10 Simple Steps
Naming your brand and developing your product or service isn’t even step 1, planning the first 3-5 years in business is. It’s mapping out your approach, designing your playbook, and structuring a game plan.
Take Action: Sign up for our free email-based Business Planning Course designed to get you A-to-Z as quickly and smoothly as possible. Plus, get access to tons of other great tools along the way.
Selecting a business structure/entity is also foundational and determines so much. It’s best to do it near conception and project out to what will likely be in your (and the brand’s) best interests.
Take Action: As this aspect of starting a business is sensitive, we’ve developed quick and easy guides for each.
Arkansas small business taxes aren’t too bad. There’s plenty of incentives and credit programs to go around relevant to the entity you chose in step 2 (there are pros and cons for each type).
Take Action: Be sure to cover relevant state tax registration requirements listed on the Arkansas Dept. of Finance and Administration page. In fact, better bookmark that site.
After tackling tax requirements, it’s time to fill out and file all appropriate Arkansas red tape with the right agencies. There’s no way to legally operate about them. Here are two steps to help out.
1) For the DIY’ers the state page linked in step 3 also has a nice big section on Licenses/Permits to go through as well.
2) For $99 IncFile’s Business License Package is amazing! They determine everything required on Federal, State, County and Municipal levels, get the forms, and provide step-by-step filing instructions.
All too often new entrepreneurs make the mistake of mixing their personal and business bank accounts. Big no no! Make your life far easier and financially safer by separating the two. Your brand should have its own individual account, which typically has benefits by the way.
A Few Things To Consider
So, what’s it going to be? Little Rock? Fayetteville? Or maybe Springdale? As you know it’s location, location, location when it comes to a large part of business success, although the internet is definitely mixing things up.
Take Action: Choosing a location can be tough if it doesn’t happen naturally through personal/professional networks. To brush up on everything that goes into making this decision, refer to our guide on How to Choose the Perfect Location.
Oh boy, big can of worms here, but truth is your business is going to likely need far more resources than you may be expecting right now. Good news is modern communication is unbelievable so the sky’s the limit.
Take Action: The email course we mentioned in Step 1 really comes in handy as planning/finances go together like bread & butter. Browse our guide on How to Finance a Business to start generating ideas.
Whether all you need is a digital business card or landing page, or a full-blown agency site, your brand needs a professional site to be taken seriously (and researched by potential clients/customers!). If you already know a fabulous designer, or have this squared away that’s great! If not…
Take Action: The first step is finding the right platform, which thankfully there aren’t too many. Head on over to this easy Business Website Builder Guide to get a head start.
Boom, another monster bulldozer of worms. Marketing is both mind-blowingly simple and jaw-droppingly complex at the same time. Such is the nature of 21st century business. What counts is the kind of help you seek, and where you invest your marketing dollars.
Take Action: Start small, close to home, and research. See what similar businesses are doing in the Arkansas area you chose and what local Google results show. Start getting listed on local business sites!
Learning how to start a business in Arkansas never really ends until you either sell, close your doors, or move. Every day has something new to teach you and your customers are always willing to share their insight into how to serve them better.
Take Action: Tap into our weekly newsletter filled with tips, tricks, lessons, and inspiring stories directly from entrepreneurs like you.
Out of all the resources available to help you start a business in Arkansas, here are the two we believe in most. With IncFile and LivePlan, you'll take the first steps toward bringing your idea to life and having a solid plan behind it.
IncFile is the most affordable online incorporation available. Since 2004, IncFile has helped over 75,000 entrepreneurs incorporate their business on a budget. For $49 + State Fee, they'll bring your business to life by registering whichever business structure you choose.Visit IncFile.com
One of the most important aspects of starting a business can also be the most tedious: the business plan. LivePlan is a business plan software that will walk you through the entire process as it has for 375,000 entrepreneurs across the world.Get 25% Off LivePlan