Starting an LLC in Arizona is easy, just follow these simple steps:
Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. 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 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 LLC.
For more information, check out Arizona's 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 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.
FAQ: Naming 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. Learn more here.
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 legal documents on behalf of your business. Think of your statutory agent as your business' 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.
TIPRecommended: ZenBusiness includes Registered Agent Service with their LLC formation package ($39 for the 1st year + State Fees).
FAQ: Nominating a 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 LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs. Learn more about registered agents in Arizona here.
To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the State of Arizona. This can be done online, by mail, or in-person.
When filing, you will need to state whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. We recommend learning more about these two options before you file.
File the Articles of Organization
File Online with the State of Arizona
- OR -
File by Mail or In-Person
Download the 4 PDFs listed below:
- Articles of Organization
- Statutory Agent Acceptance - Arizona LLC
- Manager - or - Member Structure Attachment - Arizona LLC
- Cover Sheet - Arizona LLC
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
If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of Arizona, you will need to form a Foreign LLC.
FAQ: Filing LLC Documents
What is the processing time to form my Arizona LLC?
50 to 55 days online or by mail, but may be expedited for an additional fee.
What is the difference between a domestic Arizona LLC and 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. If you are filing as a Foreign Arizona LLC learn more here.
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 publication requirements to learn how many small businesses handle them.
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)
An operating agreement is not required in Arizona, 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 Operating Agreement
Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state?
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.
What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN 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 obtain an EIN. Learn more here.
FAQ: Getting an EIN
What tax structure should I choose for my LLC?
When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.
However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing S corporation status. We recommend consulting with a local accountant to find out which option is best for you.
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
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 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.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
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.
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.
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.
Keep Your Company Compliant
To operate your 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:
Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’ licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top five license research services.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state 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.
If you have employees in Arizona, you will need to register for Unemployment Tax and Employee Withholding Tax through the Department of Revenue.
Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:
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.
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.
If you plan to hire employees, 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 compliance posters and place them in visible areas of your work space
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 $11.00 per 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.
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.
The right software makes accounting easy. Look for software that:
- Syncs with your bank automatically.
- Matches transactions to invoices, bills and purchase orders.
- Can be accessed from your phone.
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)
Mail: Arizona Corporation Commission Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your 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 or by mail.
If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your 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 LLC, there are two broad steps:
- Close your business tax accounts
- File the Articles of Dissolution
When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Arizona LLC Dissolution Guide.