When you're starting a business in Arkansas, it's a good idea to research your options first. Arkansas corporations pay an annual franchise tax based on the corporation's value. Keep reading to learn more about corporate filing and maintenance requirements in Arkansas. When you're ready to file your corporation, we'll be at your side through every step.

Get started Start Your Arkansas Corporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Arkansas Processing Times and Fees

Like most states, Arkansas has standard and expedited processing times for corporation formation. To help you decide which to use, see our list of average wait times for standard and expedited filings.

Arkansas charges a filing fee to process your incorporation paperwork, but it doesn't charge extra for expediting it. The fee is lower if you file online. Visit “compare pricing” in our incorporation center to see all state fees for Arkansas.

Deciding Between an Arkansas S Corp and a C Corp

An S Corp and a C Corp are the same in most respects. They have the same liability protections, structure, management and compliance regulations. Here are the main differences you should know when making your decision:
  • Ownership Rules: A C Corp has no limits on the number of shareholders or stock classes it can have. An S Corp can only have 100 shareholders and one stock class. All shareholders must be citizens or legal residents of the United States.
  • Taxes: A C Corp is taxed as a separate entity from its shareholders. The business must file corporate taxes, and shareholders must also pay taxes on any dividends they receive. An S Corp does not pay corporate taxes. It is “pass-through” entity, which means owners report their shares of income on their personal tax returns.
  • Documents: A C Corp is the default designation in Arkansas. If you want your corporation to be recognized as an S Corp, you'll have to file IRS Form 2553, Election by a Small Business Corporation. Arkansas also requires that you file a separate state form, Form AR1103, along with a copy of your federal Notice of Acceptance as an S Corp.

Personnel Requirements

Every state has certain requirements for corporate personnel. In Arkansas, they include the following:

  • Age requirement: Arkansas does not set any limits on owners' or directors' ages.
  • Minimum number of directors: A corporation should have at least three directors, unless there are less than three shareholders of record. In that case, the number of directors cannot be less than the number of shareholders.
  • Residency requirement: Arkansas does not require that directors live in the state.
You do not have to list your directors' names and addresses in your Articles of Incorporation.

Other Requirements for Your Articles of Incorporation

In addition to personnel requirements, your Arkansas Articles of Incorporation must also include the following:

Every corporation needs a registered agent.This is a person or business responsible for accepting any legal, tax and government documents on behalf of the business. Your agent must have a physical Arkansas address, not a post office box, and be available during regular business hours. Arkansas requires that you list your agent's name and address in your Articles of Incorporation.We help you designate a registered agent when you incorporate with us.

You must also include the following in your Articles of Incorporation in Arkansas:

  • The number of shares of stock the corporation is authorized to issue.
  • The share classes and par value, if any.
  • The corporate name.
  • The names and addresses of all incorporators.
  • The corporation's primary purpose.

Guidelines for Your Name

Your name should reflect your business's purpose. Before settling on one, make sure it follows Arkansas' rules:
  • Your name must be different from that of any other business registered with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
  • The name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Company,” or an abbreviation of one of these terms. These terms cannot be the final word in the name.
  • Your name can't be misleading to the public. It can't suggest a business purpose other than what your business actually does. A clothing store should not call itself "Incorporated Electronics Depot."
You can check name availability with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

Arkansas Corporate Taxes & Reports

Although taxes are a chore, your new corporation must pay them. One of the first things you'll need before doing any business is an employer identification number, or EIN. This is a federal tax ID issued by the IRS that functions similar to a Social Security number. All corporations with employees need one. We have some more information on the tax structures of S Corps and C Corps.Your Arkansas corporation must also file an annual franchise tax report. The tax is based on your corporation's value, but it will be no less than $150. The report and tax is due by May 1 every year. You may file and pay online.

Keeping Corporate Records and Ongoing Filing Requirements

You will also need to keep certain records to maintain your status as a corporation. Arkansas requires that you create two types of records:

These documents work together to protect your company's status as a corporation. You don't have to file either of them with the state. Just keep them in your corporate records book, along with your other important papers.We help you compare meeting minutes requirements and bylaws requirements from state to state.

We hope this information on forming an Arkansas corporation has been helpful, and we wish you the best of luck with your new business.

Get started Start Your Arkansas Corporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.

Get started Start Your Arkansas Corporation Answer a few questions. We'll take care of the rest.