Starting Your Business in Arkansas | A Step-by-Step Guide

Start a Business in Arkansas

If you want to start an LLC in Arkansas, there are numerous factors to consider. Starting your own business is one of the most exciting and profitable things you can do in Arkansas. But where do you start? Follow our comprehensive guide on How to Start a Business in Arkansas. We will assist you in removing doubt from the process and investigate your success chances. It will begin with defining your business idea and progress to establishing, launching, and expanding your business. Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you every step of the way!

What Business to Start in Arkansas?

If you’re looking to start a business in Arkansas, consider starting a limited liability company (LLC). LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners while also providing the flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship. Beyond that, here is the list of businesses to consider in Arkansas.

  1. Food Processing
  2. Poultry Farming
  3. Printing Press
  4. Daycare Provider
  5. Hair Salon

Whatever business you choose to start, it’s important to conduct thorough market research and create a solid business plan before diving in. We reviewed some of the Best LLC Services and provided features as an add-on with their packages for you to check out.

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Starting a business can be a challenging but highly rewarding endeavor. By taking the time to research and plan, you can increase your chances of success. Whether you choose to form a corporation or start an LLC in Arkansas, it’s important to surround yourself with a strong team that will guide you. Don’t let fear hold you back, take that first step towards turning your business dreams into a reality.


How to Start a Business in Arkansas?

To form a business in Arkansas, you must follow a few steps that include creating a business plan, choosing a business entity type, determining your business costs, naming your business, registering a business, and lastly, marketing your business.

Please continue reading to learn more about the overall procedure and what new small business owners should keep in mind as they complete each step.

Step 1: Creating a Business Plan

When developing a business plan, many factors should be considered during the decision-making process. Your business plan in Arkansas serves as a road map for your company’s success.

A business plan should take into account the specific goals of your company. You should know the product or service you will provide in Arkansas. A well-thought-out business plan is essential for determining how your company will make a profit. If the purpose of the business plan is ambiguous and unrelated to the service you provide, it will impact the business you are forming. Make sure your business goals are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound). Also, researching your competitors’ services will help you determine your strategy for your state business. Finally, you should consider your company’s funding.

With this article’s assistance, you can better comprehend your business’s essential components and success strategy. You can apply for Arkansas Small Business Loans from banks and investor funding to help support your company in Arkansas.

Once you have the entire plan in your hands, you can work on the legal framework of your company. Legally, you can form an LLC for your ideal business.

Step 2: Choose a Business Entity in Arkansas

Selecting a business entity for your Arkansas company. When starting your own business, you must choose a business structure. How well your personal assets are secured, how much tax you pay, and how much paperwork you have to deal with will all be significantly impacted by the type of corporate entity you choose. Consider setting up a corporation, LLC, LLP, or sole proprietorship as your business entity in Arkansas.

Sole Proprietorships

Consider a sole proprietorship if you want to start a business in Arkansas by yourself. A sole proprietorship is the simplest business structure in which a single individual owns and operates the entire business. The owner and the business are considered the same legal entity in a sole proprietorship. There is no legal distinction between the owner and the business, meaning that the owner has complete control over the business operations, profits, and losses.

Sole proprietorships are best suited for Arkansas small businesses with low risks and for individuals who want to maintain complete control over their business without the complexities of establishing a separate legal entity.

Limited Liability Company

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure that combines features of both partnerships and corporations, offering limited liability protection to its owners (called members) while allowing flexibility in management and taxation. An LLC is a separate legal entity from its owners, meaning the members are not personally liable for the business’s debts, obligations, or liabilities.

It is a popular choice for small to medium-sized businesses that want the liability protection of a corporation while maintaining management flexibility and simpler tax treatment. It’s essential to consult with a legal or financial professional to determine if an LLC is the best choice for your specific business situation.

Limited Liability Partnership

A limited liability partnership (LLP) is comparable to an LLC. However, it is usually used by licensed business professionals like attorneys or accountants. A partnership agreement is necessary for this kind of business entity. You can form an LLP in Arkansas if you are planning to.


Forming a Corporation in Arkansas reduces your personal liability for business debts as an LLC does. A corporation is a legal entity that is separate and distinct from its owners, known as shareholders. It is created under the laws of the state it is incorporated in and is considered a separate “person” under the law. The corporation can enter into contracts, own property, sue and be sued, and pay taxes separately from its owners.

A corporation can be taxed as an S-corporation (S-Corp) or a C-corporation (C-Corp). If a small corporation satisfies certain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, then S-corporation status is available, providing pass-through taxation. However, most larger businesses and startups seeking venture financing are taxed as C-corps.

To choose the right business structure in Arkansas, consider personal liability protection, taxation, management flexibility, administrative requirements, and setup costs. Consult a legal or financial professional to help you make the best decision.

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Step 3: Determine your Arkansas Business Cost

In Arkansas, you should determine the cost of your business. You should consider paying the Certificate of Organization fee, business licenses fee, office supplies and equipment, payroll, rent, utilities, transportation, and taxes.

Usually, filing an initial Arkansas Certificate of Organization fee costs $50, while the LLC annual fee costs $0 because it is not mandatory in Arkansas. In terms of filing Arkansas Articles of Incorporation, the costs usually range up to $45 for filing in-person and by mail.

If forming an LLC is your ideal business, consider knowing the LLC Cost in Arkansas.

Step 4: Name your Business in Arkansas

Naming your business doesn’t take a lot of time. With the help of Arkansas Business Name Search, you can acquire a name for your business. If you form an LLC in Arkansas, you must follow the below rules while naming your business-

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Arkansas, if you do not wish to file your business right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your business name. You must file a name reservation application in the Arkansas Secretary of State to keep the name.

If the business name is available, you may choose to reserve it for a specific period of 120 days. The online name reservation fee is $22.50 and the mail name reservation fee is $25. If your business plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done in three methods, online, by mail, and in person filing, which you can file in Arkansas Secretary of State. You can check out how to file a DBA in Arkansas for clearer understanding.

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Step 5: Register Arkansas Business

To register a business in Arkansas, you need to file it with the Arkansas Secretary of State. Before that, you must have a Arkansas Registered Agent for your business. The Registered Agent is a person who is responsible for receiving important legal documents on your behalf.

You can serve as your own Registered Agent, or you can appoint a friend or family member, or you can check the Best Registered Agent Services in Arkansas.

Apply For Certificate of Organization

After you have a Registered Agent, you need to file the Arkansas Certificate of Organization, if you want to have an LLC structure, or you need to file the Arkansas Articles of Incorporation if you want to have a Corporation.

Request For an EIN

In addition to the paperwork, your Registered Agent should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Arkansas. An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your professional corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website. You can obtain the EIN for free from the IRS.

The application of an EIN in Arkansas can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone (for International Applicants)– International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in several ways. It will give your LLC the absolute advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Recommended: Professional services have the EIN included in their LLC formation package. We recommend using –

LegalZoom($0 + State Fee for LLC formation)

Step 6: Apply for Business License and Permit

Business licenses and operating permits are necessary to run any business in Arkansas. Before launching your new business, request any required business license or permission. Most Arkansas businesses need licenses or permits to operate. Federal, state, and local governments may all require businesses to have licenses and permits. The business license fee depends on the type of license you are applying for. It can start from $25 till going up to $100+. However, in Arkansas, the business license fee ranges from $50 – $300.

Step 7: Obtain a Bank Account

Your business dealings in Arkansas might be simpler with a US business bank account because it boosts your company’s legitimacy and liquidity. Opening a separate bank account for your Arkansas business is essential for maintaining a clear separation between your personal and business finances.

You can check out the Best Banks in Arkansas, which offers the best fees, services, and convenience for your business needs.

Step 8: Market your Business in Arkansas

Now that your Arkansas business is registered, you can market it with an ideal marketing plan. An ideal marketing plan can help a start-up business to become known. Making a comprehensive social media network like META, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube falls within this category. While creating an SEO campaign for your company website, you may also look at specialized communities on Facebook and LinkedIn.


How do I start a business in Arkansas?
To start a business in Arkansas, you need to select a name, register with the Arkansas Secretary of State, and obtain any necessary licenses and permits.
How much does it cost to start a business in Arkansas?
The cost to start a business in Arkansas varies depending on the type of business, but fees for filing formation documents generally range from $45-$300.
What type of business structures are available in Arkansas?
Some forms of business structures available in Arkansas include a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or Corporation.
What tax considerations should I be aware of as a business owner in Arkansas?
You will need to register with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration to obtain your tax ID number for state and local taxes such as sales and use tax, income tax, and employment tax.
Do I need a business license to operate in Arkansas?
Some industries require a state-specific license to operate, while others have a state-regulated certification. Check with the Arkansas State License Board or Business Registration Service for more information.
How do I obtain a business license in Arkansas?
You can apply for a business license through the Business Registration Department of the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.
How long does it take to get a business license in Arkansas?
The processing time for obtaining a business license varies depending on the type of license you need. You can check with the Arkansas Business License database for more information.
Is there economic assistance available for starting a small business in Arkansas?
Yes, The Arkansas Economic Development Commission offers financing options and incentive programs to help fund new businesses.
Can I apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan in Arkansas?
Yes, the SBA provides loans for new and existing small businesses, including those in Arkansas.
What sources of financing are available for new business owners in Arkansas?
Potential financing sources include angel investors, venture capital firms, and alternative lending platforms.
Can out-of-state business owners operate in Arkansas?
Yes, as long as they register the business with the state and obtain any necessary permits and licenses.
What state-issued documents am I required to keep as a small business owner in Arkansas?
Records and documents that you must maintain in Arkansas include financial statements, tax returns, contracts, and proper licenses.
How do I finalize my business registration and start operating in Arkansas?
To start operating officially in Arkansas, after registering your business name with the Secretary of State’s office, you must get any necessary business licenses and permits at the local level.
Do I need to register my Delaware corporation to do business in Arkansas?
Yes, similar to other states, foreign corporations must follow Arkansas registration formalities before transacting business in the state.
Can non-residents open a business bank account in Arkansas?
Yes. If your business is registered in Arkansas, Arkansas banks can help you set up a business account with them either in person or through email.
How do I determine the appropriate legal structure when starting a business in Arkansas?
Business owners should explore different types of legal structures depending on their specific characteristics, goals, and intentions. Consulting with an expert is recommended before deciding.
How many directors are required to start a corporation in Arkansas?
An Arkansas corporation must have at least one director, who doesn’t have to be from Arkansas, according to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office.
Does Arkansas require pre-registration of trade or business names?
No, Arkansas does not require conducting a trade or business name search before registration at the state level.
What are the necessary steps to follow if I want to hire an employee in Arkansas?
Consult with your business attorney or accountant to review federal and state requirement standards for offering and dedicating jobs to individuals relevant to the type of employment and industry.
Is Worker’s Compensation strictly required for an Arkansas business with part-time personnel?
Businesses are typically required by Arkansas to carry workers’ compensation insurance if their business operation is covered under Arkansas law.
Is special insurance required for home small businesses?
Suppose you are planning to operate your business from home in Arkansas. In that case, you must have a separate home-business policy or rider added to your homeowner’s insurance that verifies you’ll have coverage for any possible losses from business-related incidents.
What is Arkansas Incentive Tax Credit?
It’s a type of tax credit that Arkansas-based businesses have access to its rebate discounts offered on applicable Arkansas state taxes when they launch their business or expand local employment.
Are freelance workers considered employees for state tax purposes in Arkansas?
No, freelancers and self-employed individual business owners aren’t technically considered employees at a state level. To verify income payment status and reduction of tax-related surprises, have a licensed CPA on your team, because freelance work tax withholding is ultimately the responsibility of the freelancer themselves.
Can I file my Arkansas Business License renewal online?
Yes, businesses must file the renewal of their state of Arkansas Business License at a frequency of every 1-3 years depending on State, Sales Tax, Income Type filing procedures online.
Can I apply for my Arkansas Business Tax permit online?
Yes, businesses can use the website of the Arkansas official website and register for a sales and income tax permit number linked to the business where once created, the application number must be included on all invoices and receipts reported for payment in Arkansas revenues.
How do I evaluate franchise opportunities within Arkansas state?
You can research available franchise opportunities in Arkansas, verify the required upfront investment and fees schedule corporate and franchised provided support documents before starting six-month planning. Experienced professionals also advise working with a franchise attorney to assess state disclosure documents prior to visiting localities.
Are there any employment tax guidelines business owners need to consider in Arkansas?
Businesses registered in Arkansas will need to follow federal tax obligations unless there are specific exemptions that the Arkansas State Code provides.
Who do I approach if I am unable to pay business taxes to Arkansas?
You may contact the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration if you are struggling to pay Arkansas state taxes. Be aware of the realistic penalty rules installed, including Interest on underpayments on tax income starting one day late.
What is the quickest way to form an LLC in Arkansas?
Using an online formation service is likely the fastest way to form an LLC in Arkansas; though, many online resources advise once creating an account on the official state of Arkansas Secretary of State page completing field worksheets application documents quickly and efficiently remain relatively simple.
What are the first steps to starting a business in Arkansas?
The first steps include determining a business idea, selecting a business structure, registering with the Arkansas Secretary of State, and obtaining any necessary business licenses.
What is the cost to start a business in Arkansas?
The cost to start a business in Arkansas will vary based on the type of business and the associated fees for registration and licensing.
Does Arkansas offer any specific resources for new businesses?
Yes, Arkansas offers resources such as the Small Business Administration Arkansas and the Arkansas Economic Development Commission to provide support and resources for new businesses.
What are the most popular industries for businesses in Arkansas?
The most popular industries in Arkansas include agriculture, aerospace, technology, and manufacturing.
What is the tax rate for businesses in Arkansas?
The tax rate for businesses in Arkansas varies based on the type of business and the income generated, but the state has a corporate income tax rate of 6.5%.
Is it necessary to have a business plan when starting a business in Arkansas?
While not required, having a business plan can help guide your new business and make it more likely to succeed.
Are there any grants available for new businesses in Arkansas?
Yes, there are several grants available for new businesses in Arkansas, but they often require a specific type of business or purpose.
How often does a business in Arkansas need to file taxes?
Businesses in Arkansas are required to file state taxes on an annual basis.
Can a new business in Arkansas receive a tax break for the first few years of operation?
Yes, Arkansas offers a sales tax exemption for the purchase of machinery and equipment used in the first three years of operation for new businesses.
Are there any restrictions on the business names that can be used in Arkansas?
Yes, a business name in Arkansas cannot be the same as an existing business, must include a unique element, and must comply with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s guidelines.
Does Arkansas require businesses to carry insurance?
No, Arkansas does not require businesses to carry insurance, although it is often recommended to protect against liability claims.
Can a business operate in multiple cities in Arkansas?
Yes, a business can operate in multiple cities, but it must register with each city and / or town and meet all specific business requirements in that location.
How long does it typically take to register a new business in Arkansas?
It can take anywhere from one day to several weeks, depending on the type of business and the steps involved.
Are there any time limits on renewing a business license in Arkansas?
Yes, a business license in Arkansas must be renewed annually, typically a few months before the expiration date.
How can a new business in Arkansas find employees?
A new business can find employees by advertising on job search websites or posting job openings in local media outlets or social media.
Must a business in Arkansas have a physical office or workspace?
No, a business in Arkansas can be run from a home office or rented space, as long as it meets all necessary legal and zoning requirements.
What are the benefits of registering a business in Arkansas?
Benefits of registering a business in Arkansas can include liability protection, tax benefits, and potential for growth and expansion.
Can a business in Arkansas apply for trademark protection?
Yes, businesses in Arkansas can apply for federal trademark protection to help protect their brand and intellectual property.
Are there any fees associated with registering a business in Arkansas?
Yes, there are fees associated with registration, licensing, and ongoing tax filings for businesses in Arkansas.
Does Arkansas offer any special programs for minority-owned businesses?
Yes, Arkansas offers several programs and resources specifically for minority-owned businesses, such as Small Business Administration loans and technical assistance.
Can a non-US citizen start a business in Arkansas?
Yes, non-US citizens can start a business in Arkansas, but they may need to obtain special visas or legal documents for employment and business ownership.
Are there any restrictions on the types of businesses that can operate in Arkansas?
Arkansas does not place restrictions on the types of businesses that can operate, but all businesses must abide by federal and state laws and regulations.
Are there any incentives for businesses to locate in rural areas of Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas offers tax credits and other incentives for businesses that operate in rural areas or provide jobs to residents in these areas.
How can a business in Arkansas obtain financing?
A business in Arkansas can obtain financing by applying for Small Business Administration loans, seeking investment from venture capital firms or angel investors, or applying for loans from banks or credit unions.
Is it difficult to start a business in Arkansas?
While starting a business in Arkansas requires knowledge of state and federal regulations, there are many resources and helpful organizations available to make the process easier for new business owners.
Are there any regulations on the hours of operation for businesses in Arkansas?
Arkansas does not place restrictions on the hours of operation for most businesses, but local ordinances may have specific regulations in place.
What type of business structure is recommended for startups in Arkansas?
A limited liability company (LLC) is recommended for startups in Arkansas due to its liability protection and valuable tax benefits.
Do nonprofits need to register with the state of Arkansas?
Yes, nonprofits must register with the Arkansas Secretary of State and obtain any necessary licenses or permits for their type of business.
Can businesses in Arkansas obtain local grants?
Yes, businesses in Arkansas can seek grants from local organizations and municipalities to jumpstart their efforts.

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Why You Should Start Business in Arkansas

One of the most compelling reasons to start a business in Arkansas is the state’s low cost of living. Compared to states with higher living expenses, such as California, Arkansas offers a much more affordable lifestyle for business owners and their employees. This lower cost of living extends to housing, goods and services, and overall operating expenses, allowing businesses to stretch their budgets further and reinvest in their growth and success.

Arkansas also offers a business-friendly environment that is conducive to entrepreneurship and innovation. The state government is committed to promoting economic development and supporting small businesses, offering various incentives and resources to help new ventures get off the ground and thrive. From tax credits and grants to networking opportunities and business counseling services, Arkansas provides a supportive ecosystem for businesses of all sizes and industries.

In addition to its affordability and business-friendly environment, Arkansas boasts a strategic location that offers easy access to domestic and international markets. Situated in the heart of the South Central region of the United States, Arkansas is well-connected to major cities across the country and is within a day’s drive of over half of the U.S. population. This central location not only facilitates efficient distribution and logistics but also opens up opportunities for businesses to expand their reach and tap into new markets.

Furthermore, Arkansas is home to a talented and diverse workforce that is well-equipped to meet the demands of today’s dynamic business landscape. With a strong work ethic and a reputation for hospitality and collaboration, Arkansans are eager to contribute to the success of businesses in their state. Businesses can also benefit from partnerships with local colleges and universities, which offer robust educational programs and apprenticeship opportunities to develop a skilled workforce for the future.

Moreover, the quality of life in Arkansas is second to none, with beautiful natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and a strong sense of community. Business owners and their employees can enjoy a high quality of life outside of work, whether it’s exploring the state’s national parks, attending local festivals and events, or simply enjoying the company of friendly neighbors and colleagues.

In conclusion, starting a business in Arkansas offers a wealth of advantages that can help entrepreneurs achieve their goals and realize their full potential. From its low cost of living and business-friendly environment to its strategic location and talented workforce, Arkansas provides the ideal setting for businesses to thrive and succeed. By choosing Arkansas as the home base for their ventures, business owners can look forward to a bright future filled with opportunities for growth, innovation, and prosperity.


Starting a business in Arkansas has unique advantages and challenges since it offers a large and diverse market, access to skilled talent, and numerous networking opportunities, making it an attractive location for entrepreneurs. However, business owners must also contend with a high cost of living, intense competition, and potentially complex regulations.

Ultimately, whether starting a business in Arkansas is the right decision depends on the entrepreneur’s specific needs, goals, and industry. It is crucial to conduct thorough research and consider factors such as taxes, regulations, workforce availability, and target market when choosing a location for a new business. By carefully weighing the pros and cons, entrepreneurs can make informed decisions and set themselves up for success in the competitive Arkansas business landscape.

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