How To Start an Arkansas LLC

Home » How To Start an Arkansas LLC
Last Updated: August 16, 2022

Overview

Welcome to my guide on how to start an Arkansas LLC. I am going to take you down the rabbit hole to learn the steps it takes to create a Limited Liability Company in Arkansas.

Before we go down the path, you should know that the easiest and fastest way is to use Northwest Registered Agent who I recommend as a trusted partner for you.

Recommended: Northwest Registered AgentĀ 

Use Northwest Registered Agent and they will also give you the first year of their registered agent service included too. Go check it out and you’ll appreciate that you did.

Go To Site

I also like to take a look at the best business ideas for an Arkansas LLC based on the what Arkansas is known for. If you’re going to have a business structure for an individual or business entity, I would consider these types of businesses:

  1. Start a River Guide Business
  2. Start a Boat Rental Business
  3. Start a Diamond Mine Material Business – the only active Diamond mine is in Arkansas
  4. Start a Poultry Processing Business

These are the top industries and activities that Arkansas is known for. Now – let’s get into what it takes to start a Limited Liability Company that the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office recognizes. It all starts with what your business name is going to be so let’s get into it!

Name Your Arkansas LLC

There are Arkansas business name guidelines that you’ll need to follow and they are:

  • The name must contain the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC”.
  • The name cannot imply that your LLC is organized for a purpose that it isn’t.
  • The name cannot be the same as another business entity that’s already registered with the state of Arkansas.
  • You can reserve your business name for 120 days with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.

There are a few other business naming tips that I would recommend following:

  • Make it easy to pronounce and spell – you want people to be able to search for you online and find you easily.
  • Keep it short – the shorter, the better.
  • Make it memorable – you want people to remember your business name and refer you to others.

Once you’ve figured out the name of your business, you’ll need to make sure it’s something you can register with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. They have a search portal you can use here: https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/corps/search_all.php

Once you’ve locked in your business name for your LLC owners, you will want to make sure it’s something that you can keep digitally too. I recommend you get over to GoDaddy who can help you register your ‘.com’ domain if it’s available.

I argue this is just as important if not more important than the physical address of your Arkansas LLCs operating location because (depending on your business) you may transact business online and in person.

Once you’ve locked down your business name (one of your first business assets) then we can move onto the next important piece – registered agent services.

Choose your registered agent

A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to receive service of process (SOP) on behalf of your LLC. In other words, if someone sues your company then the lawsuit papers will be hand delivered to your registered agent.

The SOP papers will also be sent to your registered agent when you file an annual report and when you’re first forming your LLC. The registered agent will need to have a physical street address in the state of Arkansas (a P.O. Box does not count).

Your LLC can act as its own professional registered agent service, but I recommend using a service like Northwest Registered Agent because it’s only $125 per year (plus the state filing fee) and you get a lot of other benefits with them too like a free LLC operating agreement. If you do go with them to form your Arkansas LLC, they will include the first year of a registered agent service in that formation fee.

There are law firms around the state that will act as your registered agent service so it’s important that you find the right team to support you. If you’re looking for legal / professional services and they also are able to help with registered agent services – I’d consider it.

It is important as a business owner to build strong relationships with the right team and build your business over the years. It’s going to take time to hire employees and as you build your company name / LLC name – you’ll want partners to help you with any professional help you can get.

Alright – enough on that – let’s move onto what’s next!

Prepare and File Articles of Organization

The next step in forming your Arkansas LLC is to prepare and file your Articles of Organization with the state. The Articles of Organization is a simple form that you’ll need to fill out and submit to the Secretary of State’s office.

In this document, you’ll include:

  • The name and address of your registered agent
  • The LLC’s name and address
  • The LLC’s purpose
  • The LLC’s duration
  • The names and addresses of the organizers
  • Whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed
  • How long the LLC will exist (this is typically “perpetual” unless you specify an end date)
  • The LLC’s filing fee

You can find the Articles of Organization here: https://www.sos.arkansas.gov/corps/forms_and_fees.php

The filing fee for an Arkansas LLC is $50 and can be paid by check or money order. Make the check or money order payable to the “Arkansas Secretary of State” and include your LLC’s name on the memo line.

You can mail your Articles of Organization and filing fee to:

Secretary of State

Attn: Business Services

P.O. Box 2807

Little Rock, AR 72203-2807

Or you can hand deliver it to:

Secretary of State

1401 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 250

Little Rock, AR 72201-1083

Once the state has received and processed your Articles of Organization, you’ll receive an LLC Certificate of Formation in the mail.

Create an operating agreement

This is technically not a ‘legal document’ meaning you don’t need to submit it to the state (typically) but it is an important for your personal assets, business debts and if you have more than one member of your LLC that is interested in building operating agreements for your business.

An LLC operating agreement will help you set the right business structure and typically contains the following information:

The LLC’s name and address

The LLC’s purpose

The names and addresses of the members

How the LLC will be managed (member-managed or manager-managed)

The roles and responsibilities of the members

How profits and losses will be distributed among the members

What happens if a member leaves the LLC

You can find a template for an Arkansas LLC operating agreement here: https://www.northwestregisteredagent.com/operating-agreement/arkansas

Or you can work with an attorney to help draft one up. If you do use an online template, just make sure that you customize it to fit your business needs and have all the members of your LLC sign it.

When I put together operating agreements, I do think of them as legal documents that whether it’s for a single member LC, sole proprietorship, limited partnership or just a Foreign LLC – it’s important to make sure your business has the right documentation before you jump into too much with your business partners.

This will help you keep your business organized from the beginning and you having validation needed of wha you’re doing won’t be needed.

Once you have this setup, it’s time to head on to getting your Internal Revenue Service Federal Employer Identification Number so let’s go!

Get an EIN

The next step in forming your LLC is to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. The EIN is a nine-digit number that is used to identify your business for tax purposes. You will need this number when you file your taxes, open a business bank account, and apply for business licenses and permits.

You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, or by mail.

To apply online, visit the IRS website and fill out Form SS-4. You will need to provide your business’s name, address, and contact information. Once you have completed the form, you will receive your EIN instantly.

To apply by fax, fill out Form SS-4 and fax it to (855) 641-6935. You will receive your EIN within four business days.

To apply by mail, fill out Form SS-4 and send it to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service

Attn: EIN Operation

Cincinnati, OH 45999

You will receive your EIN within four weeks.

By having an LLC’s EIN in place, you’ll easily be able to accept service, pay taxes, collect sales tax and really just support your business in anyway when it comes to revenue and expenses.

Now that you have your EIN, you can open a business bank account, apply for business licenses and permits, and start operating your Arkansas LLC!

Open A Business Bank Account

The next step is to open a business bank account. This will help you keep your personal and business finances separate and will make it easier to track your expenses and income. When opening a business bank account, you will need to provide your EIN.

I recommend going with Lili Bank because it’s so easy to get something setup in a matter of minutes vs. going into a bank personally and trying to get it setup. I spent hours inside a bank to setup my business bank account when I could have just gone online and setup a single member LLCs bank account that way. It’s not difficult to get a single member LLC bank account setup with Lili so if you’re looking for an easy way to do it – that’s the way.

Get Small Business Insurance

Once you’ve setup a business bank account, you’ll want to make sure you review and get any of the appropriate business insurance you need like:

  • Limited Liability Protection – This will help you in the long run if something goes wrong.
  • Worker’s Compensation – If you have employees, this will be something you’ll want to get as well as it can help with any worker related accidents that might happen on the job.
  • General Business Insurance – This is more for general protection like office equipment, inventory

I’m sure there are more you could pick up but check out with commercialinsurance.net to make sure you’ve got what you need to be covered in case of an emergency for your type of business.

Get a Business License

Depending on the type of business you’re running, you may need to get a business license. You can contact your local Chamber of Commerce or the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office to find out if you need a license and how to apply for one.

If you’re a professional service and looking to perform professional services, I would recommend you check with the state.

File an Annual Report

All LLCs in Arkansas are required to file an annual report with the state. The report is due by May 1st of each year and can be filed online, by mail or in person.

The filing fee for an Arkansas LLC annual report is $45.

To file online, visit the Arkansas Secretary of State website and login to your account. If you don’t have an account, you will need to create one. Once you’re logged in, click on “File Annual Report/List of Officers” and follow the instructions.

To file by mail, send the completed annual report form and a check for the $45 filing fee to:

Arkansas Secretary of State

Mark Martin, Secretary of State

State Capitol, Room 256

500 Woodlane Avenue

Little Rock, AR 72201

To file in person, bring the completed annual report form and a check for the $45 filing fee to:

Arkansas Secretary of State

Mark Martin, Secretary of State

State Capitol, Room 256

500 Woodlane Avenue

Little Rock, AR 72201

You can find the annual report form on the Arkansas Secretary of State website.

Additional LLC Resources for Arkansas

If you’re still looking for more information on how to start and Arkansas LLC, I would recommend checking out the following resources:

Final Thoughts on How to Start an Arkansas LLC

Starting an Arkansas LLC is a relatively simple process that can be done entirely online. The most important thing is to make sure you follow all the steps and file the necessary paperwork with the state.

I highly recommend just doing all of this with Northwest Registered Agent to save yourself time and headaches of trying to figure out if you’ve sent your Arkansas LLC certificate to the right place or if you’ve submitted the annual franchise tax correctly (if you have one).

FAQs

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Arkansas?

The filing fee for an Arkansas LLC certificate of formation is $50. The annual franchise tax for an LLC in Arkansas is $150.

The filing fee for an Arkansas LLC Articles of Organization is $50.

Do I need a business license to start an LLC in Arkansas?

You will need to get a business license if your LLC is engaged in any type of business activity, with a few exceptions. The exceptions are:

  • Banking and financial institutions
  • Insurance companies
  • Public utilities
  • Nonprofit organizations

To find out more about business licenses in Arkansas, you can contact your local Chamber of Commerce or the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.