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How to Register a Business Name in Arkansas – Detailed Guide

    How to Register a Business Name in Arkansas
    (Last Updated On: September 18, 2023)

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    Welcome to the detailed guide on How to Register a Business Name in Arkansas! Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur or an established business, registering your business name is crucial to establish your presence. Arkansas offers options like forming an LLC or corporation or filing for a “doing business as” name (DBA). Simplify the process with ZenBusiness, a trusted LLC service that expertly guides you through the requirements. 

    Get ready to make your business official in Arkansas and embark on your journey to success! Let’s get started!

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    4 Steps to Register Your Business Name in Arkansas

    Taking your business to the Natural State of Arkansas? Registering your business name is a crucial step towards establishing your presence in this vibrant market. Follow these four simple steps to get your business name officially registered in Arkansas and set the foundation for your entrepreneurial success:

    Step 1: Choose Your Business Structure in Arkansas

    The first crucial step in registering your business name in Arkansas is choosing the appropriate business structure. Each structure comes with its own set of benefits and requirements. Here’s an overview of the most common business structures in Arkansas:

    Sole Proprietorship

    A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common business structure in Arkansas. In this setup, the business owner and the business itself are considered a single legal entity. While it’s easy to establish, keep in mind that the owner assumes personal responsibility for all business debts and liabilities. Registering a sole proprietorship with the state isn’t mandatory, but you may need to obtain local permits or licenses.

    General Partnership

    If you’re starting a business with one or more partners, a partnership might be suitable. There are general partnerships and limited partnerships (LP). In a general partnership, all partners share profits and losses and are personally liable for the business’s debts and obligations. Registering a general partnership with the state isn’t required, but you may need to file a “Certificate of Assumed Name” (DBA) in the county where your business operates.

    Limited Partnership (LP)

    A limited partnership consists of general partners, who manage the business and have unlimited personal liability, and limited partners, who provide capital with limited liability. To establish an LP in Arkansas, file a “Certificate of Limited Partnership” with the Arkansas Secretary of State.

    Limited Liability Company (LLC)

    An LLC is a popular choice for its flexibility and liability protection. It combines the benefits of a corporation’s limited liability with the simplicity of a partnership. To create an LLC in Arkansas, file “Articles of Organization” with the Arkansas Secretary of State and develop an Operating Agreement outlining the company’s management and ownership structure.


    A corporation is a distinct legal entity from its shareholders, providing limited liability protection. There are two types of corporations in Arkansas: C-corporations & S-corporations

    To establish a corporation, file “Articles of Incorporation” with the Arkansas Secretary of State, depending on your business type. Corporations generally have more formal requirements, such as creating bylaws, issuing stock, and conducting regular board and shareholder meetings.

    Choose the business structure in Arkansas that best suits your needs, considering factors such as liability protection, taxation, and management requirements. If you’re unsure about which structure is right for you, seek advice from a legal or business professional to make an informed decision.

    By following these steps and understanding the various business structures, you’ll be well-prepared to register your business name in Arkansas and embark on a successful entrepreneurial journey.

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    Step 2: Select a Unique Business Name in Arkansas 

    Naming your business in Arkansas involves three main options, each offering specific benefits and protections:

    When registering your business in Arkansas, you must choose a unique legal entity name. This name is what the state will use to identify your business officially. To comply with Arkansas naming laws, your chosen name should accurately reflect the type of business you’re operating, and it may include specific suffixes like LLC, LP, or Corp. To check if your desired name is available, use the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Business Entity Search database.

    By registering your legal entity name, you ensure exclusivity and protection from other businesses using the same name. This step is crucial in establishing a strong brand identity and maintaining a reputable presence in the market.


    Consider obtaining a trademark to safeguard your business name or logo at a national level. A trademark is a form of intellectual property protection that prevents others from using a similar name or logo for similar goods or services. Before proceeding with your desired name or logo, conduct a comprehensive search in the USPTO database to ensure there are no existing trademarks that could conflict with yours.

    By securing a trademark, you gain nationwide protection, empowering you to defend your brand against infringement and counterfeit use. It’s an invaluable asset that adds value to your business and enhances its market position.

    Doing Business As (DBA) Name

    In Arkansas, you have the flexibility to operate your business under an alternate name known as a Doing Business As (DBA) name. This option allows you to register your business officially under one name and conduct operations using another. To register a DBA name, file an Assumed Name Certificate (DBA) with the county clerk’s office in the county where your business is located.

    While DBA names are subject to federal trademark laws, they’re not required to be unique at the state level. This flexibility is advantageous if you plan to run multiple businesses or wish to rebrand without altering your legal entity name.

    Protecting Your Business Name and Brand Identity:

    Choosing a unique business name in Arkansas is a vital step in establishing your brand identity and protecting your business’s reputation. By considering the three naming options available in Arkansas and conducting thorough searches, you can confidently select a name that represents your business vision and values.

    Registering your legal entity name and obtaining a trademark offer crucial safeguards against unauthorized use of your name or logo, both within Arkansas and across the nation. Additionally, operating under a DBA name provides flexibility while maintaining the legal protection offered by federal trademark laws.

    As you embark on this exciting journey of starting a business in Arkansas, remember that a well-chosen and protected business name is the cornerstone of building a successful and enduring brand. Invest time and effort into this process to secure your business’s future and make a lasting impact in the market.

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    Step 3: Check Business Name Availability in Arkansas

    Before registering your business in Arkansas, it’s essential to check if the desired name is available. Follow these steps to conduct a thorough business name availability search:

    Begin by conducting a federal trademark search to ensure your preferred business name isn’t already trademarked. Federal trademarks take precedence over state-level registrations. Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website and use the TESS Search to check for existing trademarks. If your chosen name is already trademarked, you’ll need to select a different business name.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    Once you’ve confirmed that your name isn’t trademarked, proceed to verify its availability for use in Arkansas. Use the Arkansas Business Entity Search tool to search for registered business names in the state. Ensure that your exact business name is available, and also check for any significantly similar business names in use.

    After confirming the availability of your business name at the federal and state levels, conduct a website domain search. Check if the .com version of your business name is available for registration. While not every business needs a website, it’s recommended to secure the .com domain to establish an online presence.

    By registering the .com version of your business name with ZenBusiness, you ensure that no one else can begin to use that website name. Securing the .com domain is crucial for establishing your online presence and preventing potential conflicts with others who might have similar business names.

    By performing these three types of searches, you can ensure that your chosen business name isn’t already in use and is available for registration in Arkansas. This will help you avoid any potential legal issues and ensure a smooth process for establishing your business.

    Step 4: Form Your Business With the State of Arkansas 

    Once you have chosen the structure and name for your business, the next step is to officially register it with the state of Arkansas. This process will vary depending on whether you have an LLC or a corporation.

    • For an Arkansas LLC, you’ll need to file the Certificate of Organization with the Arkansas Secretary of State. This can be done online, by mail, or in person
    • For an Arkansas corporation, the requirement is to file the Articles of Incorporation with the Arkansas Secretary of State

    You May Also Want to Know

    Protect Your Business Name With a Trademark

    After confirming the availability of your business name and securing it, you have the option to apply for a trademark. While this may involve costs of approximately $225 to $400, along with potential attorney fees and a renewal fee every 10 years, it provides nationwide brand protection under federal law.

    Having a trademark in place will grant you legal precedence should others attempt to use a similar name for their business. However, for many small businesses, especially those focused on local operations, obtaining a trademark may not be necessary.

    >> File a Trademark with IncFile >>

    How to File an Arkansas Fictitious Name – DBA?

    To file a fictitious name (DBA) in Arkansas, follow these simple steps:

    1. Choose a unique fictitious name for your business
    2. Search to make sure the name is available and not already in use by another business in Arkansas
    3. Obtain the Fictitious Name Application form from the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website or office
    4. Fill out the application with the necessary details, such as your business’s legal name, the chosen fictitious name (DBA), and your business address
    5. Optionally, get the application notarized for added authenticity
    6. Submit the completed application to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office online, by mail, or in person
    7. Pay the filing fee (verify the current fee on the Secretary of State’s website)
    8. If required in your county, publish a notice of your fictitious name registration in a local newspaper
    9. Keep track of the registration’s expiration date and renew it as needed (usually every 5 years)

    It’s essential to follow these steps accurately to ensure that your fictitious name is registered correctly, allowing you to operate your business under that name legally in Arkansas.

    How to Change the Name of an Arkansas Business?

    If you need to change the name of your Arkansas business, there are two ways to do it:

    1. Filing for a Fictitious Name (DBA Name):

    This method is the simplest way to operate your business under a different name without altering its legal name. Sole proprietorships and general partnerships can utilize a DBA name to have a distinct business name.

    LLCs and corporations can also opt for a DBA name to avoid the complexities of changing their legal name while still operating with a brand name that doesn’t include the necessary suffix like “LLC” or “Inc.”

    1. Filing an Amendment to the Legal Name:

    If you want to change the legal name of your LLC or corporation, filing an amendment is the appropriate route. For LLCs, use the “Certificate of Amendment for LLCs,” and for corporations, use the “Certificate of Amendment for Corporations.”

    Both forms can be submitted online or by mail, with a filing fee of $25 for LLCs and $50 for corporations. Remember to carefully consider the appropriate method for your business name change based on your specific requirements and long-term goals.

    >> Get Expert Assistance from ZenBusiness >>

    Business Name Registration Laws in Arkansas 

    Business Name Registration Laws in Arkansas for Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are as follows:

    • Name Availability: When registering a business in Arkansas, you need to ensure that your chosen business name is available and not already in use by another entity. You can conduct a name search on the Arkansas Secretary of State’s website or contact their office to check name availability.
    • Distinguishable Name: Your business name must be distinguishable from other registered businesses in Arkansas. It should not be deceptively similar to existing names to avoid confusion in the marketplace.
    • Business Structure Designators: If you’re forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC), your business name should include an appropriate designator such as “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or a similar abbreviation to indicate its legal structure.
    • Trade Name Registration: If you intend to operate your business under a name different from the legal name of your entity, you must file a Trade Name (also known as a “Doing Business As” or DBA name) with the Arkansas Secretary of State. This allows you to conduct business under an assumed name.
    • Filing with Secretary of State: You will need to register your business name with the Arkansas Secretary of State by filing the necessary documents, such as Articles of Organization for an LLC or Articles of Incorporation for a corporation.
    • Duration of Name Reservation: In some cases, you may reserve a business name for a specific period before registering your business formally. This reservation period varies by state and may be subject to renewal.
    • Professional Licensing: Certain professions in Arkansas require special approval or licensing to use professional terms in their business names. Ensure compliance with any specific regulations related to your profession.

    Please note that business laws and regulations can change over time. It’s essential to verify the most current information with official government sources or legal experts to ensure compliance with the latest laws and requirements in Arkansas.

    Bottom Line on How to Register a Business Name in Arkansas

    As you embark on your entrepreneurial journey in Arkansas, registering your business name marks the beginning of an exciting adventure. This charming state welcomes your business with open arms, and by choosing a unique business name and the right business structure, you pave the way for growth and success. Completing the necessary registrations and considering trademark protection or a DBA name will help safeguard your brand in this competitive market. 

    With the support of services like ZenBusiness, the registration process becomes more efficient, allowing you to focus on bringing your business ideas to life. Your registered business name will undoubtedly make its mark on the thriving business landscape of Arkansas, and the future looks bright for your venture in this promising state.

    >> Use ZenBusiness To Register a Business Name in Arkansas >>

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