Start a Business in Arkansas
Starting a business in Arkansas is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Arkansas Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.
One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."
Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Arkansas business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.
How to Start a Business in Arkansas
You file articles of incorporation for an Arkansas corporation or articles of organization for an Arkansas LLC with the AR Secretary of State.
You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Arkansas showing your approved Arkansas business.
Opening a business banking account under your new Arkansas business name should be easy with these two items.
If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the AR department of revenue. We provide all these links in your online account.
If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the Arkansas licensing board. (Most businesses don’t.) But if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account.
Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t. You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.
Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer?
You Can Save Some Money:
If you want to start a business in Arkansas yourself, you can just hire us as your Arkansas registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Arkansas LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate an Arkansas corporation or form a Arkansas LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Arkansas registered agent service.START YOUR ARKANSAS BUSINESS TODAY
Arkansas LLC vs Corporation
Corporations are popular for business owners wanting to grow their business. The option of selling stocks is a great incentive for investors. However, those looking to build smaller businesses might prefer the structure of an LLC. Because they often have fewer annual requirements, great tax options, and flexible management, LLCs can be easier to maintain.
But, what about Arkansas? Any pros and cons for an Arkansas LLC vs an Arkansas corporation?
When it comes to fees, there are small advantages to owning an Arkansas LLC versus an Arkansas corporation. Both cost $45 to form and are required to file an annual Arkansas Franchise Tax Return. However, the minimum franchise tax for corporations with stock is $150—so, depending on your total outstanding capital stock, you could end up paying more. Corporations without stock will pay a flat rate of $300. By comparison, LLCs will be assessed a fixed fee of $150.
In terms of income tax, the rates for both are pretty good—in fact, the state recently lowered the corporation income tax rate from 6.5% to 5.9%. Personal income tax rates will vary; however, your rates probably won’t go higher than 6.9%. Although that is more than corporation’s, it’s important to keep in mind that corporations are typically taxed twice—first through the state, then on shareholder taxes.
Whether you decide to start an Arkansas LLC or an Arkansas corporation will depend on what your specific goals and business needs are. If attracting investors is important to you, then a corporation will be a good choice. If you’re looking for something smaller and easy to manage, then an LLC is the way to go.
If you want a corporation, you file Arkansas Articles of Incorporation:
- The Arkansas corporation must have a corporate ending such as incorporated, corporation or an abbreviation thereof.
- The duration of the corporation is “perpetual” unless otherwise stated.
- The purpose of the Arkansas corporation.
- The number of shares the Arkansas corporation is authorized to issue and par value.
- The name of the registered agent in Arkansas and the registered office address.
- The name and address of the directors of the Arkansas corporation.
- The name and address of the Arkansas incorporators.
- Date of execution.
- The Arkansas incorporator must sign the articles of incorporation.
- The name and business address of the person preparing the AR articles of incorporation
Arkansas does not require original signatures on new AR corporation filings. The stamped form will be mailed to the address of the person who filed the documents.
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If you want a LLC, you file Arkansas Articles of Organization:
- The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it such as LLC, L.L.C.
- The Arkansas business name must be different than already registered Arkansas businesses.
- The duration of the Arkansas LLC, (Usually perpetual.)
- Arkansas limited liability companies do not need to state a LLC purpose.
- The Arkansas registered agent and the physical address.
- The names and addresses of the initial member(s) are not required
- If the AR limited liability company is to be managed by one or more managers, you must specify this management structure. Managers names are not required.
- Someone must sign as the AR LLC organizer.
Arkansas does not require original signatures on new AR LLC filings. You’ll get a certificate of formation mailed back to you after the state approves your filing.