Arkansas Nonprofit Compliance

Required annual filings

This guide covers the required filings to maintain a nonprofit corporation in Arkansas. If you are looking to form nonprofit in Arkansas, please visit our Start Your Arkansas Nonprofit guide. The steps below apply to nonprofits that are both incorporated and foreign qualified in Arkansas. Please note that this is a general list and may not be exhaustive or applicable to all nonprofits.

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1 File IRS Form 990
Agency:Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Form:

IRS Form 990-N, 990-EZ, 990-PF or 990

Instructions:

See Form 990 Thresholds to determine which form to file.  Then see Current Form 990 Series for instructions.

Due:

By the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of the taxable year.  For most organizations, the tax year ends December 31 so the Form 990 is due May 15.

Fact Checked:8/28/19
2 File Arkansas Corporate Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Exemptions do not need to be renewed in Arkansas.

More information: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
3 File Arkansas Sales Tax Exemption Renewals

Not required



Arkansas does not offer general exemptions to sales tax, so there is no renewal.

More information: Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration
4 File Arkansas Annual Report
Agency:Arkansas Secretary of State - Business and Commercial Services Division (BCS)
Form:

Annual Report

Filing Method:

Mail, in-person, or online.

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually by August 1.

Law:

Arkansas Code Annotated § 4-33-131 

Fact Checked:8/6/20
5 Renew the Charitable Solicitation Registration

Arkansas Charitable Organization Registration

Agency:Arkansas Secretary of State - Business and Commercial Services Division (BCS) (Charities)
Law:

Arkansas Code Ann. § 4-28-401 et seq.

Foreign Qualification is Prerequisite:No
Registered Agent (Special Agency) Required?No
Fact Checked:4/10/20

One-Time Exemption Registration

Exemption Eligible Organizations:
  • Bona fide, duly constituted, religious entities that are exempt from taxation pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code and no part of the entity’s income inures to the direct benefit of any individual
  • Educational institutions approved by any state or the United States or by an accrediting body and parent teacher organizations
  • Political organizations
  • Governmental organizations
  • Nonprofit hospitals
  • Charities that do not intent to solicit and receive and do not actually receive more than $25,000 in contributions during a fical year and do not use professional fundraisers
  • Persons or entities that solicit for exempt organizations
Form:

Form EX-01: Exempt Organization Verification

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:
  • Exemptions do not expire as long as the organization continues to qualify under the exemption criteria.
  • Educational institutions must submit a letter of accreditation with their exemption application.
Fact Checked:1/16/20

Initial Registration

Form:

Form CR-01: Charitable Organization Registration Form

Instructions:

Charitable Registration in Arkansas

Filing Method:

File by mail or email to charities@sos.arkansas.gov.

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 weeks

Notarize:Required
Notes:
  • One signature of officer, director, or incorporator required.
  • Some Arkansas counties and municipalities may require charities that solicit in-person to register prior to fundraising.
Before you Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • If your charity meets the audit threshold, obtain an audited financial report to submit with your registration application.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.

Foreign Applicants:

  • Check the available exemptions to see if your charity is eligible for exemption from the full registration requirement.
  • If your charity meets the audit threshold, obtain an audited financial report to submit with your registration application.
  • Look through the list of required attachments and make sure that you have each required document in hand before starting the registration application.
  • If you will foreign qualify in Arkansas, obtain a certificate of good standing from your home state to submit during the foreign qualification process.
How to Apply:

Domestic Applicants:

  1. File entity formation documents with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
  2. Mail or email a completed Charitable Organization Registration Form and all required attachments to the Arkansas Secretary of State - Business and Commercial Services Division - Charities Section.

Foreign Applicants:

  1. Determine whether or not your charity will need to foreign qualify based on your activity in Arkansas. If not required, skip to number 3.
  2. File foreign qualification documents with the Arkansas Secretary of State.
  3. Mail or email a completed Charitable Organization Registration Form and all required attachments to the Arkansas Secretary of State - Business and Commercial Services Division - Charities Section.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • Either IRS determination letter or IRS form 1023
Fact Checked:4/14/20

Registration Renewal

Form:

Form CR-03: Annual Financial Report Form

Filing Method:

Mail or email.

Agency Fee:

$0

Due:

Annually within 180 days (6 months) of the organization's fiscal year end.

Due Date Extension:

Due dates can be extended for 6 months beyond the original due date by emailing the secretary of state at charities@sos.arkansas.gov and including the words “Annual Financial Report Extension” in the subject line of the email.

Notarize:Required
Notes:
  • Note the list of attachments required.
Required Attachments:

  • IRS form 990
  • Audited financials (if applicable)
  • Professional fundraising contracts
  • Only if amended: IRS determination letter, articles of incorporation, and bylaws
Fact Checked:2/4/20

Contract Filing

Form:

Form CR-04: Notice of Sales Promotion with Coventurer

Filing Method:

Email to charities@sos.arkansas.gov

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Due:

Every charitable organization subject to the registration requirements of A.C.A. § 4-28-402 that agrees to permit a charitable sales promotion to be conducted in its behalf shall obtain a written agreement from the commercial coventurer and file a copy of the agreement with the Secretary of State before the commencement of the charitable sales promotion within this state.

Original Ink:Not required
Notarize:Not required
How to Apply:

The charity must be registered to solicit charitable contributions or otherwise exempt for the contract to be accepted.

Fact Checked:8/1/19

Change of Fiscal Year

Form:

Form CR-03: Annual Financial Report Form

Agency Fee:

$0

Turnaround:

1-2 business days

Notes:

File the short year form with the updated fiscal year information.

Fact Checked:12/7/18

Cancellation

Agency Fee:

$0

Notes:

To close out your registration, send a signed and dated letter stating that you would like to withdraw.

Fact Checked:7/14/20
6Maintain a Arkansas Registered Agent

Maintain a registered agent that has a street address in Arkansas. The registered agent is responsible for receiving legal documents such as service of process. Appointing a registered agent service is often preferable to listing an officer or director, as their information often changes. Consider using our registered agent service in Mountain Home , AR to maintain compliance with the state requirement.


Continue reading

Fundraising Compliance

Learn how to stay compliant with charitable solicitation laws.

Read the guide
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