Arkansas is located in the Southern region of the United States of America. Arkansas shares borders with six states, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Oklahoma.
Its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River. The state of Arkansas is the 32nd most populous and the 29th most expensive region of the United States. The capital and most populous city of Arkansas is Little Rock, located in the center of the state.
The State of Arkansas GDP (gross domestic product) climbed to $103 billion for the year 2010. Thus, its per capita household median income (in current value) was $35,300 in 2004. The state produces both agricultural and industrial products and is home to several global companies headquarters like Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods and J.B. Hunt (all located in the northwest corner of Arkansas, where the state abuts with the borders of Missouri and Oklahoma. Eastern Arkansas has recently became host to several automobile parts manufacturers who’ve built factories there to support their plants in other states. Arkansas also has a strong income from tourism. The rate of unemployment, as of August 2011, is 8.3%.
According to Forbes.com, Arkansas ranks 21st for “The Best States for Business”, 9th for “Business Cost”, 22md for “Regulatory Environment”, 40th for “Labor”, 9th for “Growth Prospects” 34th in terms of GDP and the states positive economic change of 3.8% rank the state number 22 in the United States.
For taxation and State Law Requirements, please read on.
So, how to start a cleaning business in Arkansas?
1. Research, Learn, make a Plan and Succeed. Before entering the cleaning industry, you need to make sure you’ve learned everything you possibly can about it. This is highly important to successfully launch and operate your cleaning company. You are nearly there by reading this guide but make sure you also check the Cleaning Business Start-Up Guide (Five Parts) as well as the rest of the posts in this very blog in order to get an insight on both start-up requirements AND high-end business tips to widen your potential and grow your business down the road. You might also find it useful to explore the Cleaning Business Start-Up Resources which is actually the 5th part of the Start-Up Guide, containing valuable e-books, software and generally everything you might need to start your cleaning business. Last but not least, don’t let your reading of this guide or any other guide to go to waste. Write a list and plan ahead, bookmark the sites of interest for quick references whenever you need them.
2. Financing your Cleaning Business Start-Up. In Part II of our Start-Up guide, you’ll find several ideas on financing your cleaning business. Another great resource is the United States Business Portal.
3. Naming your Cleaning Business. Coming up with a great name for your business is a highly important task, take your time and consider your options and definitely don’t rush into a name you’re going to later regret. Here’s a small guide on cleaning business names, along with several root name suggestions for you to come up with your own.
4. Registering your business name with the State of Arkansas. After you come up with a great name for your cleaning company, you should check with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office) to see if the name you had in mind is already being used or if there could be a possible conflict with already registered names. The whole process can be done online. Having done that, the next step is to register your name with Arkansas Secretary of State offices. In Arkansas, sole proprietorships or general partnerships that don’t use the same name as their owners’ are required to file a “Doing Business under an Assumed Name Certificate“.
That aside, both domestic and foreign corporations must file an Application for Fictitious Name with Arkansas Secretary of State. Domestic corporations are also required to register with the County Clerk Office (where the registered corporation is located). The only exception to that rule is the corporations located in Pulaski County.
5. Location is Everything. Choosing where to locate your business is one of the most important decisions you have to make prior to starting your cleaning company. To that extend, you may use the Arkansas Small Business Technology Department Center which offers mapping services in order to help business owners determine a suitable location for their start-up. By visiting the Arkansas Local Governmnet page, you can get access to local authorities that usually know what locations are available and can also offer you advice and useful tips on picking up the right place to locate your business. Since the final decision is up to you, it’s recommended that you read our article about choosing the right location for your Cleaning Business.
6. Determining the Legal Structure of your Cleaning Business is another important but rather technical step. You’re likely to need professional attorney and accountant assistance but you can get a first clue by visiting our guide on legal structures. Small cleaning business start-ups tend to start as sole proprietorships due to this structure being extremely easy to establish and run.
7. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is used to identify a business entity and and it’s mandatory for every employer. You can apply for an EIN online by visiting the respective page of the IRS.
8. Get Insurance and open a Business Bank Account. Getting liability and bonding insurance is essential for your cleaning business. Bonding insurance is optional but some businesses will require it prior to signing a cleaning contract with your company. Opening a business bank account is required by law. You’ll have to separate your business from your personal banking transactions.
9. Taxes in the State of Arkansas. If you’re starting a cleaning business in Arkansas, you must register under the Gross Receipts Tax Law. There’s an accomplished application required for a sales tax permit and a $50 non-refundable fee in order to register a new business. A 6% state sales tax must be collected and remitted to any applicable city and county sales taxes. There is also a short term and long term rental tax and vehicle rental tax that may concern you as a cleaning business owner. You can visit the Arkansas Business Tax Registration page for more information and downloadable forms.
10. Get an Arkansas Business License. Your Arkansas Business License is the main document required for conducting fundamental business operations and necessary to be able to pay your taxes to the state. To apply for a permit to start a cleaning business with the state of Arkansas visit this webpage or get in touch with the local authorities by phone, mail or your own presence there. They will also familiarize you with other licenses or permits that may apply to your case depending on the structure and size of your business, your exact location, special environmental permits etc.
11. Report New Hires. Operating a cleaning business in Arkansas (or any other state in the US) forces you to report new hires and re-hires, usually within 20 days of the hiring or re-hiring date. Visit Arkansas New Hire Reporting Center for more information.
12. Comply with Arkansas Payroll Tax Recordkeeping Requirements. The State of Arkansas requires employers to keep a minimum of three years records containing the following information:
- Employee Names and Addresses
- Employee Occupations
- The hours worked each day, each week
- Pay Rates
- The amount paid each period
13. Comply with Federal Laws and Requirements. You must comply with all federal laws and requirements of your cleaning company. You can get a quick glimpse on what’s required of your cleaning business by visiting our introduction guide to federal law requirements of a cleaning business. Make sure you ask the authorities for clarifications and further instructions.
14. Register a domain name, get a website. Brand and promote your business at a rate you can afford at a given time using offline methods. Do not neglect your online presence though. Make sure you register a domain name and get a website to increase leads and get more cleaning contracts as a result.
That was our complete guide on how to start a cleaning business in Arkansas, US. If there’s anything you need to ask, please leave a comment below.