I recommend reading a helpful brochure provided by the Arkansas Dept. of Finance, called Starting a New Business.
You will need to decide how to organize your business. There are many options, including: Corporation, Partnership, Nonprofit, Limited Liability Company, and more. There are benefits and drawbacks to each choice, so choose carefully. The Arkansas Secretary of State has published a helpful manual entitled Doing Business in Arkansas. This manual describes each type of business and will help you decide which organization structure will best fit your needs.
Pick out your company name! Once you have narrowed down potential names, check with the Arkansas Secretary of State to see whether those names have already been registered. If your chosen name is available, you have the option of reserving that name for 120 days. Reserving your company's name will allow you more time to file your articles of incorporation with the State of Arkansas, without losing the name you have chosen. To reserve your company's name, go to the Secretary of State's Online Filing System, and select the correct form from the pull-down menu.
When you are ready,
You will need to file your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation (depending on your company's organization structure). Your company's Articles can be filed at the Secretary of State's Online Filing System. You will also need to file an Application for Fictitious Name if your company will be called anything other than your personal name. You may need to create an Operating Agreement, depending upon the organization structure of your company.
Planning to hire employees? Be sure to refer to Doing Business in Arkansas, and learn how to obtain an Employer Identification Number and how to withhold taxes.
And last, but certainly not least,
Your new company will need to pay the Franchise Tax.
Look at the links below for more helpful links to guide you through the process of starting your business in Arkansas:
Arkansas Business Entity Fees, Forms, and Procedures
Arkansas Business and Commercial Services
Obtaining a Business License for Cabot, Arkansas
The IRS has produced a free online workshop for small business owners. This video series will answer many of your Federal Tax Questions.
What if I need help?
If you need help with the legal documents involved in starting your new business, please contact Deborah Hardin at The Hardin Law Firm, PLC, or a licensed attorney in your state.
We serve Little Rock, North Little Rock, Sherwood, Jacksonville, Cabot and surrounding areas in Central Arkansas.