The first step in forming a 501(c)(3) charity in Arkansas is to file your Articles of Incorporation. This tutorial will help you through the ten steps necessary to submit the Articles of Incorporation in Arkansas and formally create a nonprofit.

Starting Over

You must submit the Articles of Incorporation – Domestic Nonprofit in Arkansas to form a domestic nonprofit company. This tutorial will walk you through each step of completing this paperwork and getting started on the path to founding an Arkansas charity.

Attachments that provide the following information must be included with your Articles of Incorporation:

The founding directors of your nonprofit’s names and addresses
Other provisions that may be considered essential
Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit Step 2: Choose a Type of Corporation Step 3: Confirm Any Members
Step 4: Disclose the Corporation’s Power
Step 5: Describe the Purpose of Your Nonprofit Step 6: Describe the Distribution of Your Nonprofit’s Assets Upon Dissolution Step 7: Select a Registered Agent Step 8: List Your Incorporator Information
Step 9: Include Any Extra Attachments
Step 10: Documents for File Formation

Step 1: List the Name of Your Nonprofit

The first step in completing the Arkansas Articles of Incorporation is to provide the name of your organisation in article one of the document. If you haven’t yet decided on a name for your organisation, below are the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit in Arkansas:

The name of your organisation must be distinct from any other name on record in Arkansas, including any reserved names.
Your nonprofit’s name cannot include any terms that may imply it is associated with a government entity.
Your nonprofit’s name cannot contain the terms “university,” “bank,” “credit union,” or “trust” as a distinct word to indicate that the organisation is involved in banking or trust.
Your nonprofit’s name must not include any phrases that might be deemed objectionable.

Look for the Availability of Your Name
Following the selection of prospective names — preferably, at least four or five — it’s essential to check their availability in your state. You may do this by completing the four suggested searches listed below.

Arkansas Corporation Lookup
A nonprofit company must have a distinct name in order to exist in Arkansas. You may simply verify whether your desired name is available by utilising the Arkansas Business Entity Search tool.

Domain Name Lookup
We highly advise you to additionally check to see whether your company name is accessible as a web domain (URL). Even if you don’t intend to construct a company website right away, you should purchase the domain name to prevent others from gaining it. It’s a completely free search.

Federal Trademark Lookup
Using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System, you may quickly see whether your preferred charity name has already been trademarked. Even if you do not intend to create your charity right immediately, this is essential.

You may register for a trademark for your organisation after you have confirmed that no one else has previously trademarked your selected name.

Search the Web and Social Media
A good social media presence can help you reach out to prospective funders as well as customers who will employ your services. As a result, before registering your preferred name, check the web and prominent social media platforms for it to confirm it is accessible on all platforms where you want to advertise your group.

Step 2: Determine the Type of Corporation

Check the relevant box from the following choices for your nonprofit corporation:

Corporation for the Public Good
Religious Corporation Mutual Benefit Corporation

Step 3: Confirm any additional members

Check the relevant box to indicate whether or not your organisation will have members.

Step 4: Disclose the Corporation’s Power

You have two choices for revealing your nonprofit corporation’s authority, therefore tick the item that relates to your organisation:

Option A accepts that the organisation will utilise the Internal Revenue Service’s specified phrasing (IRS).
Option B necessitates a different definition of the corporation’s authority if you do not want to utilise the IRS’ proposed terminology.

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Step 5: Describe the Goal of Your Nonprofit

You have two choices for characterising your nonprofit corporation’s mission, therefore tick the item that pertains to your organisation:

Option A indicates that you established the organisation solely for charitable, religious, educational, and/or scientific purposes, using the IRS-recommended wording.
If you do not want to utilise the IRS’ recommended phrasing, Option B necessitates a different explanation of the nonprofit’s mission.
To be qualified for 501(c)(3) status, your organization’s mission must incorporate one or more of the following characteristics:

Charitable\sReligious\sEducational\sScientific\sLiterary
Public safety testing
promoting amateur sports competition on a national and worldwide scale
Preventing animal/child cruelty

Step 6: Describe how your nonprofit’s assets will be distributed if it is dissolved.

Check the item that relates to your organisation to define your nonprofit’s rules for asset distribution upon dissolution in one of two ways:

Option A certifies that all assets will be allocated for one or more exempt purposes as defined by Internal Revenue Law section 501(c)(3) or the analogous portion of any future federal tax code.
Option B necessitates a different description of asset distribution upon dissolution if you do not want to utilise the IRS’ proposed wording.
To qualify for tax-exempt or 501(c)(3) status, assets must be distributed solely to recognised, tax-exempt causes upon dissolution. Section six of this example paper contains further information regarding the conditions for dissolution and 501(c)(3) status.

Step 7: Select a Registered Agent.

In Arkansas, the Articles of Incorporation must be filed with a registered agent. In item seven of this formation agreement, you must provide the name and street address of your registered agent.

A registered agent acts as your nonprofit’s official contact by receiving official papers on its behalf, such as compliance notifications and tax filings. In the case of a lawsuit, your registered agent is also responsible for receiving service of process paperwork.

In Arkansas, a registered agent for a nonprofit company must meet the following requirements:

You must be at least 18 years old to apply.
A physical address in Arkansas is required.
Availability throughout all regular business hours is required.
Unlike in many other states, Arkansas allows you to operate as your own registered agent.

Step 8: List Your Incorporator Details

Article eight requires all incorporators who participated in the completion and submission of this formation document to provide their name, signature, and address. An incorporator does not have to be a member of your organisation; they might be a lawyer or another third party.

Step 9: Include Any Extra Attachments

A domestic nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation in Arkansas do not contain sections for information regarding the organization’s original board of directors or any extra requirements. However, in order to qualify for IRS 501(c)(3) status, you must disclose this information in your Articles of Incorporation.

Here’s what you need to know to effectively share this information:

Establish Your Board of Directors
Arkansas law does not require you to designate your board of directors on your Articles of Incorporation. However, if you want to apply for 501(c)(3) status, your formation paperwork must contain information for at least three directors. Follow these guidelines while creating your nonprofit’s inaugural board of directors:

Prefixes such as “Mr.” or “Ms.” should be avoided.
Use lineage titles if relevant.
If appropriate, use titles such as “M.D.” or “Ph.D.”
Read our How to Develop a Board of Directors for a Nonprofit in Arkansas article for a comprehensive guide on organising your nonprofit’s board of directors.

Fill out the Annual Reporting Form’s contact information.
To get an annual reporting form, fill the final page of the document with proper contact information and send it to the Arkansas Secretary of State along with your Articles of Incorporation.

Step 10: Documents for File Formation

In Arkansas, you may file your Articles of Incorporation online, via mail, or in person.

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