Tue 08 Mar 2016 | By:

65 Proven Resources for Starting a Business in Arkansas

Resources for Starting a Business

With its rich natural beauty, Arkansas is a true hidden gem in the Southern part of the United States. Arkansas has one of the most diverse economies in the United States; it is also a plethora of cultural and recreational development.

According to the CNBC, a subsidiary of the National Broadcasting Company, the state of Arkansas is ranked as the 20th best state to conduct business having one of the best economic climates in the country.

It is also ranked 2nd in the lowest cost of starting a business and 11th in the best and most educated workforce. Business regulatory environment in Arkansas is also one of the friendliest.

Arkansas is an excellent place to start a new business as it is not only cost-effective, Arkansas itself is one of the most affordable states to live in since 2014. If you’re planning to start a small business in Arkansas, here are state resources that you can use to make the process easier for you.


Arkansas Small Business Resources

1) Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center (ASBTDC)

A premier business assistance provider which is a university-based economic program that works with all types of businesses from home-based to high-tech. ASBTDC serves in every aspect of business creation, management and operation including one-to-one confidential coaching and cutting edge market research.

2) Arkansas Veteran

A site that serves as a portal for retired Arkansas veterans and their families; to bring together in one place veterans-related resources, news, information, and agency contacts. They also provide information on the benefits for veterans related to employment, income tax exemption, veterans home, and veterans cemetery.

3) Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce

A Chamber that is available to assist or provide resources to help turn your business ideas into reality. Utilizes a business toolkit made possible by content providers who partnered with Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce filled with links, articles, and downloads on variety of topics that is updated on a regular basis.

4) El Dorado Arkansas

Considered to be a small town with the amenities of a big city, El Dorado is the economic engine, educational hub, and cultural center of Southern Arkansas. Economic engine because multinational companies have developed deep roots in the community; and educational hub because they offer a scholarship program for El Dorado High School graduates, a tuition scholarship that can be used at any accredited Arkansas public university or community college.

5) Winrock International

Winrock International prompted an initiative in delivering enterprise assistance locally as they recognize that small businesses are the driving force behind the economic development in the state. To help small business owners start, grow, and manage their businesses, programs offered include technical assistance, training, and access to markets and capital services.

6) Springdale Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber developed a targeted programming specifically for business to advance the leadership skills and networking reach of your business. To add value to your chamber investment, the chamber connects the Springdale business community through high quality events.

7) My Arkansas Insurance

A state-based health insurance exchange in Arkansas established to be managed and implemented in accordance with state and federal law. It offers a plan benefit option for your small business based on pre-existing conditions to fit your budget or the needs of employees.

8) Startup El Dorado Entrepreneur Resource Center

A Center funded by the City of El Dorado to connect entrepreneurs with critical resources that are needed to launch or grow a business. The Center’s idea was derived from the need for entrepreneurs to find tools and experts in one place.

9) East Arkansas Crossroads Coalition

A coalition that offers small market advantages combined with large area resources that actively seek to bring new businesses to the area in Eastern Arkansas known as the Delta. Aside from the low costs of business and living, developers are able to make better progress because of the access to local decision-makers found in the area.

10) My Arkansas Insurance Official Marketplace for Health Insurance

A health insurance made available for small businesses who want to maintain their overall health and the health of their workforce. The health insurance is regularly used for routine check-ups to prevent illness, which can mean a more productive work environment which is investing in the economic health of their business and their community.

11) Village Insurance Small Business Solutions

A privately owned and managed insurance with a goal to provide world class protection that offers all of the standard business insurance options. Big or small businesses alike, the company offers the same quality of services and tailor an insurance program that fit your specific business needs.

12) Arkansas Factoring | Arkansas Factors

A factoring company that assists with invoices, freight bills or medical receivables; that acts as a superior tool to improve cash flow and otherwise obtaining working capital. Depending on what industry you belong to, only minimal factors matter. The most important thing is to know the program that is available to you and know your options.


A startup toolkit that will help in the genesis and growth of companies find resources. As they receive more information, an on-going resource update will be done. Arkansas startups are creating jobs, driving innovation, and solving problems where learning the use of these startups are featured in articles on their site.


Free Arkansas Startup Guides

1) How to Start a Business in Arkansas

A 6-step how-to guide that enables entrepreneurs in Arkansas to start their business in the most efficient way. The guide discusses every step comprehensively so that you’ll be able to understand what to prepare and what to do. It also features helpful resources that you can use to decrease your workload and build your business in the easiest way possible.

2) How to Form an LLC in Arkansas

A 5-step instructional guide that will assist entrepreneurs and small business owners in Arkansas when forming an LLC. Incorporating under Limited Liability Company can give your business numerous benefits, which is why you need to consider forming this legal structure at the start of your business. The guide also has excellent resources which you can use to start an LLC.

3) How to File a DBA in Arkansas

Filing a DBA in Arkansas is essential if you wish to operate or open another business under a different name. Alternative or fictitious business names can benefit your business greatly as it can boost your branding. This 3-step guide will assist you with every step of filing your DBA, plus, it’ll also introduce practical resources which will fit every entrepreneur’s budget.

4) How to Finance a Business in Arkansas

One of the most difficult tasks when starting a business is looking for funding or working capital; this guide addresses this problem as it contains several financing options for you to choose from. The guide features 5 excellent resources with links to help you get started.

5) How to Get an Arkansas Registered Agent

An Arkansas Registered Agent is a mandatory requirement in the state, thus, you need to hire the best one for your business. If you want to know how to choose the best candidate, read through this guide because it will introduce you to the requirements and restrictions of hiring a Registered Agent.

6) How to Incorporate in Arkansas

Incorporation is one of the most complicated legal procedures that you have to go through if you want to ensure the continuation of your business and safeguard yourself from financial, legal and personal liabilities. This 4-step guide has all the information that you need so you can incorporate your business without getting a headache. It also contains great resources which may range from free to affordable.




A non-profit organization that provides assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs through business mentorship and coaching. The organization is made up mainly of volunteer business consultants and professionals who voluntarily render their services to entrepreneurs who are still starting out in the industry.

2) SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration is the largest provider of small business resources to entrepreneurs who are building a new business in their respective states. The agency provides local assistance, loans and grants and business management trainings. The SBA has also partnered with private organizations, academic institutions and banks to execute their programs.

3) Startup Savant

Startup Savant is a free online business magazine that features content regarding excellent resources and motivational articles that will help every business owner understand what entrepreneurship truly means. From business planning to business management, Startup Savant has made every single resource accessible within your reach.

4) Entrepreneur.com

Entrepreneur.com is a popular business blog that provides entrepreneurs with information on the latest trends and practices used in the small business industry. The blog also releases current business news and information. Small business owners and entrepreneurs can also check out business resources and tools,  as well as tips and guides to follow when starting a new business.

5) AllBusiness

AllBusiness is a free online business website that provides entrepreneurs with business information needed to start a business on the right foot. It is a website that especially caters to small businesses with less than 500 employees. It also conducts numerous studies regarding the health of the small business industry in the U.S.

6) WealthyGorilla.com

If you want a daily dose of motivation, Wealthy Gorilla is the business blog that you have to go to. It doesn’t only contain business articles, but it will give you lessons and tips that you can use in your life. The motivational blog’s main goal is to make people’s lives better by sharing true-life stories of individuals who overcame the odds in life and became successful.


Funding Resources in Arkansas

1) Lift Fund

Lift Fund is an organization that gives small business owners throughout Arkansas a chance to live their dreams by giving them access to capital. They provide you with the finance loan that best fits your needs with the use of their own designated risk technology that looks beyond credit scores.

2) The Arkansas Capital Corporation Group

A private corporation dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs in Arkansas through partnership with the lending community. The group provides permanent, long-term financing for business startups, expansions and acquisitions in partnership with financial institutions. The group together with its affiliate companies empower entrepreneurs through capital, educational and technological improvements.

3) Entergy Arkansas, Inc.

A company that has a program that finds solutions to make business more energy efficient. The program works in a way that you will receive financial incentives from Entergy for projects that make your business facility more energy efficient, which means more money to run your business.

4) Women’s Net

A foundation, in honor of a special woman named Amber Grants who died at age 19 who never achieved her dreams. The foundation helps women who want to apply for grants, loans, and scholarships to start their own business. Funding grants may be small but very helpful in starting a business.

5) Arkansas Economic Development Commission

Arkansas Economic Development Commission utilizes partner in state and federal government, higher education, lending institutions and the private sector to promote the growth and sustainability of small and minority business enterprises contributing to the economic growth of Arkansas. They provide real world and technical and professional assistance, certification, procurement, networking, capital, and contracting opportunities.

6) Fundsnet Services

A site that offers their services by posting related links about grant program initiatives, fundraising programs, philanthropy, foundations and non-organizations to those in need of funding and research. They don’t offer grant opportunities or provide personal financial assistance but dedicate the site to post a lot of foundations, organizations, and private companies which makes it easier to find for those businesses in need of information.

7) Innovate Arkansas (IA)

Innovate Arkansas works to turn new inventions and high-tech service concepts into viable commercial enterprises as Arkansas competes for new employment opportunities in an information-driven age; they work with new, technology-based entrepreneurs. The idea to encourage technology-based innovations and create jobs in Arkansas is a program of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Winrock International.

8) LenCred Business Capital for Startups and Established Companies

LenCred makes complicated small business financing simple by connecting small business owners with the working capital they need to start and grow their business. When applicants pass qualifications for funding, they get freely spendable business credit lines or small business loans that do not require collateral and you take full advantage of the benefits.

9) Arkansas Loans Online

A financial service company that helps people avail a quick and easy way to apply a loan online that frees them from the hassle of getting their applications approved. The transaction completes in four easy processes: quick online application, approval via phone call, process within one hour, and finally receive cash in your account.

10) Heartland Bank

Being a commercial bank, Heartland works with the business community and consumers to serve with the finest customer service and progressive technology throughout the state and region. Previously a state-chartered bank and a member of the Federal Reserve System which later on completed the transition from an S&L originating home loans to a commercial bank.


Arkansas Startup Communities

1) Startup Junkie Consulting

A startup that specializes in supporting small business and startups innovating around and within retail, consumer packaged goods, supply chain, food, and data analytics. They also provide in depth support, consulting, and assistance to new ventures and small businesses from all industries, ranging from biotech to aerospace. This organization understands the unique obstacles faced by women, minority, and veteran businesses because they are led and operated by these same people in the team.

2) The Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub is the IN place where they create a collaborative ecosystem of innovation that will drive economic development through programs and partnerships, along with unique opportunities for hands-on training and experience for Arkansas entrepreneurs and innovators. It’s in their Innovation Center located in downtown Argenta Arts District where they fuse under one roof the creative energies of separate, but dynamically related ventures.

3) LR Tech Park @ 107

A working environment for your business where you can be part of a community of like-minded entrepreneurs sharing common ideas and making connections at an affordable fee and flexible workstation lease with no long-term contracts. A workspace located in Downtown Little Rock where they assemble amazing people together in one place.

4) Park Hill Business & Merchants Association

The Park Hill Business & Merchants Association supports all businesses in Park Hill through networking, economic growth and promotion. They organize events and networking to help make connections that will make your business grow as well as support the business community for the growth of the Park Hill economy.

5) Code Army

Code Army is a coworking community and startup incubator made up of multicultural people who come from all professions and different walks of life. These people have one goal in mind: to turn ideas into startups. A team of fun, young and geeky professionals will help you build your startup, exploring ideas and strategies to make it a success.

6) Lofty Labs

Lofty Labs is one of the newest coworking spaces in Arkansas; it was recently opened in February of 2016. The 800 square foot coworking space is especially designed for young professionals and startups who want to use an alternative office space where they can meet and work with like-minded people. It features a lounge area complete with X-boxes and a ping-pong table, kitchen and a spacious conference room.

7) The Arkansas Research and Technology Park

The Genesis Incubator located at the Arkansas Research and Technology Park is a technology oriented business incubator that offers several services to qualifying technology-intensive entrepreneurs and startups who are still in the early stages of development and want to base their operations in a place where they feel safe and secure.

8) The Venture Center

The Venture Center is a business accelerator that turns ideas into real ventures. It helps small businesses obtain validation and achieve viability through organized programming, efficient mentorship, effective business strategies and strategic acceleration programs.


Professional Services in Arkansas

1) Razorback Financial & Income Tax Services

A financial and tax-planning firm in Northwest Arkansas serving a broad range of clients to access facts and answers for business and personal financial questions which makes it easier for them to make a decision. They provide services that manage personal and business financial accounts giving their clients more time with their business deals and family.

2) Ken Lance & Company, PC

Ken Lance & Company accounting firm offers a broad range of services that enables their clients to be secure and confident in handling their assets. Clients can count on their services to increase efficiency and boost revenues and profits for business; take full advantage of all deductions and credits with their tax planning services.

3) Hollinger & Associates

Hollinger & Associates does tasks for small business owners that form a solid foundation of their small business accounting system enabling the owner to get back to the job of running the business and generating profits. They check your accounts every month to keep it up-to-date allowing owners to monitor for any lost deposits, unauthorized transactions and detect excess or unjustified bank charges.

4) Daniels & Flynt Certified Public Accountants

Daniels & Flynt consists of professional certified public accountants that are distinguished from other accountants by strict and demanding education and licensing requirements. They are trusted advisers regarding accounting and auditing, tax services, bookkeeping and payroll, and business consulting wherein they treat their clients as partners in making the best decision.

5) Knapp, Craig & Rugg, PA (KCR)

KC&R is a small firm that has excelled in serving clients in a variety of industries to provide valuable services while maintaining respect for time and resources. A firm counseling clients on accounting, tax, general business, and personal financial issues with an emphasis on individuals, small business, and not-for-profit entities.

6) Denman, Hamilton & Associates CPA,PLLC

A customer focused firm dedicated to client satisfaction with continual education in accounting to discover new and efficient tools and techniques that can help manage finances. Hiring their services of experienced accountants can save you an enormous amount of time and can catch small discrepancies that are easy to miss.

7) Singleton Law Firm, P.A.

A family-owned and operated law firm located in the heart of West Little Rock that focuses on administrative law, business law, commercial litigation, and government consultation. A firm that is dedicated to the goals of their clients and that of their businesses and organizations; undertaking matters that are at all times afforded the direct personal attention of accessible lawyers.

8) Walker Law Firm

A law firm that finds solutions and has the resources to devote to the needs of different types of clients; may it be a natural gas landowner, small business owner, or a victim of personal injury. A team that consists of attorneys that can review matters and discuss them, while tailoring any settlement approach to any unique legal situation.

9) Keech Law Firm

Keech Law firm serves a wide variety of industries, both large and small in connection with complex business transactions providing clients with quality legal representation and personal attention in the areas of consumer bankruptcy, commercial bankruptcy, business representation, real estate matters, and construction. To help the firm strive for the best, they have certain core values to help current and prospective clients understand them better.

10) Bowman & Lewis

A team of trial lawyers that routinely takes cases to trial making them comfortable to courtrooms where the experience gives them the skill to effectively fight in any legal matters. They offer free case evaluation and at the same time advise prospective clients to seek consultation with other attorneys to enable clients to make informed decisions before hiring their team for any legal matters.

11) Morton Law Group

Morton Law Group comprises attorneys that have the ability to handle all manner of issues to provide high quality legal advice and representation throughout Northwest Arkansas. The firm serves as trusted, aggressive advocates to help resolve a wide variety of matters, from estate planning to serious felony defense, in a timely and efficient manner.

12) Bishop Law Firm

A firm that takes makes it their job to help you get your business or your life back on track with the goal of providing efficient, cost-effective solutions to your problems. The person who started the firm has a plus among other attorneys because he is also the owner of a number of businesses; meaning he can relate to and has experienced problems most businesses encounter.

13) Howerton Law Firm

Howerton Law Firm will fight to protect the rights of their clients and obtain the best possible outcome for different situations. They are energetic and serious in representing their clients as well as the wide area they cover makes them more experienced in dealing with complex matters.

14) Barber Law Firm

A law firm rooted in an extensive and successful litigation practice that delivers specific expertise in business law, with a particular emphasis on small, middle market and privately owned companies. A firm with a team that will aggressively represent their clients’ interest when a dispute proceeds to mediation, but that is designed mainly to keep clients out of the courtroom.

15) The Overton Firm

Due to a high percentage of property owners in Arkansas who incorrectly file their construction lien, the Overton firm serves to remove these defective liens. An improper filing of construction lien may lead to many problems, that is why Overton firm helps avoid these problems through serving clients with legal questions and issues related to Arkansas Construction, Real Estate, Hotel, Small Business, and Green Construction Law.

16) The Brad Hendricks Law Firm

A firm that provides a wide range of legal services committed to helping individuals and businesses resolve their problems.  Every penny spent for their knowledgeable and sound legal advice can save many dollars later. They are proud to inform that four of their attorneys served as President of the Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association.

17) Wood, Smith, Schnipper, Clay & Vines Law Office

The Law Office has a commitment to give the best possible legal counsel to each and every client built on a solid foundation. The Office strives to maintain the highest standards in all aspects of practice with members that have continuously enjoyed a reputation for practicing the best possible law consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct.

18) Roberds Law Firm

A general practice law firm to ensure clients have access to an honest and aggressive attorney hired to deliver reliable and hard hitting results on any case large or small. Challenging real life situations can be uncomfortable and intimidating, that is why Roberds Law Firm treats each case seriously to deliver prompt and aggressive action.


Your Arkansas Startup Toolkit

1) Business Planning

Business planning is a key aspect that you need to think of when starting a business for the first time. Although not many entrepreneurs write a business plan before they build a business, it is always helpful to create one so that you’ll have a definite guide as you go through the entire business cycle.

If you want to write a business, but you don’t have an idea how, there are business plan software solutions online that can help you. LivePlan is one of the best; it has all the right tools that you need to create a solid business plan for your startup.

2) Online Incorporation Service

When you file for incorporation, you need to prepare a lot of documents, understand different procedures and go through so many processes.

This can be difficult for first time business owners and new entrepreneurs; however, there’s a new way to incorporate your business efficiently and it’s through the use of online incorporation services. Three of the best in the entire business industry are IncfileMyCorporation and CorpNet.

3) Building a Business Website

Building a website is a major game changer in the world of business. A business’s target market, no matter how geographically dispersed they are is now within arm’s reach.

A business website is an excellent marketing tool to deliver your message about the products and services you’re offering; it is also one way to improve branding. Luckily, building a business website is no longer that difficult with website building tools like Bluehost and Rainmaker.

4) Accounting Software

Efficient financial management is the key to success in any kind of business. As a business owner, you need to have skills in accounting and bookkeeping to be able to keep track of your business’s expenses. If you want to stay as hands on as possible, but you don’t have the skills to do so, you can always use accounting software solutions like Xero, QuickBooks and FreshBooks.


Wrapping Up On Starting A Business in Arkansas

Wrapping Up and Starting a BusinessOf the Fortune 500 companies in the United States, 6 are located in Arkansas, one being Walmart – the number 1 retailer in the world. This is a testament that the state is one of the best places to start a small business in the United States.

Starting a business in Arkansas or in any other state can be quite challenging and difficult; however, thanks to government agencies, private sectors, educational institutions, financial organizations and even individuals, building a business these days is made easier.

During the initial stages of starting a business, you have to get all the help that you can to make your business a success. Take advantage of these small business resources and maximize them as best you can.

About Ryan James

Half hardworking hermit, half avid adventurer, Ryan founded Startup Savant to simplify entrepreneurship and pay it forward by donating a portion of all revenue to support children's education via DonorsChoose.org.