State of Arkansas Short-Term Rental Regulations

Short-term rental regulations vary depending on the location and may include zoning laws, occupancy and safety standards, taxation, licensing, and insurance requirements review our guides for more information specific to your city.


Reviewed by Derick Hargrave

Last updated September 04, 2023

Overview of Arkansas Short-Term Rental Regulations

Information is maintained by the community to provide helpful insights and links to local regulations, HostScouts does not provide legal or investment advice.

From the Ozark Mountains to cities like Little Rock, Arkansas, it offers many scenic destinations for travelers. As interest in short-term rentals grows, hosts need to understand regulations before listing properties. 

In this guide, I'll outline key laws, permit rules, tax obligations, and safety standards for Arkansas vacation rentals. My goal is to help hosts achieve legal compliance and avoid penalties.

Defining Short Term Rentals in Arkansas

Arkansas statutes don't provide a definition for short-term or vacation rentals. However, several local ordinances regulate these rentals based on length of stay. For example, Eureka Springs defines short-term rentals as lodging offered for periods less than 30 consecutive days. Fayetteville uses nightly or weekly stays as criteria. 

So, while a statewide standard doesn't exist, cities have established their own definitions within local laws. Check requirements for your specific area.

Common Length of Stay Thresholds

Many Arkansas cities define short-term rentals as those offered for periods less than 30 days. This covers:

  • Entire homes
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Cabins
  • Private rooms

Units presented as nightly or weekly vacation rentals would also qualify under most local laws.

Local Ordinances Vary

With no comprehensive statewide legislation, regulations for short-term rentals depend on local city and county ordinances in Arkansas. 

These can range from zoning rules to permits, taxes, health standards, and more. Researching both state statutes and local laws is essential for hosts.

Starting a Short-Term Rental Business in Arkansas 

Here are key steps Arkansas hosts should know for launching a new short-term rental property:

Check Local Zoning

Many Arkansas cities restrict short-term rentals through zoning regulations. Some limit them to commercial areas only. Others have caps on the number allowed. Verify zoning permits rentals in your area.

Obtain Permits

Most municipalities require hosts to obtain local permits or licenses to operate short-term rentals legally. Fees vary by jurisdiction. For example, Eureka Springs charges $250 annually. 

Register for Taxes

You'll need to register with the Arkansas Department of Finance to collect and remit state and local taxes on rentals. Both registration and filing are handled online for convenience. 

Tax Obligations for Arkansas Vacation Rentals

You must collect and pay all applicable state, county, and city taxes as a host. Here's an overview:

State Sales Tax

Arkansas levies a 6.5% sales tax on short-term rental transactions. This applies to the total rental rate plus any cleaning or service fees guests pay.

Hosts collect this tax at the time of booking. You are responsible for reporting and paying the state each filing period. 

City and County Taxes

Local cities and counties impose their own taxes on short-term rental revenue, such as advertising and promotion taxes or gross receipts taxes.

For example, Eureka Springs charges a 5% A&P tax. Fayetteville levies a 2% gross receipts tax. Verify rates for your jurisdiction.

Lodgings Taxes

Some cities charge an additional lodgings tax on short-term rentals. Eureka Springs has a 3% lodgings tax. Russellville levies a 5% tax. Check for any other occupancy taxes in your area.

You report local taxes alongside state sales tax filings. Returns are typically due monthly.

Health and Safety Standards

To protect visiting guests, Arkansas short-term rentals must comply with various health, fire, and safety regulations:

Fire Safety

State law requires functional fire extinguishers, smoke detectors, and posted emergency escape routes in all vacation rental units. Regular fire code inspections also apply.

Properties with hot tubs or pools have additional barriers, signage, and lighting requirements. Make safety a priority.

Food Safety

Any food or beverages offered to guests must meet state health department regulations for proper storage, prep, and labeling. Limiting offerings avoids complex compliance.

Building and Health Codes

Short-term rentals must adhere to state standards around wastewater, ventilation, electrical systems, and more. Local health officials also conduct periodic inspections. Fix any identified issues promptly.


While Arkansas lacks centralized short-term rental laws, local ordinances establish key regulations hosts must follow. Hosts can build successful vacation rental businesses by understanding zoning rules, acquiring permits, collecting taxes, and emphasizing safety.

Arkansas Airbnb Regulations by City

Information is maintained by the community to provide helpful insights and links to local regulations, HostScouts does not provide legal or investment advice.

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