How Much Does It Cost to Form an AR Corporation?
Legal business registration — and maintaining a good standing status — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the AR Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that fees for a State of Arkansas business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Arkansas Corporation Filing Fees
When starting a business in Arkansas State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Arkansas corporation filing fees and times:
When you use Incfile to register a business in Arkansas, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.
Arkansas Foreign Corporation Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Arkansas, you must request Arkansas Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of an Arkansas Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for Certificate of Registration and pay a processing fee of $300. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Arkansas Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with AR corporation law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Arkansas corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Arkansas Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Arkansas requires an annual corporation franchise tax report to be filed once a year before May 1. Although it's considered a tax, and there is a minimum fee that is due, it must be filed and paid with the Secretary of State.
When you complete your annual corporation franchise tax report you may file it online accompanied with a minimum fee of $150.
Initial report due May 1st of the year following formation or qualification
State of Arkansas Business License and Permit Requirements
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
You are required to have Arkansas corporation bylaws if you form a corporation in the state. You don't however need to file them with the Arkansas Secretary of State. Simply have them filed with your other business documents and by all means, continue to follow them.
This document outlines rules for carrying out tasks related to managing your corporation including, but not limited to:
- the number of directors the corporation has
- how they'll be elected, their qualifications and the lengths of their terms
- when, where and how your board of directors can call and conduct meetings
- voting requirements
The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.
Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.
Other AR Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees
The State of Arkansas requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.
In Arkansas, the board of directors may elect officers such as the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, etc. but at least one officer must hold the responsibility of preparing the minutes of the directors' and shareholders' meetings and for authenticating records of the corporation.
Issue Stock to Shareholders
To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Arkansas corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.
Hold Annual General Meetings
All corporations in Arkansas are required to hold an annual shareholders' meeting, however, should you fail to do so AR Code § 4-27-701 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with a corporation's bylaws does not affect the validity of any corporate action."
Change the Registered Agent
If your corporation is based in Arkansas, then you must have a Registered Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You may also change to a new Registered Agent later by filing a form. Unlike many states, Arkansas doesn't charge for the filing of this change.
Reserving a Name for Your Corporation
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve your desired name for 120 days with the Secretary of State by filing a form and paying a fee of $25. First, conduct an AR corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure the name you choose meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your Corporation
When you incorporate, the Arkansas business forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment with the Secretary of State along with a filing fee of $50. An additional fee of $50 is due if shares have been exchanged. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
You'll need to file a Certificate of Amendment when you:
- change the company's name
- add, remove or change a director
- change the Registered Agent
- change the number of shares your corporation is authorized to issue
- change any other facet of your business that was listed on the original Articles of Incorporation
Get a Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states, including Arkansas, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request an AR Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State. You can do this via the Arkansas SOS website. The AR Secretary of State charges $25 for this service.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Arkansas. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Arkansas taxes page.