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For entrepreneurs looking to set up a business in Arkansas, one of the first things you’ll need to do is file paperwork with the Arkansas Secretary of State Business and Commercial Services and list a registered agent for public record. Selecting a registered agent is required by state law, so it’s something that must be decided before setting up any new business entity.

New business owners will likely have many questions about setting up a limited liability company (LLC), nonprofit, or Arkansas corporation and selecting a registered agent for each type of business. Can anyone be a registered agent? When selected, does the government need to know who your registered agent is? These are just some of the frequently asked questions on this topic, all of which will be covered in this guide.

What is an Arkansas registered agent?

A registered agent is a point of contact, either an individual or a company, that accepts legal documents on behalf of your business. This official paperwork could include tax forms, court documents, or service of process, which is the paperwork that’s served during a lawsuit.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

How does an owner select a registered agent in Arkansas?

The registered agent is listed on formation paperwork, which, in Arkansas, is called the Certificate of Organization (sometimes referred to as Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation). These formation documents will ask you to list your selected registered agent, as well as some registered agent information, such as the registered agent’s address which will serve as your company’s registered office. There is a filing fee of $45.00 to file online or $50.00 to do so by mail.

Who can be a registered agent in Arkansas? 

The business owner can serve as the company’s registered agent, but they can also select a different person to fill this role such as a friend, an employee, a family member, or a registered agent service.

In Arkansas, the agent requirements are:

  • Any person in the state of Arkansas with a street address (must be a physical address, not a P.O. box)
  • Available during normal business hours
  • Any company that’s in good standing with the state
  • A verified registered agent service
  • If the registered agent is an individual, they must be at least 18 years old

Can I be my own registered agent in Arkansas?

Yes. Many entrepreneurs or business owners serve as their own registered agents, especially in the interest of saving money. This means they’ll include their actual business address as their registered office and commit to being available to receive documents as needed at that location.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service? 

A lot of entrepreneurs decide to be their own registered agents, but some might opt for a professional registered agent service. Why? There are several reasons, which include:

  • Convenience. A registered agent must be available during normal business hours to accept paperwork if the need arises. For some, this kind of regular availability isn’t feasible. Some entrepreneurs travel quite frequently or work at several different locations. For matters of convenience, a registered agent service can accept legal and tax documents for your company and can forward them to you wherever you are.
  • Peace of mind. Employing a registered agent service helps ensure that nothing gets missed. The service will receive the documents, sign for them, and then make sure you’re notified about them. It provides some entrepreneurs with peace of mind knowing that someone else is handling this.
  • Privacy.  If your company is sued, service of process documents are served. These documents are delivered with a very noticeable message, “You’ve been served.” Rather than have this embarrassing moment unfold in front of customers or employees, some people believe it’s easier (and less embarrassing) to have the paperwork delivered to a registered agent service.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a registered agent service cost in Arkansas?

The cost of hiring a registered agent service for your Arkansas LLC might be more affordable than you think. You can get a registered agent with simple mail forwarding services for about $50 a year.

If you’d prefer more advanced features from a registered agent service prices will increase. Some of these additional services could include:

  • Online accounts and online filing
  • Annual reports reminders
  • Annual franchise tax report filing
  • Same-day scanning

For these types of services expect to pay between $100-250 annually, not including some potential state fees for certain filings.

List of Arkansas registered agent services 

In most cases, you can get a list of registered agent services from the Secretary of State, but a quick Google search will also provide a list of reputable choices. Some options in the state are

  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

Arkansas registered agent FAQs

Do I really need a registered agent in Arkansas?

Yes. State law requires all Arkansas businesses to list a registered agent on their formation documents to begin doing business in the state. There must be a point of contact on file with the state so official notices can be delivered to the company when needed.

Can a company change its registered agent?

Yes. A company can change its registered agent at any time. To do so, the business owner will need to file a Notice of Change. The state makes changes to your records within two business days and there is no filing fee to be paid.

What’s a statutory agent?

In different states, a registered agent is referred to as a statutory agent. While the title differs from state to state, the meaning remains the same. Another name for a registered agent is a resident agent, or a service of a process agent, which refers to the paperwork filed during a lawsuit.

What’s a commercial registered agent?

As you work through your LLC formation documents, you might be asked if you’re using a commercial or noncommercial registered agent. A commercial registered agent is a registered agent service; a company you’re paying to provide the service. A non-commercial agent is a person or company that you’ve appointed to do the job but isn’t paid to do so.