Do you own a business operating in the state of Arkansas? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Arkansas business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Arkansas?
The state of Arkansas does not have a general business license that applies statewide to every business entity, as some states do. However, depending on the nature of your business, there could be several licenses and/or permits that you may be required to obtain.
To determine which permits you need to operate a compliant business, we recommend that you pay a visit to the Arkansas Professional Licensing page. You can search for your profession or business type and find relevant information regarding licensing requirements.
Occupational Licenses and Permits
The occupational licenses and permits required by the state of Arkansas vary widely, from barber to athletic trainer, and many points in between. Depending on the exact nature of your business, you might need more than one of these permits.
Environmental Licenses and Permits
Finally, Arkansas also has some environmental permits that apply to any business that produces waste or pollutants. There are various permits to maintain air quality, water quality, and land resources. You can find out more by visiting the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Arkansas Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
Every Arkansas LLC is required to register with the Department of Revenue, and any business with employees will need to register to pay withholding taxes. While LLCs do not need to pay corporate income tax in Arkansas, they must pay an annual franchise tax of $150 to conduct business in the state. To learn more, visit the Department of Finance and Administration website.
There are also many industry-specific tax registrations in the state of Arkansas. Thankfully, the state’s Department of Finance and Administration makes it easy to register your business and file taxes online here.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Arkansas?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Arkansas you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Arkansas localities.
Each county keeps track of all county-level occupational license tax forms, including those in Pulaski, Craighead, Sebastian, Washington, Lonoke, Benton, Pope, and Saline counties. You can check out the website for your county to learn more.
There are also some requirements on the city/municipality level. For example, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Fayetteville, and Springdale all have business resource websites that explain the applicable permits and licenses required to do business.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Arkansas, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Arkansas. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!