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701 South Street, STE 100, Mountain Home, AR 72653 | (501) 588-1720
by Arkansas Registered Agent LLC

Arkansas Foreign Corporation Registration

Corporations that need to expand into Arkansas from other states are considered “foreign.” To register for business in Arkansas, you’ll need to submit the Application for Certificate of Authority to the Secretary of State. You’ll need a registered agent with a physical address in Arkansas on state record at all times, and a Certificate of Good Standing to submit with your application. If you’d rather focus on running your business instead of all this paperwork, let us register your company for you and be your Arkansas registered agent!

Do I Need to Foreign Register My Corporation in Arkansas?

If your corporation will be engaging in any of the following activities, beyond one single business transaction, you will need to register as a foreign corporation in Arkansas:

  • buying, selling or leasing property in Arkansas
  • setting up a store front or business office to sell retail products or other goods
  • provide professional services in Arkansas

If you’re still not sure, reach out to the Secretary of State’s office or speak with a business lawyer. Or, if you’re ready to take your corporation into Arkansas, let us do the filing for you or follow our DIY guide is below.

3 Things to Do Before Registering a Foreign Corporation in Arkansas

Before you begin the application for registration, there’s a few things you can do to make the whole process easier: get a Certificate of Existence from your home state, make sure your company name is available in Arkansas, and choose an Arkansas registered agent.

1. Get a Certificate of Existence

You will need to submit proof that your corporation exists and is actively doing business in your home state. You do this by ordering a Certificate of Existence (aka Cert. of Good Standing) from your home state and submitting it with your foreign registration application. Every state has its own process and costs for this, so call your home state’s office or visit their website for processing times and fees.

Arkansas requires that the Certificate of Existence is dated within 30 days of receiving your foreign registration application. If your certificate is older than 30 days, the state will reject your application and ask you to send them a newer one. So, time your order of this certificate and the submission of your foreign registration appropriately.

2. Check for business name availability

You will need to use the Arkansas business search site to make sure your company name is not already in use. If your search produces no results, you should be able to register your original company name. If you find another business that is using the same or too similar name, you will need to think of an alternate, or fictitious, name to operate under in Arkansas.

If you find you do need a fictitious name, you can use the same business search site to make sure it’s available for use. There is no extra fee to use a fictitious name in Arkansas under these circumstances. You simply provide the fictitious name on the foreign registration application and include a Board Resolution Document signed by an officer approving the use of that name.

3. Find an Arkansas Registered Agent

The state requires that you have a registered agent assigned to receive service of process for your foreign corporation. Your registered agent needs to have a physical address in Arkansas and be available at that address to receive state and legal documents during regular business hours. The name and address of this registered agent will be public information for anyone to find. This is what makes being your own registered agent less desirable than hiring a service like ours.

Our service offers address privacy to you and all the officers and directors of your corporation. Here are a few other benefits to hiring us as your Arkansas registered agent:

  • Reliable Registered Agent Service– Real people in a real office available during all business hours to receive your important state and legal mail
  • Filing Service– Let us prepare and submit all your Arkansas business filings for you
  • FREE Online Client Portal– View all your state and legal mail, order filings or services, access a full library of Arkansas business forms all from your computer or mobile phone
  • FREE Annual Report Reminder Service– We’ll notify you well in advance of your corporation’s annual report deadline
  • Arkansas Business Experts– call or email us with all your Arkansas corporation questions

You have enough on your plate running a growing business. We understand! Let us take care of the hassle of state and legal mail while protecting your privacy so you can focus on your company and your clients.

Completing the Arkansas Application for Certificate of Authority

Once you have your Certificate of Existence, ensure your company name is available, and secure a registered agent, you’re ready to begin the corporate Application for Certificate of Authority. You can submit the application online for $270, or mail in a hard copy for $300. Online applications are processed by the state usually within a couple of business days, while mailed in hard copies can take a week or more.

The online application has 10 sections:

1. Filing Act

  • the appropriate corporation foreign registration filing act is selected for you

2. Entity Information

  • Corporation Name- As it is listed on your home state’s record.
  • Designated Name To Be Used in Arkansas- if your company name is unavailable in Arkansas, enter in the fictitious name you’ve chosen. Otherwise, re-enter your original corporation name.
  • State of Origin- Choose your home state. If your corporation is from out of the country, choose “Other.”
  • Country of Incorporation- If your corporation is from outside the United States, choose the country of origin.
  • Date Incorporated- The date your corporation began in your home state.
  • Period of Duration- If you only plan on being active in Arkansas for a short term, enter in the date you plan on ceasing business in Arkansas. Otherwise, leave blank and your corporation will be active in Arkansas until you choose to close it.
  • Primary Purpose- enter in the business purpose of your corporation

3. Stock

  • The amount of shares and the par value, if any, of the corporation’s capital stock owned (or to be owned) by Arkansas residents.

4. Registered Agent

  • If you hired a service, enter the business name of the service and physical Arkansas address
  • If you hired an individual (or you are acting as your own registered agent), enter in your name and Arkansas physical address

5. Principal Information

  • the only required area to fill out is the address section, which can be either an Arkansas address, your domestic state address, or your registered agent address (if allowed by your registered agent)

6. Foreign Contact

  • This section records the contact information of your corporation in your home state.

7. Incorporators/Officers

  • The term “Incorporator” just means the person who is filling out this application and submitting it to the state. This information will be available to the public on the Secretary of State’s business search site.
  • You will need to enter information for both an Incorporator and at least one officer. If you are both the Incorporator and the Officer, you will enter your information twice.
  • All officer names will be public information on the Arkansas State business search site.

8. Submitter Contact Information

  • The name, address, phone, and email address of the individual or entity that should receive your Certificate of Authority when approved by the state

9. Annual Report Contact Information

  • Enter the contact information of the person or service who should receive notices from the state about your Annual Report. This can be a person in your company, an accountant, lawyer, or your chosen registered agent service.

10. Agreement

  • If you would like to delay the date the state processes this application, or if you would like to choose the date your company is registered in Arkansas, enter it here. Otherwise, the date you submit this application will be your recorded start date.
  • Check the box stating you are authorized to complete and submit this application to the state. Then, type your name in to sign and choose your title within the company.

After you click “submit,” you’ll be asked to upload a .pdf copy of any additional documents, like the Certificate of Existence or the Board Resolution Document if you needed to choose a fictitious name. Click “Next” when you’ve uploaded all necessary documents.

The last screen is your chance to review all the information you’ve entered for accuracy. Then, you can pay the order total and be on your way! If you’d rather be out there running your business than sitting at your computer typing out all this information, we can quickly and correctly get this application submitted for you!

Quick & Easy Foreign Corporation Filing Service

We prepare business filing for Arkansas all day, every day. We know the state system and know exactly what we need from you to get your business going as fast as possible. Below is a cost breakdown of our filing service for the Certificate of Authority:

  1. $270 Arkansas Certificate of Authority application fee
  2. $100 our filing service fee
  3. $49 one year of our Arkansas registered agent service
  4. FREE By-Laws (optional)
  5. FREE encrypted & password protected online client portal to view documents & order services
  6. FREE Annual Report reminder service

The only other fee not listed is for ordering your Certificate of Existence. But not to worry! When you get to our order page, our system will calculate that into the total when you choose your home state. And, if you already have a Certificate of Existence that’s dated within 30 days of your order, you can email it to us and avoid the fee for another one!

Does Arkansas Require Annual Reports for Corporations?

Yes, Arkansas requires an Annual Franchise Tax Report to be submitted every year by May 1st according to the Arkansas Corporate Franchise Tax Act Section 26-54-104. You can file the Annual Report and the $150 fee online or by mail:

  • Online filing requires:
    • File Number- use the Arkansas business search site to find your File Number above the Filing Type section
    • Federal Tax ID- this is your EIN from the IRS. If you can’t find or don’t know your EIN, call the IRS at 800-829-4933
  • By Mail filing requires:
    • Download/print out the appropriate PDF for your corporation type and tax year
    • Prepare a check or money order for $150 made out to the Arkansas Secretary of State
    • Complete the Annual Franchise Tax Report with a black ink pen. They are very specific about this!
    • Mail to:
    • Business and Commercial Services Division
    • P.O. Box 8014
    • Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-8014

You can take the opportunity to update some company information with the state at this time. The Annual Franchise Tax Report can be used to update the registered agent name and address, officer and director info, and your company principal address. This report is often submitted with your corporate income taxes, but it can also be submitted separately.

Our free Annual Report Compliance service will notify you well in advance of the May 1st due date so you won’t have to worry about filing late. Sign up for this free service when you hire us to be your Arkansas registered agent!

FAQ section

If you still have questions, check out this FAQ of the most commonly asked questions. If the information you’re looking for isn’t here, give us a call at (501) 588-1720 during normal business hours. Our local Arkansas business experts can help you find the information you need!

Is my corporation information private in Arkansas?

No, Arkansas is not a private state for corporations. Names of the officers you list and that of the Incorporator/Organizer will be available to view on public record through the Arkansas business search site. Certain addresses will also be visible as well as your corporation’s standing with the state (ex: good standing, withdrawn, revoked, etc.).

What if I need to make changes to my foreign registered corporation?

You may need to update certain information as your corporation grows in Arkansas. The form you need to submit depends on what you need to update:

Changes NeededFiling NeededCostHow to File
Foreign Corp. name*
Fictitious name
Period of Duration
Business purpose
Registered agent
Principal address
Par Value & Asset Value
Application for Amended Certificate of Authority$300 ($270 online)By mail, in person to Secretary of State (SOS), or online
Tax contact addressApplication for Contact
Change of Address
FREEOnline only (AR Filing number & Federal EIN needed)
Registered agent infoNotice of Change of Registered Office or Agent – DO-03FREEBy mail, in person to SOS, or online (scroll down to “Foreign for Profit” section)
Principal office addressChange of Principal Office AddressFREEBy mail or in person to SOS
Officer info
Registered agent
Principal address
Tax contact info
Annual Franchise Tax Report due by May 1st

Amended Franchise Tax Report (if you’ve already submitted your report)

By mail or online

By mail (download form for corrected tax year)
*An original certified copy of your corporation’s domestic state amendment must be submitted with this amendment request as verification for these changes to your Arkansas foreign corporation.

What if I need to close my business in Arkansas?

You would need to file a “Certificate of Withdrawal of Foreign Corporation – F-13” by mail, in person, or online along with a Final Franchise Tax Report by mail, in person, or online. If you do not submit a Final Franchise Tax Report, your application for withdrawal will not be accepted.

Do I have to submit the Franchise Tax Annual Report if my corporation didn’t make any money or do any business at all?

Yes, the Annual Franchise Tax Report and $150 fee are due to the state even if your foreign registered corporation generated no income. The state will charge you fees and penalties and eventually revoke your corporate registration if the Annual Franchise Tax Report and fee are not submitted by May 1st each year. Even after your corporation is revoked, the taxes and fees will continue to accrue and no officer of your corporation will be allowed to start another business in Arkansas until all the fees are paid.

What if my company name is already being used in Arkansas?

If your corporation name is unavailable to you in Arkansas, you will need to operate under a Fictitious Name (or alternate name). The state does not charge you to register a fictitious name in this situation. All you need to do is include your chosen Fictitious Name on your Application for Certificate of Authority.

Do I need a business license in Arkansas?

You may need a business license in Arkansas, depending on what kind of business you’re operating. We recommend checking in with the Arkansas Department of Labor & Licensing to confirm you have all the proper permits and licenses for your corporation.

If what your business sells requires you to collect Arkansas sales tax, you will need an Arkansas Sales Tax License from the Arkansas Department of Finance & Administration. This license is required for in person and online sales (remote sellers). Give them a call at 501-683-2827 if you think you may need this kind of licensing.

Where can I find a list of Arkansas foreign corporation forms?

All the foreign corporation form PDFs, online links, and list of fees you’ll need can be found on the Arkansas Secretary of State Foreign Corporations website.

How do I contact the Arkansas Secretary of State?

Here is a chart of all the Arkansas Secretary of State’s contact information:

Physical & Mailing AddressArkansas Secretary of State
1401 West Capitol, Ste. 250
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone Number501-682-3409