Are you an Arkansas business owner who wants to be able to operate your company under an assumed name? If so, consider acquiring a doing business as (DBA) name.
How do you obtain a DBA name for your Arkansas company, and how are you allowed to use your new name? In this guide, we’ll walk through every detail of the DBA acquisition process in this state.
What is an Arkansas DBA?
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, a DBA enables you to use a name other than the owner’s personal name. For limited liability companies and corporations, DBAs allow you to use multiple names to officially refer to your business activities.
There are many different reasons for Arkansas companies to acquire ‘doing business as’ names.
- For sole proprietorships and partnerships, they can make your company sound more professional than simply using your own name. You can also open a bank account using your DBA, which can not only help you keep your business and personal assets separate, but customers often have a higher comfort level writing out a check to a business name rather than to an individual’s personal name.
- For corporations and LLCs, DBAs are frequently used to give the company the option of using different names for separate product lines. Another common usage of a DBA is to distinguish satellite businesses from your main company. Restaurant owners love to do this, as for example it can help a fine-dining establishment open a fast-casual spin-off restaurant without affecting customers’ perceptions of the original location. Whether you want to create this separation for marketing or accounting purposes (or both), a doing business as name gives companies options that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
In short, a DBA in Arkansas allows businesses to communicate their image and express themselves in different ways without having to actually form a new business to do so.
How Do I File an Arkansas DBA?
In the state of Arkansas, any LLC or corporation doing business under a name that differs from their registered name must get a DBA or “Doing Business As” Certificate. Thankfully, the Arkansas state government makes it is easy to acquire a DBA. The process is slightly different than reserving a name for your business, however in both cases, you will need to check the availability of your desired name via the Secretary of State’s website.
This ensures that your desired business name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business in the state.
In order to reserve and register your DBA, you must fill out the Application for Fictitious Name online. This form must include the following information: Suite 250, Victory Building, 1401 West Capitol Avenue
Little Rock, AR 72201 Or State Capital
Little Rock, AR 72201
Once you have provided the necessary information, you will need to pay by credit card, or mail a check payable to “Arkansas Secretary of State.” The cost can vary by business type, though you can expect to pay an application fee between $15-$25. If you choose to mail your application and/or check, you can send them to the Secretary of State’s office located at:
Suite 250, Victory Building, 1401 West Capitol Avenue Little Rock, AR 72201 Or State Capital Little Rock, AR 72201
How Long Does an Arkansas DBA Last?
Though many states have a five year expiry date for DBAs, there is currently no expiration in the state of Arkansas. However, if your business dissolves or ceases to do business in Arkansas, you must send notice of DBA cancellation to the Arkansas Secretary of State.
Should I Hire a Professional DBA Filing Service?
If you’d rather not fill out the paperwork and register for a DBA yourself, there are plenty of reputable companies offering a service. For a fee, these services will assemble the relevant paperwork and submit it to your state, and all you have to do is supply them with some basic information.
Arkansas makes it easy to apply for a DBA online or through the mail. While hiring a DBA service can take care of it for you, there are probably better ways to spend your money. In other states, the process can be arduous, but that is not the case in Arkansas. From the date that you file the application, the entire process usually takes 1-2 weeks.. So, for most businesses, it is best to save your money and file the paperwork yourself. That said, if you cannot take on anymore tasks and would like to give the responsibility to someone else, most service providers (Ex: LegalZoom) charge a fair rate to handle DBA applications.
The doing business as name, or DBA for short, is one of the most simple business filings for Arkansas entrepreneurs. The process to acquire one is quite straightforward, and you can begin using your new assumed name as soon as the state completes your filing.
We hope this article answered your questions about how to file an Arkansas; DBA!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a DBA provide any legal protections?
A: No, registering a DBA does not legally protect you or your business. If you’re seeking personal asset protection, you might want to look into forming a corporation or a limited liability company rather than just acquiring a DBA name.
Q: Does a DBA need a registered agent?
A: A registered agent is not a legal requirement for sole proprietorships or general partnerships that acquire DBA names. However, limited liability companies and corporations do require a registered agent whether they have a DBA or not.
Q: Can someone else register a business using the same name as my DBA?
A: Filing a DBA does not give your business exclusive rights to your assumed name. If someone wants to use the same name, and they form an LLC or corporation with it, they are legally allowed to take your name for themselves.
Q: Does the state of Arkansas require publication of a DBA name?
A: No, you do not need to publish notification of your business formation or DBA registration in Arkansas.