When you are a sole proprietor, you can be liable for any losses your business incurs. Incorporating your business gives you the protection of limited liability: you can only use what you've put in to the company. However, you can't simply declare your business a corporation. In Arkansas, you must register with the secretary of state before beginning to do business as a corporation in the state.
Choose a name for your corporation. Check the Arkansas business database to ensure a name is not already taken. The Arkansas Secretary of State website maintains an online database of all the business entities in the state. The end of the corporation name must include either "Incorporated," "Corporation," "Company," or “Limited" – or an abbreviation of one of these terms.
Complete the Articles of Incorporation for your company. You can complete and submit the Articles of Incorporation online at the Arkansas Secretary of State website. This document must include the name of the company, the number of stock shares, the classes of shares, the par value of shares, which is the face value and not market value, the registered agent of the corporation, the name and address of each incorporator, and the purpose of the business. If you submit your Articles of Incorporation electronically, pay the required fee by credit card. If you do not wish to file electronically, you can download the form from the website, fill it out and send it with the required fee to State Capitol, Little Rock, AR 72201. You can also hand-deliver your application or pick one up at Victory Building, Suite 250, 1401 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72201. The phone number is 501-682-3409.
Complete form SS-4, available on the Internal Revenue Service website, to obtain an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. Send the completed SS-4 to the IRS. You can also apply for an EIN online to receive this number immediately.
Obtain the required licenses and permits, depending on your corporation. For example, if you have an incorporated retail business, you must obtain a Sales and Use Tax permit. Visit the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration website to obtain various state permit and license applications.