Checklist for Licensing a New Business in Arkansas

File a Doing Business As (DBA) Certificate at the County Clerk's Office

File your business entity with the Arkansas Secretary of State at

Apply for your Employee Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS at

Register for Arkansas state taxes with the Arkansas Dept. of Finance and Administration's Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (ATAP) at

Have your Commercial Personal Property Assessed at the County Assessor's Office

Obtain a Business License from the City Clerk's Office

Obtain any additional licenses and permits from county and state offices


Establishing Your Business in Arkansas

Before opening your business to the public, you must meet certain regulatory requirements. These requirements are based on laws written to protect business owners, their employees and their customers. This brochure provides a basic outline of regulatory requirements you must complete to open a business in Arkansas.

This overview includes local, state and federal regulatory, tax and insurance requirements. While we have made every effort to include relevant information, some cities and counties may have different or additional requirements. It is your responsibility to make sure your business complies with local, state and federal government regulatory requirements — we strongly suggest that you consult with your city and county clerk’s offices for more information.


Regulatory Requirements

Doing Business As Certificate (DBA)

To register a new business in Arkansas, you must first file a Doing Business As Certificate (DBA) with your County Clerk’s office to assure that the name you have selected for your business is available.


Register Your Legal Structure

After you secure your business name, you must register your business legal structure. The four basic types of legal structures in Arkansas are sole proprietorship, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies. You must register sole proprietorships with your local County Clerk. Register corporations, partnerships and LLCs with the Arkansas Secretary of State, Business and Commercial Services Division.

Employee Identification number

After you register your business legal structure, you must apply for an Employer Identification Number with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) so that your business can be officially recorded by the federal govern- ment as a tax-compliant entity.

Register with the department of Finance
 Once you have the Federal EIN, you must register your business with Arkansas’ Department of Finance and Administration using the Arkansas Taxpayer Access Point (ATAP) so that you can pay all the necessary state taxes according to your business’ legal structure
Commercial Property Assessment

Filing a DBA and obtaining federal and state identification formally establishes your business as a legitimate entity and now allows you to move on to the local (city and county) regulatory process. Your next step is to have your commercial property assessed by the County Assessor’s office.


Obtain Licenses, Permits and Inspections

The “final step” in the regulatory process actually involves obtaining licenses, permits and inspections from various city, county and state agencies including a city business license. Other requirements include:

• Certificate of Occupancy
• Building Permit / Inspection • Fire Code Inspection
• Food Establishment Permit • Historic District Permit
• Remodeling Permit
• Sign Permit
• Zoning Approval / Permit