If you are starting a business in Arkansas, there’s a good chance that it will be a limited liability company. LLCs have many benefits, including owners’ asset protection, pass-through taxation, increased business credibility, and last but not least, a quick and affordable setup.
Arguably, the most important aspect of the LLC registration is compiling and submitting the Articles of Organization. What’s the deal about this document and what should you remember when preparing one for your Arkansas-based company? This article has the answers you’re looking for.
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An Article of Formation is an official paper that provides the state government with important details about your LLC. Typically, the Article contains the name and address of an organization, the information about the statutory agent, the type of company’s management, and the organizer’s signature.
In Arkansas, this document is known as the Certificate of Organization, but in some states, it may be called the Articles of Organization or Certificate of Formation. All of these names should not be confused with the Articles of Incorporation, which is a similar form used for registering a corporation.
This document has to be filed with the Arkansas Secretary of State, and once it’s approved, your LLC is officially registered and can legally do business in the Natural State.
The preparation of the Certificate can be divided into three steps:
Let’s go over each step and find out the most efficient way to complete it.
First, you need to get a blank template of the specific form known as LL-01. For that, you should head on to the official website of the Arkansas Secretary of State and look for the section called Forms/Fees/Records Requests. There, you can choose the type of your business (in our case, a limited liability company) and then proceed to the selection of forms and services, including the Certificate of Organization. You can either fill it out online, print it out, or download it as a PDF.
There’s an alternative source of various LLC-related templates that come courtesy of professional business formation services. Some of the most popular examples are:
You can hire one of these companies to take care of the entire LLC registration process, including the preparation of the Certificate of Organization and an operating agreement, obtaining a tax ID number, creation of a business website, and so on.But if you just need a blank copy of the Certificate, most of these companies provide it for free.
The Certificate of Organization for LLC in Arkansas has 5 items for you to fill out:
The first item on the list is naming your company. The name must not contain forbidden words, duplicate or mock another brand, or be misleading in any way. Here is the list of words to avoid in Arkansas-based LLCs:
All LLC names must include a legal entity tag, such as:
You will receive an “LLC” tag by default if you don’t mention it in the Certificate.
The Arkansas Secretary of State website also allows you to check the availability of your desired business name or reserve one for 120 days ($25).
After the name, you need to provide the address of your headquarters in Arkansas. However, you can only use a street number, so no post office boxes are allowed.
If your LLC is organized in another state, it’s qualified as a foreign business, so you must file an Application for a Certificate of Registration (FL-01) that will allow you to operate in Arkansas.
Next on the list of required items in the Certificate of Organization in Arkansas is the name and address of your registered agent.
A registered agent (also known as a statutory agent or agent for service of process) is a person or a business that accepts correspondence sent to your LLC by the IRS, the state government, or a federal agency. The agent is required to be at least 18 years old (for individuals) and have a physical Arkansas address where it’s able to receive mail during regular business hours.
It’s not the best idea to represent your own company yourself as this creates a lot of inconveniences, such as:
We recommend hiring a company that specializes in registered agent services or business formation (see Step 1). In that case, your Certificate of Organization will have the name of such company and its address.
Every LLC, corporation, insurance company, and bank in Arkansas must pay an annual franchise tax of $150. For this purpose, the state requires you to delegate at least one member or manager of your company to the franchise tax officer role.
The Certificate of Organization in Arkansas template comes with an additional page that you need to fill out when filing the initial tax report. Keep in mind that you must do this by May 1st of the year following the formation of your LLC. For example, if your company is registered on September 15th, 2022, your first report should be submitted by May 1st, 2023.
Every Certificate of Organization for LLC has to be signed by the organizer. Pay attention that the organizer is not necessarily the owner, manager, or employee of your LLC. It can be any third party that you trust to prepare and file the Certificate with the Secretary of State, for example, one of the aforementioned business formation companies.
Please note that when filling out a printed copy of the Certificate, you may only use black or blue ink.
Want to know the requirements for articles of organization in other states? Select state:
Once every item in the Certificate of Organization copy is filled out, you will need to send it to the Arkansas Secretary of State (see the address in the Contact section below). The Secretary charges a $50 fee that should be attached to the letter in the form of a check or money order (cash is not allowed).
You have to wait a couple of weeks for the State’s approval. If the Secretary rejects your Certificate application (for example, due to an invalid LLC name), the filing fee will not be returned.
Filing the Certificate online is easier, cheaper ($45 vs $50 by mail), and significantly faster. First of all, your form reaches the Secretary immediately, and second, the approval generally takes around 3 days.
The filing menu can be found under the Business Services tab on the Secretary of State website. Choose New Businesses – Forms/Fees/Records Requests – LLC – Certificate of Organization for a Dom. Limited Liability Co.
There, you will see several fields to fill out:
After you’re done, click Submit and select your payment method (online filing allows you to use credit cards). Once the payment is through, the application is complete.
|Mailing Address (Main Office)||Arkansas Secretary of State|
State Capitol, Suite 256
500 Woodlane Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
|Main Office Phone Number||501-682-1010|
|Secretary Email||[email protected]|
|Northwest Arkansas Office||Today's Bank Building|
300 North College, Suite 201F
Fayetteville, AR 72701
|Business & Commercial Services Division||Victory Building|
1401 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201
|BCS Phone Number||888-233-0325|
|BCS Email||[email protected]|