How to Form an LLC in Arkansas
LLCs are the most popular structure for small businesses in Arkansas. That's because starting and running a limited liability company (LLC) is very simple and offers important benefits.
LLCs can protect your personal assets (car, house, savings) if something happens to your business. LLCs also offer credibility and options to save on taxes.
It’s easy to form an LLC in Arkansas online yourself. Just follow these steps:
- Name Your LLC
- Choose a Registered Agent
- File the AK Certificate of Organization
- Create an LLC Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
Starting an Arkansas LLC Is Easy
You can start an Arkansas LLC online by filing the Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State. The cost to form an LLC in Arkansas online is $50.
Follow our How to Get an LLC in Arkansas guide below to get started.
Step 1: Create a Name for Your Arkansas LLC
Before you register your LLC, you'll need to come up with a name. Your business name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.
We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.
Naming Your LLC
First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.
Next, make sure your name meets Arkansas guidelines:
- it contains the words limited liability company, limited company, LLC, or L.L.C.
- it doesn't contain restricted words or phrases (these often include words like bank, attorney, and university) without approval
- it's distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in Arkansas
- full list of Arkansas naming guidelines
Next, do an Arkansas LLC name search with the Secretary of State to find out if your name is available in Arkansas.
If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Certificate of Organization with the Secretary of State.
Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.
We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.
Step 2: Appoint a Registered Agent
When you file your Certificate of Organization, you'll need to list a registered agent.
A registered agent's job is to accept legal documents like service of process and tax notices for your LLC.
Your registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. You can act as your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to use a registered agent service.
Here are a few things to think about before you decide to act as your own registered agent:
- You’ll need to be available during normal (9 am - 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide
- If you run your business from home, you’ll have to make your personal address public
- You could be served with a lawsuit in front of your family or coworkers
Step 3: File the Certificate of Organization
It’s time to officially form your LLC by filing your Certificate of Organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your LLC will be member-managed vs manager-managed.
You'll need to know the following information to complete the form:
- Entity Name and Address
- Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
- Governing Authority Type (LLC Management Structure)
For more detailed help with completing the form, visit our Arkansas Certificate of Organization guide.
Mail Your Certificate of Organization:
Send the form and payment (payable to the Secretary of State) to:
Arkansas Secretary of State
1401 W. Capital Ave.
Little Rock, AR 72201
How long does it take to get an LLC approved? LLC processing time is within 48 hours online, or a week by mail.
Step 4: Create an LLC Operating Agreement
Creating an Arkansas LLC operating agreement is the only way for you and your members to fully define your roles and lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having this document in place will also give you all something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises.
Your operating agreement should outline the following:
- each member’s responsibilities
- how new members will be admitted
- how existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
- how profits and dividends are to be distributed
From there, you can add as many provisions as you want, provided they are not in conflict with Arkansas business law. Learn more about operating agreements in Arkansas with our guide.
To learn more, read our What Is an LLC Operating Agreement guide. You can also download a template or create a custom free operating agreement using our tool on How to Start an LLC. No credit card required, ever.
Step 5: Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. The IRS and the state of Arkansas will use this number to track your business activity.
Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:
- Open a business bank account
- File Federal and State taxes
- Hire employees
The best way to get an EIN for your LLC in Arkansas is by using the free online application on the IRS website.
Read our Get an EIN guide for instructions.
Steps After Forming an LLC
After forming your LLC, it's important to:
- Open a Business Bank Account. A business bank account legally separates personal finances from business finances. This separation is required to maintain your LLC's corporate veil (your limited liability protection).
- Research Arkansas Business Licenses and Permits. For help, visit our How to Get an Arkansas Business License guide. There are also business license services that can help.
- File Your Arkansas LLC Annual Franchise Tax Report. File online with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Franchise Tax Filing System by March 1st each year.
Need Help Forming an LLC?
Read our Best LLC Services review to learn more about pricing and packages.