How to Start an LLC in Arkansas

L L C members happy after starting an L L C in Arkansas

It’s easy to form an LLC in Arkansas online yourself. Just follow these steps: 

  1. Name Your LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File the AK Certificate of Organization
  4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN

Or, use a professional service:

four point eight out of five stars Northwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Filing Fee)

three point four out of five stars LegalZoom ($79 + State Filing Fee)

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 Start an LLC in Arkansas guide below to get started.

Steps to form an L L C in Arkansas

For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, visit our How to Start an LLC guide.

Step 1: Create a Name for Your Arkansas LLC

Before you register your Arkansas 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.

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Once you register a domain name for your LLC, consider setting up a business phone system to establish credibility and enhance your customer service. Nextiva provides a plethora of useful features and a quick, easy setup. Try Nextiva.

Using an Arkansas Assumed Name or Fictitious Name (DBA)

An Arkansas DBA (doing business as), also known as an assumed name or fictitious name, is any registered name that a business operates under that isn't its legal business name. An assumed name or fictitious name can be used by any type of business, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

Learn how to get a DBA in our Arkansas DBA guide.

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. To learn more about Arkansas Registered Agents, read our guide.

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

Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers a free year of registered agent services when you form your LLC ($29 plus state fees).

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.

You can file online with the AK SOS Corporations Online Filing System or fill out a hard copy of Certificate of Organization Form LL-01 and mail it in. The filing fee is $50. 

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:

  1. Entity Name and Address
  2. Registered Agent Name and Registered Office Address
  3. 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.
Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

How long does it take to get an Arkansas 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 an operating agreement 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 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.

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Steps After Forming an LLC in Arkansas

After forming your Arkansas LLC, it's important to:

Open A Business Bank Account

A business bank account helps separate personal expenses and company expenses, which is required to maintain your Arkansas LLC's corporate veil. A corporate veil protects your personal assets from creditors in potential lawsuits against your LLC or Business.

Learn more by reading this guide to Banking for Entrepreneurs. For a multi-member LLC, you'll also want to set up capital accounts for LLC members. We also recommend checking out our review of the best business bank accounts.

Get A Business Credit Card

A business credit card will help separate personal and business expenses while building your company's credit history. A strong credit history will be useful for raising capital in the form of venture capital, angel investment, or small business loans.

Set Up Business Accounting

Hiring a business accountant is one of the best ways to ensure you’re taking advantage of LLC tax benefits; possibly saving you and your business thousands of dollars per year.

When forming an LLC in Arkansas, it’s a good idea to start a relationship with a business accountant as soon as you start your business to help set your company up for success.

Get Business Insurance

Business insurance helps manage risk. The most common forms of business insurance are general liability, professional liability, and workers' compensation.

Find out the real cost of getting insurance for your business. Get a free quote or call 855-965-3168.

Keep Your Company Compliant

Research Arkansas Business Licenses and Permits

To operate an LLC in Arkansas, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations such as health permits, building permits, and signage permits. 

Business licensing and permit requirements vary from state to state. To get started, visit our How to Get a Business License in Arkansas guide. To help facilitate this process, you can also utilize a business license service.

File Your Arkansas LLC Annual Franchise Tax Report

All Arkansas LLCs must pay a franchise tax each year by submitting an Annual Franchise Tax Report to the state’s Department of Finance and Administration. The tax for LLCs is $150, which can be paid online, by mail, or in person.

Understand Arkansas State Tax Requirements

Arkansas businesses selling a physical product are generally required to register for a seller’s permit through the Arkansas Office of Tax and Revenue. Visit our Arkansas Sales Tax guide to learn more about seller’s permits and Arkansas sales tax.

Additionally, if you have employees in Arkansas, you will need to register for unemployment insurance tax through the Arkansas Department of Employment Services as well as sign up for employee withholding tax through the Withholding Tax Branch of the Arkansas Office of Tax and Revenue.

Understand Your Arkansas LLC’s Federal Tax Requirements

Most Arkansas LLCs will need to report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year using Form 1065: Partnership Return (multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 - Schedule C (single-member LLCs).

How you pay yourself will affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.

Know Your Arkansas LLC’s Federal Tax Election Options

Pass-through taxation entails a business’s profits passing through to the LLC member’s individual tax returns. Like a sole proprietorship, an LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity, also known as a disregarded entity. 

Once this process is completed and after any tax-deductible expenses are taken out, the LLC members pay self-employment taxes and income tax on their portion of the business income. 

Alternatively, Arkansas LLCs can choose to elect to be taxed as an S corporation (S corp) or C corporation (C corp). If S corporation tax status is elected, LLC members can be taxed as employees of the business, potentially reducing tax burden.

More LLC Resources

  • Arkansas Foreign LLCs: Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. Download the Arkansas foreign LLC form to get started.
  • Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing: A certificate of good standing verifies that your LLC was legally formed. To order, follow our Arkansas certificate of good standing guide.
  • Dissolving an Arkansas LLC: If you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Arkansas LLC Dissolution Guide.
  • LLC Legal Forms: TRUiC offers a number of free LLC legal forms including operating agreements, LLC resolutions, and hiring documents.

Need Help Forming an LLC?

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