What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Arkansas?
Starting a in will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a will register for in .
Before applying for any licenses, the of . will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the , , , and (LLC). Corporations and LLCs will need to register with the
Related: Comparison of Entities
Learn more about forming an LLC in Arkansas
Also see: Steps to Starting a Business in Arkansas
There is no general of , however, most cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for registration vary depending on location and what the does. Below are a few cities that have requirements.
Little Rock – Any operating within the City of Little Rock will need to apply for a . The cost of a in Little Rock will vary depending on the type of , the number of employees, and the amount of inventory.
All food service businesses, which includes hotels/motels, bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, restaurants, convenience stores, movie theatres, food vendors, etc., are required to have an Advertising & Promotion (A&P) to operate in North Little Rock. There is no cost for this .
Fort Smith – The City of Fort Smith requires most businesses operating in to obtain a . The cost of a in Fort Smith is generally $100 annually.
Fayetteville – Almost every operating within the of Fayetteville will need to obtain a within 60 days of starting. Businesses such as junkyards, towing services, bowling alleys, and more will need to register with the city. The cost in Fayetteville varies but is usually around $50. The annual renewal cost is $15.
Springdale – Businesses operating in the require a Springdale . The cost of the is $40 per year plus $2.50 for each for the first 25 and an additional $1 per year for each . The maximum is $300.
Jonesboro – The City of Jonesboro requires a privilege for businesses operating within . Home-based businesses, including internet-based businesses, are required to get written approval to operate in a residence from the Planning/Zoning office.
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Building & Zoning Permits
Zoning – Depending on the location of the , it’s important to verify whether the needs an occupancy or has specific zoning ordinances to follow. Depending on city requirements, home-based businesses may need to apply for a home occupation .
Building – A building may be needed from the city or county building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.
Signage – Some municipalities require a before adding signage.
Alarm Permit – Before installing a burglar or fire alarm, check with your city or county police or fire department.
Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain an Exemption Certificate in order to not pay for merchandise that is being resold to customers.
Occupational Permit / Professional
A variety of occupations and professions in the are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require in Arkansas include; barbers, landscape contractors, tattoo artists, septic tank cleaners, home inspectors, and many more. Additional information, fees, and requirements for professions are available from the Division of Workforce Services.
Restaurant & Food Service
Any businesses working with food such as food producers, restaurants, caterers, food trucks, convenience stores, and bed and breakfasts must have their kitchen plans approved before opening. Learn more by contacting the of Health or the county sanitarian.
Alcohol & Tobacco
Any selling liquor and/or tobacco must obtain both city and permits. permits are obtained through the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) and Tobacco Control Board.
Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN (or FEIN or Federal ). The EIN is the equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.
There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.
While not a , Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) must register for a Fictitious Name (also known as a Doing As, DBA, Trade Name, or Assumed Name) with the in the county where the is located. There is a one-time county associated with the name registration.
These are some of the most common licenses, but there are far too many licenses and permits for us to keep track of. Before starting your , be sure to check with City Hall, , Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding .