Wed 02 Sep 2015 | By:

Why and How to Start an Arkansas LLC

How to Form an LLC Online

Are you thinking about starting an LLC in Arkansas? In this article, we’ll discuss the advantages of becoming an LLC and how it will benefit your business- now and later.

This guide will walk you through the entire registration process if you decide it is the right business structure for you.

If you are nervous about the filing process and would prefer professionals handle it to make sure everything is filed properly, look into a service like IncFile (for $49) or LegalZoom (for $149). Both services use online questionnaires that take you less than 15 minutes to complete.  Then they take care of the rest!

If you’d like to handle the incorporation process yourself, keep reading our step-by-step guide. Otherwise look into one of the incorporation services mentioned above. Do what works best for you!


Why Form an LLC in Arkansas

Here’s why you should incorporate an LLC in Arkansas. Check out this list based on state and federal guidelines.

1) Safeguards You From Personal Liabilities

Starting an LLC in will always entail liabilities. However, if you form an LLC, you will have full protection by state law for any personal liabilities.  Wondering how you will  be protected?

Once you go through the incorporation process and form an Arkansas LLC, you will have created a separate entity that has its own set of rights and transactions. Therefore, even if you own the business, you will not be responsible following lawsuits or other issues related to your business.


2) Helps You Save on Taxes

Taking advantage of tax benefits and savings is one of the greatest advantages to forming an Arkansas LLC. Depending on how much revenue your  small business generates every year, you will be subject to numerous tax deductions.

The Internal Revenue Service provides better tax advantages for LLC’s and Corporations than any other form of business structures.


3) Gives Your Employees Benefits

By forming an LLC  you are not only safeguarding your business, you are also able to help your employees. Aside from your business tax deductions, your employees will also be given tax benefits.

Some of these tax deductions will be carried out in your employees health insurance travel allowances, automobile costs and other operational costs.


4) Protects Your Personal Assets

Being in business always runs the risk of encountering legal issues. When lawsuits arise, you need to shield your personal assets. Personal assets include your estates, properties, personal bank accounts and other valuable belongings. When you form an LLC, you form a separate entity, thereby separating your personal and professional assets.


How to Start an LLC in Arkansas

Incorporating an LLC can be complicated.  Let us simplify it for you!  All information is based on state and federal standards.

1) Decide On a Business Name

Choose a Business Name

This is the first step when forming an LLC in Arkansas. Make sure your business name is unique and represents your company well.

Additionally, make sure the name of your choice is currently not registered through the Arkansas Secretary of State. When you file, indicate the letters LLC after your business name. Check for business name duplication through the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.

Once you have done your homework, reserve your chosen business name for 120 days by filing the Application for Reservation of Limited Liability Company Name through the Arkansas Secretary of State. You can submit the form through mail or online.   Filing fees are $25 by mail and $22.50 online.


2) Choose A Registered Agent

Choose a Registered AgentState law requires business owners to select a Registered Agent for their business. Registered Agents are third-party professionals who represent your Arkansas LLC in the event that you need someone to receive pertinent documents for you.

When choosing a Registered Agent, make sure that he or she he or she is an Arkansas resident.  He or she must also have an office or a street address in Arkansas.

The average rate for a Registered Agent may reach up to $160 annually. However, the service is free if you choose to incorporate your LLC with IncFile – that’s even less than $100 along with its incorporation service.


3) File Your Articles Of Incorporation

Register an LLCYour Articles of Incorporation is the most important document that you need to submit to form your LLC. File this document at the office of the Arkansas Secretary of State.

Essential information includes:

If you want to file your forms in person or through mail, you may visit the Secretary of State Business and Commercial Services Division website for specific instructions. If you choose to file online, the filing fee is $50 while the online filing fee is $45.


4) Get an EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCEIN stands for Employer Identification Number, also known as Federal Tax Identification Number.  This serves as your Arkansas LLC’s social security number. An EIN is important because it establishes the identity of your company. It is also the IRS’s passport to monitor your business activities and taxes.

By obtaining an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account and hire employees for your LLC. Obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service for free after you’ve incorporated your business. You can apply online.


5) Create an Operating Agreement

Create an Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement is a legal document that explains the ownership and operating procedures of your LLC. An Operating Agreement assists in organizing a financial working plan with co-owners.

The state of Arkansas does not require an operating agreement to operate your business, however best practice is to draft one. You can consult an attorney for help.  However, if you want to create your own, you can find free templates online.


To-Do After Starting Your LLC

1) Prepare A Game Plan

Write a Business Plan

Creating a solid game plan increases your chances of long term success. Study as much as you can, plan ahead and prepare what you need.

This is not required by the state of Arkansas, however, it’s best practice to create one.  Trust me, I’ve been there and it’s a huge help if you have a well-organized game plan.

Quick Links to Writing a Business Plan


2) Comply With State Taxes & Permits

Business LicensesThe state of Arkansas requires that all businesses comply with state fees and taxes to continue conducting business. This law is implemented by the Secretary of State of Arkansas.

Failure to pay your taxes will result in sanctions and fines. Pay your taxes promptly to avoid accruing penalties. Here is a quick guide to walk you through the requirements.

Apart from tax requirements, file for permits and licenses. Every type of business has different permit and licensure requirements, so make sure you visit the concerned office in your state. Check out this guide  to learn the procedure on obtaining these licenses.


3) File The Required Reports

The state government requires that you submit an annual report to the assigned office in order to track your business activities. You are required to file the annual report on the first day of your anniversary month yearly.

Avoid sanctions, extra fees and fines by filing your report promptly!

This guide is not meant to replace the advice of your attorney.  For questions and concerns when starting a business, consult the legal advice of a lawyer.

About Liesha Petrovich

Liesha is a small business owner of 20 years, host of Startup Savant, the owner of a karate dojo in Maine, and creator of Work Mobly. During free time she's with her family and working on a Doctorate in Entrepreneurship.