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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular business entity choice structure for many businesses starting in Arkansas. The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Arkansas without an attorney.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.

Related: How Does an LLC Protect You?

Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.

Forming an LLC in Arkansas is something most people can do on their own, but it’s nice to have some support in case you have questions or get stuck.  IncFile and Inc Authority provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!

Related: Should you use a Formation Service, Hire an Attorney or Do it Yourself?

The cost to form an LLC is $45 when filing online and $50 when filing by mail.  Online approval takes about 2 weeks while the online filing typically takes 2 or 3 days.

HOW TO FILE THE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM AN ARKANSAS LLC

The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same.  Below, we have step-by-step instructions for forming an Arkansas LLC.

To get started either download the Arkansas LLC Articles of Organization Form LL-01 or visit the Arkansas Secretary of State.

Step 1: Select the Entity

First, scroll through the list and look for the Domestic Limited Liability Company section, click on “Articles of Organization for Domestic LLC – LL-01” and then click on Choose Filing

How to Register an Arkansas LLC

Step 2: Start Form

Next, find the Domestic LLC section and click on the “Start Form” button under “Articles of Organization for Demistic LLC – LL-01”

Arkansas Articles of Organization LLC - LL-01

Step 3: Filing Act

The default filing act is 1003 of 1993 and applies to most LLCs.  This act pertains to forming an LLC in Arkansas.

Arkansas LLC Select Filing Act 1003 of 1993

Step 4: Entity Information

Company Name – Enter the name you would like to use for the LLC.

There can’t be another LLC with the same name as the one you want.  A link to search similar names is available to be sure the name you want to use is available.

Arkansas LLC Company Name Search

Additionally, when coming up with the Company Name, one of the following at the end of the LLC’s name:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Limited Company
  • Limited Co.
  • Ltd. Company
  • Ltd. Co.
  • L.L.C
  • L.C.
  • LLC
  • LC

See the full list of Arkansas LLC name requirements before finalizing your name.

Before selecting a business name, you may also want to see if a domain name is also available.

Managers Statement 

LLCs can either be Manager-Managed or Member-Managed.

Member-Managed LLCs have an active involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Manager-Managed LLCs are hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.

If the LLC will be managed by a manager, a statement needs to be included in this section.

Most LLCs are member-managed and would leave this section blank.

Arkansas LLC Manager Managed vs Member

 

Step 5: Principal Information

Enter the principal place of business of the LLC.  This has to be a physical address that can be a home address, office address or the address of the registered agent.  No PO Boxes are allowed.  This address will receive mailings from the Secretary of State.

Arkansas LLC Principal Place of Business

Step 6: Registered Agent Information

In Arkansas, there must be an individual or company with a physical presence in the state and act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC. This person or company is referred to as a Registered Agent.

Any individual can be the registered agent, provided they have a physical address in Arkansas and this includes the business owner.  One note is that the name and address of the registered agent become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.

No PO Boxes are allowed and be sure to either enter a Business Name if using a commercial registered agent company or First and Last name if it is an individual.

Related: Do I Need a Registered Agent in Arkansas?

File a Registered Agent for Arkansas LLC

Step 7: Officers

Add all of the officers in this section.  If there are multiple officers, enter their information and click on Save Officer.

At least one member and that may be the same person in the Principal Information and Registered Agent section.

One area that is a bit confusing is the title. Choices include:

  • Incorporator/Organizer –  An LLC Organizer is involved with the formation of the Articles of Organization.  The Organizer may or may not become a member, such as a mentor, attorney or accountant.
  • Manager – If the LLC is Manager-Managed and the Manager Statement was filled out, this person would be listed here.
  • Member – The members will be listed here.  All of the initial members will also be saved as Incorporator/Organizers.
  • Managing Member – Will be used if the manager is also a member.

Click “Save Officer” for each person listed.

Arkansas LLC - List Officers

Step 8: Submitter Contact Information

This section is used should the Secretary of State have any questions during the processing of the application and where the final documents are sent.

Step 9: Annual Report Contact Information

Enter the name and address where the Annual Report should be sent.

Step 10: Sign the Agreement

Effective Date – By default, the LLC is effective on the date submitted.  If you prefer to have the LLC officially start at a later date (up to 90 days), enter that date in the field. Otherwise, leave the field blank.

Signature – Click on the box saying this is not a false document, enter your signature in the Signature box and hit Submit.

File your Arkansas LLC Free

Step 11: Review, Pay and File

Do a final review of the information provided to ensure it is correct and make the payment.

If you have questions, contact the Arkansas Secretary of State.

501-682-3409
corprequest@sos.arkansas.gov

Tasks After Forming your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
  • Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future

Learn more about when an LLC needs an operating agreement and download an Arkansas operating agreement template

Obtain an EIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit number for a business. Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.  

The EIN will be needed in order to open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, pay payroll taxes and more. 

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the age of the LLC, an Arkansas Certificate of Good Standing may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate. 
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons and others must be licensed.
  • Sales Tax Permit – In order to sell products and certain services, registration with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration   will be necessary.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Alabama?

File Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Alabama Secretary of State.  The annual report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File an Arkansas LLC Annual Report