Setting up a new business is exciting. To get started, the state of Arizona requires business owners to file certain paperwork. This paperwork provides certain details about your company, like its name and the name of a statutory agent.
A statutory agent is a person or company willing to accept legal documents for the company.
Since statutory agents are involved in the LLC formation process, we’ll explain how to set up an LLC in the state of Arizona and provide information about selecting a statutory agent.
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How is an LLC formed in Arizona?
To establish a company in the state of Arizona, there are several steps to follow. Those steps include:
1. Naming the company
To set up a company in any state, a name must be selected. The name must be unique and can’t already be in use by another company in the state. That’s just one of the naming rules that the state has. Additional company naming rules include:
- The company name must include the phrase Limited Liability Company, LLC, or L.L.C.
- A selected company name can’t include any terms or phrases that mimic government agencies that could confuse the public. For example, companies can’t include FBI or IRS in their name.
- As mentioned, the company name must be distinguishable from other companies in the state.
Want to know if the company name you have in mind is already in use? Go to the Arizona eCorp website to run a name search.
2. Picking a statutory agent
Once a name is selected, the company owner needs to select a statutory agent. A statutory agent serves as the company’s point of contact and is willing to accept legal documents on its behalf. The statutory agent, which is known as a registered agent in other states, must agree to this position by filling out a Statutory Agent Acceptance Form.
Further definition of a statutory agent is below, along with who can serve in this role.
3. Filing the Articles of Organization
An Arizona LLC is created by filing Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporate Commission. Applications can be handled online, in-person, or via mail.
The Articles of Organization ask for information regarding the business, like its name, the statutory agent, and a list of services or products provided by the company.
The Articles of Organization should be sent to the Arizona Corporate Commission and a Statutory Agent Acceptance Form should be submitted with it. This entire process can be completed online.
To file these documents with the state, there is a $50 filing fee. Compared to other states that charge upwards of $200, the filing fee in Arizona is fairly modest. To expedite the process, business owners or LLC organizers can pay an additional $35.
4. Taking care of the Arizona publication requirement
Arizona law states that all new LLCs must publish a Notice of LLC Formation for three weeks in an approved newspaper. This notice must include the company name, the name of the statutory agent, the location of the business, and the names of all LLC managers.
This must be done within 60 days of setting up an LLC in Arizona.
5. Creating a company operating agreement
It isn’t required to file an operating agreement with the state, but experts strongly encourage creating one to reduce the risk of problems. An operating agreement explains how the business is run. It details who’s in charge, who the investors are, what the management hierarchy is, how profits are handed out, and how losses are handled.
For those who aren’t familiar with this document, there are templates online that can provide direction.
6. Obtaining an EIN
Filing paperwork with the right agencies is a start, but you also need to connect with the IRS to get an EIN or an employer identification number. To obtain this unique code, visit the IRS website. The process takes minutes.
Wondering why you need an EIN? It’s required to:
- Open business bank accounts in the state
- Put employees on the payroll
- Pay taxes
What is an Arizona statutory agent?
Every business needs a statutory agent assigned to it. This person or company agrees to receive legal documents for your company. Documents could include tax forms, legal papers, and a notice of a lawsuit known as service of process documents.
Do I really need a statutory agent in Arizona?
Yes. It’s required to list a statutory agent on the Articles of Organization in Arizona. The state needs a way to deliver legal papers to the company. With a statutory agent listed, the paperwork can be directed to the right person and a record of its delivery can be recorded.
Can I be my own statutory agent in Arizona?
Yes. Arizona allows a business owner to be its own statutory agent. Other people or companies can also be selected to fill this role.
Who can be a statutory agent in Arizona?
A business owner or the LLC organizer can fill this role, but a friend, fellow coworker, neighboring business, or even a commercial statutory agent can be selected too. A commercial statutory agent is a company that you pay to be your statutory agent.
In Arizona, a registered agent can be any person or business with a physical address in the state, not a PO box. Unlike other states, Arizona does not have an age requirement for a statutory agent. Most states require a person to be at least 18-years-of-age.
Why would a company choose to work with a commercial statutory agent?
If the statutory agent simply receives important notices, you might be wondering why some companies decide to use a commercial statutory agent. Here are a few reasons:
- Convenience. Some owners travel a lot or simply don’t want the burden of being at a location with regularity on the off chance paperwork needs to be delivered. For convenience, entrepreneurs choose a commercial statutory agent.
- Peace of mind. With a commercial statutory agent in place, an owner knows that nothing is missed. It provides peace of mind knowing that someone is always on the lookout for legal notices on your behalf and will let you know if and when they arrive.
- Privacy. A commercial statutory agent keeps employees and customers from ever hearing the words, “You’ve been served.” The commercial agent adds a layer of privacy, which some business owners prefer.
List of Arizona commercial statutory agents
For companies interested in a commercial statutory agent, here’s a quick list of possibilities to choose from:
- Incfile.com: Incfile.com can help entrepreneurs file their LLC formation paperwork and serve as the company’s registered agent. The online company offers a host of beneficial business services that includes filing reports and other necessary documents with the state. The first year is free. After that, it’s $119 a year.
- Northwest Registered Agent: For $125 a year, Northwest Registered Agent offers an online portal, real-time updates when mail is received, and pricing that remains the same each year. The company offers its services in several states and has years of experience in the field. Additional business services are also offered.
- Swyft Filings: Swyft Filings offers registered agent services that start at $149 a year. Users get an online dashboard, report and filing reminders, and secure document storage for this fee. In addition, the company has a buffet of other business services available when you have a need.
How much does a commercial statutory agent cost in Arizona?
A commercial statutory agent can offer a range of services, but the most basic of which is mail forwarding. For this simple service, costs usually hover around $50 a year. For more advanced services with mail forwarding, online accounts, and reminders regarding annual reports, prices will increase. For more services, expect to pay between $100-200 annually.
How does an owner select a statutory agent in Arizona?
The statutory agent is listed on the LLC formation paperwork, known as the Articles of Organization. The agent must also accept this role in writing by submitting a Statutory Agent Acceptance Form. Both are submitted to the Arizona Corporate Commission.
Can a company change its statutory agent?
Yes. To change your statutory agent in Arizona, fill out an LLC Statement of Change of Known Place of Business Address or Statutory Agent. The cost is $5.
As with the LLC formation paperwork, the statutory agent must accept this position in writing by signing a Statutory Agent Acceptance Form. This form must be mailed or delivered in-person. No online option is available currently.
It will take the state 15-17 days to make this change.
What’s a registered agent?
Forming an LLC in Arizona will introduce you to a whole new vocabulary. You’ve likely learned terms like “LLC formation paperwork” and “statutory agent” and now you can add “registered agent” to the list. A registered agent is the same as a statutory agent. The names vary by state. Arizona uses statutory agent.
What’s a commercial statutory agent?
A commercial statutory agent is a company that you pay to be your statutory agent. There are professional companies that solely exist to serve as a statutory agent for several companies. As mentioned above, for a fee, they receive notifications and forward them on to the company owner.