Why Start a Phoenix LLC?
As Arizona's largest city, capital, and economic center, Phoenix presents a compelling case for entrepreneurs looking to establish a new business.
For starters, Phoenix's Southwestern location puts it in relatively close proximity to major cities Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson, and Albuquerque. So, if your business involves moving goods between cities, Phoenix's strategic location can give you access to faster shipping times and lower transportation fees.
Despite its convenient location, Phoenix also boasts a lower cost of living (and, therefore, of doing business) than many other cities of a similar size. For instance, the cost of living in Phoenix is a whopping 25% lower than the cost of living in Los Angeles.
But don't think that Phoenix's affordability indicates a stagnant economy or population. Its GDP growth has far outpaced that of other cities in recent years, and its population of about 5 million people is expected to continue growing steadily. That means your Phoenix-based business will enjoy an ever-growing pool of customers.
Benefits of starting a Phoenix LLC:
Curious about the benefits of starting an LLC in Phoenix? Here are some of the most prominent:
Tax incentives: In an effort to encourage economic growth and support small businesses, the Arizona state government offers a variety of tax incentives. The Quality Jobs Tax Credit, for example, rewards businesses for creating high-quality employment opportunities.
Low corporate taxes: If you choose to have your LLC taxed as an S Corp, you'll be subject to Arizona's corporate tax rate, which is lower than that of many other states (and nearly half of neighboring California's).
Plentiful resources: Phoenix has a wealth of resources designed to help small businesses succeed (more on those later).
Large skilled workforce: Phoenix's growing population doesn't just represent possible customers — it also gives you access to a broad array of skilled workers.
Tourism industry: With tens of millions of people visiting Phoenix each year, the city is bursting with tourists who all have the potential to become your customers.
How to Form a Phoenix LLC Yourself in 6 Steps
You can launch your Phoenix LLC in 6 steps:
Choose a Unique Business Name and Complete a State Business Search
Give your business an identity of its own by choosing a one-of-a-kind name for it (hint: a tool like our Business Name Generator can make the brainstorming process faster). When selecting your preferred ideas, try to pick a business name that's creative, easy to spell, easy to pronounce, and highly memorable.
After settling on a favorite, make sure it's not already taken by checking the business name database provided by the Arizona Secretary of State. Also ensure it adheres to Arizona's naming policies.
Provide an Official Business Address (or Get a Virtual Address)
It's crucial to designate an official physical address for your LLC's location. This can be used to form your business and receive important correspondence from clients, contacts, and vendors.
If your business doesn't have its own physical address, don't sweat it — with the help of a Virtual Address, you won't have to resort to using your personal address. Instead, a Virtual Mailbox service will give you a real Arizona street address you can legally use to form your business, all while keeping your home address private and enabling you to access your mail from anywhere.
Assign a Registered Agent
Like all other states, Arizona requires registered businesses to name a Registered Agent. That person will receive legal and official mail on the business's behalf. In Arizona, this role is officially referred to as a Statutory Agent.
While it's technically possible to serve as your own Registered/Statutory Agent, we don’t recommend doing so. Use a professional Registered Agent service instead, and you can rest easy knowing nothing will fall through the cracks and no due dates will pass you by.
File Your Articles of Organization With the Arizona Corporation Commission
Once all the fundamentals of your business are nailed down, you can make it official by filing your Articles of Organization with Arizona's Corporation Commission (ACC).
You'll need to complete your Articles of Organization by providing key info about your business.
You must also include the Statutory Agent Acceptance form, along with the Articles of Organization and the required filing fees.
Once your form is completed, you can file it by mailing or hand-delivering it to:
File by Mail
Arizona Corporation Commission
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Note that Arizona is one of the few states to require publication when forming an LLC. If your business is in Maricopa County (where Phoenix is located) or Pima County, the ACC will do so for you. See the ACC's instructions for more details on publication requirements.
What Are the Fees and Requirements to Form a Business in Phoenix?
No Annual Report is due for LLCs at this time.
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)
Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) From the Internal Revenue Service
An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number, is a unique number issued to businesses by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). If you plan to hire employees and pay employment taxes, you'll need an EIN to do so. An EIN is also required for multi-member LLCs taxed as partnerships.
You can obtain an EIN by applying for one directly through the IRS. Or, you can use our EIN filing service and we'll do the work for you.
Create an Operating Agreement
Like most states, Arizona doesn't strictly require LLCs to have an operating agreement. Nonetheless, we recommend that all Arizona businesses create one.
But what is an operating agreement? Simply put, it's a legal document that outlines how your business will be operated, as well as the roles and responsibilities of its owners. It can also provide a roadmap for what will happen if certain events occur. For instance, it can detail what will happen if one of the owners leaves.
If you're an Incfile customer, you already have access to our operating agreement template. After filling it out, you'd be wise to have a lawyer review it for accuracy before adding your signature.
Other Phoenix LLC Types
Helpful Resources for Phoenix, Arizona
Looking for more information about starting and maintaining a Phoenix LLC?
For general information, check out the services and resources offered by various government organizations:
For resources geared toward businesses located in the Phoenix area in particular, see: