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Starting a Business in Arkansas

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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Doing Business In Arkansas

Business facts:

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.

Economy:

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.

Small business

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.

Major companies

This list is focused on the largest corporations in the state of Arkansas:

ABF Freight System, Inc, Acxiom Corporation, Alliance Rubber CompanyAlltel

AmTran, Arkansas Best, Arvest Bank, Candy Bouquet, Dillard’sJ. B. Hunt

STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN ARKANSAS

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Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

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:

Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

  1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
  2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
  3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
  4. Search and purchase a domain name.
  5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
  6. Conduct a trademark search.

Step 3: Register Your Business

Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

https://www.ark.org/sos/ofs/docs/index.php

Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

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.

Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

Step 5: Open A Bank Account

– Open a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

– Get a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Step 6: Licenses & Permits

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:

Arkansas Business Resource

Sales Tax State Permit

Arkansas Business Entity Search Corporation

Sales Tax State Permit

Step 7: Branding & Marketing

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.

Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

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:

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