Arkansas Business Records



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Arkansas Business Records

In Arkansas, many business records are accessible for public viewing. Since they are matters of public record, anyone may access and view these records, even if they are not involved with the business for which they are searching. In Arkansas, these records are maintained by the Arkansas Secretary of State.

What Records Are Maintained by the Arkansas Secretary of State?

In Arkansas, a business can take several forms, the most well-known of which is a corporation. Corporations are considered to be separate legal entities and are treated as if they were a separate person from their incorporators, founders and officers. Because of this special legal treatment, it is necessary for the state to keep records of which businesses have been incorporated and should be treated as separate entities. When a corporation is formed, documents are filed with the Secretary of State giving evidence of the corporation’s founding.

Additionally, some states, including Arkansas, maintain a state registry of trademarks that are registered by businesses in the State of Arkansas. This state trademark registry should not be confused with the national registry maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?

Not all businesses choose to incorporate. Sometimes an individual owns a business as a sole proprietorship and does not elect to incorporate the business; sometimes businesses may operate under a tradename but not officially incorporate. If a business has not incorporated, documentation of its foundation would not have been filed with the Secretary of State.

Just because no documents can be found in the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office, however, it should not be immediately assumed that the business has not been incorporated. Businesses sometimes choose to incorporate in a different state from where they keep their offices or conduct business. This is because different states have different laws that apply to businesses, and a business may choose to incorporate in a state that has laws the incorporators believe will be more favorable. The State of Delaware, for instance, is highly favored as a state of incorporation by many businesses.

How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the Arkansas Secretary of State?

If a business has been incorporated in the State of Arkansas, the records may be viewed both in person and online. The physical address is Suite 250, Victory Building, 1401 West Capitol Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72201.

To view the information over the internet, the website for the Arkansas Secretary of State is located at From the home page, scroll over “Business/Commercial Services,” then click on the words “Online Services.” From this page, select “Entity Search by Name.” On the next page, you will be offered a number of different choices for searching. However, the options “Banks and Insurance,” “Co-operatives,” “Incorporations” and “Not for Profit” all lead to the same search page. On this search page, visitors can input the name or tradename of a business, as well as additional information such as the state or city where the business is physically located, the registered agent or filing number. After the results are returned in list form, a searcher may click on any business name to obtain additional information about that business, including any fictitious names it may have, the filing number and status, the identity of the registered agent, address, date of filing, and state of origin.

From the “Online Services” page, searchers can also click on the word “Trademarks,” which will allow you to search for state-recognized trademarks by name, owner, city, state or filing number. Again, this should not be confused with the national trademark registry maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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