New Brand Application

Purpose of Livestock Brands

Livestock brands are used on livestock to identify animals. Therefore, if livestock brands are unreadable due to complicated designs that people cannot report or identify, or do not brand well, the livestock brand is not useful. A livestock brand needs to be distinguishable with reasonable certainty from all other current brands. Additionally, if the brand record is not up to date with current phone numbers and location addresses, the livestock brand is not helpful in finding owners for lost or taken up animals.

A livestock brand is not intended to be a logo and does not need to be registered to be used as such.  A livestock brand however MUST be REGISTERED with the Kansas Division of Animal Health Brand Office before branding any animal.

New livestock brand applications typically take 4 - 6 weeks to process.

To decrease processing time:

  1. Search Brand Database for existing brands. A livestock brand will not be held or checked for conflicts via phone.
  2. Design a livestock brand utilizing the Approvable Character List. There must be at least two differences between the brand requested and any other current livestock brand in that location on the animal.
  3. Read Brands Guidelines AND "New Brand Information" below.
  4. Apply Online.
  5. Check your email for a message from "" to ensure your application was received. The message may arrive in a Junk or Spam folder. This is the address used for all future correspondence for your brand (i.e. application denied or approved with link for payment).
  6. Payment is required within three weeks of approval for the livestock brand to be recorded and the certificate issued. Non-payment results in a denied brand application.

Apply Online

$45.00 per location

To apply, visit Kelly Solutions here.
After you submit a brand application, you will be notified if the brand is approved through an email with payment options.

NOTE: If applying from any smartphone, use the "Upload a New Brand Image" option instead of the "Draw a New Brand Image" option. Simply draw the brand on a piece of white paper, take a picture, and then upload the picture.

Apply through Postal Mail

$50.00 per location

Click here to print a new livestock brand application.

Make checks payable to the Kansas Brands Program.

Brands can be…

  • registered in any of six locations: left hip, right hip, left rib, right rib, left shoulder or right shoulder. Each position shall be a separate brand. This means six different owners could have the same brand, but registered in different locations.
  • applied using a hot iron or the freeze (cryogenic) method.
  • used on both cattle and horses, provided you brand them on the same location that your brand is registered for.
  • designed using the Approvable Character List.

Brands cannot be…

  • Single letters or characters. There must be two identifiable characters in the brand design and no more than 4 characters.
  • Single slanting or tumbling letters or numbers. They must be upright or lazy. (Lazy being 90 degree characters.)
  • Two-digit brands. Kansas law has given licensed feedlots authority to use two digits as pen numbers.
  • Cursive letters or scrolled font.
  • Registered with the crown symbol.

When choosing a brand, it is discouraged to…

  • use brands that contain a letter, number or symbol within a closed area for hot iron branding. These brands tend to blotch and not be clearly read. The freeze method is able to brand these clearly, along with other brands that have more detail. Ex: Closed brands
  • use lower case letters, as they conflict with other characters.
  • use broken bars as there are so many variations and cause confusion.
  • use acid branding, which is usually unreadable. It may cause a bad sore and/or leave a scar and not a brand.
  • create complex, intricate brands. If livestock brands are unreadable due to complicated designs that people cannot report or identify, or do not brand well, the livestock brand is not useful.

New Brand Information


It is illegal in Kansas to brand any animal without first having the brand registered with the Kansas Division of Animal Health Brands Office. A livestock brand is not intended to be a logo and does not need to be registered to be used as such. Livestock brands are registered for a 5-year period from April 1 of the registered year.


The brand owner name on new brand applications and brand transfers must consist of individuals or entities with documentable proof of identity.

When registering a brand in the name of a company or companies, such as an LLC or Corporation, the company must be registered to do business in the State of Kansas. The company name submitted on the application needs to match the business entity name as it appears on the Annual Report filed with Kansas Secretary of State (KSOS) for that organization. If a livestock operation or ranch conducts business under a company name but is not licensed as a valid business entity with the KSOS, the applicant may register the brand under the name of an individual person or persons.  For further information, please contact the KSOS at 785-296-4564. The names of ALL principals and/or agents having the authority to bind the company or companies need to be listed on the application as well.

A brand can be recorded to a trust, provided the names of the trustees are listed.

Upon registering a brand, it is important to always have a current address in the brand office, for both contact reasons if cattle have been stolen or strayed, and also to receive renewal notices. If a renewal notice is not received and returned because of a wrong address, the brand may get cancelled.


When a brand is applied to livestock carrying the brand of another, the new brand should never overlap the existing brand or brands. By law, a brand shall not be burned over, into or through, so as to disfigure or mutilate an existing brand. Any person who knowingly brands another person’s cattle with his brand or alters a brand is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment.

Brand Law does not specify the size of the branding iron. The size of each character or symbol is recommended to be approximately 3 1/2 to 4 inches at the highest and widest points, and the face of the iron at least 1/4 inch wide.

Number brands for age, herd or serial number identification may be used in conjunction with a registered brand. The number brands must be applied at least six inches from the registered brand. A special permit from the Brands Office is required for using a number brand.

When branded livestock are purchased, it is desirable that the buyer obtain a bill of sale showing their right to possession of the livestock carrying a brand of another.

Branding Tips

A small iron will not give a readable brand. A thin, burned up iron will cut too deeply or make a thin scar which covers with hair.

Branding a wet or damp animal will usually scald, leave a blotch, a bad sore or no brand at all.

The proper heat of an iron is the color of ashes. A red-hot iron starts a hair fire and usually results in a poor brand.

A hot iron should burn deeply enough to remove hair and the outer layer of skin. The hair should be clipped and removed before the hot iron is applied. When the iron is lifted, the brand should be the color of saddle leather.

Protecting Your Livestock

The following are some suggestions that may slow a rustler down, or make their job a little more difficult:

  • Visit your pastures often.
  • Count cattle frequently.
  • Keep fences repaired.
  • Chain and lock gates and facilities.
  • Before leaving on a trip, ask neighbors to be observant.
  • Identify all animals with brands. Thieves will steal un-branded cattle first.

Never try to stop a theft in progress. Stay out of the area and call your sheriff immediately.

By law, stray animals shall be reported to the sheriff within 24 hours from the time they are first noticed on the premises. You may also notify the Brands Office of any missing, stray or stolen animals. For guidance on reporting these animals, visit this webpage.