Your company name is important. It’s your first impression, and it’s how people will remember you. You don’t want to be the business with a forgettable name. So, when you’ve got that perfect name in mind, that clever alliteration or meaningful acronym, you might think about reserving it before someone else does.
Naming your company is one of the first official steps when starting an LLC in Arkansas. In certain situations, it may be necessary to reserve a business name while you’re preparing to bring your business idea to life. In this article, we’ll explain when reserving a business name is necessary and guide you through all the steps involved.
No, you aren’t required to reserve your LLC name before you launch the business, but you have the option to do so. Whether reserved or not, your name will be automatically registered when you file your Articles of Organization.
Maybe it took you sleepless nights of brainstorming, or maybe you thought of it while sitting at a traffic light. No matter how you came up with your memorable LLC name, you’ll want to make sure that it’s available and ready to use when you file your Arkansas LLC registration.
You have the option to reserve your LLC name, but it’ll cost you $25 by mail or $22.50 online. Overall, it’s cheaper to skip this fee and simply start your business, which will lock in your name automatically.
However, there are cases where you may not be ready to officially start your business. Filing an application to reserve your business name gives you “dibs” and ensures that competitors aren’t able to snag it while you’re preparing for launch.
If your business name is unique, including unusual spellings or characters and/or family names, it may not be necessary to reserve an Arkansas business name ahead of time. Plus, paying the extra state fee to reserve your business name could be a waste of resources if you’re planning to launch your business soon after.
Got a name in mind? Perfect. Follow these steps to reserve it.
Before submitting your application to reserve your business name, you first need to check name availability by performing an Arkansas LLC name search. Use the Arkansas Secretary of State’s business entity database and you’ll have no problem. Simply select “Limited Liability Company” from the dropdown box, enter your name idea, and if it yields no results, you’re in the clear! If you see a name that’s very similar to yours, it’s wise to come up with a new name or a creative way to distinguish it.
But don’t forget that you also need to comply with other business entity name restrictions from the state of Arkansas. All good? Then check to see if your LLC name is available. If it is, let out a sigh of relief — you’re ready to reserve it or form your LLC.
We recommend filing your name reservation online since it’s not only quicker, but cheaper too. You can do this through the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Online Filing System. To start, Click “App. for Reservation of LLC Name,” then “Start Form.”
As always, trusty postal mail is also an option. Just download the name reservation application and mail it, along with your $25 payment, to:
Arkansas Secretary of State
Business and Commercial Services Division
1401 W. Capitol, Suite 250
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
Or, if you live near Little Rock, you can hand-deliver your form and payment to the same address.
When completing the name reservation online, you can pay your $22.50 fee electronically by credit card. By mail, you should send a check for $25 along with your completed form.
Anyone planning to do business within the state of Arkansas can reserve an entity name. Filing your name reservation prevents another entity from using that name to conduct business in the state during the time of your hold. An entity name reservation in the state of Arkansas will give you a 120-day hold from the date you filed the form.
But let’s say the 120-day period ends and you’re not quite ready to launch your business. You have the option to renew your reservation for another 120 days, provided you file another Application for Reservation of LLC Name and pay another $25 (or $22.50) fee. But one renewal is all you get, so make sure you plan carefully when reserving your LLC name. Do it too far before your business is ready and you might end up losing your hold.
Within your 120-day window, you’re also allowed to transfer the reservation to someone else. All you have to do is file a “Notice of Transfer of Reserved Name for LLC” either online or by mail. Name transfer, however, comes with an additional $25 (mail) or $22.50 (online) fee. Also, know that transferring your name reservation does not extend or renew your hold, just gives it a new owner.
Your LLC name is an important part of the business. If you’re not ready to launch your business, but you’ve got a perfect name and you think someone else might claim it, consider reserving it.
However, if your business is ready for takeoff, use our comprehensive guide to forming an LLC in Arkansas to get started instead. This way, rather than paying an additional $25 (or $22.50) for the name reservation application, you’ll only pay the one-time $50 Arkansas LLC formation fee to claim your name and form the LLC at the same time. $25 isn’t a fortune by any means, but this will at least save you the hassle of reserving a name and registering an LLC separately.
As a business owner, you have a lot to think about. Pile on the responsibility of handling state correspondence, LLC tax information, and more while keeping your LLC compliant, and you’ve got yourself a pretty full plate.
Sometimes the best move is to let someone else take care of the paperwork for you. This way, you can sleep easy knowing you’ll never miss a deadline or compliance requirement with the state. While LegalZoom is by far the most well-known LLC formation service and has decent overall value, ZenBusiness is an entrepreneur favorite. Other than that, IncFile and Northwest are two other popular options with appeals of their own.
$0 + state fee and takes 5-10 minutes
The state of Arkansas provides guidance regarding restricted words in business names, in the form of this helpful Name Availability Guidelines document. In short, you need prior permission to use any words relating to banking, engineering, medicine, dentistry, or insurance. You also need advance authorization from the University of Arkansas to use the word “Razorback.”
No. In fact, Alabama is the only state that requires entrepreneurs to reserve a business name before forming an LLC. In Arkansas and the other 48 states, this is an optional and largely unnecessary step.
The state of Arkansas is home to around 250,000 small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and business types find that Arkansas is a great place to own and operate a small business.
The Arkansas district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is a great place to start. The Arkansas Economic Development Commission is also an excellent resource, while tech-savvy entrepreneurs can likely find plenty of valuable information from the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center.
The overall costs of operating an Arkansas LLC can vary considerably based on the specifics of your business. However, we created a helpful guide to help you identify and plan for every expense your LLC will face in this state.
The answer to this question lies in your personal preferences, but we can give some general pointers. An attorney will cost the most by a mile, but also provides expertise you won’t find with the other options. The DIY route is free of charge but can require quite a bit of legwork and provides no peace of mind that the process is being completed correctly.
Using an LLC service means your business will be formed by professionals who know what they’re doing, while also costing significantly less than a lawyer. This “best of both worlds” attribute is what makes LLC services our preferred option.
Arkansas Business Resources
How to Reserve an LLC Name in all 50 States
We break down the LLC Name Reservation process for all 50 states. View all of our guides below.
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