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Arizona is considered both a western and a mountain state, sharing borders with four other states and Mexico. Its geography makes it an ideal location for businesses who want to set their sights on expanding further afield.
Famed for its desert-like climate, Arizona’s economy includes tourism as one of the main sectors. Built on the cotton trade, fruit growing, cattle ranching and copper mining, Arizona industry has since expanded to strengthen an increasingly diverse statewide economy. The state is also well-served by universities and has developed a rich culture, including film, music and sports.
For most business owners, the fastest and easiest way to start a business in Arizona is by creating an Arizona LLC. A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that’s ideal for startups and small- to medium-sized businesses. You get the advantages and protections of larger Arizona corporations but with much simpler rules and regulations.
Briefly, the benefits of starting an Arizona LLC include:
Learn more about the benefits of the LLC business structure here.
In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to form an LLC in Arizona, including business searches with the Arizona Secretary of State, how to get Arizona business licenses, LLC applications in Arizona, AZ LLC registration, LLC forms, assigning a statutory agent and much more.
This guide has plenty of information on how to start an LLC in Arizona, but you can break down the basics of creating a business in AZ into just a few simple steps.
STEP 1: Gather Information for Your Members
First, you need to gather basic information about your LLC, including the names and addresses of the managers or members. The LLC members are typically the people who own and run the business. They are also the ones who can take profits out of the business to pay themselves.
STEP 2: Search for and Choose a Unique Business Name for Your Arizona LLC
You will need a distinctive and original name for your Arizona LLC that’s not used by any other business in AZ. To find out if another company is using your chosen business name, carry out an Arizona business entity name search on the AZ Corporation Commission website.
There are a few rules you’ll need to follow when choosing an LLC name. You can find out more in our guide to searching for and naming your Arizona LLC.
STEP 3: Provide an Official Address for Your AZ LLC
Every Arizona LLC must have a designated street address. That could be your home address (if you’re running the company from your residence), your company’s office building or any physical address of your preference. The address can be outside the state of Arizona, but it cannot be a P.O. Box.
STEP 4: Assign a Statutory Agent (Registered Agent) for Your Arizona LLC
Every AZ LLC must have a “Registered Agent,” known in Arizona as a “Statutory Agent” when it is formed. This is an official position; the Registered Agent is someone who receives official legal and tax correspondence and has responsibility for filing reports with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
This position can be filled by you, another manager in the business or a dedicated Registered Agent service. Your AZ Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Arizona and must be present to receive important documents for your company during business hours.
At Incfile, all of our packages include an Arizona Registered Agent service that is free for the first year and just $119 per year afterward. We also have a dashboard where you can log in and easily view any document your Registered Agent has received on your behalf.
STEP 5: Get an Employee Identification Number (EIN) From the Internal Revenue Service
You will need an EIN to identify your business to the IRS. You use this number when filing and paying taxes or when submitting payroll information and payments for your employees. You can obtain one directly from the IRS, or we can get one for you as part of the Arizona LLC business formation process.
STEP 6: File Articles of Organization for AZ Registration
Once you've gathered all the information for your Arizona LLC, you’ll need to file a formal document with the AZ Corporation Commission. This document is known as your “Articles of Organization,” and filing the document creates your Arizona LLC. Here’s what is typically included:
You can file your Arizona LLC Articles of Organization online, mail in a form or have Incfile do it on your behalf. There is a fee to file and start an LLC in Arizona. You only need to file your Articles of Organization once.
In addition to what you’ll find in this guide, the AZ Corporation Commission has plenty of information on forming and running a business in Arizona.
A regular Arizona LLC is suitable for most business needs, but you also have a few other options to incorporate a special type of LLC.
Form a Professional Arizona LLC
Some states, including Arizona, allow certain occupations to form “Professional LLCs.” These types of businesses typically have special requirements and licensing. Arizona does not specify the professions that can form a professional LLC, but they do say the following:
Form a Foreign LLC in Arizona
If your business is already operating in another state and expanding to Arizona, you’ll need to form a foreign LLC.
More information on Arizona filing and licensing requirements here
Want to know your next steps after creating a new LLC in Arizona? We’ve got you covered. Here’s our guide to understanding your ongoing requirements, setting up new bank accounts, protecting your business name, getting accounting in place and more.
You’ll find plenty more insight and guidance on the other pages of this guide, including:
How to search the Arizona business registry of the AZ Corporation Commission and find the right name. Includes information on naming rules, fictitious names, reserving an Arizona LLC name and more.
How to appoint an Arizona Registered Agent to your new LLC or change to a different Registered Agent. Includes information on Registered Agent rules and searching for Arizona Registered Agents.
How to understand the various fees you’ll need to pay and the requirements you’ll need to meet for both federal and Arizona rules. Includes details of Employee Identification Numbers (EINs), Arizona and federal business licenses, Arizona annual reports and more.
How to understand the various taxes you will need to pay to the federal and Arizona government. Includes details of federal taxes like income and self-employment, and Arizona taxes like sales tax and income tax.
|State Fee||State Filing Time||Expedited Filing Time|
|$85||4 Weeks||12 Days|
This report is mandatory and must be filed within the specified time frame in order for the entity to remain in good standing with the state. Failure to file this report can lead to the company being revoked or administratively dissolved.
Frequency: No Annual Report is due for LLCs at this time.
Important: Arizona requires that you publish a notice of filing of your Articles of Organization or alternatively, you may publish the Articles of Organization 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 organization. The LLC 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)
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