How to get Business License in Arkansas

Updated on December 21, 2023

I. Introduction

Properly licensing your business is crucial when operating in Arkansas. This guide covers who needs a license, different license types, application steps, documentation required, costs, maintaining compliance, and considerations for specific industries. Read on to learn the licensing process to operate your Arkansas business legally!

II. Who Needs a Business License in Arkansas?

Most commercial enterprises in AR require licensing, including LLCs, corporations, retailers, restaurants, service providers, rental properties, contractors, and independent professionals.

Consequences for non-compliance can include fines of $100-$1000 per violation, permanent closure, and even criminal charges for repeat offenders.

III. Understanding Arkansas Business Licenses

Key licenses in Arkansas include:

Industry-specific registrations may also apply per local regulations. Research obligations for your niche.

IV. Preparing to Apply for a License

Determine the licenses needed for your business activities and locations using the AR Economic Development Commission’s Licensing Guide.

You’ll need supporting documents like government-issued ID, business formation papers, tax IDs, commercial lease details, and more. Fees vary by license.

V. Step-by-Step Guide to Apply

Arkansas offers both online and paper license applications. We recommend applying online.

To Apply Online:

  1. Create OneStop account
  2. Complete eligibility questionnaire
  3. Select license types
  4. Submit identity/business docs
  5. Pay fees
  6. Download approved licenses

VI. After Submitting an Application

Online application processing aims for 7-10 business days.

If issues arise, administrators will contact you with resolution steps. Denials may occur from insufficient documents, zoning problems, or other deficiencies.

VII. Maintaining Compliance

To remain compliant once licensed in Arkansas:

  • Prominently display license on-site
  • Renew licenses annually
  • Report changes to ownership, activities, locations
  • Remit recurring tax payments
  • Maintain required insurance policies

VIII. Obtaining Federal Registrations

Key federal registrations:

IX. Special Considerations

Added licensing obligations for liquor stores, contractors, tourism companies, healthcare providers, professional services, the gaming industry, and more. Verify directly with regulatory agencies.

X. Registering Your Business Name

Register your official business name via the AR Secretary of State for a Certificate of Good Standing.

XI. Arkansas Tax Permits

Common tax permits include Sales & Use Tax Permit, Alcoholic Beverage Permit, Motor Fuel Permit, and Tobacco Permit.


  • Who Needs a Business License in Arkansas?
    Most commercial business entities have legal licenses, including retailers, restaurants, service providers, contractors, rental property owners, and independent professionals.
  • What Do Licenses Cost in Arkansas?
    Fees vary by license type, generally $50 to $500. Recurring renewal fees also apply.
  • How Long Does Application Approval Take?
    Online submissions typically finalize within 7-10 business days. Paper applications take longer.
  • What Documents Do I Need to Apply?
    The requirements of government-issued ID, business formation docs, EIN, leases, sample agreements, etc., vary by license type.

XIV. Final Thoughts

Properly licensing your Arkansas business keeps you legally compliant. Leverage available online application options for faster processing.

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.