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How to Start an LLC in Arkansas: A Simple Guide


Table of Contents

Starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Arkansas is a great way to start your entrepreneurial journey with a business structure that offers flexibility and protection. This guide is crafted to walk you through the process in straightforward steps, free from complicated legal jargon. Here are the seven essential steps to establish your LLC in The Natural State.



Step 1: Choose a Business Name

Choosing a name for your LLC is the first and one of the most critical steps. Arkansas has specific guidelines for naming your LLC:

  • The name must include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.”
  • Avoid using restricted words like “Association,” “Corporation,” or “Incorporated” unless you have the proper licensing.
  • Your chosen name can’t be too similar to others and must not suggest that it’s a government agency.


How to Check Name Availability

Before settling on a name, use the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website to search and ensure your desired name is available, or you can do a quick, free name check. If you are considering getting a website name that matches your business name, You can find good deals for your domain names on Namecheap.


This step prevents any naming conflicts and helps you avoid legal issues down the line.


Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent

A registered agent is your LLC’s point of contact for receiving legal documents. In Arkansas, your registered agent can be a person or a business entity, but they must have a physical address in the state and be available during regular business hours. This role is crucial for ensuring that you get all important legal notices. You can act as your registered agent, choose someone you trust, or hire a professional service like Northwest Registered Agent or Bizee.


Check out our blog: ‘Is a Registered Agent Necessary? Your Guide to Finding an Affordable Option


Step 3: File Your Arkansas LLC Certificate of Organization

Filing the Certificate of Organization is what officially brings your LLC into existence. This document requires you to detail:

  • Your LLC’s name and address.
  • Your registered agent’s details.
  • The purpose of your LLC (a general purpose is often sufficient).
  • The duration of your LLC’s existence (if not perpetual).

Filing Options and Fees

You can file this document online or by mail. You will file a Certificate of Organization of Form LL-o1 with the Secretary of State. The filing fee for online is $45 and $50 for paper. 

Processing Time

The processing time can vary, but online submissions are generally quicker than mail-in applications.

How to File My Documents:

  • Online via Arkansas SOS Corporations Online Filling System: 
  • Mail or Deliver in person to Arkansas Secretary of State 1401 W. Capitol Ave. Suite 250, Little Rock, AR 72201


Step 4: Making an Operating Agreement for Your Business

Let’s discuss setting up some ground rules for your business. This is where an Operating Agreement comes in. Think of it as a handbook that explains how your business runs. It’s important because it helps everyone understand their role and what’s expected in your LLC.

Here’s what an Operating Agreement usually includes:

  • Ownership: This part talks about who owns what percentage of the business. 
  • Member’s Rights and Responsibilities: Here, you’ll write down what each person in the LLC can and cannot do and what they’re responsible for. It’s like a job description for each member.
  • Joining & Leaving: This section covers how new people can enter your business and what happens if someone decides to leave. It’s good to have this figured out so there are no surprises later.
  • Dissolution: This might sound a bit gloomy, but it’s practical. It’s about how to close down the LLC if you ever need to. It includes the steps to take and how to handle everything when wrapping up the business.

Creating an Operating Agreement is a smart move. It keeps things clear and organized so everyone knows what to expect, and it can save you a lot of headaches! 


Step 5: Getting Your EIN from the IRS

Your business needs a number called an EIN from the IRS. It’s like an ID number for your business. This number will help you as an identification number when getting bank accounts and credit accounts, filing taxes, and hiring employees.


It’s free, and you can get it from the IRS website at

Step 6: Obtain Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your LLC, you may need specific licenses or permits to operate legally in Arkansas. This can range from a general business license to industry-specific permits.

Types of Licenses and Permits

  • General Business License: Check with your city or county government to see if your business needs a local license.
  • Industry-specific Licenses: You may need additional permits depending on your business type. For example, restaurants require health permits, while construction businesses may need building permits.
  • Arkansas Seller’s Permit: If you’re selling goods or certain services in Arkansas, you must apply for a seller’s permit to collect sales tax. This can be done through the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.


Step 7: Understand Your Tax Obligations and File an Annual Report

Arkansas LLC Tax Requirements

As an LLC in Arkansas, you’ll enjoy the benefit of “pass-through” taxation, where the business itself isn’t taxed directly. Instead, profits and losses pass through to the members’ tax returns. However, you must register for state taxes, including sales tax, if you sell goods or services.


Filing an Annual Report

Arkansas LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. The report is due by May 1st each year and can be filed online or by mail. The filing fee is minimal, but staying compliant is crucial for maintaining good standing in the state.


Step 8: Steps After Forming Your LLC 

Open a Business Bank Account

Keeping your personal and business finances separate is crucial for financial management and legal protection. Opening a business bank account requires your EIN and Articles of Organization. It makes tracking business expenses easier and simplifies tax filing.


Get a Business Credit Card

A business credit card is an excellent tool for handling business purchases and can help build your company’s credit history. Just like with personal credit, a good business credit score can make it easier to get loans and may qualify you for better terms. Visit our website to see our favorite business cards review. 

Check out our blog: Novo Review: The Best Business Banking Account in 2024.


Hire an Accountant

Managing finances can get complicated, especially as your business grows. An accountant can help you navigate tax laws, handle bookkeeping, and plan for financial growth. This professional guidance can save you time and money in the long run.


Create a Professional Website 

A website makes your business look legit. WordPress is a great tool to build your site. You can check out SiteGround or Hostinger for web hosting. They’re both good options to get your site up and running.


Arkansas LLC Tax Requirements and Annual Report Filing

Employer Taxes and Tax Requirements in Arkansas

Once your LLC is established in Arkansas, you’ll be guided through various tax obligations, especially if you plan to hire employees.

  • Employer Taxes: For LLCs with employees in Arkansas, registration for Unemployment Insurance Tax is required through the Arkansas Division of Workforce Services. Additionally, you’ll need to register for Employee Withholding Tax with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. These steps are crucial for any LLC planning to hire employees and ensure compliance with state labor laws.
  • Tax Requirements: Beyond taxes specific to employers, your LLC may encounter other state tax obligations based on your business activities. Like many states, Arkansas treats LLCs as pass-through entities for federal tax purposes, meaning the business isn’t taxed directly on its income. Instead, profits and losses are reported on the members’ tax returns. LLCs can be taxed as corporations if it aligns with their financial strategy. Regardless of your tax status, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS is essential for tax administration and is required for hiring employees, opening a business bank account, and more.


Annual Report Filing in Arkansas

Arkansas requires LLCs to file an annual report, a regulation that helps keep the state informed about your business and ensures your LLC remains in good standing.

  • Filing the Annual Report: This report is due by May 1st each year and can be filed online through the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website. The process is straightforward, and the fee is nominal, but the exact cost can be confirmed on the Secretary of State’s website. This annual obligation is an opportunity to update the state on any changes to your LLC’s address, members, or management structure.
  • Importance of Timely Filing: Late filings can result in penalties and may jeopardize the good standing of your LLC in Arkansas. Therefore, it’s crucial to mark this deadline in your calendar and ensure that your annual report is filed on time.


New 2024 Reporting Requirements (BOI)

Effective from January 1, 2024

Big news! Starting January 1, 2024, there are new reporting requirements for both domestic and foreign reporting companies. This includes LLCs, corporations, and other entities. Here’s what you need to know:


First Report Deadlines:

  • Existing Entities: If your LLC was already around before 2024, you’ve got until January 1, 2025, to submit your first report.
  • New Entities: If you’re forming your LLC in 2024, you must file your report within 90 days of your company’s creation.


Who Needs to Report:

  • Domestic Reporting Companies: This includes LLCs and similar entities within the U.S.
  • Foreign Reporting Companies: Entities registered foreign entities must also adhere to these new rules.


Exceptions to Reporting:

  • For specific exceptions, you’ll want to refer to the Beneficial Ownership Information Reporting Regulations at 31 CFR § 1010.380(c)(2) and the Small Entity Compliance Guide.


What Must Be Reported

What you need to report is all about transparency. The exact details can be found in the compliance guide, but it generally involves information about your LLC’s ownership and control.


When Must Reporting File Reports

Timing is key! Remember, if you’re an existing entity, your deadline is January 1, 2025. For new LLCs formed in 2024, it’s within 90 days of creation.


Filing Reports & Noncompliance Penalties

Starting January 1, 2024, all BOI reports must be filed electronically. Here are some critical points:

  • Filing Before the Date: You must file on January 1, 2024.
  • Accuracy: Filer certification of accuracy is mandatory – you need to double-check that everything you report is correct and accurate.

Penalties for Noncompliance:

  • False Information Penalties: Mistakes or misinformation can lead to a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 2 years in prison.
  • Penalties: If you slip up here, you could face a fine of up to $10,000 or even imprisonment for up to 2 years.
  • FinCEN’s Approach: The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) focuses on education and outreach to ensure compliance. 
  • Safe Harbor Rule: Did you make a mistake? If you discover inaccuracies in your initial report, you have a 90-day grace period to submit a corrected report.

If you need more information or specific guidance, please visit the FinCEN website for all the details.


Creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Arkansas can be a well-organized and simplified process if you follow these essential steps. These steps will help you establish your business and provide a solid foundation to achieve your entrepreneurial goals. From selecting an appropriate name for your LLC to comprehending your tax responsibilities, each step is crucial to building a successful company. With persistence and proper guidance, your journey from a mere idea to a fully-fledged LLC can be an effortless and fulfilling experience.


 If you need help, services like Northwest Registered Agent or Bizee exist. They can handle any legal details your LLC requires, like getting your EIN and sorting out your operating agreement.


Northwest Registered Agent

Northwest Registered Agent Pricing: What to Expect

Northwest Registered Agent keeps pricing simple. They have a clear, straightforward fee structure, which is a big plus. No hidden fees or surprises – that’s the kind of honesty we all appreciate, right?

Why is Their Pricing Affordable?

  • Transparent Costs: They tell you exactly what you’re paying for so you can make informed decisions.
  • Competitive Rates: Their prices align with your expectations for top-notch services, ensuring you get good value.
  • One-Stop Shop: Since they offer a whole suite of services, you can bundle things together, potentially saving time and money.
  • Location: They’re headquartered in Spokane, Washington, but don’t worry – they have offices in all 50 states. So, wherever you are in the U.S., they’ve got local expertise ready for you.
  • Experience Counts: These folks have been in the game for over 20 years. That’s a lot of experience under their belt, helping businesses like yours start and grow.

Core Services

  • LLC Formation: Dreaming of starting your own LLC? They can help make that happen.
  • Registered Agent Service: The main event – they’ll be your reliable point of contact for all those essential legal documents.
  • Address Privacy: Keep your address off the public records. It’s all about your privacy.
  • Lifetime Customer Support: Got questions? They’re there for you, not just today, but for the life of your business.
  • Annual Report Reminders: Never miss a deadline with their handy reminders.
  • Online Document Dashboard: All your important documents are organized in one easy-to-access place.


Additional Services (Because There’s Always More)

  • EIN Number: They can help you get your business’s unique tax ID.
  • Annual Report Service: Let them handle your annual reporting needs.
  • Operating Agreements: Need help with the rules for running your LLC? They’ve got you covered.
  • Virtual Office Service: Get a professional business address without the office.
  • S-Corp Election: Thinking about S-Corp status? They can help with that.
  • Mail Forwarding Service: Keep your mail organized and forward it where needed.
  • Foreign Qualification: Expanding your business to new states? They can assist.
  • Legal Forms: Access a variety of legal forms easily.
  • Legal Services (in Indiana): If you’re in Indiana, they’ve got specific legal services just for you.
  • Incorporation Services: More than just LLCs, they can help incorporate your business, too.

So, if you want to create an LLC, Northwest Registered Agent is very beneficial. They ensure everything runs smoothly, keeping you focused on what you love – growing your business.

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