STEP 1: Name your LLC


This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Do some research to make sure the name you choose is suited to your business venture and is easily searchable by potential clients.

  1. Follow the Arkansas naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and may require a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency (e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc.)
  2. Is the name available in Arkansas? Make sure the name isn't already taken by doing a name search on the State of Arkansas website.
  3. Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don't plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

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STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent


You are required to nominate a Registered Agent for your Arkansas LLC.

What is a Registered Agent? A registered agent is a person or business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. Such papers include service of process of legal action (if you are sued) and state filings.

Who can be a Registered Agent? The registered agent must be a resident of Arkansas or a corporation authorized to transact business in Arkansas. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

Click here to learn more about the role of a registered agent, and why you may wish to consider hiring a professional registered agent service.

* Recommended: INCFILE.COM provides free registered agent service for the first year as part of their LLC Packages.

STEP 3: File the Articles of Organization


To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the state of Arkansas. This can be done online, by mail, or in-person.

When filing the Articles of Organization you will need to decide if your LLC will be member managed or manager managed. Read our article on the topic to learn more.

File the Articles of Organization for a Domestic LLC

File Online

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

- or -

Download PDF

Fee: Nonrefundable $50 fee, payable to Secretary of State.

Follow the instructions on the forms.

Important: If you're expanding your existing LLC to the State of Arkansas you are forming a Foreign LLC. Learn how.

STEP 4: Create an Operating Agreement


An operating agreement is not required in Arkansas, 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 your LLC. Learn more about operating agreements here.

* Recommended: Check out our free sample operating agreement

STEP 5: Obtain an EIN


What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required when filing state and federal taxes. In addition, banks may require an EIN to open a business checking account.

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 by one of two ways:

Click here to learn more about EINs and further details on how to register for one with the IRS.

Considering using a Formation Service?

We have detailed reviews on IncFile and LegalZoom LLC formation Services.
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Six Key Steps
After Forming A Business

1. Separate Personal Assets from the LLC


Opening a business bank account is an important first step, as it:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Getting a business credit card allows you to:

  • Separate personal and business expenses.
  • Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money for your company later.

2. Register Your LLC for Arkansas State Tax


Do I need to register for State taxes?

*Recommended: Learn more about LLC taxes by reading TRUiC's LLC Tax Guide.

3. Accounting


Even if you haven’t officially opened for business – it’s critical to get your books in order. A well managed accounting system will help you:

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

The right software makes accounting easy. Look for software that:

  • Syncs with your bank automatically.
  • Matches transactions to invoices, bills and purchase orders.
  • Can be accessed from your phone.

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4. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits


Do I need business licenses and permits?

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

Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business:

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.

5. Get Insurance


What is Workers Compensation Insurance? This form of insurance is required for most businesses with employees, but varies by state. Click here to learn more.

What is General Liability Insurance? This is an important service, but is not required in most states. Click here to learn why.

How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.

6. Employee Hiring Compliance


Once a business decides to hire employees, certain legal obligations are required, such as:

  • Ensuring that potential employees are eligible to work in the US
  • Reporting employees as "new hires" to the State
  • Providing workers compensation insurance for employees
  • Withholding income taxes
  • Printing compliance posters and place in a conspicuous location
  • Ensuring payment of employees in specific increments as required by the state

More information about being an employer at the Arkansas Employer Reporting Webpage.

A great resource for posting jobs and finding qualified employees is Indeed.com

*Recommended: Learn more about employee taxes by reading our article, Employee Taxes for Small Businesses.

How to Start a Business in Arkansas

5 easy steps to starting a business in Arkansas.
We have a far more detailed guide - How to Start a Business which will go over the points in more details.

Identify a suitable business idea that works for you - Check out our Business Ideas Tool.

Critically analyze your idea with our Lean Business Model Canvas Tool. You can then go on to create a full business plan with our Free Online Business Plan Tool.

Formally organize your Business into a company. An LLC is the most popular way to structure your business. Learn how to Form your LLC in Arkansas.

Build your website and develop your brand. Learn more about marketing and brand establishment.

How to Maintain Your LLC

To maintain a Arkansas LLC, it is necessary to make periodic filings with the Arkansas. Learn how to keep your LLC in good standing and avoid state penalties.

Annual Report


Many states require LLCs to file an annual or biennial report. These reports typically include basic information about your business and involve a filing fee

Do I need to file an annual report for my Arkansas LLC?

Arkansas does not require an annual report to be filed. This makes it easy to maintain an LLC in the State of Arkansas.

Franchise Tax


In Arkansas, all LLCs are required file and pay an annual franchise tax.

File Franchise Tax with the State of Arkansas

File Online

- or -

Download Form

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

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

Late filing: Penalties apply for late paymets.

Discover More

Income Reporting Requirements


The IRS treats all multi-member LLCs as partnerships, unless they choose to be taxed as a C-Corp or S-Corp. Therefore, most multi-member LLCs are required to report their income to the IRS using a Form 1065 Partnership Return.

Avoid Dissolution


Each year, thousands of LLCs are fined or unknowingly dissolved for missing an important state filing, such as an annual report. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and submitting reports on your behalf.

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Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your 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

To order a certificate of Good Standing in Arkansas:

  1. Go to Arkansas’s Business Entity Search Tool, and look up your Arkansas LLC.
  2. Once you have verified that your business is in good standing, click on the link that says "Purchase a Certificate of Good Standing for the Entity."
Search and Order Online

Purchase Fee: $25


How to Dissolve an Arkansas LLC

If you no longer wish to conduct business with your 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 LLC, there are two broad steps:

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

Learn More Here


Foreign LLC in Arkansas

If you have an existing LLC and want to register to do business in Arkansas, you will need to form a foreign LLC.

File a Foreign LLC in Arkansas

File Online

- or -

Download PDF

Fee: $270 online, $300 otherwise. — Follow the instructions on the PDF.

Benefits of Forming a Foreign LLC
The major benefit of becoming a foreign corporation is that it allows your company to operate as one entity in many jurisdictions. For example, if you originally incorporate your LLC the State of Delaware, you can file your existing domestic LLC as a foreign corporation in other states.