Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity, find the information you need from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information for corporations and LLCs registered in Arkansas. The names of sole proprietorships or general partnerships are not centralized and are registered at the County Clerk’s office in the county where the business is located.
There is no fee for searching the database.
Also See: Guide to Starting a Business in Arkansas
What information can be looked up?
The database search can find information on:
- Business Name
- Entity type – Corporation or Limited Liability Company
- Status – Good standing means all reports and filing fees are up to date
- Principal Address
- Registered Agent’s information – This agent is the singular point of contact for the entity should the state need to contact the business or if there is legal action against the business. This is often one of the owners, and their home address is often used, making their home address public information. Many people find this concerning and use a Registered Agent service like NorthWest Registered Agent, so their home address isn’t listed.
- Date the entity was filed with the Secretary of State
- Secretary of State Filing Number
- Names of the officers and their title
How to do an Arkansas Business Name Search
- Visit the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website.
- Enter the name you would like to use in the “Name” field. In this example, we will look up “Sew What” and click “Search.”
- When we search “Sew What,” we see that three records were found. Two of those records have been “Revoked.” A “Revoked” name is one that was previously registered, but the entity is no longer in operation. If the name you want shows up as “Revoked,” it may be available to register. The last record has a name that is in “Good Standing.” An entity in “Good Standing” has all reports and filing fees up to date with the Secretary of State. Finding a record in “Good Standing” means that the business name is too close to register.
- Clicking on the link for “T BAR M SEW WHAT LLC” brings an expanded result.
- While the name “Sew What” by itself may not be available other variants are such as “Sew What Quilting” or “Sew What Seamstress” are. Searching for those business names brings a result that says, “There were no records found.” While final approval is still with the Secretary of State, it is likely available to register.
Something to keep in mind is that even though each Corporation and LLC name must be unique, it may not stop someone else from using that name since business names for a sole proprietorship or partnership are not registered by the Secretary of State and are not required to be unique. To protect your business name, consider getting a trademark.
More information is available from the:
Arkansas Secretary of State Corporations Division
State Capitol, RM 256
Little Rock, AR 72201
How to Register a DBA (Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships)
To register, a sole proprietorship or partnership operating their business under a name that is different from the owner’s legal name will register for a Fictitious Name, also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Assumed Name, or Trade Name.
How do I form an LLC?
Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use. If you have a name in mind but aren’t ready to officially form your LLC, you can reserve your name for up to 120 days by filing a Name Reservation form with the Arkansas Secretary of State. There is a $25 fee to file.
Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form an Arkansas LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.
While not required in Arkansas, an Operating Agreement, which are the rules for how the LLC operates, may be a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.
After forming a Limited Liability Company, be sure to get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This is a “social security number” for the business. There is no cost to get one through the IRS.
After forming the LLC, Arkansas business licenses and permits may still be necessary.