Sales Tax and Compensating Use Tax, that completes the information on this article. So we urge you to go through the guide and establish whether the products and services you are selling are taxable. Selling tangible goods in Kansas in certainly taxable while some services also require the business owner to apply for a sales tax permit.
If you are required to apply for the sales tax permit in Kansas, you can either do it by registering online with the Department of Revenue and completing the registration there or by downloading the Kansas Business Tax Application form, filling it out and sending it to the address provided in the Contact Details section of this guide. There is no registration fee, and you are required to provide the reason for the application, tax type, business information, as well as the address and location info. You also have to provide an estimation of your annual sales in Kansas, among other questions, in the form. It might take three to four weeks before you receive your sales tax permit, but, once you receive it, you will not have to renew it.
While you should look into every detail of the Kansas tax rules and regulations, and even consult a professional advisor if necessary, there are situations that allow you to avoid paying tax. For example, if you are purchasing merchandise for the sole reason of reselling it, you might not have to pay tax. This can be achieved by presenting your seller with a Resale Exemption Certificate before completing your purchase. The state of Kansas has different rules for in-state retailers and out-of-state retailers. If you fall into the second category, you will need another certificate, the Multi-Jurisdiction Exemption Certificate. This certificate can also be used if you are dropshipping the products from a Kansas supplier to a Kansas buyer, or you can use the exemption certificate of the state you are registered to collect taxes in.
However, the seller, could accept or decline your exemption certificate, at their own discretion. In any case, you have to make sure that you have properly filled out the form before submitting it. The same rule applies if you are presented with an exemption certificate. Make sure all the details are filled in properly, and that the products you are selling will not be used for personal use and that the products they are buying are actually sold in their line of business regularly. You can also verify the validity of the exemption certificate at the Department of Revenue’s dedicated website.
As this guide is a shortened checklist of requirements for registering a business and applying for a sales tax, we urge you to visit your local government office and seek advice if you find the process complicated or simply would like to learn more.
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