Launching your business in Arkansas? Check the availability of your business entity name with our easy-to-follow guide.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the vital steps of performing an Arkansas business name search and navigating the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website and online search tools.
We’ll also cover understanding the Arkansas Business and Commercial Law, the importance of checking for intellectual property conflicts with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and the role of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration in business registration.
Strap in as we venture into this important aspect of your business startup process in Arkansas.
How To Look Up an LLC in Arkansas? (Summary)
To look up an LLC in Arkansas, you can follow these steps:
- Go to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website: Visit the website of the Arkansas Secretary of State.
- Navigate to the Business Entity Search tool: Look for a link or tab that says “Business”, “Business Services”, or something similar. Click on this link, and then look for a link that says “Business Entity Search”, “Business Search”, or something similar.
- Perform the Search: In the Business Entity Search tool, you can search for a business by its name. Enter the name of the business you are interested in and click “Search”.
- Review the Results: If the business name is in the state database, you will be able to view the business’s information, including the status of the business (active, dissolved, etc.), the registered agent, and other related information. If there is no information returned, it is likely that the business is not registered in Arkansas.
Note that the search results may include multiple LLCs with similar names, so make sure to verify that the LLC you are looking at is the correct one.
Arkansas LLC Lookup Guide
Arkansas Secretary of State Business Search: A legal requirement to ensure that an LLC name is available is the Arkansas Secretary of State Business Search. The following steps are required to search for an Arkansas LLC.
- Visit the Search Page for Business Entities
- To complete your search, use the drop-down menu by selecting the type of corporation
- In the “Name” field, enter the name of the LLC. Do not include LLC.
- Click “Search” to find related businesses in Arkansas
Business owners might also want to check the state website. They can also contact the United States Patent and Trademark Office for information about conflicting rights that may prevent them from registering their desired business name.
Tips for conducting the Arkansas Secretary Of State Business Search
You can ignore the following fields.
- Fictitious Name
- Register Agent
- RA City
If there are no records, you can rest assured that the LLC name is free for you to register.
Filing Articles for Organization
You can form an LLC by filing Articles of Organization at the Arkansas Secretary of State. The following information must be included in your articles:
- The address and name of the LLC
- The registered agent
- Whether the manager will manage the organization
Arkansas Secretary of State
The Arkansas Secretary of State charges $50 for an article of organization. If you file online, the cost is $45 and $50 for paper forms. It will be recorded the same day if it is submitted before 3:00 p.m. If it is sent later, it may be recorded for the next working day.
It is important to understand that simply because you have filed for an entity named, it does not automatically grant you the right to use the name from the Arkansas Secretary of State. This is according to Act 1008 (2007). After you complete the filing, you will be sent a copy by post.
If there are any questions or concerns regarding your filings, the Arkansas Secretary of State will contact you at the number provided.
Preparing an Arkansas Operating Agreement
If you’re a sole proprietorship and general partnership owner, but you want to use a different name than the owner, you will need to apply to the Arkansas Secretary of State for a fictitious business name. Once you have signed this agreement, the county clerk will issue the Assumed name Certificate. You will also need to register the fictitious name at the Arkansas Secretary Of State.
Even if you don’t have employees, it is essential that your LLC obtains an IRS employee identification number (EIN) if there are more than one member. The EIN number can be applied online at the IRS website.
Register for Arkansas Tax
After the operating agreement has been signed, you can apply for the appropriate licenses for your industry and entity. To register for taxation and obtain an identification number for your new business, you will need to sign up. New entities can be subject to different taxation systems.
- Withholding tax
- Sales and Use Tax
- Unemployment insurance tax
- Franchise tax
You can find more information about taxation at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration’s page Tax.
All LLCs must pay at least $150 tax to Arkansas Secretary of State.
You will need to submit a W-4 form and W-2 form each year. This forms details your withheld taxes as well as paid wages.
AR Business Formation
If you’re ready to start an LLC in Arkansas, there are important steps and considerations to keep in mind. Begin by conducting an Arkansas entity name search to ensure that your desired business name is available for registration.
Once you’ve confirmed availability, it’s crucial to draft an Arkansas LLC operating agreement, which outlines the internal structure and operational guidelines of your LLC. As you proceed, you have the option to act as your own registered agent in Arkansas or enlist the services of a professional registered agent.
It’s important to note that the time it can take to get an LLC in Arkansas varies, but typically ranges from a few weeks to a few months. To expedite the process, gather all necessary information and promptly submit your filings. Additionally, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for an Arkansas LLC is crucial for tax purposes.
Consider utilizing a good LLC service in Arkansas to streamline the formation process and ensure compliance with all legal requirements. Decide if you plan to be your own registered agent. Engaging the services of the best registered agent services in Arkansas offers the advantage of efficient handling of important documents and legal notifications.
Don’t forget to acquire a business license in Arkansas, adhering to the specific licensing requirements relevant to your industry and location, and when budgeting for LLC formation, consider the cost to start an LLC in Arkansas, which typically includes filing fees and any additional services you choose.
If you ever want to change your registered agent in Arkansas check out our guide on that.
Finally, should the need arise, understanding how to close and dissolve an Arkansas LLC is vital for properly concluding your business operations. Seek guidance LLC professionals like Incfile’s LLC dissolution service to navigate the dissolution process effectively, ensuring compliance with Arkansas state regulations.
Additional Steps to Consider
1. Trademark Search
When searching for a business name, it’s important to note that availability doesn’t necessarily mean the name is free to use if it’s already a registered trademark.
To avoid potential complications down the line, it’s wise to conduct a thorough trademark search using the Trademark Electronic Search System before finalizing a business name.
2. Choose a Registered Agent
After you have chosen an LLC name that is distinctive and unique, you can now choose your LLC’s Registered Agent.
3. Check if the Domain Name is Available
To check if a domain name is available, you can follow these steps:
- Go to a domain registrar website, such as GoDaddy.com or Namecheap.com.
- In the search bar on the homepage, type in the domain name you want to check.
- Click on the search button to see if the domain name is available or not.
- If the domain name is available, you will be prompted to purchase it. If it’s not available, the registrar will suggest some alternative options or you can try a different domain name.
It’s a good idea to check the availability of multiple domain name options as your first choice may already be taken.
Additionally, if you are considering registering a domain name for your business, make sure to also check for any existing trademarks that may conflict with your chosen domain name.
4. Check if Social Media Name is Available
To check if a social media name is available for a new business, you can follow these steps:
- Start by choosing a social media platform where you would like to create an account for your business. Some of the popular options include Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and TikTok.
- Once you have selected the platform, go to the sign-up page and try to create an account using your desired social media name.
- If the name is already taken, the platform will display an error message indicating that the name is not available. In this case, you may need to consider alternative names for your social media account.
- If the name is available, the platform will allow you to create an account using that name.
- It’s important to note that just because a social media name is available, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free to use. You should still do your due diligence to ensure that the name is not already a registered trademark or being used by another business in your industry.
5. Register Arkansas Business Entity
When you complete the required documents for filing a new business entity, you then register your business and business name with the state. The state of Arkansas will either approve your business name or reject it.
If you hire a good LLC service like Northwest Registered Agent, ZenBusiness or Incfile, these LLC services have business name tools available for you to do a quick search. I recommend using any of these 3 services to assist you with forming a new business. They can save you time and provide you with guidance through the formation process.
6. Register an Employer ID Number (EIN) With the IRS
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses and other entities for tax purposes.
Here’s how you can get an EIN:
- Determine if you need an EIN: You’ll need an EIN if you have employees, operate your business as a corporation or partnership, file employment tax returns, have a Keogh plan, or are required to file any of the following tax returns: Employment, Excise, or Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
- Apply for an EIN: You can apply for an EIN online, by fax, by mail, or by phone. The quickest and easiest way is to apply online through the IRS website.
- Provide the necessary information: When applying for an EIN, you’ll need to provide your legal name, trade name (if applicable), business address, and the type of legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC).
- Wait for your EIN: If you apply online, you can receive your EIN immediately after completing the application. If you apply by fax or mail, it can take up to four weeks to receive your EIN.
Note that there is no fee to apply for an EIN. Once you receive your EIN, be sure to keep it safe and use it on all tax documents and forms.
7. Create a Brand Logo
Creating a business logo involves several steps. Here’s a general overview of the process:
- Define your brand: Before you start creating a logo, you need to define your brand’s personality, values, and mission. This will help you create a logo that accurately represents your brand.
- Determine the design style: Decide on the design style you want for your logo. Do you want it to be modern or classic, minimalistic or intricate, colorful or monochromatic? Consider your brand personality and target audience when making this decision.
- Choose the colors: Pick a color palette that reflects your brand personality and complements your design style. Colors have psychological meanings and can affect how people perceive your brand.
- Brainstorm ideas: Brainstorm several logo design concepts based on your brand personality, values, and mission. You can use online resources for inspiration or hire a professional logo designer to create a custom logo for you.
- Sketch your ideas: Once you have some logo design concepts, sketch them out on paper to visualize how they might look. This can help you narrow down your options and refine your ideas.
- Design the logo: Use a graphic design software program like Adobe Illustrator or Canva to create your logo design. Make sure it is scalable and can be used across different mediums.
- Get feedback: Share your logo design with colleagues, friends, or family to get feedback. This can help you refine your design further.
- Finalize the logo: Once you have incorporated feedback, finalize your logo design. Be sure to use high-quality images and files for your logo.
- Protect your logo: If you want to protect your logo, consider trademarking it with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. This will prevent others from using a similar logo and protect your brand’s identity.
8. Write a Business Plan
Writing a business plan involves a comprehensive process that covers various aspects of your business, including the industry, market research, marketing and sales strategies, financial projections, and more. Here are some steps to guide you in writing a business plan and links to resources that can help you:
- Executive summary: This section provides a summary of your business plan, highlighting key information about your business, target market, products or services, and financial projections. It should be brief but comprehensive.
- Company description: This section describes your company’s mission, vision, values, and legal structure. It also includes information about the management team, business location, and history.
- Market analysis: This section provides a detailed analysis of your industry, target market, competition, and customer demographics. It also includes information about market trends and growth projections.
- Marketing and sales strategies: This section outlines your marketing and sales strategies, including branding, advertising, pricing, and distribution channels.
- Products and services: This section describes your products or services, their features and benefits, and how they will meet the needs of your target market.
- Financial projections: This section provides a detailed financial forecast for your business, including projected revenue, expenses, profits, and cash flow. It also includes a break-even analysis and funding requirements.
Here are some links to resources that can help you in writing a business plan:
- Small Business Administration (SBA): The SBA offers a step-by-step guide to writing a business plan, including templates and sample plans.
- SCORE: SCORE provides free business plan templates and guides, as well as mentoring and counseling services.
- Bplans: Bplans offers a wide variety of business plan templates, tools, and resources, including sample plans for different industries.
- LivePlan: LivePlan is a cloud-based software that provides business planning tools and templates, financial forecasting, and collaboration features.
- Canva: Canva offers a range of customizable business plan templates and design tools to help you create a professional-looking plan.
9. Open a Business Bank Account in Arkansas
A bank account is generally required for a new Limited Liability Company (LLC) or corporation to separate personal finances from business finances and to establish a clear record of business transactions.
Having a separate bank account for your LLC will help you keep track of your business’s income and expenses, which will be useful for tax purposes, accounting, and financial management. It will also make it easier to accept payments from customers and pay bills, suppliers, and employees.
To open a bank account for your LLC, you will typically need to provide the following documents:
- Certificate of Formation: This is a legal document that shows that your LLC has been registered with the state.
- Operating Agreement: This document outlines the rules and procedures for running your LLC and is required by some banks.
- EIN (Employer Identification Number) Confirmation Letter: This is a letter from the IRS confirming your LLC’s tax identification number.
- Identification documents: You will need to provide personal identification documents, such as a driver’s license, passport, or state ID, and proof of address, such as a utility bill.
Note that the specific requirements for opening a bank account for an LLC may vary depending on the bank and state where you are located. It’s best to contact the bank you plan to use to inquire about their specific requirements.
Arkansas Secretary of State Contact Info
For questions, you can contact the Arkansas Secretary of State:
888-233-0325 (toll-free phone)
Most Frequently Asked Questions
Who is an Arkansas registered agent?
Any person who is a resident full-time in Arkansas, or any business entity already registered with Arkansas Secretary of State, can be a registered agent.
What is the process of creating an LLC in Arkansas?
You can form an LLC by submitting an Article of Organization (Article of Organization) to the Arkansas Secretary of State.
What can I do to ensure that my chosen LLC name is easily identifiable?
It is crucial that the new LLC’s name is unique and distinct from all other Arkansas businesses.
Brian Wilson is the content manager and founder of LLC Radar.
Brian grew up in North Texas, just outside of Dallas, and has a bachelor’s degree in business journalism from Southern Methodist University. Since graduating from SMU, Brian has gained over 10 years of experience in business writing for several online publications.
Brian resides in Plano, Texas and he can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org