How Much Does It Cost to Form an AZ Corporation?
Legal business registration — and maintaining business compliance — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the Arizona Corporation Commission, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that fees for a State of Arizona business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Arizona Corporation Filing Fees
When starting a business in Arizona State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Arizona corporation filing fees and times:
Arizona Filing Time & Price
When you use Incfile to register a business in Arizona, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Arizona Corporation Commission when we file your incorporation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.
Arizona Foreign Corporation Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Arizona, you must request Arizona Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of an Arizona Foreign Corporation, you must complete an Application for Authority form and pay a processing fee of $175. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Arizona Corporation Commission directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with AZ corporation law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Arizona corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application form and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Arizona Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Arizona requires an annual report to be filed once every year with the AZ Corporation Commission. When you file your annual report, you must do so via the state's online portal and file the required information. A fee of $45 is charged for this service.
Arizona Compliance Requirements
Corporations are required to file an Annual Report with the Arizona Corporation Commision. The Annual Report is due by the anniversary date of the filing.
Arizona requires that you publish the Articles of Incorpration in their entirety. The publication must be in a newspaper in general circulation in the county of the known place of business in Arizona for 3 consecutive publications. The publication must be filed within 60 days of the date of incorporation. The corporation may be subject to administrative dissolution if it fails to publish.
Where do I publish the document?
The A.C.C. does not endorse any particular newspaper, but, as a courtesy they provide a list of newspapers that have attested to the A.C.C. that they meet the statutory criteria for publishing documents. Upon publishing you will receive an Affidavit of Publication. It is not required, but you may send the Affidavit of Publication you receive from the newspaper to the A.C.C. for placement into the entity’s public record. If you do not submit the Affidavit of Publication to the A.C.C. you should retain it as part of your entity's permanent record.
(We do not assist in the filing of the Publication Requirement)
State of Arizona Business License and Permit Requirements
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
You are required to have Arizona corporation bylaws if you form a corporation in the state. You don't need to file them with the Arizona Corporation Commission, but make sure you have them with your documents and by all means, continue to follow them.
Bylaws are documents that outline rules for carrying out tasks related to managing your business including, but not limited to:
- the number of directors the corporation has
- how they'll be elected, their qualifications and the lengths of their terms
- when, where and how your board of directors can call and conduct meetings
- voting requirements
The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.
Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.
Other AZ Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees
The State of Arizona requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.
Appoint a Director
Some states require corporations to appoint a full board of directors. AZ Revised Statutes requires all corporations to have at least one director, however a corporation may choose to establish a variable range for the size of the board of directors. The Arizona Revised Statutes Title 10, Chapter 8, Article 1, § 10-803 states "If a variable range is established, the number of directors may be fixed or changed from time to time, within the minimum and maximum, by the shareholders or the board of directors."
In Arizona, the board of directors must elect an officer who is responsible for preparing minutes of the directors' and shareholders' meetings and for authenticating records of the corporation.
Issue Stock to Shareholders
To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Arizona corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.
Hold Annual General Meetings
This is one area where Arizona differs from other states. You are required to hold annual meetings, and it's generally a good idea to do so. But should you decide not to, or are unable to, Arizona Revised Statutes Title 10, Chapter 7, Article 1, § 10-701 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time stated in or fixed in accordance with a corporation's bylaws does not affect the validity of any corporate action."
Change the Statutory Agent
If your corporation is based in Arizona, then you must have a Statutory Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Statutory Agent later by filing a Statement of Change. The ACC provides this service for free.
Reserving a Name for Your Corporation
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 120 days with the Corporation Commission by filing a request via the online portal and paying a fee of $10. First, conduct an AZ corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your Corporation
When you incorporate, the Arizona business forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment with the Corporation Commission along with a filing fee of $25. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
You'll need to file Articles of Amendment when you:
- change the company's name
- add, remove or change a director
- change the Statutory Agent
- change the number of shares your corporation is authorized to issue
- change any other facet of your business that was listed in the original Articles of Incorporation
Get a Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states — Arizona included — this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request an AZ Certificate of Good Standing from the Corporation Commission. You can do this via the online portal of the ACC and paying a filing fee of $10.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Arizona. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Arizona taxes page.