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What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Kansas?

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Kansas?

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What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Kansas?

Starting a business in Kansas will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state, and local agencies.  Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Kansas.

Before applying for any licenses, the legal structure of the business will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC). Corporations and LLCs are registered with the Kansas Secretary of State. 

Related: Comparison of Business Entities

Learn more about forming an LLC in Kansas

Also see: Steps to starting a business in Kansas

Business Licenses

There is no general state of Kansas business license, however, many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Wichita –  Certain types of businesses in the City of Wichita are licensed, a few of which include ice cream vendors, businesses selling alcohol, massage therapists, pawnbrokers, and many others. 

Overland Park – The City of Overland Park requires a few types of businesses to get licensing, including; contractors, businesses selling alcohol, pawnbrokers, home-based businesses, and a few more. 

Kansas City – All businesses operating within the Kansas City, KS city limits are required to file an Occupation Tax application with the Neighborhood Resource Center office.  Some activities, such as a business having coin-operated devices, mobile food vendors, pawn shops, and others, have additional licensing requirements.

Topeka – Business registration in Topeka is only required for certain businesses, such as cleaning services, haunted houses, mobile food vendors, pawnshops, and several others.    Business applications are filed with the City Clerk’s office.

Olathe – The City of Olathe issues business licenses for entities operating as massage therapists, pawnbrokers, retail businesses, and others. 

Fees for city business licenses in Kansas vary depending on the type of business and location. 

Building & Zoning Permits

Zoning – Depending on the location of the business, it’s important to verify whether the business needs an occupancy permit or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on city codes, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation permit. 

Building Permit – A building permit may be needed from the city or county building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility. 

Signage Permit – Some municipalities require a permit before adding signage.

Kansas Business Tax License

Businesses selling goods, admissions, or provide taxable services must file a Business Tax Application with the Kansas Department of Revenue. 

Resale Exemption Certificate

Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Kansas Resale Exemption Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License

A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Kansas include; contractors, bakeries, bed & breakfasts, kennels, businesses selling on the internet, and many more.   Additional information, fees, and licensing requirements for Kansas professions are available from the state of Kansas website.

In addition to professional licenses, businesses in industries such as food establishmentsdaycaresscrap metal dealers, and many others also require licensing.

Child Care Provider License

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment requires filling out a Child Care Licensing Application.

Contractor License 

In many cities, a contractor will need to obtain a contractor license before starting any work. This typically includes general contractors and all subcontractors.  

City and County Contractor Licensing:

Cosmetology Licensing

Licenses for cosmetologists, electrologists, estheticians, manicurists, and corresponding facility permits are provided by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology.

Body Art Licensing

Licenses for tattoo artists, body piercers, and permanent cosmetic technicians as well as facility permits are provided by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology.

Tanning Licenses

Licenses for tanning facilities are provided by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology.

Barber Licensing

Licenses for barbers are provided by the Kansas Board of Barbering.

Liquor License / Tobacco License

Businesses selling liquor or tobacco products will need to be licensed. Visit the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control page for more information on licensing requirements.

Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (also referred to as a FEIN, Federal Employer Identification Number, or Federal Tax ID Number). The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. CorporationsLimited Liability CompaniesPartnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.

There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN


  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Kansas?

What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Kansas?

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