Arkansas Incorporation Services
To start a corporation in Arkansas, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $50 to file ($45 online). Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Arkansas corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Arkansas Corporation Guide:
- Choose your Arkansas corporation filing option
- Submit the Arkansas Articles of Incorporation
- Create Arkansas corporate bylaws
- Get a Federal EIN from the IRS
- Open a corporate bank account
- Obtain any required business licenses
- File the Arkansas Annual Franchise Tax Report
- Pay taxes on the corporation’s income
Arkansas Corporation Filing Options
Free PDF Download
Arkansas Articles of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
Do It Yourself Online
Our free account and tools will walk you through starting and maintaining an Arkansas corporation. All for free.
2 Day Arkansas Corporation
Includes registered agent service, bylaws & more.$270 Total
Arkansas Articles of Incorporation Requirements
To form an Arkansas corporation, you must complete and file the Articles of Incorporation 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.
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation for one of these words, like “Inc.”
List the number of shares you’d like to create. You have to create at least one. Some or all of these shares can be distributed later on at your organizational meeting. You’ll also need to list the par value (initial price) of each share. If you decide to have different classes or series of shares, you can include this information here as well.
You can list an individual Arkansas resident (such as yourself) or a business that provides registered agent service (like Northwest). Clearly, we’re fans of Northwest.
You’ll also have to list the street address where your agent will be available. The address you list will become part of the permanent public record of your corporation. When you hire Northwest, our address will go here.
Your incorporator is the person you authorize to sign and submit your Arkansas Articles of Incorporation. It doesn’t have to be a director, officer, or anyone in the corporation—but they will need to include their name, address and signature. We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest.
Don’t worry; it’s not as existential as it sounds. Your “purpose” is really just your business activities. This section already includes a general business purpose, so a few words describing what your business does (art restoration, cement manufacturing, etc.) is sufficient.
The state really wants to ensure your corporation will receive your franchise tax form, so they request a bunch of contact information. You’re only required to put your entity name, address and phone number. The phone number requirement is particularly annoying though because this section of the form is still part of the public record. Don’t want to be hassled by telemarketers? At Northwest, we allow our clients to put our phone number and information in this section.
How much does it cost to start an Arkansas corporation?
The online state filing fee for Arkansas Articles of Incorporation is $45. If you mail your Articles, the filing fee jumps to $50.
When you hire Northwest, your total, out-the-door cost is $270, including state filing fees, registered agent service, and loads of useful forms and resources to help launch your Arkansas corporation.
How long does it take to start an Arkansas corporation?
File online and receive your Certificate of Approval in a day or two. Want to pay more for a slower filing time? Mail your Articles of Incorporation! Mailed filings cost $5 more (plus whatever you’ll pay for printing and mailing costs) and take 1-2 weeks. So, there’s really no reason to mail your filing unless you have to pay with a check or money order.
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your Arkansas corporation formed within 2 business days.
Does an Arkansas corporation need a registered agent?
Yes, you must list your Arkansas registered agent—and the address where the agent will be available—in your Articles of Incorporation. The Articles are a public document and become part of the permanent record of your corporation. So, if you opt to be your own registered agent and list your own address, your address will end up on a bunch of mailing lists, and you’ll be sifting through piles of junk mail. You’ll also have to actually be at the address during regular business hours. Business doesn’t always take place in the office though. So, in addition to losing privacy, you’ll be losing your availability as well.
A better option? Hire an expert registered agent service like Northwest. We’re in the business of being available. Our address will go on your public formation documents, and we’ll be there ready and waiting to accept your legal notifications. We’ll even scan and send them the same day, so you can run your business on your time.
Create Bylaws for Your Arkansas Corporation
Do I need bylaws?
Absolutely. Bylaws aren’t like the public documents you have to submit to the state (and if you try to submit bylaws, the state will just ignore them or return them to you). Instead, you adopt bylaws at your organizational meeting and keep them as part of the internal records of your Arkansas corporation. But just because they’re private records doesn’t mean they’re not essential. Your bylaws are the most important internal document of your Arkansas corporation.
Why are corporate bylaws important?
In your corporation, how will decisions be made? Who will be on the board of directors? How long do they keep that position? How will they be replaced? How many members will you need to pass a resolution? Who will be your officers? What will their powers and duties be? What classes of stock will you have? Which stock will have voting shares? All these sorts of details—who has the power and how your business actually works—will be spelled out in your bylaws.
Do I have to write bylaws?
The decisions you make in your bylaws will have a significant effect on your Arkansas corporation. But you don’t have to start your bylaws from scratch. When you hire Northwest to form your Arkansas corporation, we give you free corporate bylaws. We also give you resolutions, and other free business forms and templates. Starting your corporation off on the right foot is critical. That’s why we’ve spent years refining and improving our docs. Check out the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.
Get an EIN for Your Arkansas Corporation
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Yes, corporations are required by the IRS to obtain an EIN. This tax ID will be used to identify your business on federal tax filings. EINs also come in handy when you open a corporate bank account, file local taxes and apply for licenses and permits. In many cases, you could hand over your personal social security number instead, but why put your personal info at risk when you don’t have to? To get an EIN, you can apply directly from the IRS website for free. Or, skip this extra application and hire us to get your EIN for you when you sign up for our services. Just add EIN service to your cart when you check out.
Open a Bank Account for Your Arkansas Corporation
To open a corporate bank account, you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- A copy of the Arkansas corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
- The Arkansas corporation’s bylaws
- The Arkansas corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open corporate 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 corporation need a business license?
Arkansas doesn’t have a statewide general business license. Some cities and counties have their own licensing requirements though. For example, if you engage in any business in Hot Springs, you’ll need to get a business license there, but if you’re just a little further south in Arkadelphia, there’s no general business license required.
File Arkansas Corporation Reports
What is an Arkansas Annual Franchise Tax Report?
While technically a tax, the Arkansas Annual Franchise Tax is more like an annual report, as you confirm or update your ownership and contact information at the same time. The franchise tax rate is 0.3% of the value of your corporation’s outstanding stock (minimum $150). This tax is due May 1st each year. Forget to file? You’ll have to fork over a $25 late fee plus DAILY interest penalties. Northwest can help make sure you don’t miss this deadline. When you sign up for our services, we’ll send you reminder notifications so you don’t get stuck with annoying late fees.
How much does a corporation in Arkansas cost each year?
At least $150 a year. Corporations are subject to the state’s Annual Franchise Tax, which has a minimum tax of $150.
Pay Corporate Taxes
What are the taxes for an Arkansas corporation?
Besides the Annual Franchise Tax (described in the previous section), Arkansas corporations pay a corporate net income tax. The Arkansas corporate net income tax rates are:
1%: $0 to $3,000
2%: $3,000 to $6,000
3%: $6,000 to $11,000
5%: $11,000 to $25,000
6%: $25,000 to $100,000
6.5%: $100,000 +
State sales tax is 6.5%, but cities and counties can tack on their own sales taxes as well, making the average total sales tax in Arkansas 8.509%.