How to File for an LCC in Arkansas

Updated on January 22, 2024

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Arkansas can be a great way to formally structure your small business. An LLC combines the tax benefits of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the liability protection benefits of a corporation. Forming an LLC can help shield your personal assets from business debts and obligations. The process involves filing articles of organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State, drafting an operating agreement, obtaining licenses and permits, and more. This article will walk through the key steps to successfully start an LLC in Arkansas.

Understanding LLCs

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that combines aspects of partnerships and corporations. LLCs provide liability protection for the owners, called members, so their personal assets are generally protected from business debts and lawsuits. At the same time, LLCs allow pass-through taxation like partnerships, avoiding double taxation on business profits.

There are a few key things to know about LLCs:

  • LLCs don’t have stocks like corporations, but members can sell ownership interests based on the operating agreement rules
  • LLCs need articles of organization filed with the state to be legally formed
  • LLCs require an operating agreement to govern the business relationship between members
  • LLCs still require registration for taxes, licenses, permits etc. like any business entity

Overall, the LLC structure combines the limited liability of a corporation with the pass-through tax treatment of a partnership or sole proprietorship. This makes it a popular choice for many small business owners.

Choosing a Name for Your Arkansas LLC

When choosing a name for your Arkansas limited liability company (LLC), you need to follow certain rules. First, your LLC name must include the words “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC” (A.C.A. § 4-32-1302). Additionally, your LLC’s name cannot contain words that could confuse it with a corporation or limited partnership.

You’ll also want to make sure your desired LLC name is available by checking the Arkansas Secretary of State business entity search. The name you choose should not already be registered to another business entity. Finally, come up with a few alternative names in case your first choice is taken. Using distinctive words that relate to your business can help make your LLC name stand out.

Some tips when brainstorming Arkansas LLC names:

  • Describe what your business does
  • Communicate key benefits
  • Incorporate your location

Selecting a Registered Agent

One of the requirements for forming an LLC in Arkansas is designating a registered agent. This is a person or business that agrees to accept legal documents and notices on behalf of your LLC. When selecting a registered agent, you have a few options:

  • You can appoint yourself, another LLC member, or company officer to serve as the registered agent. This doesn’t cost anything, but you need to be available at your registered office address to receive legal papers.
  • You can hire a commercial registered agent service. These companies charge a fee but will scan and email documents to you. Some well-known examples include Incfile and MyCorporation.
  • You can use the address of your attorney, accountant, or other business service provider, if they consent. Make sure whoever you select as registered agent agrees ahead of time.

Take time to consider your options and select a reliable registered agent, as this person has an important role in starting and maintaining your Arkansas LLC.

Filing Your LLC Paperwork

Once you have chosen a business name and registered your agent, the next step is to file your LLC paperwork with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

  • The articles of organization form establishes your LLC. This document requires your business name, address, registered agent information, and LLC management structure.
  • You’ll also need to file a certificate of organization registration if you want tax treatment as a corporation along with your articles of organization.
  • The filing fee for articles of organization is $50, while corporation registration is an additional $300.

After completing your paperwork, you can file online, by mail, or in person. Online filing through the Secretary of State’s website is typically the fastest option.

You’ll receive a confirmation letter containing your Entity ID number when your LLC registration is approved. This process usually takes around 5 business days. After approval, make sure to obtain any necessary business licenses and permits.

Additionally, you must file an annual franchise tax report each year your LLC remains registered. The fee for this report is $150.

By properly completing all required paperwork and reports, you can ensure your Arkansas LLC remains compliant and protected from dissolution.

Drafting an LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is an important document that outlines the financial and functional decisions in an LLC. Here are key steps to draft an operating agreement for your Arkansas LLC:

  • Define membership structure – Include details on ownership percentages, voting rights, members’ roles and responsibilities.
  • Allocate profits and losses – Specify the distribution method, such as dividing based on ownership percentage.
  • Choose a management structure – Will your LLC be member-managed or manager-managed? Define which members/managers can enter contracts.
  • Plan meetings – Set rules for holding and recording annual/special meetings, including notice requirements and voting procedures.
  • Establish voting rights – Specify which actions require a vote and the minimum votes required based on your management structure.
  • Set up contribution/compensation rules – Define the terms for members to contribute capital or get paid for services.
  • Include amendment procedures – Identify members authorized to amend the agreement and rules for approval.
  • Outline dissolution procedures – Establish rules for members leaving the LLC or for winding down the LLC.

You can download a free operating agreement template and customize it with your LLC’s key provisions. Consulting a business lawyer can also help ensure your agreement complies with Arkansas LLC laws.

Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers

One of the key steps in forming an LLC in Arkansas is obtaining tax identification numbers from the appropriate government agencies. This includes getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and a sales tax permit from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

  • To get an EIN, you must apply online through the IRS website. This number will be used to identify your LLC for federal tax purposes.
  • You should also register with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration to get a sales tax permit. This allows you to collect and remit state sales taxes.

Getting these tax IDs early in the LLC formation process ensures you can open business bank accounts and comply with state and federal tax obligations for your new Arkansas LLC.

Pros and Cons of Starting an LLC in California

There are several advantages and disadvantages to consider when starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Arkansas. Here are some of the key pros and cons:


  • Limited personal liability – An LLC protects your personal assets if the business is sued or goes into debt.
  • Tax flexibility – LLCs can choose tax treatment as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation.
  • Credibility – The formal business structure may increase credibility with customers.


  • Increased legal and tax requirements – You need to file formation documents, operating agreements, and taxes.
  • Higher startup costs – There are filing fees and continuing annual fees to stay compliant.
  • Profit pass-through can increase tax burden – Profits are passed onto the owners’ personal tax returns.

Weighing the pros and cons will help you decide if an Arkansas LLC is the right choice for your business.

Cost Considerations

When starting an LLC in Arkansas, there are several costs to consider. The filing fee to form an Arkansas LLC is $50 if filed online or $60 if filed through the mail. You may also need to pay an annual franchise tax of $150 to the state. Additionally, you may need to pay fees for creating an operating agreement, obtaining business licenses or permits, opening a business bank account, and hiring professional services like an accountant, lawyer or registered agent.

Some other costs to factor in:

  • Office space lease
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Inventory
  • Insurance
  • Hiring employees

By planning out these costs in advance, you can determine the appropriate business structure and funding needed to cover expenses in the early stages of your Arkansas LLC.

Economical LLC Formation Options

When starting an LLC in Arkansas, it’s important to be cost-conscious. Here are some of the most affordable options for LLC formation:

  • Use an online service like LegalZoom or Incfile to form your LLC. These services charge around $100-200 for preparing and filing the articles of organization. They handle the paperwork for you and make the process very smooth.
  • Hire a business attorney to form your LLC. Attorneys typically charge $500-1,000, but they can provide legal advice and make sure everything is done properly. This is a good option if you want personalized guidance.
  • File the articles of organization yourself through the Arkansas Secretary of State. The filing fee is only $50, but you must prepare all the paperwork on your own.

Choosing the Secretary of State option saves the most money, but working with an online service or business attorney ensures everything is done correctly. Consider both cost and value when selecting an economical route for forming your Arkansas LLC.

Pre-Formation Steps

Taking the proper pre-formation steps when starting your Arkansas LLC will ensure a smooth company setup process. Some key things to do before formally registering your LLC include:

  • Choose a unique business name – Pick a distinctive yet simple LLC name that is not already registered in Arkansas. Check name availability by searching the Arkansas Secretary of State business database.
  • Select a registered agent – Arkansas requires all LLCs to appoint a registered agent available at a physical address in the state to receive legal and tax documents on behalf of your business.
  • File an Articles of Organization form – This form establishes your LLC and must include information like your business name, address, registered agent, and LLC members/managers.
  • Create an operating agreement – This document outlines financial and functional decision-making rules for your LLC. While not required, having one can help settle internal disputes.

Completing these key pre-formation steps allows you to set up the fundamental structure and leadership of your Arkansas LLC before officially registering with the state.

Comparing Business Entity Types

When starting a business in Arkansas, you have several options for structuring your company. Some of the most common business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Here is a comparison of some key factors to consider when choosing an entity type:

  • Formation Requirements – Forming an LLC requires filing articles of organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State, while sole proprietorships have minimal requirements. Partnerships require a partnership agreement, and corporations require articles of incorporation.
  • Liability Protection – LLCs and corporations provide personal liability protection, meaning the owner’s personal assets are protected from business debts and lawsuits. Sole proprietors and partnerships do not.
  • Taxes – LLCs and partnerships pass profits and losses to the owners to report on their personal tax returns. Corporations file business tax returns and pay taxes at the corporate level.
  • Ownership Flexibility – LLCs can have unlimited owners and transfer ownership freely. Partnerships and sole proprietorships generally cannot.
  • Longevity and Continuity – Corporations can continue indefinitely despite changes in ownership. LLCs and partnerships can dissolve if key members depart.

In summary, LLCs provide personal liability protection like a corporation with the tax flexibility of a partnership. This makes LLCs a popular choice for small business owners in Arkansas. However, consulting an accountant can help determine the best structure for your specific business needs.

After Filing Your LLC in Arkansas

Once your Articles of Organization have been accepted and filed by the Arkansas Secretary of State, you have officially formed your LLC. However, there are still some important next steps you need to take to maintain compliance and properly structure your LLC.

  • Create an operating agreement – An operating agreement is an internal document that outlines the ownership structure, member responsibilities, profit/loss distributions, and other governance details for your LLC. While not required in Arkansas, having one is considered a best practice.
  • Get an EIN – Obtain a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC for tax and banking purposes.
  • Set up accounting – Establish accounting procedures for tracking finances, pay state franchise taxes, file necessary tax returns, etc. You may need to register for taxes in additional states if conducting business outside Arkansas.
  • Create business licenses – Depending on your industry, you may need additional county, city, or state licenses to operate legally.
  • Open a business bank account – Set up a business bank account to keep your personal and business finances separate.

Properly completing these post-filing steps ensures your LLC remains compliant, avoids legal issues, and sets up proper financial tracking and taxation right from the start. Additionally, be sure to keep consistent and accurate records in case proof of compliance is ever needed. With attention to legal formalities and financial details, your Arkansas LLC will be positioned for success.

Business Licenses and Permits

When starting an LLC in Arkansas, you may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits depending on your industry and location. Some common licenses and permits you may require include:

  • Business license – Most cities and counties in Arkansas require businesses to obtain a general business license to legally operate. Fees typically range from $20 to $100 annually.
  • Sales tax permit – If you plan to sell products, you’ll need a sales tax permit from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. This allows you to collect and remit sales tax.
  • Industry-specific permits – Certain industries like food services, childcare, medical services etc. require special permits and licenses from Arkansas regulatory agencies.

Consult the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to understand all license and permit requirements for your LLC based on location and business activities before getting started.

Growth Considerations for Your LLC

As your Arkansas LLC grows, there are some key things to consider. You may need to bring on additional members or employees, so be sure to have an operating agreement in place stipulating ownership splits and responsibilities. Additionally, examine your tax situation to optimize filing status and deductions as your income changes.

Furthermore, stay legally compliant with all state and federal regulations regarding number of owners, annual reports, and any specific licenses or permits you may now need to operate on a larger scale. Consider whether switching to an S corp or other entity would be beneficial at a certain stage of growth. Document your business plan and revisit it to update goals and strategies as your company evolves over time. Having a roadmap for the future will help your Arkansas LLC successfully grow.

Additional Resources

Forming an LLC in Arkansas involves several steps. Luckily, there are useful online resources that can help guide you through the process. The table below contains additional information on starting an Arkansas LLC.

Arkansas Secretary of State official state website has information and forms for filing your Arkansas LLC.
Nolo Guide provides a helpful overview of LLC formation requirements in Arkansas.

Furthermore, consulting with an Arkansas business attorney can help ensure you complete all necessary legal and tax-related steps. With the right information and support, the LLC formation process can go smoothly.


Starting an LLC in Arkansas requires following several key steps – choosing a business name and structure, registering with the Arkansas Secretary of State, creating an operating agreement, obtaining licenses and permits, and more. While the process involves some paperwork and fees, forming an LLC can provide valuable liability protection and tax advantages for your business.

As you move forward, be sure to maintain thorough record-keeping and follow all ongoing compliance requirements. Additionally, consider consulting with business attorneys, accountants, and other professionals to ensure you fully understand your legal obligations. With careful planning and execution, launching an Arkansas LLC can set your business up for success.

For more help as you start your Arkansas LLC, check out the Arkansas Secretary of State website or refer to our comprehensive guide. We wish you the very best as you pursue your entrepreneurial goals and establish your business in the state of Arkansas.


What are the requirements to form an LLC in Arkansas?

To form an LLC in Arkansas, you need to file articles of organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State. You will need to include the LLC’s name, address, names of members, etc. You also need to pay a filing fee.

Do I need a registered agent if I form an LLC in Arkansas?

Yes, Arkansas law requires all LLCs to designate a registered agent who has an address in Arkansas. The registered agent receives important legal and tax documents on behalf of the LLC.

What are the costs for forming an LLC in Arkansas?

The filing fee to form an LLC in Arkansas is $50, and you will likely pay another $100-300 to set up an operating agreement. You may also have other costs like registered agent fees, permits/licenses, etc. Expect total costs around $500-800.

Do I have to be an Arkansas resident to start an LLC in the state?

No, Arkansas allows both residents and non-residents to form Arkansas LLCs. However, you will still need to designate a registered agent with an Arkansas address.

How long does it take to create an LLC in Arkansas?

It typically takes 1-2 weeks for the Arkansas Secretary of State to approve an LLC filing. You can pay for expedited filing to get approval within 1-2 business days.

Do I need to file any other paperwork after forming my Arkansas LLC?

Yes, newly formed LLCs need to file additional paperwork like applying for an EIN from the IRS, registering for state/local taxes, obtaining business licenses, creating an operating agreement, etc.

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