How to File for an Arkansas DBA

A fictitious business name, a DBA, can help your Arkansas business operate under a different name than your legal name. Learn about the filing process and other DBA benefits.
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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Catherine Cohen
Written by Catherine Cohen
Written byCatherine Cohen
Updated November 16, 2023
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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Registering a business name is one of the first steps of launching a new business in Arkansas. However, you don’t have to stick with your legal name only. You can file for a fictitious name. Operating under a fictitious name, or “doing business as” (DBA) name, allows various types of businesses to grow, rebrand, and adapt to changing marketing conditions while maintaining legal compliance. This guide breaks down the Arkansas DBA filing process step by step, offering all the necessary information for new business owners and those considering a new business name. Keep reading to learn more.

DBA in Arkansas: Key Takeaways

  • A DBA is an alternative name under which your Arkansas business can operate.

  • In Arkansas, most businesses must file for a DBA at the state and county levels.

  • There are many reasons to file for a DBA, including rebranding, opening a bank account, and protecting your privacy.

What Is a DBA?

A DBA is an alternative name under which your Arkansas business can operate. Though owners of every business structure (e.g., a general partnership, a limited partnership, a nonprofit corporation) can file for a DBA, this is most commonly done for a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company (LLC).

Why file for a DBA?

There are many reasons to do so, including marketing on social media, adding new brands to your business, or opening a business bank account. Legal proceedings, like filing taxes and signing contracts, will still require your legal name.

It’s essential to note that a DBA isn’t a business structure in itself. It’s just another name that your business can use to expand its operations or rebrand without going through the time-consuming process of changing your name.

As for sole proprietors, a DBA can keep their personal information private and make their business sound more professional. It can’t, however, provide any liability or personal asset protection.

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How to File a DBA in Arkansas

Filing a DBA in Arkansas differs slightly from how it’s done in most U.S. states. How? In most cases, you must file for this name at the state and county levels. Let’s break down this process in more detail.

Before filing a DBA, you must ensure your desired name isn’t used by any other business in the state. While some states allow businesses to share the same DBAs, Arkansas isn’t one of them.

Use our free Business Name Search Tool to ensure you’ve thought of a unique name. This simple tool will save you time and help prevent your application for a fictitious name from getting thrown out.

Once you secure your perfect DBA name, trademarking it might also be best. Otherwise, businesses from other states might use it for their operations, potentially impeding your business growth.

Step 2 — File a Fictitious Business Statement

Arkansas business owners aren’t required to file a fictitious business name statement. However, if you decide you want to operate under a new name, submit an Application for Fictitious Name with the Arkansas Secretary of State.[1] The only ones exempt from this step are sole proprietors, who only need to register at the county level.

After filling out the Application for Fictitious Name, you must pay a filing fee (the pricing depends on your business structure) and mail it or deliver it in person to the following address:

  • Arkansas Secretary of State

  • Business and Commercial Services Division

  • 1401 West Capitol Avenue, Suite 250

  • Little Rock, AR 72201-1094

Alternatively, you can do it online using the Corporations Online Filing System.

Step 3 — File Your DBA With the County Clerk’s Office

After filing with the state, you’ll receive a copy of your application. Then, you must pay a filing fee and submit that copy to your county clerk’s office. The only exception is Pulaski County, which only calls for a state registration. Wondering where to file in your county? Visit the Association of Arkansas Counties to find the necessary contact information quickly.

If you need help with the DBA process, consider leaving it to a third party equipped to handle it seamlessly and efficiently. We offer DBA filing services that get you to a DBA with little input on your behalf and no stress whatsoever.

Step 4 — Follow Up

An Arkansas DBA lasts forever. In other words, there’s no need to track its status and renew it periodically. Once your desired DBA gets approved, the only other actions you need to take are to cancel it (using the Cancellation of Fictitious Name form), change it (the same process as filing for the first time), or transfer its ownership to another business (the Notice of Transfer of Fictitious Name form).

Arkansas DBA Name Restrictions

Like your business name, your DBA can’t be just any word or combination of words you can think of. A DBA must also follow specific naming conventions, including the following:

  • An Arkansas DBA name can’t imply that your business is a government agency.

  • Your DBA must accurately reflect your business structure type. (If your business is an LLC, the DBA can’t use “LLP,” “Inc,” or any other misleading words.)

  • Words like “bank,” “trust,” and “credit union” can’t be used as a part of a DBA (without permission and additional paperwork.)

  • Your DBA can’t advertise any services that you don’t offer. (If you don’t provide legal services, you can’t have a “lawyer” as part of your DBA.)

  • Your Arkansas DBA must be unique (not used by any other business entity in the state.)

Regarding the last item on the list, the “in the state” part is worth remembering. A business outside Arkansas could still use the same DBA, as filing for a DBA isn’t the same as trademarking a name. The solution? Trademark your chosen name as well to avoid any legal headaches in the future.[2]

DBA Arkansas Tax Considerations

In Arkansas, a DBA only adds another name you can do business under. It in no way affects your business’s tax status or tax ID.

Why Should You Get a DBA?

A DBA opens up a world of possibilities for Arkansas business owners. Here are just some of those incredible possibilities:

  • Choosing a creative business name. In the eyes of the law, sole proprietors are the same as their business. Their entire legal name is also used for the said business. Unless you have an impactful name that perfectly meshes with your business (e.g., Mike Brew Coffee Shop), you’ll probably want a new, more creative, and memorable name. That’s what a DBA can help you with.

  • Protecting privacy. Operating under a more creative name isn’t the only reason for a sole proprietorship to file for a DBA. A trade name can also protect the owner’s privacy, keeping their name off any public records.

  • Expanding business. As business grows, you might consider expanding your operations to other markets. With a DBA, you don’t have to set up a new business entity each time you branch out. So, your primary business name might be Evans Event Planning, while your new branch can have a DBA like Evans Catering.

  • Opening a business bank account. A business bank account allows you to separate your personal and business finances. To do so, most banks will require you to have a DBA.

  • Rebranding your business. Given how early on you must choose your business name, it’s understandable to change how you feel about it after some time. Alternatively, your business might’ve slowed, and you feel like a rebranding can help. Either way, a DBA is the solution.

Ready to File for a DBA in Arkansas?

With all the administrative hurdles and regulatory complexities, it’s typical for the endless list of administrative tasks to take some of the passion out of running a business. You don’t want this to happen to your Arkansas business. 

Allow us to file your Arkansas DBA for you. We make every tedious process more straightforward and smoother, requiring minimal input on your behalf. For DBAs, for instance, you must provide some basic business and contact information and let us take care of the rest.

You’ll get your Arkansas DBA in no time without dealing with all the government paperwork.


What’s the difference between an LLC and a DBA?

The primary difference between an LLC and a DBA is that an LLC is a legal entity. A DBA, on the other hand, is just an alternative name for your Arkansas business.

How much does getting a DBA cost?

It generally costs from $13.50 to $25 to register a DBA with the state of Arkansas, depending on your exact business entity and location. There will be an additional filing fee at the county level, but it depends on the Arkansas county in which your business is located.

Do I need a DBA for my Arkansas business?

You don’t need a DBA for your Arkansas business by default. You’ll only need an Arkansas DBA if you want to do business under a name that’s different from your legal business name.[3]

What’s the difference between a trade name, assumed name, and DBA name?

There’s no difference between a trade name, an assumed name, and a DBA name. These are different terms for the same concept.

How long does a DBA last?

In the state of Arkansas, a DBA lasts forever. In other words, you won’t have ever have to renew it, regardless of your business entity type.

Is there a limit to the number of DBA names I can have?

There’s no limit to the number of DBA names you can have in Arkansas. As long as you can afford the filing fees and keep track of all your names, you can go through the DBA registration process as often as you’d like.

Is a DBA the same as a trademark?

No, a DBA isn’t the same as a trademark. Filing for a DBA in Arkansas doesn’t safeguard your business name from being used by other companies outside the state. A trademark is the only way to ensure a nationwide exclusive right to a business name.

Does a DBA affect my business’s tax status?

No, a DBA doesn’t affect your business’s tax status in any way in the state of Arkansas. It only affects your ability to operate a business under a different name.


  1. Arkansas Secretary of State. “Application for Fictitious Name.” Accessed September 10, 2023.

  2. United States Patent and Trademark Office. “New trademark search system: beta release.” Accessed September 11, 2023.

  3. Jefferson County, Arkansas. “DBA (Doing Business As) Declarations.” Accessed September 11, 2023.

Originally published on November 16, 2023, and last edited on November 16, 2023.
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