Form a Limited Liability Company in Arkansas
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How to Form a Arkansas LLC in 10 Steps
An LLC or limited liability company is a typical structure of business. It allows for one or more than one individual to own part of your company. When you earn profits with an LLC, they will be passed to each member. Separate tax returns do not need to be filed for LLCs the way they do for corporations. Exposure liability is reduced with LLCs.
Here are the steps you will need to follow in order to form your LLC:
1. Select Your Company Name.
Choose a company name first. You need one that other businesses do not have the right to use. Our article Is My Business Name Available? can help you do your own name search, or we can run a name search for you at SunDoc. At the very least, make sure the state of Arkansas does not have the name you choose on file for another business or organization.
2. Name an LLC Organizer.
It's now time to choose an LLC organizer. You will be the LLC organizer of your business if you file your own Articles of Organization. But you can name someone else as the organizer as well. It does not have to be a manager of your LLC or a member. If you have a lawyer who has helped form your business, they can be your organizer. SunDoc can also be your organizer if you choose us to prepare your Articles of Organization.
3. Designate a Registered Agent.
Now, you need to choose a registered agent. This is required for your Articles of Organization as well. Read our article Registered Agent Service to learn what this position fulfills and why you need it. Remember that your registered agent can be a firm or an individual.
4. Decide Your Ownership and Management Structure.
Also in your Articles of Organization, you'll need to choose whether you'll have multiple managers, one manager, or all members managing your Arkansas LLC. The decision comes down to whether you'd like your LLC to be manager-managed or member-managed. Use these guides to help you make this decision: The Member-Managed LLC guide and the Manager-Managed LLC guide.
5. Create an Operating Agreement.
Operating agreements are central to any LLC’s financial and functional decisions and management. People often think of the operating agreement as the legal engine that drives any business.
The operating agreement does things like governing your internal operations and forming regulations and provisions. It deals with fiduciary constraints, critical money matters, voting, liability, profit payouts, overall governance, working capital, and much more. It is an extremely important document for any business.
You may also obtain advice from a lawyer on creating your company's operating agreement.
6. File the Articles of Organization.
Nearly all states require your LLC to file a form called the Articles of Organization or simply, the “Articles.” At SunDoc, we can file your Articles of Organization on your behalf — a service that is most useful if you find time to be an issue.
Keep in mind that you must have your company name, address, LLC organizer, registered agent, and management method ready to go in order to appropriately file this document. You might also need member names in order to file.
7. Obtain an EIN and Open a Business Bank Account.
Congratulations! You are now a registered Arkansas LLC. Any LLC with more than one member must file with the IRS for an EIN, Employer Identification Number, whether or not you have employees. You can file with the IRS yourself, or SunDoc can file for you.
If you decide to open a business account at a bank, you will also need an EIN. We do recommend this so that you don't have to use your personal finances for business expenses. If you'd like, after you open your business financial account, consider hiring an attorney who can assist with business matters as well.
8. Pay Arkansas State Taxes.
Each year your LLC may be required to pay necessary fees and taxes to your state, possibly including in your first year of operation. If you sell goods in Arkansas, you may be required to collect sales tax. You can find more state tax information on the State of Arkansas’s tax web site.
9. Determine Necessary Licenses and Permits.
Even if you don't think you need unique licenses and permits to operate your business within the state of Arkansas, you should always check the Arkansas state business website to make sure. If you end up operating your business without the necessary business licenses or permits, you could face hefty fines.
10. File an Annual Report (Biennial Report or Initial List).
Generally speaking, Arkansas companies will need to file a yearly report. This could be a Biennial Report, an Annual Report, or a similar document. Most of the time, every one or two years after your first year in business, another, updated report will be needed.
The Annual Report is a quite basic form. It simply gives the State of Arkansas up-to-date information about your company. Down the line, if you end up making changes within your company, the Annual Report will probably be among the forms you’ll need to file again.
It is crucial that you file within the required timeframe. If you end up filing late, the normal filing fee skyrockets and could be up to 10 times the base fee! To help you out, SunDoc would be happy to file this report on your behalf. We always file reliably, and we are always on time with your paperwork.
Keep in mind that all LLC forms (including the Biennial Report form) can be located easily on the Arkansas business web site.
Important Notice: It is beyond the scope of this article to discuss your potential insurance needs, or matters relating to employees. You should consult an attorney or accountant with any questions about legal or financial matters. Please note that nothing in this article can be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice.
For additional learning, please visit our LLC FAQs.
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