Step-by-Step Guide to Starting an LLC in Arkansas [2022]

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Quick Reference

The Limited Liability Company (L.L.C.) is a popular type of business structure for many companies starting in Arkansas. The L.L.C. provides asset protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an L.L.C. 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 L.L.C. is a separate legal structure, protecting the business owner’s personal assets.

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.

If you provide a licensed professional service, you will be required to form a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC) instead of filing an LLC. Professional services include occupations such as architects, attorneys, locksmiths, and more. The process of forming a Professional LLC is very similar to the LLC, except for included your state occupational license with the application.

The state fee to form an L.L.C. is $45 when filing online and $50 when registering by mail.  Online approval takes about two weeks, while online filing typically takes 2 or 3 business days.

Forming an LLC can be both affordable and is something most people can do themselves. Entity formation companies like IncFile or IncAuthority help guide you through the process and make sure there are no mistakes.

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

Steps to Form an Arkansas LLC

Total Time: 10 minutes

Step 1: Choose an LLC Name

The first step in forming an Arkansas Limited Liability Company is to make sure the name you want is available. There can’t be another LLC in Arkansas with the same name as the one you want.  

Related: How to search available LLC names in Arkansas

Additionally, when coming up with the Company Name, one of the primary naming guidelines is to use the following words or abbreviations at the end of the L.L.C.’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

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

Step 2: Select a Registered Agent

In Arkansas, a registered agent must be selected to act as the primary point of contact to be the agent for service of process on behalf of the LLC. Service of process refers to when legal correspondence such as tax documents, summons, subpoenas, and other important legal documents are sent, so the receiving party has sufficient time to respond.

The requirements to be an Arkansas registered agent include; being a full-time resident of Arkansas and being available during normal business hours at a physical street address (no P.O. Boxes are allowed). You as the business owner can act as your own agent in Arkansas and you are not required to pay for a registered agent.

Any individual meeting the above requirements can be the agent, however, the agent’s name and address 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 or still employed.  Hiring a commercial registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent to be the Registered Agent will reduce the number of unwanted phone calls and mailings.

Learn more about the requirements for a Registered Agent in Arkansas

Step 3: File the Arkansas Articles of Organization

The paperwork to create an LLC in Arkansas is called Articles of Organization.

To get started, either download the Arkansas L.L.C. Articles of Organization Form LL-01 or file online with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

If sending by mail send to:
Arkansas Secretary of State
500 Woodlane Street, Suite 256
Little Rock, AR 72201

If you have questions, contact the Business and Commercial Services Division of the Arkansas Secretary of State.
Phone: 501-682-3409
Email Address: corprequest@sos.arkansas.gov

Turnaround time for approving the Articles of Organization normally takes 2-3 business days to process online LLC filings to 2 weeks for mailed filings. Expedited processing is also available for an additional fee.


When filing the Articles of Organization, there are a few sections that may be unfamiliar. Let’s go over a few of those sections.

Managers Statement 

L.L.C.s can either be Manager-Managed or Member-Managed.

Member-Managed L.L.C.s have an active involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Manager-Managed L.L.C.s are hired by the LLC members to run the L.L.C., similar to a C.E.O. of a corporation.

If a manager will manage the L.L.C., a statement needs to be included in this section.

Most L.L.C.s are member-managed and would leave this section blank.

Officer’s Section

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

  • Incorporator/Organizer –  An L.L.C. Organizer is involved with the LLC 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 L.L.C. 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.

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

You don't have to form your LLC by yourself or pay an attorney!

Forming an LLC is a little intimidating, especially when it’s your first time. Professional entity formation services help guide you to make sure it’s done right. Check out our reviews of popular LLC formation services to learn more.

You have an Arkansas LLC, now what??

Once your new 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 Arkansas LLC Operating Agreement

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

The state of Arkansas doesn’t 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 fully understand their roles and responsibilities, leading to costly disputes in the future.

Learn more about the operating agreement and download an Arkansas operating agreement template.

Obtain a FEIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number (also called a Federal Employer Identification Number, FEIN, or Federal Tax ID Number) is a unique 9-digit tax identification number assigned to a business by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes. The EIN will be needed to hire employees, open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, and more.

There is no cost for the EIN when registering through the IRS. The number is available immediately when applying through the IRS website; however, you can register by phone, fax, or mailing IRS Form SS-4.

Related: How to Apply for an Arkansas EIN

Elect the LLC’s Form of Federal Income Taxation

One of the major benefits of the Limited Liability Company is the tax flexibility it provides.  When applying for the Employer Identification Number, you will choose how a legal entity will be taxed for federal income tax purposes. While there are some limitations, an LLC may be classified for federal income tax purposes as a:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • C-corporation
  • S-corporation

While this may sound confusing, this refers to how the LLC is taxed, not the legal structure.

Related: How can an LLC be taxed?

By default, LLCs are pass-through entities. Instead of the LLC paying taxes on profits, the profits or losses flow through to the members.

Single-member LLCs will, by default, be taxed as a sole proprietorship. The members can elect to be taxed as a C-corporation or an S-corporation.

Multi-member LLCs will, by default, be taxed as a partnership. The members can elect to be taxed as a C-corporation or an S-corporation.

In general, the difference between being taxed as a corporation and being taxed as a sole proprietorship or partnership the profits and losses are passed to the member’s federal income tax returns based on their percentage of ownership.  As a result, the owner will pay income tax and self-employment taxes on all business profits.  As an alternative, electing to be taxed as a corporation allows the members to take a reasonable salary and then pay payroll taxes.  Any remaining profits are distributed and aren’t subject to payroll taxes, resulting in potential tax savings.

Before electing how your LLC will be taxed, be sure to talk with an accountant to assess which one will be best for you.

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 formation paperwork showing the official creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the LLC age, 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 various 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.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, salons, and others must be licensed.
  • Sales Tax Permit – To sell products and certain services, registration with the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration will be necessary to collect sales taxes.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Arkansas?

File Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an Annual Arkansas LLC Franchise Tax Report with the Arkansas Secretary of State.  The Annual Franchise Tax Report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File an Arkansas LLC Annual Report

Common Questions To Starting an LLC in Arkansas

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Arkansas?

There is a filing fee of $45 when filing online or $50 when filing by mail to form an LLC in Arkansas.

Is there a yearly fee for an LLC in Arkansas?

A $150 Annual Franchise Tax report will need to be filed every year.

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

It normally takes 2-3 business days to process online LLC filings to 2 weeks for mailed filings in Arkansas. Expedited processing is also available for an additional fee.

Do I have to pay to hire a registered agent?

Anyone can act as a registered agent, provided they are at least 18 years old, reside in the state, and are generally available during normal business hours.

If I have an LLC, is a business license required?

It’s sometimes thought that the LLC and business license are the same, but they aren’t. An LLC is referred to as the business entity, which is how the business is organized to conduct business. A business license is an approval from a government entity to legally operate.

What is a Foreign Limited Liability Company?

An LLC that is physically operating in states outside of where it was formed. Physically operating means having a presence such as having an office or employee. The LLC will need to register as a foreign LLC in each state that it plans to operate.

Learn more about the foreign LLC.

What is a Professional Limited Liability Company?

Businesses that require state licensing such as accountants, attorneys, podiatrists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, etc. often must file as a Professional Limited Liability Company (sometimes referred to as a Professional LLC or PLLC) instead of an LLC. Filing for a PLLC is very similar to that of the LLC.

Learn more about a professional LLC.

Is an LLC the same as a corporation?

The LLC is one of four main types of business entities. You can learn more about each here:
What is a sole proprietorship?
What is a general partnership?
How to form an Arkansas corporation

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