The increasing interconnectedness and globalization of the world’s economy, especially since the mid-20th century, have had a dramatic impact upon the economy of Arkansas. King Cotton has been dethroned, farming has become an increasingly corporate venture, and agriculture itself has lost its position as the mainstay of the economy. Many other historical building blocks of the Arkansas economy also have declined, if not disappeared, while new economic activities, particularly in the service sector, have sprung up in their place.
The economy of Arkansas produced US$119 billion of gross domestic product in 2015. Six Fortune 500 companies are based in Arkansas, including the world’s #1 corporation, Walmart. Arkansas’s per capita income for 2010 was $36,027. The three-year median household income from 2009-11 was $39,806, ranking forty-ninth in the nation.
According to CNBC, Arkansas currently ranks as the 35th best state for business, with the 10th-lowest cost of doing business, 8th-lowest cost of living, 41st best workforce, 29th-best economic climate, 41st-best educated workforce, 41st-best infrastructure and the 32nd-friendliest regulatory environment. Arkansas gained twelve spots in the best state for business rankings since 2011.
Arkansas has 222,542 small businesses, according to the most current federal data available. Of those 222,542 small businesses in Arkansas, 60,007 have employees. The remaining 162,535 are Arkansas small businesses that have no employees.
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The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).
The most common business structures are:
Happens when you operate your business as yourself. There is no separate legal entity created; the law treats you and your business as one person. You are responsible and personally liable for all business activities or wrongdoing.
The same thing as a Sole Proprietorship, but just with 2 or more people. Like a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership doesn’t create a separate legal entity and the partners are responsible and personally liable for any business activity or wrongdoing.
A more complex legal structure that requires a board of directors, corporate officers, and shareholders. Corporations don’t usually work for most small business owners since they face double taxation. Corporations can be beneficial to companies that are looking to raise capital investment, take the company public, or have large healthcare expenses for their employees. The most common types of companies that form Corporations are high-growth technology and startup companies.
Unlike a Sole Proprietorship or a Partnership, a Corporation is a separate legal entity from its owners (called shareholders). It provides them with personal liability protection.
A legal entity that combines the benefits of a Corporation and a Sole Proprietorship/Partnership.
An LLC in Arkansas is a separate legal entity under the law. And like a Corporation, it provides personal liability protection for the owners. If the LLC is sued, the owner’s personal assets – like their home, cars, and bank accounts – are protected. And like a Sole Proprietorship/Partnership, an LLC has pass-through taxation (so there’s no double taxation).
A Arkansas LLC is the most popular option and a good choice for people who want to run a small business for two reasons:
Unlike a Sole Proprietorship (and a Partnership), your Arkansas LLC’s assets are separate and distinct from your personal assets. In the event your LLC gets sued, your personal assets are protected.
And unlike a Corporation, your LLC is not subject to double taxation. Instead, your LLC’s profits will “pass-through” to your personal tax return and federal taxes are paid just once.
Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:
Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.
With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.
– Open a business bank account:
– Get a business credit card:
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
Here are some links for Arkansas Businesses:
Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.
Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.
In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online: