Last Updated: June 7, 2024, 9:41 am by TRUiC Team

How to Start an LLC in Arkansas (2024 Guide)

Wondering how to start an LLC in Arkansas? We’ve got you covered.

To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a registered agent, and file your Certificate of Organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State ($45-$50 processing fee). 

You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized Arkansas LLC formation service (recommended).

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Northwest ($29 + State Fees)

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LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)

How to Form an LLC in Arkansas in 6 Steps

In order to form your LLC in Arkansas, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:

  1. Name Your Arkansas LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File the Certificate of Organization
  4. Create an Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Step 1: Name Your Arkansas LLC

Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your Arkansas LLC. 

This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under Arkansas law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.

1. Important Naming Guidelines for Arkansas LLCs:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • If your LLC plans to perform any professional services, its legal name will need to contain the words "professional limited liability company" or "professional limited company" or an abbreviation of these ( "P.L.L.C.," "P.L.C.," "PLLC," or "PLC")
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (e.g., 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 professional limited liability company.
  • Your name must be distinguishable from any other Arkansas limited liability company, corporation, or limited partnership or a name that has been reserved by any of these other business entities.

We recommend checking out the guidelines included in the Arkansas Code for a complete list of naming rules in this state.

2. Arkansas LLC Name Availability:

You can check if the name you want to use for your LLC has already been taken by another business entity in Arkansas by performing an Arkansas LLC Search on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.

If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name for up to 120 days ($22.50 processing fee).

For more information, you can have a look at our Arkansas LLC Name Search guide.

3. Is the URL available? 

You should check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it, potentially saving you both time and money in the long term. 

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Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.

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FAQ: Naming an Arkansas LLC

LLC is short for “limited liability company.” It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while still providing liability protection for your personal assets. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.

Or, watch our two-minute video: What is an LLC?

You must follow the Arkansas LLC naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:

  • Include the phrase "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
  • Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.

If you are having trouble coming up with a name for your LLC, use our LLC Name Generator. That will not only find a unique name for your business but an available URL to match.

Most LLCs do not need a "doing business as" (DBA) name, called a fictitious name in Arkansas. 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

After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate an Arkansas registered agent. This is a necessary step in your Certificate of Organization (i.e., the document used to file and register your LLC with the Secretary of State).

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. You can think of your registered agent as your business’s primary 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 the state of Arkansas. You can choose to elect an individual within the company (e.g., yourself, etc.) or use a business attorney.

Get Free Registered Agent Services

Form an LLC with Northwest Registered Agent to get one year of registered agent services free of charge.

FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent

Certainly. You have the option to serve as your own registered agent, designate someone from your LLC, collaborate with a business attorney, or engage a professional registered agent service (recommended).

For more information, have a look at our What is a Registered Agent article.

Opting for a professional registered agent service can be a cost-effective strategy to handle your LLC's paperwork. For the majority of businesses, the benefits of employing such a service far exceed the expenses associated with it.

Step 3: File the Arkansas LLC Certificate of Organization

To register your Arkansas LLC, you will need to file Form LL-01: Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State. You can do this online, by mail, or by fax.

Arkansas LLC Formation Document

Before filing, make sure you have completed your Certificate of Organization correctly. You will need to have filled in the following sections:

  • The name of your LLC
  • The address of the principal office of your LLC
  • The name and address of your LLC’s registered agent
  • The name and title of at least one officer (for franchise tax purposes)
  • The signature of the organizer

File the Certificate of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online With the Arkansas SOS Corporations Online Filing System

File Online

Select "Certificate of Organization for Domestic LLC - LL-01" and select "Start Form"

- OR -

OPTION 2: File Form LL-01 by Mail or In Person

Download Form

State Filing Cost: $50, payable to the Secretary of State. (Nonrefundable)

Filing Address:
Arkansas Secretary of State
1401 W. Capitol Ave.
Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

For help with completing the form, visit our Arkansas Certificate of Organization guide.

Note: If you're expanding your existing business to the state of Arkansas, you'll need to register as a foreign limited liability company (LLC).

FAQ: Filing Arkansas LLC Documents

The processing time for Certificates of Organization is typically between seven to 10 business days after being received if filed by mail or from three to seven business days if filed online or dropped off in person.

An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign limited liability company 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.

The minimum cost to start an LLC in Arkansas is between $45 and $50. While this should cover the expense of filing your Certificate of Organization with the state, there are a number of other costs to consider associated with forming an LLC in Arkansas, such as whether to use a professional registered agent service or if your LLC will need any specific business licenses.

To learn more, read our guide on the cost to form an Arkansas LLC.

Step 4: Create an Arkansas LLC Operating Agreement

While it’s not a legal requirement for Arkansas LLCs, it's a good practice to have a readily accessible, written operating agreement.

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.

FAQ: Creating an Arkansas LLC Operating Agreement

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

Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Arkansas LLC

You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:

  • To open a business bank account for the company
  • For federal and state tax purposes
  • To hire employees for the company

Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.

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 EIN

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.

All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member (i.e., a multi-member LLC), must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.

Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.

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.

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

Beginning January 2024, LLC owners must file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing LLCs can file their report any time between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs must file their report within 90 days of formation

This contains similar information to that of your Certificate of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, and can be filed online for free. Failure to file an accurate report on time can result in a $500 per day fine.

Note: There are certain filing exemptions, such as for large companies (i.e., more than 20 full-time employees), tax-exempt entities, and publicly traded companies. 

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

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


Maintain Your Arkansas LLC

After you’ve successfully formed your LLC, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to periodically take in order to maintain it, including:

  • Submitting an Arkansas Franchise Tax and Annual Report
  • Sorting out your taxes

We’ve broken down how to complete each of these steps in greater detail below.

Submit an Arkansas Franchise Tax and Annual Report

In Arkansas, all LLC owners are required to file annual franchise tax reports and pay $150 in franchise tax by May 1. This can be done online or by mail and is a requirement regardless of your business’s gross receipts.

You’ll need the following information on hand to be able to complete your Arkansas Franchise Tax Report:

  • Your LLC’s name and mailing address
  • Your LLC’s contact information (you can update or change the person or business the state will contact regarding your franchise tax)
  • Your business’s Federal Tax Identification Number
  • The name and address of your LLC’s registered agent
  • The names of each corporate governor or member/manager
  • Your LLC’s date of formation

Note: Submitting your report late will result in your LLC being charged a flat fee of $25 plus 10% interest for each additional month. This interest will continue to accumulate each year up to a cap of $300.

Sort Out Your Taxes

Regardless of where your LLC is registered, you will be required to pay certain federal taxes. This includes corporation and employer taxes (for LLCs filing as a C corporation), and federal income tax and self-employment taxes (for LLCs taxed as pass-through entities).

In addition, there are a number of different taxes you’ll be required to pay at a local and state level, which can vary depending on the nature of your business.

Below are some of the most common taxes in Arkansas:

Income Taxes

This group of taxes refers to the charges imposed on the earnings of individuals and business entities that operate within the state. There are two main types of Arkansas income tax to be aware of:

  • Personal Income Tax: LLCs taxed as disregarded entities are subject to personal income tax, which in Arkansas is set at a gradual rate that varies between 0.00% and 4.7% if you make under $84,500 and between 2.00% and 4.7% if you make over this.
  • Corporate Income Tax: This tax is paid by LLCs that have elected to be taxed as corporations at a rate that varies between 1% and 5.3% depending on the business’s net taxable income.

Your LLC will need to file a tax return and pay its income taxes using the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (ATAP) by April 15 each year.

Note: If your LLC owes more than $1,000 in corporate income tax, it will be required to pay estimated taxes in quarterly payments due on April 15, June 15, September 15, and December 15.

Sales and Use Taxes

In Arkansas, sales tax is imposed at a flat rate of 6.5% on the sale of tangible goods and certain services within the state. Since local jurisdictions are also permitted to charge their own additional sales tax rates up to 6.125%, the total sales and use rate tax your LLC may need to pay could vary up to as much as 12.625%.

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) will assign you a filing frequency based on your business's gross sales or receipts. For most businesses, this will mean filing each month, though you’ll be eligible for quarterly filing if your LLC generated less than $100,000 in gross sales in the previous year. Regardless of how often you need to file, your sales and use tax return will be due on the 20th of the month following your reporting period.

Note: If you are selling a physical product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit online using the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point.

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Steps After LLC Formation

After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, sort all required business licensing, and get business insurance, among other things. 

Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.

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