Arkansas filing fees

What Are the Business Filing Fees in Arkansas?

Starting a business in Arkansas means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.

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Whether you’re starting a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, you’ll have to file several documents with the state of Arkansas. Along with those documents come filing fees. You might have to pay those fees to the federal government, the state government, or even local governments. 

Just keeping track of all these fees can give you quite a headache. That’s why we’ve summarized the most common Arkansas business filing fees you need to be aware of. At the end of the article, we’ll review how we can help you pay all your Arkansas filing fees with minimal hassle. 

Step 1: Pay your Arkansas business’s initial filing fees

Initial filing fees are fees that a new business pays to the state of Arkansas to officially come into existence. These fees vary by entity type. All of the following fees should be sent to the Arkansas Secretary of State. Regardless of the form you are filing, the Secretary of State generally processes most filings within two days. However, the processing time varies depending on your submission method and the time of year. Filing online will allow for a much faster processing time since you don’t need to wait for your forms to arrive in the mail. Here is a list of the entities that need to pay a fee to file their initial paperwork:

  • LLCs pay a fee to file a Certificate of Organization. 
  • Corporations pay a fee to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. 
  • Domestic Limited Liability Limited Partnerships pay a fee in person to file a Certificate of Limited Liability Limited Partnership.

These filing fees are subject to change, so check with the state of Arkansas on the amounts before submitting your documents.

Step 2: Reserve your Arkansas business’s name 

If you want to reserve a specific name for your business, Arkansas allows you to apply to reserve the name for 120 days. Unlike some other states, you don’t have to reserve a name for your business. It’s simply an option you can take advantage of if you want to lock in a name but aren’t ready to form your business just yet. Before you submit a reservation request, use Arkansas’s business entity name search to see if another business already has your preferred name, and be sure to check the fee amount for your reservation. 

If you want to reserve a name but don’t want to face the hassle of submitting paperwork, we’ve got a special service for you. With our name reservation service, we’ll ensure your preferred business name is available. We’ll then lock in your business’s ideal name for a few months.  

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Arkansas

Sometimes companies choose to use a different name than the one that they’re legally registered under. When this happens, they use a “doing business as” (DBA) name.  Different states have different terms for DBA, such as trade names or assumed names. In Arkansas, DBA names are called fictitious names. 

Fictitious name applications aren’t a requirement in Arkansas. You only need to complete an application for a fictitious name if you’re operating a business under a name that isn’t its legal name. The Arkansas Secretary of State’s Business Services Division handles fictitious name applications. Check out our dedicated page to learn more about getting an Arkansas DBA.

You will need to pay an Arkansas filing fee for a fictitious name application. The fee is the same for LLCs and corporations. Arkansas also allows businesses to cancel their fictitious names, or transfer fictitious names to another entity. 

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that the Internal Revenue Service distributes to businesses. There are many benefits to having one. For one, banks and credit unions often require an EIN before they allow a business to open a bank account with them. EINs also facilitate the process of obtaining business loans and grants. Furthermore, all businesses that give tax statements to employees must have an EIN. Finally, EINs are required for self-employed business owners who want to establish a 401k plan, and they help reduce your liability and the potential for identity theft. 

You can obtain an EIN free of charge from the IRS online. That said, obtaining an EIN from the IRS can be another paperwork exercise that you may not want to deal with. If that’s the case, take a moment to check out our EIN service. We’ll help you rapidly secure an EIN with minimal hassle!

Note that Arkansas does not offer expedited filing for formation documents. However, with our Expedited Filing service, we can rapidly reduce the processing time. Check it out and see if it’s right for you.

Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Arkansas business

Operating agreements are documents that establish a business’ financial and functional characteristics. These documents are generally used by LLCs and govern things like profit-sharing, the LLC’s structure, and decision-making processes.

Corporations have corporate bylaws. Like an LLC operating agreement, corporate bylaws serve as the rules and regulations which establish a corporation’s daily operations. Bylaws regulate matters like annual shareholders’ meetings and shareholders’ voting rights. They also govern matters relating to the corporation’s board of directors and officers. 

Finally, partnership agreements are used for general partnerships. Non-member LLCs can also use partnership agreements. From a functional perspective, these are almost identical to operating agreements. Partnership agreements cover matters like the ownership share of each partner and the number of employees at the company, as well as daily operations and dispute resolution methods. 

For those looking to form an LLC but unsure where to start with operating agreements, we have an Arkansas operating agreement template available to make the process easier.

Step 6: Apply for your Arkansas business’s necessary licenses and permits

As you get your business off the ground, it’s probable that you’ll need some kind of license or permit to operate legally. Some of these licensing requirements arise from the federal government. Others are imposed by states, municipalities, and counties. Unlike several other states, Arkansas doesn’t require that all businesses acquire a general business license.  Instead, the two main factors that determine what licenses and permits you need are your business’s location and industry.  

To find out which licensing requirements apply to your business, you’ll have to sift through various federal, state, and local sites. As you might imagine, this process is highly time-consuming. Thankfully, there’s a better way. With our Business License Report, we can help you discover what licenses and permits you need to run your business. Our partners will send you a concise summary of the federal, state, and local license requirements that might apply to your business. 

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

In the context of state business laws, the term “foreign” refers to business entities that are incorporated outside the state. Foreign businesses that want to conduct business in Arkansas need two things. First, they need a Certificate of Authority. Foreign corporations and foreign LLCs need to pay a significant filing fee to obtain their Certificates of Authority. The second document is a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS). This document certifies that your business is legally authorized to operate. A CGS also indicates that your business meets all state requirements. Having a CGS increases the reputation of your business, eases the process of dealing with customers and vendors, and helps your business expand beyond its state of incorporation. 

Step 8: Check for Arkansas annual report requirements and fees

Arkansas requires corporations and LLCs to file a franchise tax report (or annual report) every year. You need to pay a fee to file your annual report, which is due on May 1 of each year. The final fee amount varies based on several factors, like the business’s real and personal property value. 

It’s critical that you always file your annual report on time. Because we are dedicated to helping business owners stay in compliance, we offer an annual report service. With this service, we’ll help you file your annual report quickly and painlessly. In addition, our expert staff will help prevent unnecessary and costly errors on the annual report. 

Step 9: Keep your Arkansas business legally compliant

As time goes on, it’s only natural that you’ll need to make changes to your business. Some of these changes won’t require any paperwork. However, others will. 

For corporations, here is the list of changes that require a special form and an Arkansas filing fee (except where otherwise noted):

  • Certificate of Amendment (to the Articles of Incorporation), if no shares are exchanged
  • Certificate of Amendment (to the Articles of Incorporation), if new shares are exchanged
  • Notice of Change of Registered Agent (no fee)
  • Notice of Change of Principal Office Address (no fee)
  • Articles of Correction to the Articles of Incorporation
  • Articles of Dissolution

Here’s a list of similar LLC-related changes that require a form and fee (unless otherwise noted) to be submitted to Arkansas:

  • Certificate of Amendment (to the Certificate of Organization)
  • Notice of Change of Registered Agent (no fee)
  • Notice of Change of Principal Office Address (no fee)
  • Statement of Dissolution

As you can see, there is a whole range of different changes you might have to make for your business. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of this paperwork. That’s one of the reasons why we offer an amendment filing service. With this service, we’ll streamline the process of changing things like your business’s foundational documents, registered agent, and ownership structure. That way, you can focus less on administrative details and more on running your company. 

We can simplify even more compliance requirements with our Worry-Free Compliance Service. With this service, we’ll help you out with all of your annual filings. We’ll also remind you when critical filing deadlines are coming. Furthermore, with this service, you can make two free annual amendments to your business (you only pay the filing fees). And in the unlikely event that your business falls out of good standing, we’ll give you an action plan to follow so you can get back on track. 

Let us help you stay up to date on Arkansas filing fees

Getting a good idea of what fees you need to pay and when you need to pay them can get overwhelming quickly. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s absolutely essential that you keep your business in compliance by paying all required fees on a timely basis. 

Thankfully, our Worry-Free Compliance service can help you stay ahead of Arkansas filing fees. We’ll notify you of any upcoming filing form deadlines, along with the required fees. That way, you can minimize the chances that your business falls out of compliance. If your business falls out of compliance, we’ll provide you with an action plan to get back in compliance right away. 

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

FAQs

  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Arkansas?

    Generally, there are no penalties for paying your Arkansas formation fees or Arkansas business filing fees late. For annual reports, however, Arkansas imposes a fee for late payments. In addition, Arkansas will charge your business 10% interest on the amount owed.

  • What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Arkansas government?

    If you don’t pay your Arkansas filing fees to the Secretary of State, your business’s form could be rejected. If you fail to meet filing requirements by not paying your fees, your business could face monetary penalties or even dissolution.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Arkansas business?

    The Arkansas Secretary of State’s Business Services Division. Their mailing address is:

    Arkansas Secretary of State
    State Capitol, Suite 256
    500 Woodlane Street
    Little Rock, AR 72201

    To contact the Business Services Division by phone, call (501) 682-3409. You can also email them at corporations@sos.arkansas.gov.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Arkansas business?

    For LLCs and corporations, the biggest Arkansas filing fee is the annual report (also called the franchise tax report). It is due on May 1 of every year and can carry a significant fee. The final amount varies on several factors, like the business’s real and personal property value.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Arkansas government?

    If filing online, you can pay with any major credit or by automated clearing house (ACH). If mailing by mail, you can pay by check. To learn what payment methods you can use if filing in person, contact the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Business Services Division at (501) 682-3409.

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