Starting an LLC in Arizona is Easy
To form an LLC in Arizona you will need to file your Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporate Commission, which costs $50 online. You can apply online, in-person, or by mail or fax. The Articles of Organization is the legal document that officially creates your Arizona Limited Liability Company.
Follow the step-by-step guide below to start your Arizona LLC today and get your business up and running.
STEP 1: Name Your Arizona LLC
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in opening an LLC in Arizona. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Arizona naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.
1. Follow the naming guidelines:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your Arizona LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your Arizona LLC.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any other Arizona limited liability company, corporation, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, or trade name.
For more information, check out the Arizona Corporation Commission.
2. Is the name available in Arizona? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Arizona eCorp website.
3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free
Not sure what to name your business? Check out our LLC Name Generator.
FAQ: Naming an Arizona LLC
What is an LLC?
LLC is short for Limited Liability Company. It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. An LLC is one of several business structures, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation (C Corp and S Corp). For more information, read our What is an LLC guide.
Watch our video: What is an LLC?
Do I need to get a DBA or Trade Name for my business?
Most LLCs do not need a DBA. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you would like to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.
STEP 2: Choose a Statutory Agent in Arizona
You are required to nominate an Arizona statutory agent for your LLC. A statutory agent is more commonly known as a registered agent in other states.
What is a statutory agent? A statutory agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important tax forms, legal documents, notice of lawsuits, and official government correspondence on behalf of your business. Think of your statutory agent as your business's point of contact with the state.
Who can be a statutory agent? A statutory agent must be a resident of Arizona or a corporation authorized to transact business in Arizona. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.
Learn more about the role of a statutory agent and why you should consider hiring a professional service.
Recommended: ZenBusiness includes registered agent service with their LLC formation package ($39 for the 1st year + State Fees).
FAQ: Nominating an Arizona Statutory Agent
Can I be my own statutory agent in Arizona?
Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the statutory agent for your Arizona LLC.
Read more about being your own statutory agent.
Is a registered agent service worth it?
Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your Arizona LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
For more information, read our article on Arizona statutory agents.
STEP 3: File the Arizona LLC Articles of Organization
To register your Arizona LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. You can apply online, by mail, or in-person. Some states refer to the Articles of Organization as the Certificate of Formation or Certificate of Organization.
The Articles of Organization for an LLC (limited liability company) in Arizona is a legal document to officially form your business. You’ll be expected to provide the name of your LLC, choose a statutory agent, list the services your LLC will offer, and pay the state filing fee. After you file the Articles of Organization, we recommend you obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you plan to hire employees and open a business bank account.
When filing your Articles of Organization, you will need to state whether your Arizona LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Before you file, read our member-managed vs manager-managed guide to help you choose the best management structure for your LLC.
File the Articles of Organization
File Online with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
- OR -
File by Mail or In-Person
State Filing Cost: $50 (Nonrefundable)
Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Fax: (602) 542-4100
If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of Arizona, you will need to form a Foreign LLC.
FAQ: Filing Arizona LLC Documents
How long does it take to form an LLC in Arizona?
Regular Articles of Organization processing can take up to 30 business days, but documents can be expedited for an additional fee.
What is the difference between a domestic LLC and a foreign LLC?
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Normally when we refer to an LLC we are actually referring to a domestic LLC. A foreign LLC must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.
Read our What Is a Foreign LLC article to learn more.
STEP 4: Complete Arizona LLC Publication Requirement
What is Arizona's LLC publication requirement? Arizona requires newly formed LLCs to publish a Notice of LLC Formation for three consecutive weeks in an approved newspaper in the county of the LLC’s principal office. This must be done within 60 days of formation.
Exceptions: Businesses whose principal address is in either Maricopa or Pima counties do not have to publish a Notice of LLC Formation.
What does my Notice of LLC Formation need to include? You will need to publish the following information:
- Your LLC's name
- The name and street address of your Statutory Agent
- The address of the LLC's principal place of business (if different from that of the Statutory Agent)
- Whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed
- The name(s) and address(es) of either your LLC manager or each member of your LLC
Read our full guide for Arizona LLC publication requirements to learn more.
Get the full list of newspapers organized by county, courtesy of the Arizona Corporation Commission, Corporations Division.
Fee: Fees vary by county. Costs range from $30-$300. (Nonrefundable)
STEP 5: Create an Arizona LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required for an Arizona LLC, but it's a good practice to have one.
What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.
Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
For more information on operating agreements, read our Arizona LLC operating agreement guide.
Recommended: Use our free Operating Agreement Tool to draft a customized operating agreement for your LLC.
FAQ: Creating an Arizona LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state of Arizona?
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.
STEP 6: Get an Arizona LLC EIN
What is an EIN? EIN stands for Employer Identification Number. EINs are a nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help identify businesses for tax purposes. It is essentially a social security number for a business.
An EIN is sometimes referred to as a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN is required to:
- Open a business bank account
- File and manage Federal and State Taxes
- Hire employees
Where do I get an EIN? You can get an EIN for free from the IRS. Getting an EIN is an easy process that can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL EIN APPLICANTS: You do not need a SSN to get an EIN. For more information, read our How to Get an EIN as a Foreign Person guide.
FAQ: Getting an Arizona LLC EIN
How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a social security number?
A social security number is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more here about applying as an international applicant.
What tax structure should I choose for my Arizona LLC?
Have a question? Leave a comment!
Ask us a question, tell us how we're doing, or share your experiences.
Join the conversation in our Comment Section.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
We reviewed and ranked the top 5 LLC formation services.
Find out which is best for you.
Protect Your Business & Personal Assets
Get a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your Arizona LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
You can protect your business with these two steps:
1. Opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- It makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Find the right bank for you, read our review of the Top 5 Banks for Your Small Business
2. Getting a business credit card:
- Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
- Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.
Recommended: Learn more about the best small business credit cards.
Get Insurance For Your Arizona LLC
Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. The most common types of business insurance are:
- General Liability Insurance: A broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses get general liability insurance.
- Professional Liability Insurance: A business insurance for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) that covers against claims of malpractice and other business errors.
- Workers' Compensation Insurance: A type of insurance that provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths. In Arizona, businesses with one or more employees, excluding officers and LLC members, are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance. Get a free quote with ADP.
How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.
Properly Sign Legal Documents
Improperly signing a document as yourself and not as a representative of the business can leave you open to personal liability. When signing legal documents on behalf of your company, you could follow this formula to avoid problems:
- Formal name of your business
- Your signature
- Your name
- Your position in the business as its authorized representative
See the image below for an example.
This ensures that you are signing on behalf of your LLC and not as yourself.
Learn more on how to protect your business & personal assets by reading our article - How to Maintain your LLC Corporate Veil.
Join the Conversation
We are here to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey, and are always looking at your feedback. Share your experiences in our comment box, chat with other entrepreneurs, or simply let us know how we're doing.
Keep Your Company Compliant
Arizona LLC Business Permits and Licenses
To operate your Arizona LLC, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.
The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.
Fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide.
- State: Visit the State of Arizona Department of Revenue website.
- Local: Contact your local county clerk and ask about local licenses and permits.
Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’s licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top five license research services.
Arizona LLC Tax Requirements
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax.
Arizona Sales Tax
If you are selling a physical product, you'll typically need to register for an Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) License. Referred to as a sales tax in most places, this is a tax on vendors for the privilege of doing business in Arizona.
The Arizona Department of Revenue collects the tax for the counties and cities, but rates will vary based on the business type and location.
For more information, read our sales tax guide.
Arizona Employer Taxes
If you have employees in Arizona, you will need to register for Unemployment Tax and Employee Withholding Tax through the Department of Revenue.
Register for Arizona State TaxesGet Started
Federal LLC Tax Requirements
Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:
- Form 1065 Partnership Return (most multi-member LLCs use this form)
- Form 1040 Schedule C (most single-member LLCs use this form)
How you pay yourself as an owner will also affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.
Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.
Avoid Automatic Dissolution
LLCs may face fines and even automatic dissolution when they miss one or more state filings. When this happens, LLC owners risk the loss of limited liability protection. A quality registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and by submitting reports on your behalf.
Recommended: ZenBusiness offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.
Get Help Starting a Business in Arizona
We understand that creating an LLC and getting your business up and running comes with many challenges. To help you succeed, we compiled the best local resources in every major metro area in Arizona. You can get free assistance in the following areas:
Make Running Your Business Easier
After starting a business, two of the most important things you can do are get professional accounting and hire the right employees. Streamlining these processes can save you time and money as your business grows.
Hiring Employees in Arizona
If you plan to hire employees for your Arizona LLC, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:
- Verify that new employees are able to work in the US
- Report employees as "new hires" to the State
- Provide workers' compensation insurance for employees
- Withhold employee taxes
- Print workplace compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your workspace
Recommended: Check out our Hiring for your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.
FAQ: Hiring Employees
What is the minimum wage in Arizona?
The minimum wage in Arizona is $12.00 per hour. The minimum wage in Flagstaff is $13.00 an hour.
How often do I need to pay employees in Arizona?
Wages must be paid two or more days in a month, these days cannot be more than 16 days apart.
Accounting For Your Arizona LLC
It’s critical to get your books in order, even if you haven’t officially opened for business. A well-managed accounting system will help you:
- Track your business finances, including bills, expenses, and income.
- Simplify your annual tax filings.
You can maintain your accounting in two ways
- Use a DIY accounting software. This can come with an increased risk of errors especially when starting a new business.
- Hire an accounting service. They can provide comprehensive advice to help optimize your bookkeeping and taxes as well as additional services such as payroll etc.
Recommended: For most small businesses, we recommend using a reputable accounting service. Schedule a free tax consultation for your business now to avoid costly errors in the future.
Interfacing with Clients and Customers
In the day-to-day of running a business, it's hard to be readily available for new clients or customers who want to contact you. For service-based businesses that don’t already have a brick-and-mortar location, a virtual office can solve this problem. You can get a dedicated business mailing address and a business phone number with call-forwarding so that you never need to worry about losing a potential customer.
Recommended: Opus Virtual Office can set up your businesses with a live receptionist and all the perks of a virtual office for a great price of $99/month. Plus, as a visitor of HowToStartAnLLC, you can save $200 today.
Women in Business Tools and Resources
If you have a woman-owned business, many resources are available to help you concentrate on your business’s growth:
- Funding - (ie. grants, investors, loans)
- Events - (ie. conferences, meetups)
- Guides - (ie. business formation, personal growth)
- Support - (ie. advice, communities, business strategies)
Our information and tools will provide educational sources, allow you to connect with other women entrepreneurs, and help you manage your business with ease.
TRUiC has created video guides to support and reinforce our on-page guides. These videos help to visualize the ideas and lessons that you need to know to create and run a successful business.
Check out our growing library of small business videos on the TRUiC YouTube channel.
Foreign LLCs in Arizona
Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Arizona, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. This can be done by mail.
Register as a Foreign LLC in Arizona
File by Mail with the Arizona Corporations Commission
Fee: $150 (Nonrefundable)
Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Fax: (602) 542-4100
How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your Arizona LLC was legally formed and has been properly maintained. Several instances where you might need to get one include: Seeking funding from banks or other lenders Forming your business as a foreign LLC in another state Obtaining or renewing specific business licenses or permits.
You can order an Arizona LLC Certificate of Good Standing online.
Order a Certificate of Good Standing
Request a Certificate from the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Fee: $45 online (Nonrefundable)
Dissolve Your Arizona LLC
If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your Arizona LLC, it is important to officially dissolve it. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities and penalties, or even legal trouble. To dissolve your Arizona LLC, there are two broad steps:
- Close your business tax accounts
- File the Arizona Articles of Dissolution
When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Arizona LLC Dissolution Guide.