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 any important tax or legal communications down the road. How do they do it? With your cooperation, of course.
In Arkansas, an LLC’s annual report is tied to its yearly franchise tax payment. Every LLC operating in the state needs to file this crucial report in order to remain in good standing. 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.
If you’d like to hand off this responsibility to save time and focus on running your business, affordable LLC services are a great solution. Not only will they form your business in the first place, but they’ll also manage ongoing requirements like ongoing report filing. Once you're ready to lock it down, have ZenBusiness file all the paperwork.
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, being 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 parts 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
- Whether the LLC is managed by its members or managers
- 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’ filing number and federal tax ID. Don’t know your filing 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
P.O. Box 8014
Little Rock, AR 72203
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 following address.
Business and Commercial Services Division
1401 W. Capitol Avenue, Suite 250
Little Rock, AR 72201
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.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Filing the Arkansas LLC Annual Report
Should I use an annual report service, hire an attorney, or prepare and file my own reports?
This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to keep track of your due dates and complete the entire report on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for many businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to prepare and file your annual reports.
You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to prepare and file your annual reports, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.
I’ve heard the most about LegalZoom. Are they the best annual report service?
LegalZoom is the most well-known of all business services companies, thanks to its long track record and extensive advertising campaigns. That said, all of that brand power comes at a cost, as LegalZoom’s pricing and features don’t always compare advantageously to its competitors. While we do appreciate LegalZoom’s annual report filing service, it isn’t our top choice.
When is my annual report due each year?
Regardless of which industry you operate in or how you conduct business, your LLC will have a firm May 1 due date for its annual reports every year in Arkansas.
Does Arkansas require LLCs to file initial reports?
In some states, LLCs are also required to file initial reports. These reports are typically quite similar to annual reports, with the difference being that an initial report either accompanies your formation documents or follows their filing within a couple of months. However, Arkansas has no initial report requirement, as this state collects all of the preliminary information it needs about your business in the Articles of Organization.
What if I need more time to complete my annual report?
If you need some additional time to finish preparing your annual report, the state has a rather harsh message for you: “Too bad.” Arkansas actually passed state laws (Acts 1046 and 1140 of 1991) specifically to “eliminate the opportunity to request an extension.” In other words, you had better file your reports by May 1.
Where can I find more official information about Arkansas’ LLC annual reporting requirements?
Unfortunately, Arkansas doesn’t do a great job of providing easily accessible official information about annual reports. You can find some info on the Franchise Tax/Annual Reports page, and a bit more on the Business Services FAQ page, but that’s about all that we could track down. If you have questions that these pages can’t answer, you might need to call the Secretary of State’s office for further information.