Do You Need a Registered Agent in Arkansas?


Whether you have an Arkansas LLC, corporation or sole proprietorship, a registered agent is not only a good idea, it’s a necessity for many businesses. 

Arkansas registered agents play a significant role in the formation process of limited liability companies and corporations, and they are one of the best business services to use to meet the compliance requirements set by the Arkansas Secretary of State. 

But what is a registered agent, how do you find one, and do you actually need one?

What Is a Registered Agent in Arkansas?

An Arkansas registered agent is an individual or business entity who is available and physically present at the address listed for your business on your formation documents during regular business hours to receive legal documents, tax documents, legal mail, and service of process and official correspondence from government agencies (like the Arkansas Secretary of State) on behalf of your Arkansas corporation, LLC, or business. 

Of course, it doesn’t really do any good for your company’s registered agent to receive service of process and mail for your company if you never see them. That’s why the other half of the job for an Arkansas registered agent involves things like mail forwarding so that your company is up to date on important information, and you can keep on top of crucial compliance filing deadlines (for things like annual reports). 

Other words for an Arkansas registered agent include statutory agent and resident agent so if you see these terms on your formation documents or in your research, just remember that all three terms have the same definition. 

All companies that are registered as business entities are required to designate and maintain a registered agent, statutory agent, or resident agent. And if your business operates in multiple states, you’re required to have a registered agent in each state that your company conducts business. This means designating someone at these locations to be your registered agent or hiring a registered agent service. These rules apply to every US state. 

What Is the Purpose of a Registered Agent in Arkansas?

By now you’re probably curious whether you could just set up a PO box and check it frequently to bypass the need for a registered agent in Arkansas. The short answer is no, that’s not an option. Because your registered agent must have a physical address, you can’t use a PO box. And receiving mail and service of process for your business is only one portion of the registered agent services that these companies provide. 


Your Arkansas registered agent is in charge of making sure that your company is on track with its compliance filing deadlines from the Arkansas Secretary of State. To do this, your registered agent service will send you compliance notifications for things like annual reports and your annual franchise tax report. 

In the simplest of terms, your registered agent in Arkansas is a middleman between you and government agencies. A good one ensures that you meet your legal compliance obligations and can quickly meet deadlines. When you designate a professional registered agent, you don’t have to worry that you’ll forget about important deadlines or miss notifications about legal issues. 

Management of Important Documents

New business owners who run their businesses from their homes, or whose businesses don’t have a street address, may find the stipulation of a physical address for registered agents troublesome, and the exemption of PO boxes even more of a hurdle. The address you list on your formation documents is where the mail, service of process, and official documents will be sent. 

Many of the best registered agent services offer online document management portals, which means they scan and upload your documents to the portal and provide you with an online account where you can access your documents quickly and easily. 

Who Can Be a Registered Agent in Arkansas?

These are some of the universal nationwide requirements that your Arkansas registered agent or Arkansas registered agent service is required to meet: 

  • Who you can designate. You’re allowed to designate anyone as your registered agent in Arkansas, such as an employee, friend or family member, or even your lawyer. But because your registered agent must be present and available during normal business hours to receive mail and service of process on behalf of your limited liability company or business, many Arkansas businesses choose registered agent services instead. 
  • 18+ years old. Your Arkansas registered agent must be at least 18 years of age or older. 
  • Physical address. The Arkansas Secretary of State stipulates that your registered agent’s address must be a physical street address in the state of Arkansas. 
  • State laws. Several states have their own laws about registered agents, so it’s a good idea to read about the laws and regulations set forth by the Arkansas Secretary of State.

What Happens If My Business Operates Without a Registered Agent?

You’re required to appoint an Arkansas registered agent if your company is registered as a business entity—that’s every corporation, sole proprietorship, or Arkansas LLC. And this is a rule for businesses nationwide—not just in Arkansas. 

If you don’t designate a registered agent in Arkansas or you don’t list your registered agent’s address on your formation documents then it’s quite possible that you’ll miss important legal notices. 

If a process server comes to deliver your company a service of process and isn’t able to, they might attempt to deliver it to the Secretary of State instead. This could result in a lot of problems for your business. The Secretary of State could proceed with legal action against your company, without your knowledge, which could result in a default judgment against your business. 

If you don’t maintain a registered agent in Arkansas or you don’t meet your business’s legal compliance requirements, your company could lose its good-standing status. Without this status, you may not be able to expand to other states or even conduct business in Arkansas anymore. It’s also possible that you won’t qualify for business loans, either. 

One of the most catastrophic things that can happen to an LLC that’s lost its good-standing status is immediate dissolution. An LLC that’s been dissolved loses the right to use its business name in the state. In that instance, other businesses could use it for their own businesses. So even if you’re quick to resolve the problem that resulted in your company’s dissolution, you could lose your business name and fail to reclaim it—EVER.

There are other risks that come from operating a business once an LLC has been dissolved. If a company doesn’t maintain legally recognized LLC status with the state, the business owners take on legal and financial liability for the company. The personal assets of each LLC member and business owner are vulnerable in the event of legal actions against the company. 

These repercussions aren’t limited to LLCs. Corporations, sole proprietorships, and other business entities can experience many of these consequences if they don’t designate and maintain a registered agent. 

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Arkansas? 

There’s no law that prevents you from being your own registered agent in any state of the United States. So you can absolutely be your own agent in Arkansas. But before you hastily make the decision to be your own registered agent in Arkansas, you should learn more about the pros and cons. 

Cons of Being Your Own Registered Agent


The biggest drawback of being your own agent rather than hiring a registered agent service is the drastic consequences that are the result of missing a service of process. If you miss a service of process meant for your company, a default judgment could be issued against your business. Because you won’t have any knowledge of the legal actions being taken against your company, you won’t have the opportunity to defend it in court. You’ll be forced to abide with whatever ruling is made against you.

Lack of Privacy

Another disadvantage of being your own registered agent rather than hiring a registered agent service is that you’ll be forced to list your private address on the public record if your business doesn’t have a street address. Listing your name instead of your registered agent’s name on public record is something that you should avoid because, aside from being a massive violation of personal privacy, it opens you up to identity theft and cyber attacks.


One of the biggest drawbacks of being your own agent is the massive amount of time the job takes up. It’s time consuming to be a registered agent in Arkansas—and to be a business owner. If you’re an Arkansas registered agent, you’ll need to be available during standard business hours to receive official mail and correspondence for your business. Depending on your industry, it may be difficult, if not impossible, for you to conduct business and perform the duties of an Arkansas registered agent. 

Pros of Being Your Own Registered Agent

There’s only one positive aspect of being your own registered agent: you won’t have to pay for registered agent services. But now that you know the risks of being your own registered agent, that may not seem like much of an incentive.

Should I Use a Registered Agent Service?

People choose to use a professional registered agent service for several reasons: 

  • You’ll receive compliance notifications, which guarantee that your business will keep its good-standing status and its ability to legally conduct business in the state. 
  • The chance of lawsuits and losing your company’s good standing status are minimized because someone from your registered agent service will always be available during business hours to receive mail and service of process on behalf of your business. 
  • You’ll be free to work and manage your company without the added hassle of also performing registered agent tasks. 
  • Owners of companies that operate in multiple states won’t have to perform a miraculous feat to be in two locations at once. 
  • Businesses that operate outside of normal business hours should hire a registered agent service for convenience and time management. 
  • A registered agent service is the best choice for you to meet your registered agent requirements if you only have a PO box or if your business doesn’t have a street address. Choosing a registered agent service means that you can list your registered agent’s name and address on the public record, rather than your own. 
  • When you hire a registered agent service, your personal information is guaranteed to be protected because rather than listing your information, you list a registered agent’s name and address on your formation documents. 
  • Most people are surprised to learn how much junk mail businesses actually receive. If you act as your own agent rather than hire a registered agent service, you’ll have to sort it yourself. Registered agent services exist to eliminate this hassle. 
  •  Some professional registered agent service providers offer premium services, which include things like specialty insurance, or covering state fees that are charged when you switch over to their services. 
  • Many professional registered agents also offer business formation services, along with promotions for registered agent service free for your first year. 

The choice to use a registered agent service or perform registered agent duties yourself is ultimately your own. But, I ALWAYS recommend that new businesses use a registered agent service. 

What Is the Best Registered Agent Service?

There are many factors that you should consider when you’re looking for the top registered agent services. Here are a few of the things you should look at when trying to determine the best registered agent service for your company:

Service Features

It makes no sense to choose a registered agent for your business if it doesn’t provide the services you require. Some agents offer compliance alerts while others just provide a compliance calendar loaded with dates that can be easily misplaced or forgotten. Some providers will scan every piece of mail that your company is sent, while others will only scan and upload the legal documents. 


A good measure of a registered agent service is the services offered by the company combined with the price it charges for them. With that in mind, you should stay away from “budget agents.” They lure customers in with promises of sign-up fees as low as $39–$59, then charge outrageous fees for necessary services, such as compliance alerts and online document management portals. You should sidestep these services. 

Easy Sign-Up 

Some registered agent providers can waste weeks or months of your time during the sign-up process, as well as requiring you to put a lot of effort into the paperwork. You should instead look for a company that has a simple, automated sign-up process. 

User-Friendly Interface 

Because you’ll use your company’s registered agent system a lot, it should be something that’s easy to use. Some companies have systems that are out of date, with bewildering layouts and complicated navigation systems riddled with technical issues. You should stay away from any company with a difficult system and choose one with a simple-to-use interface instead. 

Customer Service 

Your registered agent provider could be great and provide a full range of services, but regardless of that you’ll still eventually encounter a technical problem or have a question about the service. And when it comes to a business service that could make or break your company, good customer service is a MUST. 

Using these factors, as well as a four-stage investigative process, I determined that Northwest Registered Agent is the best registered agent in the country. If you’d like to learn more about registered agent services and how to choose the best registered agent service for your company, read the best registered agent services.


When you start a new business, there’s a lot of new information to learn—from new management techniques to legal and business terms, not to mention all the rules and regulations. Registered agent services are here to make the lives of business owners and their workloads a little easier. 

If you’re still deciding on the structure of your business and you’re interested in learning more about the LLC formation process, click here to read how to start an LLC. If you lack experience forming LLCs and want some additional guidance, or just want to make the process easier, click here to read about the best LLC formation services

Arkansas Registered Agent FAQs

What’s the Difference Between a Commercial and a Noncommercial Registered Agent?

You’ll likely run across the term “commercial registered agent” in your research. Luckily, the difference between a commercial registered agent and a noncommercial registered agent is fairly simple. A commercial registered agent is registered with government agencies in the state and has filed a commercial registered agent statement. Some states require all registered agent services to register as commercial registered agents. The distinction between commercial and noncommercial registered agents was established in the Model Registered Agents Act, which was the American Bar Association’s attempt at creating a unified set of regulations for registered agents nationwide. 

Noncommercial registered agents are any person or business (in the event that the state laws don’t require registered agent services to register as commercial agents) that isn’t registered as a commercial registered agent. 

How Do I Change the Registered Agent for My LLC?

If you’ve made your way to this page because you’re frustrated with your current registered agent and you’re wondering if you even need a registered agent, the answer is that yes you do, as long as your company is registered as a business entity. But the good news is that it’s simple to change your Arkansas registered agent service. 

All you have to do is fill out and submit a Notice of Change of Registered Agent Information form with the Secretary of State. In some states you’ll also be required to submit a registered agent consent form with your agent’s signature along with your Change of Registered Agent Information form. You’ll also be charged a filing fee to submit the document. 

How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?

Your registered agent’s cost depends on factors like which provider you choose and which services you require. But in general a registered agent costs between $39–$299 per state, per year (plus state fees). For more about registered agent pricing, check out the best registered agent services

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