How to Start An LLC in Arkansas
To start an LLC in Arkansas, you must file Articles of Organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Organization cost $50 ($45 online) to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Arkansas LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Arkansas LLC Guide:
- Choose your Arkansas LLC filing option
- Complete the Arkansas Articles of Organization
- Create an Arkansas LLC Operating Agreement
- Get a Federal EIN from the IRS
- Open a bank account for your Arkansas LLC
- Obtain any required business licenses
- File the Arkansas LLC Franchise Tax Report
- Pay taxes on the LLC income
Arkansas LLC Filing Options
Free PDF Download
Download the Arkansas Articles of Organization. Fill out the form and submit it to the state.
Do It Yourself Online
Our free account and tools will walk you through starting and maintaining an Arkansas LLC. All for free.
2 Day Arkansas LLC
Includes registered agent service, operating agreement & more.$270 Total
Arkansas LLC Articles of Organization Requirements
To form an Arkansas LLC, you must complete and file the Articles of Organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
You have to include “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” Professional LLCs have to add the “professional” designation as well or use an abbreviation like “PLLC.” Odds are, your business is not a professional LLC (that’s not to say you aren’t perfectly professional, just that most LLCs don’t offer the services of licensed professionals like lawyers or dentists).
Essentially, they’re asking you what you’d like your mailing address to be for non-legal documents. This address will be public record. Hire us, and you can list our address and avoid putting your own.
You can appoint yourself, someone else, some other business, or hire a service specializing in registered agent service—such as Northwest.
This is the address for receiving your legal documents. Again, the address will become part of the public record (and you can’t use a PO Box, either). You can probably guess by now which address you can use instead when you hire us. (It’s ours. Our address.)
If your LLC is managed by its members, you don’t have to do anything special. However, if your LLC is managed by managers, you have to state this information in your Articles.
On the online form, there is a space to list “officers.” LLCs don’t actually have officers—what they want is the name and address of your organizer and the name and address of at least one member or manager. The organizer is the person or business signing and submitting the Articles (like Northwest when you hire us). For the member or manager’s address, you don’t have to use a personal address—a business address (like ours) is sufficient.
The online form has the option to put a future effective date within 90 days. Why wouldn’t you want to start your business right away? Say you’re submitting Articles in December but don’t want the hassle of paying taxes for the current year for just a couple of weeks of business—you can delay your start date until the new year begins.
The organizer of the LLC has to sign the Articles. Most people take this to mean that one of the members or managers has to sign, but really it’s just the person who submits the document. Hire us, and we’ll sign your Articles (and don’t worry—signators don’t receive any privileges or rights in your LLC; they’re just paper pushers).
Arkansas really, really wants to make sure they can send you their franchise tax form. They request an address and phone number (actually, they request a lot more than that, but you’re only required to put your entity name, address and phone number). You can use a PO Box for more privacy, but the phone number requirement is kind of annoying. If you put your number, it will become a permanent public record—meaning it will probably get sold over and over again. At Northwest, we allow our clients to put our phone number and information, so your phone line isn’t clogged with telemarketers.
How much does it cost to start an Arkansas LLC?
The Arkansas Secretary of State charges $45 for online filings and $50 for paper filings. If you hire Northwest to form your Arkansas LLC, the total cost is $270 and includes a full year of registered agent service, annual report reminders, and loads of tools and forms to help launch and maintain your business.
How long does it take to start an Arkansas LLC?
Arkansas LLC filing times vary depending on your filing method. Online filings will be usually be approved within 2 days, and mailed filings take a week or two.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your Arkansas LLC formed within 2 business days.
Does an Arkansas LLC need a registered agent?
Yes, every LLC in Arkansas needs a registered agent. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to hire someone. You could do the job yourself—although you’ll likely take some hits to your privacy and your freedom. Registered agents are required to publicly list a physical address that will become a part of the permanent record of your Arkansas LLC. Unfortunately, publicly-listed addresses are common targets for data-sellers and spammers. Registered agents also have to be regularly available at the address listed in case a process server drops by. Arkansas won’t sympathize if you miss a process server because you’re visiting a supplier or taking a sick day. Hire Northwest and you can unchain yourself from your desk and list our address on your LLC’s public documents instead of yours.
Create the Arkansas LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
Legally, there’s no requirement for an operating agreement, but, yes, you should absolutely have one.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
Can you imagine accepting a job at a company that hadn’t figured out yet what your role was, how much they’d pay you and when? Or if they wouldn’t put anything in writing? That would be nuts. Yet some LLCs operate this way. Members are left in the dark while the LLC bumbles along with their investments, figuring things out as they go or making promises with handshakes.
An operating agreement puts the information members and managers need in writing—what rights and responsibilities everyone has, how much people have invested, how profits and losses will be distributed, and even what happens if the business falls apart. You can’t expect people to be comfortable in your business or working with your business if you don’t have these basic things in writing.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
At Northwest, we know that an operating agreement is one of the most critical internal documents for your LLC. That’s why when you hire us to form your California LLC, you get an operating agreement specific to your management style. We’ve spent years developing and improving these and other free forms. At Northwest, we’re passionate about a lot of things. Privacy, for one. But also developing forms that are actually useful, not like a lot of the other free junk floating out on the web. Our free LLC forms have been used by over a million LLCs:
Get an Arkansas LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Even if you don’t need one right away, you should get an EIN. They’re required if your Arkansas LLC has employees or if you need special tax filings like Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns.
EINs are also indispensable once you start navigating finances. EINs allow you to easily open a business bank account and establish credit with vendors. If you’re concerned about privacy (at Northwest, you may notice we care a lot about privacy), you can often provide your LLC’s EIN instead of handing over your personal social security number on many applications and forms. You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS or add on EIN service for an additional fee when you hire us.
Open a Bank Account for Your Arkansas LLC
To open a bank account for your Arkansas LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Arkansas LLC Articles of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The Arkansas LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open business accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does an Arkansas LLC need a business license?
There’s a good chance you’ll need a business license. In Arkansas, business licenses are issued at the local level (not the state), so whether or not you need a license depends on where your business is registered. For example, cities like Little Rock, Fayetteville and Hot Springs all require business licenses while Arkadelphia doesn’t.
Licensing fees in Arkansas are all over the place, so you’ll probably want to check out the website of the city where you plan to register your business. Just in Little Rock, a candy store might pay as little as $75 a year for a business license while a television station could easily pay over $1000.
File the LLC Annual Franchise Tax Report
What is an Arkansas LLC Annual Franchise Tax Report?
Essentially, it’s a form and a fee. The fee is technically a franchise tax, but it’s a flat $150 for Arkansas LLCs. The form updates the state on any big changes (ownership, office address, etc.). The form and fee are due May 1st. If you file late, you’ll incur a $25 fee plus interest. Avoid late fees and penalties with Northwest as your registered agent. We’ll send you report reminders. Or for $100 plus state fees, you can hire us to submit your Annual Franchise Tax Report on behalf of your Arkansas LLC.
There’s an annual fee of $150 due May 1st. The fee is technically a franchise tax. The form filed is called the Annual LLC Franchise Tax Report, but it’s basically a standard annual report, updating the Arkansas Secretary of State on your LLC’s contact and ownership information.
How much does an LLC in Arkansas cost each year?
The Arkansas LLC Annual Franchise Tax Report is mandatory, so your LLC will pay at least $150 a year.
Pay the LLC Taxes
What are the Arkansas LLC taxes?
The Arkansas personal net income tax rates are:
0.9%: $0 to $4,299
2.5%: $4,299 to $8,500
3.5%: $8,500 to $12,699
4.5%: $12,699 to $21,199
6%: $21,199 to $35,100
6.9%: $35,100 +
Arkansas also has a state sales tax of 6.5%. On top of that, cities and counties can add their own sales tax. For example, Little Rock’s sales tax is 1.5% and Pulaski County’s sales tax is 1%, making the total sales tax in Little Rock (state, county and city) 9%.