New Website Aims to Help Entrepreneurs Open Business

by Lee Hogan  on Thursday, Jun. 26, 2014 3:50 pm  

This photo shows the newly launched The site is meant to provide first-time entrepreneurs with help navigating the process and requirements of opening a business in Arkansas. (Photo by

First-time entrepreneurs in Arkansas have a new online tool that was constructed to help them navigate the process of opening a business.

The Arkansas Secretary of State has partnered with the Information Network of Arkansas to launch a website,, to make potential business owners aware of the requirements to be met before opening a business. The site launched Wednesday.

When entrepreneurs come to the site, they are asked five questions. Based on the answers, the website creates a curated summary of government requirements — at the federal, state and local levels — for starting a business, including licenses, permits and tax obligations.

"Our goal with this website is to make the process easier for anyone who is thinking of starting a business in Arkansas," Mark Martin, secretary of state, said in a news release. "Our vision for is to streamline interactions between all Arkansas businesses and government agencies."

Pointing Entrepreneurs in the Right Direction

The conversation for this type of site began about a year into Martin's term and after seeing what other states had done, according to Chief Deputy Secretary of State Doug Matayo.

The goal was to find a way to communicate with the business community, especially in the small business realm where confusion — on issues like the proper steps to take and what regulatory bodies to inform — is seen more often, Matayo said.

"What we've tried to do is narrow that down to these series of questions on the site to try and make it transparent, open and fairly easy for the average Arkansan to figure out, 'okay, these are the people I need to talk to, this is the process I need to go through.'"

The site is also hoped to curb non-compliance issues.

"Most businesses, small business owners especially, if they are non-compliant in some way, it's usually because they just don't know they are non-compliant," Matayo said. "We're trying to help them to be compliant.

"It's good for them. They don't have to look over their shoulder, they don't get a surprise tax, fee or fine, and they can live easy and know they did it right," he said.

The site itself looks much different than other government sites, which Matayo said was planned.



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