What is Foreign Qualification?
Foreign qualification is the process of registering your business to operate in Arkansas when its original and primary location is in a different state. If you are located in any other state but wish to open a warehouse, storefront, office, or conduct any business in Arkansas you will need to foreign qualify.
Why Does A Company Need Foreign Qualification?
Why You Need To Do It – Every business that is located in another state but that wants to operate within Arkansas in any capacity must foreign qualify in order to do so legally.
When Should You Do It? – Companies should begin the process as soon as they decide to branch out into Arkansas. Delaying the process can cause hassles and complications in the future, and getting started early will help ensure that they can start operating in Arkansas as soon as possible. Generally, you will need to foreign qualify if your company falls under any of the following criteria:
- Has a physical presence in Arkansas
- Buying a property there
- Have remote employees
- Accepts orders in Arkansas
- Owns a bank account in Arkansas
What Happens If Your Entity Does Not Foreign Qualify?
Failing to foreign qualify can lead to significant fees, fines, and penalties. The business also won’t be able to bring any legal action to the courts in Arkansas. Staying compliant is vital for any business, and Arkansas foreign qualification is required for compliance within the state.
Steps To Obtain Foreign Qualification
There are a few basic steps that you’ll have to take in order to obtain Arkansas foreign qualification.
1. Obtain Certificates – Arkansas requires LLCs who wish to expand business in the state to file an Application for a Certificate of Registration of Foreign LLC with the Business and Commercial Services office of the Secretary of State. Meanwhile, Corporations should file an Application for a Certificate of Authority with the same office. Download the form and submit the document in person, online, or by mail. You’ll also need a Certificate of Existence from your home state.
2. Collect And Submit Information – For a foreign qualification, you must submit all appropriate information about your business.
- LLC name registered in your company’s home state
- LLC name you will use in Arkansas or fictitious name if necessary
- The state where you organized your LLC
- The original date of formation
- The duration of your LLC
- Your office street address in the state or the address of your principal office
- Signature of the authorized person
- The name of the Corporation in your company’s home state
- The name your Corporation will use in Arkansas or a fictitious name if the original name is unavailable
- Name of the state where the Corporation was incorporated
- The date of incorporation
- The period of duration
- Description of your business activities
- The office address in Arkansas
- Address of the principal office
- The number of shares and value
3. Appoint Registered Agent – Your registered agent must have a physical address and will handle official mail on your behalf. To simplify the process of Arkansas foreign qualification and maintaining compliance, most businesses choose to turn to a third party organization like DoMyLLC to handle the process for them.
4. File The Application – When you have the appropriate information and complete the application, file it with the state either through the mail or online. You’ll have to pay a $300 fee if filing by mail or $270 if you file online.
5. Ongoing Maintenance – Once an LLC or corporation is legally able to operate in Arkansas, it must continue to stay compliant by filing an annual report. The report is due by May 1st of each year, and the process is something a registered agent will simplify greatly.
What is the Difference Between Foreign Qualification and Incorporating?
With incorporation, an entirely new business is formed within the state. Foreign qualification does not create a new business entity. It simply provides an existing company the ability to legally do business in another state.
How DoMyLLC Can Assist With Streamlining The Process
We know that you have a lot on your plate when running a business. Our team ensures that you are legally available to operate in Arkansas. We handle the filing and registration processes for you to simplify your workload. We offer everything you need including:
- Name availability check
- Dedicated account managers
- Full registration for foreign qualification
- Unlimited customer support when you need it
Let our team take your business into another state and into the future without worry or stress. Contact us today to learn more.
Arkansas Foreign Qualification FAQs
Arkansas requires an LLC or corporation to submit an Application for A Certificate of Registration. This must be filed along with the state’s required filing fee.
Arkansas requires that you pay $300 to file your application or $270 if you file online.
Any business currently operating in another state that wishes to begin doing business in Arkansas can file.
While you don’t need an attorney to complete the process, speaking to your attorney is a good idea before you begin the process in order to keep yourself and your business protected properly.
You will need to provide all primary business information related to your company including things like:
- Name of business
- Owner names
- Type of business and its intent
- Current business address
If the name of your business is already taken, you’ll have to register under a fictitious name and use it to conduct business in Arkansas.
Arkansas Business Resources
Arkansas Office of Secretary of State
Arkansas Secretary of State
Ste. 250, Victory Building, 1401 West
Little Rock, AR 72201