Corporation Filings and Annual Reports
The Historical Society houses inactive records from the Corporation Division of the Office of the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State's database of corporation/business entity information is available online at http://www.accesskansas.org/apps/corporations.html. If a corporation remains in good standing, those records should be available from the Secretary of State's office (785-296-4564). The S.O.S. database does not include all historic corporations that were registered in Kansas. The records described below are available for research at the State Archives. These records are not restricted and patrons are welcome to visit our facility to use them. Our reference staff will also perform searches in these records for a fee. For information on charges please contact our reference staff. Additional information about Kansas businesses can be found in the Kansas State Gazetteer and Business Directories for 1878-1912 available on Kansas Memory.
Early ledgers containing copies of charters and charter amendments filed with the Secretary of State's office up to 1939 are available on microfilm at the State Archives. This microfilm cannot be loaned to other libraries. These charters are indexed by name.
The original copies of many business entity filings (a.k.a. "dead jackets") for corporations that forfeited before the year 2000 are also housed at the State Archives. These corporation files date back to approximately 1868. These include all the papers that were filed by a corporation, for example, the charter application, final charter, amendments, changes of resident agent and--sometimes--lists of stockholders. These may include dissolution documents, but not the disposition of the property or assets of the corporation. Files for corporations that forfeited prior to approximately 1976 are arranged alphabetically, while after 1976 they are filed by the Business Entity Number. Please contact the KSHS reference staff for assistance with the historic corporation records.
Corporation/Business Entity annual reports are available on microfilm for approximately 1868 to 1997. This microfilm cannot be loaned to other libraries. The arrangement and content of these records varies over time. The agency changed filing systems and periodically changed the classifications assigned to corporations.
From 1868 to 1971 corporations were classified as either Domestic (chartered in Kansas), Foreign (chartered outside of Kansas) or Railroads. Beginning in 1972 the classifications expanded to include Limited Partnerships, Cooperative Associations, Professional Associations, Non-Profit Corporations, and other designations.
For-profit corporations always filed reports annually, but non-profits were not required to file annual reports till 1972. Up to 1986 annual reports are arranged alphabetically by the corporation name within the classifications. From 1987 till 2000, annual reports are indexed by microfilm reel and frame number. Staff at the Secretary of State's Office and the reference staff at the Kansas State Historical Society have access to this index. Annual reports from the year 2000 and after are being digitized and are only available from the Secretary of State's Office.