How to Start an LLC in Arizona (2024 Guide)
Wondering how to start an LLC in Arizona? To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose a statutory agent, and file your Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission ($50 processing fee).
You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized Arizona LLC formation service (recommended).
Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)
How to Form an LLC in Arizona in 7 Steps
In order to form your LLC in Arizona, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:
- Name Your LLC
- Choose an Arizona Statutory Agent
- File Your Articles of Organization
- Create an LLC Operating Agreement
- Complete the Arizona LLC Publication Requirement
- Obtain an EIN
- File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Step 1: Name Your Arizona LLC
Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your Arizona LLC.
This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under Arizona law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.
1. Important Naming Guidelines for Arizona LLCs:
- Your name must include the words “limited liability company,” “limited company,” or one of the following abbreviations: “L.L.C.,” “L.C.,” “LLC,” or “LC” in either uppercase or lowercase letters.
- Your name cannot contain the words “association,” “corporation,” “incorporated,” or any abbreviations of these terms.
- If you’re going to be operating a professional LLC, you will need to include the words “professional limited liability company” or one of the following abbreviations: “P.L.L.C., P.L.C., PPLC, PLC.”
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your Arizona LLC with a government agency (e.g., FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Names with “bank,” “credit union,” “trust,” “trust company,” or “deposit” are prohibited unless the LLC is expressly engaged in banking or trust activities.
- Other restricted words (e.g., 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 (including names reserved with the ACC). Names with a difference in business identifier (e.g., Corp., LP, LCA, etc.) do not make a name distinguishable.
We recommend checking out the Arizona Corporation Commission for a complete list of naming rules in this state.
2. Is the name available in Arizona?
To check whether your desired name has already been taken by another business entity in Arizona, you can perform an Entity Search on the Arizona eCorp website.
If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name for up to 120 days. This includes a $10 processing fee.
For more information, you can have a look at our Arizona LLC Name Search guide.
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 right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it — potentially saving you both time and money in the long term.
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Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.
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FAQ: Naming an Arizona 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. Read our What is a Limited Liability Company guide for more information.
Or, watch our two-minute What is an LLC video.
You must follow the Arizona LLC naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:
- Include "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
- Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.
If you have trouble creating a name for your LLC, use our LLC Name Generator. We'll help you find a unique name for your business and an available URL to match.
Most LLCs do not need a doing business as (DBA) name, known as a trade name in Arizona. 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 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
After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate an Arizona statutory agent. This is known as a registered agent in most states outside of Arizona, and is a necessary step in your Articles of Organization (i.e., the document used to file and register your LLC with the Arizona Corporation Commission).
What is a statutory agent? A statutory agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving notice of lawsuits on behalf of your business. You can think of your statutory agent as your business's primary point of contact with the state.
Who can be a statutory agent? A statutory agent must be a resident of Arizona or a corporation – such as a registered agent service, individual (e.g., yourself, etc.), or a business attorney – authorized to transact business in Arizona.
Keep in mind that your statutory agent must be at the business address or another physical street address within Arizona during regular business hours.
Note: Arizona requires all statutory agents to complete and sign Form M002: Statutory Agent Acceptance upon appointment. You will need to file this in conjunction with your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
FAQ: Nominating a statutory agent
Yes. You can choose to act as your own statutory agent, appoint a member of your LLC, work with a business attorney, or hire a professional registered agent service (recommended).
Read more about being your own statutory agent.
Using a professional registered agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs.
Step 3: File the Arizona LLC Articles of Organization
To register your Arizona LLC, you'll need to file the following forms with the Arizona Corporation Commission:
- Form L010: Articles of Organization
- Form M002: Statutory Agent Acceptance
- Form L041: Member Structure Attachment or Form L040: Manager Structure Attachment
- Cover Sheet
This can be done online, by mail, or in person, alongside a $50 filing fee.
Before filing, you will need to make sure you have completed all forms correctly. You will need to have the following resources on-hand:
- Your statutory agent’s completed Statutory Agent Acceptance Form
- The names and addresses of your LLC’s members or managers, along with the attached structure attachment you choose.
- Your LLC’s information, including its name, classification, and principal address
- Your completed Cover Sheet, which includes expedited processing options.
File the Articles of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online With Arizona eCorpFile Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: File by Mail or in Person
State Filing Cost: $50 (Nonrefundable)
Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
For help with completing the form, visit our Arizona Articles of Organization guide.
Note: If you're expanding your existing LLC to the state of Arizona, you will need to form a foreign limited liability company (LLC).
FAQ: Filing Arizona LLC Documents
Regular Articles of Organization processing typically takes up to 30 business days.
While the Arizona Corporation Commission approves LLC formation paperwork on a first-come, first-served basis, you can expedite the processing of your forms for an additional fee:
- Regular Expedited Service: $35
- Next-Day Service: $100
- Same-Day Service: $200
- Two-Hour Service: $400
An LLC is called a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. A foreign LLC must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.
Step 4: Complete Arizona LLC Publication Requirement
Arizona requires all 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
For more information, have a look at our Arizona Publication Requirement Guide.
Get the complete list of newspapers organized by county, courtesy of the Arizona Corporation Commission, Corporations Division.DOWNLOAD PDF
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 having one is a good practice.
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 LLC members are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
Read our Arizona LLC operating agreement guide for more information on operating agreements.
FAQ: Creating an Arizona LLC Operating Agreement
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many other states legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement.
Step 6: Get an EIN for Your Arizona LLC
You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as the Federal Employer Identification Number or Federal Tax Identification Number, from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business's tax reporting – essentially acting as a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:
- To open a business bank account for the company
- For federal and state tax purposes
- To hire employees for the company
Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.
Get an EIN
Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS
- OR -
Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
FAQ: Getting an EIN
A Social Security number is not required to get an EIN. 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.
All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. The IRS requires this.
Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.
When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the available tax classification options. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.
However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs. S Corp guide.
Step 7: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Beginning January 2024, LLC owners will need to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing LLCs can file their report any time between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will need to file their report within 90 days of formation.
This contains similar information to that of your Articles of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, and can be filed online for free. Failure to file an accurate report on time can result in a $500 per day fine.
Note: There are certain filing exemptions, such as for large companies (i.e., more than 20 full-time employees), tax-exempt entities, and publicly traded companies.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
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Maintain Your Arizona LLC
After you’ve successfully formed your LLC and completed Arizona’s publication requirements, you’ll then need to sort out your federal, state, and local taxes.
Sort Out Your Taxes
The taxes your LLC must pay will vary depending on the nature of your business (e.g., its industry, niche, number of employees, etc.).
Below, we’ve broken down the most common types of taxes that your LLC may be expected to pay.
Transaction Privilege Tax
Instead of state sales tax, the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR) imposes the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) to retailers for the privilege of conducting business within this state. This is set at a general statewide rate of 5.6% for businesses selling tangible goods, but in practice can actually range up to as much as 11.2% due to the additional rates in effect in certain localities and industries.
It’s important to note that if liable to pay this tax, you’ll need to file an Arizona Joint Tax Application (JT-1) to the Department of Revenue before your business can begin its operations. This also involves paying the appropriate filing fee, which typically varies between $1 and $50, depending on where your LLC is based.
Note: The Department of Revenue's Tax Rate Tables provide a comprehensive list of all business activities and industries that are subject to TPT, as well as their specific tax rates.
Arizona Income Taxes
In addition to your federal income tax responsibilities, there are several statewide taxes you may need to pay on revenue sourced within Arizona, including:
- Personal Income Tax: Arizona income tax currently uses a progressive system with a rate of 2.55% for taxable incomes below $27,273 (or $54,546 for joint filers) and 2.98% for incomes above this threshold. However, the state plans to simplify this by moving to a single, flat tax rate of 2.5% for all income levels in the future.
- Small Business Income (SBI) Tax: Small business owners have the option to file their earnings on a separate tax return, distinct from their personal income. In this case, they are taxed at a flat rate of 2.8%. It's important to note that this rate is set to decrease to 2.5% in the year 2025.
- Corporate Income Tax: In Arizona, corporations and LLCs with C corp elections are subject to a flat tax rate of 4.9% on all taxable income earned from business activities within the state.
In Arizona, there is no statewide property tax, and this is instead set and managed by 15 county officials across the state. The process of calculating how much your business owes in property taxes and collecting it is handled by two officials:
- County Assessors: With the exception of certain centrally assessed properties (such as airlines, mines, railroads, and utilities), these county officials are tasked with identifying and coming up with a value for all the properties in their jurisdiction.
- County Treasurers: The treasurer in each Arizona county is responsible for collecting property taxes and ensuring they are distributed properly.
Note: You can find out more about how property tax works in your local area by taking a look at the Arizona Association of Counties website.
Steps After LLC Formation
After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, obtain all required business licenses, and get business insurance, among other things.
Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.