How to Start a Arkansas Corporation

Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Arkansas Corporation

When you plan to start a business in Arkansas, you must decide on the appropriate structure. Starting a corporation may be more complicated than creating an LLC in Arkansas or a sole proprietorship. However, it is not that difficult as well. There are a few guidelines that you should be aware of when it comes to creating Arkansas corporation. Starting a corporation involves a legal process, that is, the process of incorporation.

In this article, I will share a step-by-step guide to start a corporation in Arkansas. I will also enlighten you on the advantages and disadvantages of having a corporation. Some people consider starting a corporation in Arkansas more than other business structures since it has many advantages over other forms.

What is a Corporation in Arkansas

In definition, a corporation is a formal organization established by stockholders, shareholders, or other people to make a profit. Like individuals, corporations can undertake contracts, own assets, sue and be sued, pay taxes, limit state and federal taxes, and loan funds from banking institutions.

Common Types of Corporations

Before you start with the process of forming a corporation, you should know what type of corporation you will form. There are several different forms of corporations you can take into consideration, depending on your corporation’s objectives and ownership structure.

  • C-Corporation: C-Corporation is the most known type of incorporation. They have almost all corporate distinguishing characteristics. Profits are distributed to corporate owners who are taxed at an individual level. The corporation is taxed similarly to a business unit.
  • S-Corporation: An S-Corporation is set up similarly to a C-corporation but has different tax implications and owner limits. S-corps have no more than 100 stockholders and are not taxed separately. These business units must also file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain their status.
  • Non-profit Corporation: Nonprofit businesses are frequently used by religious, educational, and charity institutions to run their operations without making a profit. Thus, a nonprofit corporation is exempt from paying taxes. The nonprofit organization’s gifts, contributions, or cash are reinvested in the company to fund its growth, future endeavors, or operations. Read how to start a nonprofit corp in Arkansas to learn about nonprofit corporations.

If you have a small business, it is recommended that you form an LLC instead of a corporation in Arkansas. LLCs have more tax benefits than other structures. Besides, LLCs protect your personal assets. However, it is wise to consult a legal expert before you start setting up your business in Arkansas.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Start a Corporation in Arkansas

To start a corporation in Arkansas, you must follow the below steps that, include forming a corporation name, appointing a board of directors, filing for Articles of Incorporation, drafting corporate bylaws, meeting with the board of directors, issuing stocks, creating a shareholders agreement, requesting for an EIN, and getting a license and permit. All these steps are basic ones. It can be changed depending on the type of corporation you form and the nature of your business.

Step 1: Choose a Corporation Name in Arkansas

Naming your business is one of the most crucial activities during the startup phase. Your corporation name serves as the foundation for your brand. Legal procedures should be taken into account when choosing your corporation name. Choose a corporation name that will enable you to develop a strong brand identity without being hampered by irrelevant factors.

If you are forming an LLC, there is a complete guide on Arkansas LLC name guidelines for a proper LLC name. Here are some guidelines you must follow while naming your corporation in Arkansas-

  • Your business name must contain entity identifiers, such as “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” or “Company,” or an abbreviation, such as “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”
  • Exclude any words in your business name, such as “Trust,” “Bank,” “Credit Union,” or “Trustee,” or words related to a government agency, such as “FBI,” “State Department,” or “Treasury.”

Step 2: Board of Directors Initial Appointment

To form a corporation in Arkansas, you must appoint an initial board of directors before making them permanent once the corporation is formed. In Arkansas, you may appoint at least Three board of directors. The initial board of directors is in charge of guiding the overall strategy of your business. The structure, responsibilities, and powers given to a board of directors are determined by the bylaws of a company or organization. So, appointing your corporation’s initial board of directors in Arkansas is a big step in forming a corporation.

Step 3: Filing the Articles of Incorporation in Arkansas

After you appoint the initial board of directors in your Arkansas corporation, the next step is to write and file a Articles of Incorporation. In writing, the Arkansas Articles of Incorporation, the corporation name, principal place of business, the purpose of business, Arkansas Registered Agent contact information, and the names and addresses of incorporators and/or initial board members, should be written.

Filing a Articles of Incorporation in Arkansas may be done with two ways, in-person and by mail. The Articles of Incorporation fee may vary from different states. However, in Arkansas, it costs $45 for filing in-person and by mail.

  • Online Filing: There’s no online filing available.
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail or drop it in person to Arkansas Secretary of State, 1401 W. Capital Ave., Suite 250, Little Rock, AR 72201

Step 4: Draft Corporate Bylaws

Now you are done filing a Articles of Incorporation in Arkansas, the next step is to draft corporate bylaws. Corporate bylaws are the basic rules that control a corporation. It includes the organization’s structure, processes, laws, and rules. As a result, all personnel, managers, and corporation members must obey the firm’s rules.

In creating corporate bylaws, you should include the following on how the decisions will be made-

  • The responsibilities are given to each officer.
  • How will judgments in business be made?
  • Where and when are the annual shareholder meetings?
  • The minimum number of shareholders required for decision-making.
  • Location and timing of dividend payments.

Step 5: Hold the First Board of Directors’ Meeting

After drafting the corporate bylaws, gather all the board of directors for the first meeting. This meeting will be finalized by appointing directors to manage the company’s daily operations, approve the bylaws, choose the corporation’s accounting year, and approve the stock issue. All board meetings should have minutes taken and stored with the company’s records.

Step 6: Issuing Stock in a Corporation

After starting your Arkansas corporation, one of the first official corporate actions is issuing stock to the shareholders. Keep track of the number of shares issued to each shareholder and the purchase price. A corporation in Arkansas is managed by its shareholders, who contribute to the business in exchange for ownership shares.

Step 7: Draft and Finalize a Shareholders Agreement

Even though drafting and finalizing a shareholders agreement is unnecessary, I suggest you still comply since it will benefit your corporation and its shareholders. A small business’s shareholders enter into a shareholder agreement contract. It establishes how ownership will be handled in unexpected situations, like a shareholder passes away, retires, becomes disabled, or quits the corporation. Early on in the life of your Arkansas corporation, signing a shareholders’ agreement can help maintain corporate continuity and prevent future disputes.

Step 8: Request an EIN in Arkansas

After everything is in place, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your Arkansas corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

The application of an EIN in Arkansas can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The EIN online application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your corporation the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 9: Get Licenses and Permits for your Corporation in Arkansas

Before your corporation operates in Arkansas, you must have a business license. A business license is a document issued by a government agency that permits you to operate your business in the geographic region that that agency governs. To legally operate your corporation, you’ll need a business license. Numerous corporate licenses need to be filed and renewed regularly. Check out how to get business licenses and permits in Arkansas to know more.

You must also register a DBA name if you intend to conduct business using a name other than your corporation’s legal name. The DBA name is sometimes known as “doing business as” or a “fictitious business name.” Depending on your location, you may need to register the DBA with your state, city, and county. You can skip this step if your business solely uses your legal company name.

Important Information

Paying your Taxes in Arkansas

Even if you have established your corporation in Arkansas, pay your taxes and keep everything up to date so you won’t pay any penalty. Unlike an LLC, there is a corporate tax that every corporation in Arkansas has to pay. On the other hand, they must pay income taxes based on their business income. Some other types of taxes in Arkansas are sales tax, franchise tax (not applicable to all the states), and other state taxes.

Cost of Forming a Corporation in Arkansas

A filing and annual fee must be paid to form a corporation in Arkansas. Without it, your corporation won’t operate. The initial filing fee for a corporation may vary depending on the state. However, in Arkansas, it costs $45 for filing in-person and by mail. The corporation in Arkansas also has to file an annual report (though it might not be mandatory, it is recommended to file one). Ensure you comply with all the necessary fees and costs so your corporation will run successfully and smoothly. If, in the future, you make any changes to your corporation, you must file the Arkansas Amendment. It costs $22.50 to file an amendment in Arkansas.

Advantages of Starting a Corporation in Arkansas

  1. Limited Liability: The biggest advantage of setting up a Arkansas corporation is that the shareholders are not personally responsible for the debts of the company. As a result, when you incorporate as a corporation, personal assets like homes, vehicles, and other possessions are prohibited. One of the main benefits of setting up a corporation over a general partnership or sole proprietorship business structure is that neither the business nor the owners are held legally responsible for the obligations of the business, even if it means giving up their personal assets.
  1. Limitless Corporation: The fact that a corporation’s existence is independent of its owners is another significant benefit of incorporation. In other words, a corporation has an endless life and will continue operating normally even if the owner dies or decides to sell their ownership.
  1. Advantages in Tax: The deduction of health insurance premium payments made on behalf of an owner-employee is one of the many financial benefits to which corporations are entitled. Corporations also save on self-employment taxes since their revenue is not subject to workers’ compensation, Social Security, or medical taxes. Tax rates on corporate profits are lower than those on individual income.


What are the steps to start a corporation in Arkansas?
The steps to start a corporation in Arkansas include selecting a business name, filing Articles of Incorporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State, appointing directors, issuing shares, and completing annual filings.
What forms do I need to file to start a corporation in Arkansas?
To start a corporation in Arkansas, you will need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to start a corporation in Arkansas?
The cost to start a corporation in Arkansas is $55.00 for the filing fee.
Do I need to register my corporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State?
Yes, a corporation must register with the Arkansas Secretary of State in order to legally operate in the state.
How long does it take to start a corporation in Arkansas?
It typically takes about 7 to 10 days to start a corporation in Arkansas, depending on the processing times at the Arkansas Secretary of State.
What are the benefits of starting a corporation in Arkansas?
The benefits of starting a corporation in Arkansas include limited liability for business owners, access to capital, and tax advantages.
Do I need a business license to operate a corporation in Arkansas?
Depending on the type of business you are operating, you may need to obtain a business license in order to legally operate in Arkansas.
Is there an annual filing requirement for corporations in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas requires all corporations to file an Annual Report every year with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
What information do I need to file an Annual Report in Arkansas?
The information required to file an Annual Report in Arkansas includes the corporation’s name and address, the names and addresses of its officers and directors, and any changes to the corporation since its formation.
Do I need to pay taxes for my corporation in Arkansas?
Yes, corporations in Arkansas are required to pay taxes on their business income, as well as any other applicable taxes.
Is there a minimum capital requirement to start a corporation in Arkansas?
No, there is no minimum capital requirement to start a corporation in Arkansas.
What type of liability protection does a corporation provide in Arkansas?
A corporation in Arkansas provides its owners with limited liability protection, meaning that their personal assets are not at risk in the event of a lawsuit or other legal action against the corporation.
Can I form a corporation online in Arkansas?
Yes, you can form a corporation online in Arkansas by filing your Articles of Incorporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
How do I select a business name for my corporation in Arkansas?
A business name for your corporation in Arkansas must be distinguishable from all other registered business entities in the state. You can search for available business names through the Arkansas Secretary of State’s online search tool.
Do I need to hold an annual meeting for my corporation in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas requires all corporations to hold an annual meeting where shareholders can vote on important business matters.
What are the requirements for appointing directors in Arkansas?
The requirements for appointing directors in Arkansas include filing a list of the directors’ names and addresses with the Arkansas Secretary of State, as well as providing notice of the directors’ election to shareholders.
How many shares of stock can I issue for my corporation in Arkansas?
There is no limit to the number of shares of stock that can be issued for a corporation in Arkansas.
How do I transfer shares of stock in my Arkansas corporation?
Shares of stock in an Arkansas corporation can be transferred by filing a Certificate of Stock Transfer with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
Can foreign investors own shares in an Arkansas corporation?
Yes, foreign investors can own shares in an Arkansas corporation.
How do I dissolve a corporation in Arkansas?
A corporation in Arkansas can be dissolved by filing Articles of Dissolution with the Arkansas Secretary of State and paying any applicable fees.
Can I form a professional corporation in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas allows for the formation of professional corporations, which are corporations that are organized by licensed professionals, such as lawyers or doctors.
Are there any restrictions on the names of corporations in Arkansas?
Yes, corporate names in Arkansas must be distinguishable from all other registered business entities in the state, and cannot include certain restricted words, such as “bank” or “university.”
Can I form a not-for-profit corporation in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas allows for the formation of not-for-profit corporations.
Is there a publication requirement for corporations in Arkansas?
Yes, corporations in Arkansas are required to publish a notice of their formation in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the corporation’s principal office is located.
Can I form a multi-member LLC in Arkansas?
Yes, Arkansas allows for the formation of multi-member LLCs.
What type of tax rate does a corporation in Arkansas pay?
Corporations in Arkansas are subject to the state’s corporate income tax, which has a rate of 6.5%.
How do I obtain an EIN for my corporation in Arkansas?
You can obtain an EIN for your corporation in Arkansas by applying online through the IRS website.
How do I keep my Arkansas corporation in good standing?
To keep your Arkansas corporation in good standing, you must file all required documents with the Arkansas Secretary of State, pay all applicable fees and taxes, and comply with all other state regulations.
What are the requirements for starting a Corporation in Arkansas?
To form a Corporation in Arkansas, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. The Articles of Incorporation must include the name of the Corporation, its purpose, the type of shares it is authorized to issue, the address of its registered office, the names and addresses of its incorporators, and the name and address of its registered agent.
Is it required to appoint a registered agent in Arkansas?
Yes, the Articles of Incorporation must include the name and address of an Arkansas registered agent. The registered agent must be an individual or business entity that is authorized to do business in the state and that has a physical address in Arkansas.
What are the costs associated with starting a Corporation in Arkansas?
The filing fee to form a Corporation in Arkansas is $45. Other associated costs may include legal and accounting fees.
What taxes must be paid by a Corporation in Arkansas?
A Corporation in Arkansas must pay income taxes to the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration. It may also be liable for other taxes, such as payroll taxes and property taxes.
Are there other filing requirements for a Corporation in Arkansas?
Yes, the Corporation may be required to file an annual report with the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. It may also be required to file other documents, such as a Statement of Change, which is used to report changes in the Corporation’s officers or registered agent.

Also Read

Why Arkansas Corporation is So Important

One of the primary reasons why Arkansas Corporation is so important is because it provides job opportunities for its residents. Corporations employ a large number of people in various sectors, ranging from manufacturing to technology to retail. These jobs not only help individuals support themselves and their families but also stimulate the overall economy by promoting consumer spending and creating a demand for goods and services.

Furthermore, Arkansas Corporation is crucial for innovation and growth. Corporations often invest in research and development to stay ahead of the competition and meet the needs of the market. This continuous pursuit of innovation leads to the creation of new products, services, and technologies that can improve the quality of life for people both within the state and beyond.

Another reason why corporations are essential in Arkansas is because they contribute significantly to the state’s tax base. By paying taxes on their profits, corporations provide the government with revenue to fund essential services such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure. This tax revenue is essential for the state to function and provide for its citizens.

Moreover, Arkansas Corporation also plays a critical role in promoting economic growth and prosperity. Corporations attract investment, create wealth, and drive job creation, all of which contribute to a stronger and more resilient economy. When corporations succeed, they create opportunities for other businesses to flourish as well, leading to a vibrant and diverse business ecosystem.

In addition to the economic benefits, Arkansas Corporation also demonstrates a commitment to corporate social responsibility. Many corporations in the state engage in philanthropic activities, environmental conservation, and community development initiatives to give back to the society that supports them. These efforts not only benefit the community but also enhance the reputation and trust of the corporation among its stakeholders.

Overall, the significance of Arkansas Corporation cannot be overstated. Corporations are vital components of the economy, providing jobs, driving innovation, generating tax revenue, and promoting economic growth. They play a crucial role in shaping the state’s business landscape and contributing to its overall welfare and well-being. It is essential to recognize and appreciate the value that corporations bring to Arkansas and continue to support their efforts to thrive and succeed in the future.


When determining which corporate form is best for you, be selective. You must know which business structure is bet-fitted for your product/service in Arkansas. Consult a legal professional before you take the first step while setting up your business. Finding the ideal ratio of corporate advantages and legal protection that meets your unique needs is very important. In forming a corporation in Arkansas, you need to ensure that every detail is well-formed so that your corporation will be successful. And if you have any questions, share them in the comment section below.

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