You did it. Your Arkansas LLC is officially up and running, ready to take on challenges, roll in the profits, and change the world.
There’s no doubt that this is an exciting time in your business journey. After starting your LLC, it’s easy to get carried away in all the excitement and expectations. After all, as a new business owner, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
But the state does too. They need to keep updated records on thousands of businesses so that they can effectively reach out with important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.
Every year, your business must submit an Annual LLC Franchise Tax Report to the Arkansas Secretary of State to keep your information current. Unsure how to go about it? Never even heard of it? No worries at all. That’s why we’re here. Keep reading for everything you need to know.
What is an Arkansas Annual Report? Why is it Important?
Consider an Annual LLC Franchise Tax Report the state’s yearly checkup on your LLC. It’s similar to a census in that its purpose is to collect the necessary contact and structural information about each Arkansas business.
Each state has its own annual reporting requirements, and some don’t even require them. But in most states, you’re required to submit one per year that includes your LLC name, principal office address, registered agent information, and member/manager names and addresses. Whether you run a domestic or foreign LLC, you should plan on submitting an annual report.
Don’t be intimidated, but it’s not something you want to take lightly. This is how the state updates your LLC’s record with the most recent information. They need to know how to reach you with important information about your business status, upcoming filings, taxes, and service of process.
For example, if you change your registered agent, or your current agent resigns, you’ll need to keep the state informed so they can update their contact information. Miss one of their communications and your LLC in Arkansas might end up falling out of good standing or, even worse, administratively dissolved.
Moreover, keeping your information current will help other businesses and potential customers find you. As long as the Secretary of State has your most current information on record, people can find your business by performing a business entity search.
How Much Does the Arkansas LLC Annual Report Fee Cost?
If you’re putting together a budget for all your LLC’s costs – like formation costs, name reservation fees, and initial operating expenses – it’s important to include annual filings like this one, just so that there are no surprises.
Costs vary from state to state. Some are free while others can be several hundred dollars. In Arkansas, your Annual Report and Franchise Tax are both part of the same filing, called the Annual LLC Franchise Tax Report. So, the fee that you pay is technically your franchise tax. It’s a flat rate of $150 per year.
Due Date and Frequency for an Annual Report in Arkansas
As the name suggests, your Annual LLC Franchise Tax Report is due once per year. You must submit it online or have it postmarked by May 1, or you will incur penalties. Your LLC will need to file every year without exception until it’s been dissolved.
What Happens if You Don’t File?
You might be thinking, “that sounds like a pain. How bad could it be if I just fly under the radar?” The short answer: don’t try it. Failing to file your Annual LLC Franchise Tax Report can yield some serious consequences.
After May 1, the state will add a $25 penalty to your annual report/franchise tax fee. Plus, you will owe interest for each day the report is overdue. The hard copy form contains a helpful guide for calculating a late fee penalty.
Now that we’ve covered the general requirements, let’s get to work on the form itself. Head over to the Secretary of State’s Franchise Tax/Annual Report Forms page. Under “Franchise Tax Report Forms,” you can either choose to file online or download the most recent paper form. Either way, you will need to provide:
- LLC name
- Business address
- Tax contact name, postal address, phone number, and email address
- Federal tax ID number
- Registered agent name and address
- Principal office address
- Member/manager names
If you have all of this information on hand, you’ll be able to breeze right through it. The paper form contains additional instructions and information if you need it.
Now you’re ready to submit your Annual Report, and there are three different ways to do it: online, by mail, and in person.
Online: On the Franchise Tax/Annual Report page, click “Online” next to “Limited Liability Companies.” On the next page, enter your business’ File Number and Federal Tax ID. Don’t know your File Number? You can find it by performing a name search. When you’ve accessed your report, enter all the necessary information and submit it. You can pay with a credit card or electronic check.
By Mail: Complete the Annual LLC Franchise Tax Report for the appropriate year, then send it (along with a check made out to “Arkansas Secretary of State”) to:
Arkansas Secretary of State
Business and Commercial Services Division
Suite 250, Victory Building
1401 West Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201
In-Person: If you live near Little Rock and want to drop it off yourself, feel free! You can hand-deliver your report to the same address.
Does the State Send Reminders?
Reminders are always nice. They help you stay on top of your business requirements and ensure that you won’t fall out of good standing.
The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office has your back. They will send you a reminder in March to make sure you don’t forget. Still, it’s a good idea to include it on your calendar, in your planner, as a reminder on your phone, or wherever else will help you remember.
Can I Hire a Service to Handle it?
You probably have a full plate as it is, and the thought of adding one more responsibility to your to-do list might make you shudder. You’re not alone.
Plenty of other LLC owners have outsourced their reporting duties to LLC services. These companies will take the entire process off your hands, handling your Annual Report each year. If that piques your interest, we recommend ZenBusiness, which is an experienced and trustworthy LLC company.
But their services aren’t restricted to forming an LLC or managing annual reports. They can also help you form your business, draft an operating agreement, handle registered agent responsibilities, and much more, all for a reasonably low price.
If thinking about your LLC responsibilities ties your stomach in knots, let ZenBusiness take some of those worries off your plate.
There you have it, everything you need to know about Arkansas’ reporting requirements. Follow this guide to a T and your LLC will be prepared to operate smoothly and in good standing long into the future.
And remember, if at any point it seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. A good LLC service like ZenBusiness (or LegalZoom) can be a valuable resource, taking care of all the little details, so you can focus on growing your business.