Want to Start a Business in Arkansas?

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This page is dedicated to the best resources for starting a business in Arkansas.

Learn more about how to start a business in Arkansas.

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Business Resources in Arkansas

Find the best resources to help create your informal business structure (sole proprietorship or partnership), corporation (S corp or C corp), limited liability company (single-member LLC or multi-member LLC), or how to file a DBA in Arkansas.

Use the following business resources in Arkansas to learn how to choose the best LLC services, file the Certificate of Organization, obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and decide whether you should be your own registered agent or if you should hire a third-party registered agent service.

Becoming an Entrepreneur in Arkansas

Just Starting Out

Every Arkansas business starts out with a great idea. To get inspiration, you can try our business idea generator that can suggest businesses for you based on your interests and lifestyle.

Once you've found the perfect idea, it's time to create a game plan for your business. This step helps lay a solid foundation for the future of your company. You can move on to planning out your business with our business plan generator or simply browse our selection of startup ideas. We also have several helpful guides for planning out your business:

Coming Up With a Name

One of the most important decisions you will make for your business is coming up with a name and then seeing if it is available in Arkansas. We have several naming tools and guides to help you get started with finding the perfect name for your Arkansas startup, small business, nonprofit or corporation.

Different Types of Business Formation

A business structure refers to how a business is legally organized. The type of business structure you choose to form your business with can affect how your company is regulated, taxed, and more. Because of this, choosing the best structure for your business is an important decision to make. Below are guides on the different business structures you can choose to form your company so you can learn how to form a business that works best for you.

Forming Your Arkansas Business

Now that you’ve created a business plan, found a name and chose your Arkansas business structure, it's time to form your business. This process might seem complicated, but it doesn't have to be. And if you want to save time and have someone else handle the paperwork, you can use one of our recommended services, like ZenBusiness, which will help to form your company for you or you can form it yourself using our helpful guides and tools.

LLC Checklist

This Arkansas Checklist for Starting an LLC covers the necessary steps you need to take when you create your LLC.

Formation Necessities

Here are the required documents and forms you may need to help you get your business up and running in Arkansas.

Highly Recommended Services for Your Business

Depending on the type of business structure your choose and how large your business is, you may also want to consider using the following services for your Arkansas startup:

Registered Agent

An Arkansas registered agent is a person or business that sends and receives legal papers on behalf of your company. These documents include official correspondence like legal summons and state filing notices.

Arkansas requires every business to nominate a registered agent when forming a small business. Your registered agent must be an Arkansas resident or a corporation authorized to conduct business in that Arkansas.

We also recommend hiring a professional registered agent service to provide you with peace of mind and help you stay compliant with the law.

DBA

Filing a “doing business as” (DBA) name, also known as an assumed name or ficticious name, is an easy process that is achieved by registering a DBA with the State of Arkansas.

Branding

You can probably think of a dozen different companies in Arkansas whose brands play an important role in your daily or professional life. Maybe you only buy certain brands or prefer to buy your groceries at one supermarket chain over another. Your dedication to these companies is primarily a result of one thing: their branding. Our branding guides and tools will go over the importance of branding your small business and provide some tips for getting started.

Financing Your Arkansas Business

Small business finance is the raising and managing of funds to finance and operate a new small business. This includes banking, small business accounting, building business credit, and raising funds for your business.

When planning your Arkansas business, you should determine what types of business funding options your company will need and when. Whether you are starting a low-cost business or starting a high-growth startup, knowing when to get funding and what kind of funding you need is important.

Setting Up a Bank Account

Opening a business checking account is one of the first things you will need to do as a new business. Business banking is a fundamental asset protection requirement for every business and, depending on your needs, may include checking accounts, savings accounts, credit cards, and merchant accounts.

Every new and small business needs a business bank account to pay their business insurance, take care of payroll, collect money, and enroll with a merchant account to accept credit card payments.

Check out our guide on the Best Banks for Small Business for help finding a banking account for your business.

Getting a Business Credit Card

Small business credit cards are designed for professional use and provide a line of credit to small businesses while helping to maintain personal asset protection. It is crucial for small businesses to have a small business credit card.

Our guides will help you understand the importance of having a small business credit card and provide the steps for finding and applying for the best credit card for your business.

Finding Small Business Loans

Getting a small business loan is done by applying with a business lender, typically your bank or another lending institution, with the right documentation and your business plan.

A business loan can help to resolve cash flow problems, leverage growth opportunities, and even increase the value of a business. Making sure to plan for a loan ahead of time is extremely important, as is knowing the documentation needed by your lender when you do apply.

Small Business Financing for Female Entrepreneurs

Grants, loans, government contracts, investors, scholarships, advisors, tutorials — there are plenty of financial resources for female entrepreneurs and women leaders, and we’ll help you discover the best ones for you and your business.

Maintaining Your Small Business

Congratulations! Fewer than 14% of Americans have realized the dream of business ownership. To keep your Arkansas business running, make sure you keep up with required government filings and maintain a clear record of all earnings and expenses.

Make Sure Your Business is Compliant

When you start a small business, you’ll need to determine if your business needs any licenses or permits to stay compliant.

Set Up Accounting and Bookkeeping

Having a business accountant will help you take advantage of tax benefits and potentially save you and your Arkansas business a lot of money in taxes each year.

Finding a business accountant as soon as you start your business will ensure that you have the best advice from the very beginning.

Recommended: Hiring an accountant can save your company thousands of dollars in taxes each year. Get a free tax consultation with 1-800Accountant.

Set Up a Business Phone

Getting a business phone number is important for many businesses. Having a phone number for your customers to contact you with can go a long way in ensuring that your business is viewed as professional, trustworthy, and legitimate. 

There are also different business phone services and answering services that can ensure that you are able to answer more than one call simultaneously and that all of your customers feel heard. Check out our different phone tools and guides to help your Arkansas business set up phone services.

Build a Business Website

With growing technology, more and more businesses are going online. We believe all companies need a website regardless of their industry or size to keep up with the times. 

So, how do you build a website? Luckily, technology has recently caught up with the massive demand for tools to simplify website creation. It’s never been easier to build your own website without the need for any web designer experience.

Our tools and guides provide an overview of the steps to build a website for your Arkansas business as well as suggestions for which tools to use based on your business type and knowledge level.

Business Resources for Women

Starting your own business is no small feat; thankfully, there are many valuable resources dedicated to helping women entrepreneurs start and succeed. From woman-owned business certification to grants for female entrepreneurs, we’ll help you discover the women's business resources that will help you get the most out of your entrepreneurial journey.

Arkansas Business Resources

Arscene

Arscene has 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.

SCORE

SCORE (available in Northwest Arkansas and Little Rock) is 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.

ASBTDC

The Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center is 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.

East Arkansas Crossroads Coalition

The East Arkansas Crossroads Coalition is 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.

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.

Innovate Arkansas

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.

Startup Junkie Consulting

Startup Junkie Consulting 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.

Arkansas Capital

Arkansas Capital is 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.

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.

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.

Arkansas Business

Arkansas Business 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.

LenCred

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.

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.

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.

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.

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