How to Start an LLC in Arkansas

Cost to Form an LLC in Arkansas

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Setting up an LLC in Arkansas is Easy

To start an LLC in Arkansas, you will need to file your Articles of Organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State, which costs $50 online. You can apply online, in-person, or by mail or fax. The Articles of Organization is the legal document that officially creates your Arkansas Limited Liability Company.

Follow the step-by-step guide below to form your Arkansas LLC today and get your business up and running.

Steps to start an L L C in Arkansas

STEP 1: Name your Arkansas LLC

Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in setting up an LLC in Arkansas. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Arkansas LLC naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

1. Follow the naming guidelines:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any other Arkansas limited liability company, corporation, or limited partnership.

2. Arkansas LLC Name Availability: Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing an Arkansas LLC Search on the Secretary of State's website.

3. URL Availability: We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator

FAQ: Naming an Arkansas LLC

What is an LLC?

LLC is short for Limited Liability Company. It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. An LLC is one of several business structures, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation (C corp and S corp). For more information, read our What is an LLC guide.

Watch our video: What is an LLC?

Do I need to get a DBA or Trade Name for my business?

Most LLCs do not need a DBA. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you would like to conduct business under another name.

To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.

STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Arkansas

You are required to nominate an Arkansas registered agent for your LLC.

What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important tax forms, legal documents, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. Think of your registered agent as your business's point of contact with the state.

Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a resident of Arkansas or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to transact business in Arkansas. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

Recommended: ZenBusiness provides the first year of registered agent service free with LLC formation ($39 + State Fees)

FAQ: Nominating an Arkansas Registered Agent

Can I be my own registered agent in Arkansas?

Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the registered agent for your Arkansas LLC.

Read more about being your own registered agent.

Is a registered agent service worth it?

Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your Arkansas LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.

For more information, read our article on Arkansas registered agents.

STEP 3: File the Arkansas LLC Articles of Organization

To register your Arkansas LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. You can apply online, by mail, or in-person. Some states refer to the Articles of Organization as the Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization.

Arkansas LLC Formation Document

The Articles of Organization for an LLC (limited liability company) in Arkansas is a legal document to officially form your business. You’ll be expected to provide the name of your LLC, choose a registered agent, list the services your LLC will offer, and pay the state filing fee. After you file the Articles of Organization, we recommend you obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you plan to hire employees and open a business bank account.

When filing your Articles of Organization, you will need to state whether your Arkansas LLC will be managed by managers. Before you file, read our member-managed vs manager-managed guide to help you choose the best management structure for your LLC.

File the Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File online with the State of Arkansas

File Online

Scroll to Domestic LLC and select the "Articles of Organization for Domestic LLC - LL-01"

- OR -

OPTION 2: File the Articles of Organization by mail or in-person

Download Form


State Filing Cost: $50 Payable to Secretary of State. (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:
Arkansas Secretary of State
1401 W. Capital
Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

Submit In-Person:
Arkansas Secretary of State
1401 W. Capital
Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of Arkansas, you will need to form a Foreign LLC.

FAQ: Filing Arkansas LLC Documents

What is the processing time to form my Arkansas LLC?

Within 48 hours online, or a week by mail. 

What is the difference between a domestic LLC and foreign LLC?

An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Normally when we refer to an LLC we are actually referring to a domestic LLC. A foreign LLC must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.

Read our What Is a Foreign LLC article to learn more.

STEP 4: Create an Arkansas LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is not required for an Arkansas LLC, but it's a good practice to have one.

What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.

Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.

For more information on operating agreements, read our Arkansas LLC operating agreement guide.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: Download a template or create a Free Operating Agreement using our tool.

FAQ: Creating an Arkansas LLC Operating Agreement

Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state of Arkansas?

No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.

STEP 5: Get an Arkansas LLC EIN

What is an EIN? EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EINs are a nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help identify businesses for tax purposes. It is essentially a social security number for a business.

An EIN is sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required to:

  • Open a business bank account
  • File and manage Federal and State Taxes
  • Hire employees

Where do I get an EIN? You can get an EIN for free from the IRS. Getting an EIN is an easy process that can be done online or by mail.

Note
FOR INTERNATIONAL EIN APPLICANTS: You do not need a SSN to get an EIN. For more information, read our How to Get an EIN as a Foreign Person guide.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

FAQ: Getting an Arkansas LLC EIN

How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a social security number?

A social security number is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more here about applying as an international applicant.

What tax structure should I choose for my Arkansas LLC?

When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.

However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs S Corp guide.

Have a question? Leave a comment!

Ask us a question, tell us how we're doing, or share your experiences.
Join the conversation in our Comment Section.

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

We reviewed and ranked the top 5 LLC formation services.
Find out which is best for you.

Best LLC Services

Protect Your Business & Personal Assets

Get a Business Bank Account & Credit Card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your Arkansas LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

You can protect your business with these two steps:

1. Opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: You can get $300 when you open a Chase Total Business Checking® account with qualifying activities. Learn More.

2. Getting a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: Learn more about the best small business credit cards.

Get Insurance For Your Arkansas LLC

Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. The most common types of business insurance are:

  • General Liability Insurance: A broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses get general liability insurance.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: A business insurance for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) that covers claims of malpractice and other business errors.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance: A type of insurance that provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths. In Arkansas, businesses with three or more employees, excluding officers and LLC members, are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Find out how much it will cost to keep your business protected.

Get Your Free Quote Today

Properly Sign Legal Documents

Improperly signing a document as yourself and not as a representative of the business can leave you open to personal liability. When signing legal documents on behalf of your company, you could follow this formula to avoid problems:

  1. Formal name of your business
  2. Your signature
  3. Your name
  4. Your position in the business as its authorized representative

See the image below for an example.

How to properly sign a legal document: 1. Signature 2. Company Name 3. Printed Name 4. A Title

This ensures that you are signing on behalf of your LLC and not as yourself.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Learn more on how to protect your business & personal assets by reading our article - How to Maintain your LLC Corporate Veil.

Join the Conversation

We are here to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey, and are always looking at your feedback. Share your experiences in our comment box, chat with other entrepreneurs, or simply let us know how we're doing.

Lets Connect

Keep Your Company Compliant

Arkansas Business Permits and Licenses

To operate your Arkansas LLC you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.

Fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.

Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top five license research services.

Arkansas LLC Tax Requirements

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax.

Arkansas Sales Tax

If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Arkansas Office of Tax and Revenue website.

This certificate allows a business to collect sales tax on taxable sales.

Sales tax, also called "Sales and Use Tax," is a tax levied by states, counties, and municipalities on business transactions involving the exchange of certain taxable goods or services.

Read our sales tax guide to find out more.

Arkansas Employer Taxes

If you have employees in Arkansas, you will have to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the Department of Employment Services. You will also need to sign up for Withholding Tax through the Office of Tax and Revenue.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Register for Arkansas State Taxes

Sales Tax | Unemployment Insurance Tax | Withholding Tax

FAQ: Additional Taxes

What is the Arkansas Franchise Tax?

The Franchise Tax is a state tax on each LLC formed in Arkansas that varies depending upon your LLC’s income.

Federal LLC Tax Requirements

Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:

How you pay yourself as an owner will also affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.

Arkansas LLC Franchise Tax

In Arkansas, all LLCs are required to file and pay an annual Franchise Tax. This can be done either online or by mail.

File and Pay Franchise Tax

OPTION 1: File Online through the Arkansas Secretary of State

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail

Download Form


Fee: Free

Mail to:
Business and Commercial Services
P.O. Box 8014
Little Rock, AR 72203

Tax Calculation: Arkansas imposes a $150 annual franchise tax on LLCs conducting business in their state.

Due Date: This tax must be paid by May 1st of the following year

Late filing: Fee is $25 plus an interest calculation on the form

FAQ: Arkansas LLC Franchise Tax

Arkansas Franchise Tax Amount

All LLCs owe $150 annually in Arkansas Franchise Tax. 

Avoid Automatic Dissolution

LLCs may face fines and even automatic dissolution when they miss one or more state filings. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A quality registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and by submitting reports on your behalf.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: ZenBusiness offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.

Get Help Starting a Business in Arkansas

We understand that creating an LLC and getting your business up and running comes with many challenges. To help you succeed, we compiled the best local resources in every major metro area in Arkansas. You can get free assistance in the following areas:

Fayetteville | Hot Springs | Jonesboro | Little Rock

Make Running Your Business Easier

After starting a business, two of the most important things you can do are get professional accounting and hire the right employees. Streamlining these processes can save you time and money as your business grows.

Hiring Employees in Arkansas

If you plan to hire employees for your Arkansas LLC, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: Check out our Hiring for your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.

FAQ: Hiring Employees in Arkansas

What is the minimum wage in Arkansas?

The minimum wage in Arkansas is $10.00 per hour.

How often do I need to pay employees in Arkansas?

Arkansas requires that employees must be paid on a semi-monthly basis.

However, wages can be paid monthly if both of the following are true:

  • The employee makes more than $25,000 in gross salary
  • The employer makes more than $500,000 in gross income

Accounting For Your Arkansas LLC

It’s critical to get your books in order, even if you haven’t officially opened for business. A well-managed accounting system will help you:

  • Track your business finances, including bills, expenses, and income.
  • Simplify your annual tax filings.

You can maintain your accounting in two ways

  • Use a DIY accounting software. This can come with an increased risk of errors especially when starting a new business.
  • Hire an accounting service. They can provide comprehensive advice to help optimize your bookkeeping and taxes as well as additional services such as payroll etc.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: For most small businesses, we recommend using a reputable accounting service. Schedule a free tax consultation for your business now to avoid costly errors in the future.

Interfacing with Clients and Customers

In the day-to-day of running a business, it's hard to be readily available for new clients or customers who want to contact you. For service-based businesses that don’t already have a brick-and-mortar location, a virtual office can solve this problem. You can get a dedicated business mailing address and a business phone number with call-forwarding so that you never need to worry about losing a potential customer.

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Recommended: Opus Virtual Office can set up your businesses with a live receptionist and all the perks of a virtual office for a great price of $99/month. Plus, as a visitor of HowToStartAnLLC, you can save $200 today.

Women in Business Tools and Resources

If you have a woman-owned business, many resources are available to help you concentrate on your business’s growth:

  • Funding - (ie. grants, investors, loans)
  • Events - (ie. conferences, meetups)
  • Guides - (ie. business formation, personal growth)
  • Support - (ie. advice, communities, business strategies)

Our information and tools will provide educational sources, allow you to connect with other women entrepreneurs, and help you manage your business with ease.

Video Guides

TRUiC has created video guides to support and reinforce our on-page guides. These videos help to visualize the ideas and lessons that you need to know to create and run a successful business.

How to Form an Arkansas LLC Video Playlist 
Business Ideas Video Playlist

Check out our growing library of small business videos on the TRUiC YouTube channel.

More Information

Foreign LLCs in Arkansas

Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Arkansas, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. This can be done online or by mail

Register as a Foreign LLC in Arkansas

OPTION 1: File Online through the Arkansas Secretary of State

File Online

Scroll to Foreign LLC and select the "App. for Certificate of Registration of For. LLC - FL-01"

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail

Download Form


Fee: $270 online, $300 by mail (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:
Arkansas Secretary of State
1401 W. Capitol
Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your Arkansas LLC was legally formed and has been properly maintained. Several instances where you might need to get one include:

  • Seeking funding from banks or other lenders
  • Forming your business as a foreign LLC in another state
  • Obtaining or renewing specific business licenses or permits

You can order a Certificate of Good Standing online.

Order a Certificate of Good Standing

Order a Certificate Online from the State of Arkansas

Order Online

Fee: $25 (Nonrefundable)

How to Dissolve an LLC in Arkansas

If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your Arkansas LLC, it is important to officially dissolve it. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities and penalties, or even legal trouble. To dissolve your Arkansas LLC, there are two broad steps:

  • Close your business tax accounts
  • File the Arkansas Articles of Dissolution

When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Arkansas LLC Dissolution Guide.

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Key Terms for Entrepreneurs

LLC: An LLC is a US business structure that offers the personal liability protection of a corporation with the pass-through taxation of a sole proprietorship or partnership.

DBA: A DBA, or doing business as name, is any name a business operates under that isn't its legal name.

Partnership: A partnership is an informal business structure owned by more than one individual that doesn't provide personal liability protection.

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