How to Form an LLC in Arizona

Cost to Start an LLC in Arizona

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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.

Steps to start an L L C in Arizona

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.

Find a Domain Now

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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

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 2-minute 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 (Doing Business As). 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 in Arizona 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' 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.

TIP

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.

Arizona LLC Formation Document

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.

File Online

- OR -

File by Mail or In-Person

Download the 4 PDFs listed below:

  1. Articles of Organization
  2. Statutory Agent Acceptance - Arizona LLC
  3. Manager - or - Member Structure Attachment - Arizona LLC
  4. Cover Sheet - Arizona LLC

State Filing Cost: $50 (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:
Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

Submit In-Person:
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.

Approved Newspapers

Get the full 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 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.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

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? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN), is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue System (IRS); an Employer ID Number is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a social security number (SSN) 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.

NOTE

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: you do not need an SSN to obtain an EIN. For more information, read our guide on how to obtain an EIN as a foreign LLC.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

FAQ: Getting an Arizona LLC EIN

How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a social security number?

An SSN is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the Internal Revenue Service 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?

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 the S corporation (S corp) 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.

Best LLC Services

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.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: You can get $200 when you open a Chase business checking account with qualifying activities. Learn more.

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.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

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.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

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:

  1. Formal name of your business
  2. Your signature
  3. Your name
  4. Your position in the business as its authorized representative

See the image below for an example.

How to properly sign a legal document: 1. Signature 2. Company Name 3. Printed Name 4. A Title

This ensures that you are signing on behalf of your LLC and not as yourself.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Learn more on how to protect your business & personal assets by reading our article - How to Maintain your LLC Corporate Veil.

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:

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

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.

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.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Register for Arizona State Taxes

Get Started

Federal LLC Tax Requirements

Most LLCs will need to report their income to the IRS each year using:

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

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.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

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:

Flagstaff | Phoenix | Prescott | Tucson | Yuma

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:

Find out more from the Industrial Commission of Arizona and the Arizona Department of Economic Security.

A cube with LLC printed on its sides

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.

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.
A cube with LLC printed on its sides

Recommended: QuickBooks has all the accounting features your small business will need.
Try QuickBooks for free

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.

Video Guides

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.

How to Form an Arizona LLC Video Playlist 
Business Ideas Video Playlist

Check out our growing library of small business videos on the TRUiC YouTube channel.

More Information

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

Download Form

Fee: $150 (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:
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.

Request Online

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.

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