See Contact Info


Small business owner

Local, State, & Federal Requirements for Arkansas Small Businesses

When you start or operate a small business, there is so much to consider inside the walls of your business that it is easy to forget about things that need to occur outside of them.

Those outside things often come in the form of local, state, and federal business laws and ordinances that must be met. While navigating these regulations can be complicated, neglecting them has profound implications, including costing you significant time and money in the form of penalties, delays, and fines.

Here are the things you need to know regarding keeping your small business compliant at local, state, and federal levels.

Local Small Business Requirements in Fayetteville

Let’s pretend that we’re opening a business in Fayetteville. What city ordinances will you need to know about and follow?

Local Zoning, Business Licenses, & Taxes in Arkansas

You will need to check the local zoning ordinances for your location to see if you can operate the type of business you have planned, where you have planned. Zoning ordinances regulate everything from where a specific business can locate to how big your sign can be and where it can be placed?

You will also need to apply for a business license (which has rules according to your location in the city), register your business name, and set up your local taxes. Each of these steps can be complex on its own, and each will require research.

Who Oversees Local Enforcement?

Most local regulations are enforced by your City Planning Commission or Division. This will be the first agency that you will need to work with.

AR State Small Business Requirements

After you get everything set up on a local level, you will need to know and meet State of Arkansas’ requirements. This will include things like:

Registering Your Business, Getting Insurance, and Obtaining your State ID for taxes

Although you do not legally need to incorporate your business in Arkansas (i.e., forming an LLC), you must find out where you fall within the state’s tax structure. Plus, you need to make sure you acquire any state licenses to operate your business, even if it was not necessary at the local level.

You will also need to complete a state assessment to evaluate your properties and assets, and there is a big fine if it is not completed on time. Then you will need to abide by the state’s tax structure and comply with state labor laws/posting requirements about minimum wage, overtime, and child labor.

Who Oversees State Businesses?

State business laws and compliances are enforced by the Arkansas Secretary of State’s Business/Commercial Services Division.

Federal Small Business Requirements

The final requirements for your company will come from the top: the federal government.

Self-Employment Tax and Other Federal Labor Laws

The federal government’s major requirements for starting a business involve getting your Employer Identification Number (EIN), preparing to pay Federal Unemployment (FUTA) and the Self-Employment taxes, abiding by federal labor laws, and meeting any health insurance requirements.

Who Oversees Federal Business Compliance?

State laws and compliances are enforced by the US Department of Labor.

Role & Benefit of a Small Business Lawyer

The high-level regulations listed here apply to most businesses, but depending on your industry, you may face more stringent laws and regulations. That is why it is important to have legal representation for your small business. With so many different regulations, it is easy to miss something and get hit with a fine. Even worse, multiple infractions can result in your license being revoked or even your business being shut down.

A lawyer on your team will help both you and your company with inspections, compliance, and to fight unjust fines.

Consult a Business Lawyer About Compliance Issues

As a small business owner, you will need to be aware of local, state, and federal laws and regulations that might apply to you along with a thorough understanding of the legal landscape to avoid violations. Our small business lawyers are ready to help you with any legal and practical small business matters. To schedule a consultation, call (479) 316-3869 or use our online contact form.

Disclaimer: The Law Group of Northwest Arkansas PLLC (TLGNWA) provides general information about a variety of legal issues on this website as a public service. Information contained herein should not be considered legal advice on any specific matter. The use of information and reference links contained in this website do not constitute contractual, de facto, implied or any other form of attorney-client privilege or relationship. TLGNWA is not responsible for the use of information, forms, links, or documents contained in this website.

Due to the frequency and speed of changing laws, no guarantee is made as to the current validity or applicability of the information contained herein. Though we try to update information often, we recommend that readers with questions investigate current law or contact TLGNWA directly through our contact form or by calling (479) 334-3411.