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LLC Arkansas Experts and 5 Steps to Your AR LLC

If you’re ready to learn more about starting a small business in Arkansas, you’re in the right place. A limited liability company (LLC) works well for many startups.

It offers flexibility and protection by combining the features of corporations and partnerships. Check out our easy-to-follow guide below to learn more about forming your LLC in the Natural State.

Start your Arkansas LLC Now!

To start an LLC in Arkansas, you’ll work with the Business and Commercial Services division of the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The first step is to secure a name for your LLC. Next, you’ll appoint a registered agent and file your Articles of Organization.

We’ll also go over the importance of having an operating agreement and how to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Along the way, we’ll also show you how our services can eliminate much of the red tape, making the formation process easier for you.

LLC Arkansas an infographic that explains how to from a AK LLC in 5 steps
Name your Arkansas LLC

Step 1: Name your Arkansas LLC

One of the first things to think about when starting a new business is how to name your LLC. The name you choose will need to be available for use in Arkansas. It must also follow state naming laws and be distinguishable from any other existing name.

This means your LLC can’t use a name identical to or confusingly similar to any other Arkansas business entity, whether foreign or domestic. The name must end with one of the following:

If your limited liability company plans to perform professional services, it must have one of these endings instead:

A PLLC must not contain the name of a person who isn’t a member of the company. An exception to this rule is if a member is deceased.

In addition, “Limited” can be abbreviated as “Ltd.” and “Company” as “Co.” when designating an LLC or PLLC.

Search & Reserve a Business Name

It’s time to conduct an Arkansas business search to see if the name you’ve chosen is available. You can learn to do this via our Arkansas Business Entity Search page.

If you find a name you like but aren’t yet ready to file your Articles of Organization, Arkansas allows you to reserve a business name for 120 days for a fee.

If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, we have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you. As part of the service, we also check to see if your desired name is available.

Get a Matching Domain

Additional research to do at this time includes a domain name search. A domain name is the address of your company’s website. It can serve as your official email address, too.

We have a tool to help you do a preliminary domain name search, and our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your company. 

Obtain a Fictitious Name

If you plan to do business under a different name than your official LLC name, you’ll have to file an Arkansas Application for Fictitious Name with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

There’s a fee for doing this online and a slightly larger fee for applying by mail. You can’t operate under a fictitious name (known as a DBA or “doing business as” name in many other states) unless you also file a copy of the returned application with the clerk of the county where your registered office is located, Pulaski County excluded.

Consider Filing for a Trademark

Finally, the last name-related registration you should look into has to do with trademarks. A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or a combination of any that depicts your company. It’s used in advertising and marketing to set your goods and/or services apart from others.

You can register your trademark in Arkansas and at the federal level with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for added protection.

State registration costs a fee and is good for five years.

Even if you’re not interested in trademarking your business name, it’s wise to search the state and federal trademark databases to make sure someone else hasn’t already placed a claim on your desired name.

It tends to be easier and quicker to file for a trademark at the state level, but the federal level can offer broader protection, which is good for businesses planning to do business outside of Arkansas.

Appoint a registered agent in Arkansas

Step 2: Appoint a registered agent in Arkansas

Arkansas requires you to appoint a registered agent when filing your Articles of Organization.

Your elected Arkansas registered agent is an entity or person appointed to receive legal correspondence, such as tax notices and service of process (lawsuits) for your LLC.

You can serve as your own agent, but you may find that it can interfere with your regular day-to-day job duties.

A registered agent service, such as ours, can provide you with peace of mind. We’ll keep your legal documents organized in an online dashboard that you can access at any time.

Our team will also keep your legal business private by receiving things like notices of a lawsuit, so you don’t have to be served papers in front of clients.

File Arkansas Articles of Organization

Step 3: File Arkansas Articles of Organization

File Yourself or Get Professional Help

To officially and legally form an LLC in Arkansas, you’ll need to file an Articles of Organization form with the Secretary of State. Filing official government documents like this can be intimidating for some people, which is why we’re here.

When you purchase any of our business formation plans, our professionals handle the filing for you to make sure it’s done quickly and correctly the first time.

Even though we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.

Where to File the Articles of Organization in Arkansas

The Articles of Organization form can be filed online or by mail. There’s a fee for either method. If using the postal method, you can mail your Articles of Organization to:

Arkansas Secretary of State
1401 W. Capitol
Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201

Information Required in the Articles of Organization

You’ll need the following information to complete your form:

The state also requires that you file a Limited Liability Company Franchise Tax form with your initial organization documents. There’s no fee to do so. This form allows your LLC to receive its franchise tax reporting form each year. This annual state tax is due on or before May 1 of the year following filing or qualification in Arkansas.

If you have us handle filing your Articles of Organization, once the state approves your LLC, your paperwork will be available from your ZenBusiness dashboard, where you can keep it and other important paperwork digitally organized. 

Once you get your physical paperwork back from the state approving your new LLC, you’ll want to keep it in a safe location along with your other important documents, such as your operating agreement, member certificates, contracts, compliance checklists, transfer ledger, etc. We offer a customized business kit to help you keep these important documents organized and looking professional.

Create an Arkansas operating agreement

Step 4: Create an operating agreement

It’s highly recommended that you create an Arkansas LLC operating agreement, even though the state doesn’t require you to file it. This document details how your LLC will operate as agreed upon by all members. It answers questions such as these and much more:

The benefits of a solid Arkansas operating agreement include:

If you’re unsure as to how to begin creating an operating agreement for your LLC, we offer a customizable template to help get you started.

Apply for an EIN

Step 5: Apply for an EIN

You’ll need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to do things such as hire employees, open a business bank account, and pay taxes. An EIN is a number assigned to businesses by the IRS. It’s mainly a tax ID number to identify your LLC and apply the proper federal taxes.

You can apply for your LLC’s EIN through the IRS website, by mail, or by fax, but if that’s not your favorite government agency to deal with, we can get it for you. Our EIN service eliminates the hassle.

Once you’ve secured an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for your business and your personal banking is critical for sorting out your finances at tax time and helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make your taxes more difficult, but it could also be used against you if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC are truly separate entities (i.e., they want to sue you for not just your business assets, but also your personal assets).

We offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. When you want to authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process.

For further help managing your new business’s finances, try the ZenBusiness Money App. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place. 

Start an LLC in Your State

When it comes to compliance, costs, and other factors, these are popular states for forming an LLC.

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