Q: How do I file a DBA in Arkansas?
Thank you to a customer from Arkansas for that great question! A DBA (doing business as) name is a name used for business purposes that is not the legal name of the business. In Arkansas, a DBA is called a fictitious name. Corporations, LLCs, and partnerships that want to use a DBA must file an Application for Fictitious Name with the state. Sole proprietorships file DBAs at the county level. We’ll walk you through the steps of filing a DBA in Arkansas.
1. Choose a DBA Name
You probably already know the DBA name you want to use, but before you file it, you should make sure the name complies with Arkansas’s naming guidelines. Your DBA name cannot:
- Be overly similar to a business name already in use in Arkansas
- Contain words that could make people think it’s a government agency (No calling your clothing boutique the Fashion Police.)
- Imply that your business was organized for an unlawful purpose
- Use words that suggest your business is a different entity type, such as “incorporated” if you own an Arkansas LLC or “limited liability company” if you own an Arkansas corporation
Using restricted words, including “bank,” “trust,” or “credit union,” will require additional paperwork.
To find out if your DBA name is available, do a quick business search.
2. File the Arkansas Application for Fictitious Name
Once you’ve settled on your DBA name, you can file an Application for Fictitious Name with the Arkansas Secretary of State. On this form, you’ll need to include:
- Entity type
- Fictitious name
- Nature of your business (for example, “tutoring”)
- Legal business name
- Date your business was registered with the state
- Whether your business is domestic (formed in Arkansas) or foreign (formed outside of Arkansas)
- Registered office address
- Name, signature, and contact address of Authorizing Officer (the person who submits the form)
How do I submit the AR Application for Fictitious Name?
You can submit the Application for Fictitious Name by mail, in person, or online.
By mail or in person:
1401 W. Capitol
Little Rock, AR 72201
How much does it cost to file the Application for Fictitious Name?
Corporations and LLCs: $25 by mail or in person, $22.50 online
Partnerships: $15 by mail or in person, $13.50 online
3. File a copy of your Application for Fictitious Name with your local county clerk
Once your filing has been approved, the Secretary of State will mail you a copy of your application, which you must file with the county clerk in the county where your registered office is located. (Businesses located in Pulaski County are exempt from this requirement.) You can find the contact information for your county clerk on the Arkansas Association of Counties website.
Do sole proprietorships file DBAs with the Arkansas Secretary of State?
No. Sole proprietors only file DBAs with their local county clerk, not with the Secretary of State.
Have more DBA questions? Check out the Northwest guide on How to Get a DBA.