This is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Do some research to make sure the name you choose is suited to your business venture and is easily searchable by potential clients.
- Follow the naming guidelines: Your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) require additional paperwork and may require a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of the LLC. Prohibited words are those that would confuse the name of your LLC with a federal or state agency (e.g. FBI, Secret Service, Treasury etc).
- Is the name available? Make sure the name isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Arizona website.
- Is the URL available? Check to see if the name of your LLC is available so that you can reserve your domain name. Even if you don't plan to make a website today, you may want to buy the domain name in order to prevent others from acquiring it.
An email address is also something to consider when choosing a name. Get a professional email (@yourcompany.com) with Google apps. Also get access to the top business tools, cloud storage, and business-grade security. - Try it for free
You are required to nominate a Statutory Agent for your Arizona LLC.
What is a Statutory Agent? A statutory agent, also known as a registered agent, is a person or business that agrees to send and receive legal papers on behalf of your LLC. Such papers include service of process of legal action (if you are sued) and state filings.
Who can be a Statutory Agent? The 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.
Click here to learn more about the role of a statutory agent, and why you may wish to consider hiring a professional statutory agent service.
* Recommended: INCFILE.COM provides free registered agent service for the first year as part of their LLC Packages.
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 the articles of organization you will need to decide if your LLC will be member managed or manager managed. Read our article on the topic to learn more.
File the Articles of Organization for a Domestic LLC
Begin Online Application
- or -
Download all four PDF's to get started:
Articles of Organization - Domestic LLC Arizona
Fee: $50 to file the Articles of Organization and Cover Sheet. Additional $35 for expedited processing.
Follow the instructions on the PDF's.
Important: If you're expanding your existing LLC to the State of Arizona you are forming a Foreign LLC. Learn how.
Arizona requires newly formed LLCs to publish a notice of organization for three consecutive weeks in an approved newspaper in the county of the LLC’s principal office.
What you'll need to file
Upon approval of your articles of incorporation, you will receive information on how to publish from the Arizona Corporation Commission. Arizona LLC’s must comply with this requirement within 60 days of formation.
Arizona Corporation Commission Corporations Division
Fee: Fees vary. Average costs in Maricopa range between $40-$60, which is representative of state’s average. In Yuma, costs rise as high as $200-$300.
Failure to comply with this requirement may result in dissolution or revocation of your LLC
Did you know? Hubsco Publishing can save you time by having a notice of organization published on your behalf.
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 your LLC. Learn more about operating agreements here.
* Recommended: Check out our free sample operating agreement
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 when filing state and federal taxes. In addition, banks may require an EIN to open a business checking account.
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 by one of two ways:
Click here to learn more about EINs and further details on how to register for one with the IRS.
Opening a business bank account is an important first step, as it:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Getting a business credit card allows you to:
- Separate personal and business expenses.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money for your company later.
You are required to register for State Taxes in Arizona:
- If you hire Employees - You will need to register for:
- If you are selling taxable goods or services - You will likely need to register for:
- Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT), similar to a sales tax.
List of business activities subject to TPT.
- If your business falls within these industries.
*Recommended: Learn more about sales tax by reading our informative guide - Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
Even if you haven’t officially opened for business – it’s critical to get your books in order. 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.
*Recommended: Xero has the features that all small businesses need.
Try Xero FREE for 30 days and get 30% off your first 6-months.
Do I need business licenses and permits?
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.
Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business:
- Federal: Use the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) guide to federal business licenses and permits.
- State: Visit the State of Arizona's Department of Revenue website - an online resource to find the right permits that you need for your LLC.
- Local: Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and ask about local licenses and permits.
- Alternatively, you can use a professional service to research all of your business licensing needs.
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.
What is Workers Compensation Insurance? This form of insurance is required for most businesses with employees, but varies by state. Click here to learn more.
What is General Liability Insurance? This is an important service, but is not required in most states. Click here to learn why.
How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.
Once a business decides to hire employees, certain legal obligations are required, such as:
- Ensuring that potential employees are eligible to work in the US
- Reporting employees as "new hires" to the State
- Providing workers compensation insurance for employees
- Withholding income taxes
- Printing compliance posters and place in a conspicuous location
- Ensuring payment of employees in specific increments as required by the state
A great resource for posting jobs and finding qualified employees is Indeed.com
How to Start a Business
5 easy steps to starting a business in Arizona.
We have a far more detailed guide - How to Start a Business which will go over the points in more details.
- Identify a suitable business idea that works for you - Check out our Business Ideas Tool.
- Critically analyze your idea with our Lean Business Model Canvas Tool. You can then go on to create a full business plan with our Free Online Business Plan Tool.
- Formally organize your Business into a company. An LLC is the most popular way to structure your business. Learn how to Form your LLC in Arizona.
- Complete important key steps after formation such as acquiring business licences & permits, registering for state taxes, and opening a business bank account.
- Build your website and develop your brand. Learn more about marketing and brand establishment.
What is an annual report?
Many states require LLCs to file an annual or biennial report. These reports typically include basic information about your business and involve a filing fee.
Do I need to file an annual report for my Arizona LLC?
No, Arizona does not require an LLC to file an Annual Report.
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
To order a certificate of Good Standing in Arizona, follow these simple steps:
- Go to Arizona’s Business Entity Search Tool, and look up your Arizona LLC.
- Click on the "Check Corporate Status" button under your entity’s listing.
- Click the print Certificate button, and purchase your Arizona Certificate of Good Standing.
Filing Fee: $45
Alternatively, if you would prefer to request your Certificate of Good Standing by mail, you can send in the Arizona Records Request Form.Download Form
Certificate Request Fee: $10 Payable to the Arizona Corporation Commission
Mail your Records Request form to the Arizona Corporation Commission at:
Arizona Corporation Commission
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
How to dissolve an Arizona LLC
If 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
If you have an existing LLC and want to register to do business in Arizona, you will need to form a foreign LLC.
Download all 4 PDF's to register a foreign LLC in Arizona:
A Certificate of Good Standing from the State the LLC was formed in.
Fee: Nonrefundable $150.00. For expedited filing add $35.00. — Follow the instructions on the PDF.
Benefits of Forming a Foreign LLC
The major benefit of becoming a foreign corporation is that it allows your company to operate as one entity in many jurisdictions. For example, if you originally incorporate your LLC the State of Delaware, you can file your existing domestic LLC as a foreign corporation in other states.