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Whether a business owner is forming a corporation, nonprofit, or limited liability company (LLC) in Arizona, one of the first steps in the process will be choosing a registered agent (sometimes referred to as a statutory agent or resident agent) to have on public record with the Arizona Secretary of State.

To better understand how a registered agent fits in the process of starting an Arizona business, here’s a look at how an LLC is formed in Arizona.

What is an Arizona statutory agent?

In the state of Arizona, registered agents are most commonly referred to as statutory agents. A statutory agent is a person or company that agrees to receive legal documents for your business entity at a registered office. These important documents could include tax forms, legal papers, and a notice of a lawsuit known as service of process documents. It is required that the statutory agent be available to accept these documents during normal business hours at the street address provided.

The statutory agent, which is known as a registered agent in other states, must agree to this position by filling out agent information in a Statutory Agent Acceptance Form.

Read more:  What is a registered agent?

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 or Articles of Incorporation. The statutory agent must agree to this position by filling out their agent information in a Statutory Agent Acceptance Form. Both are submitted to the Arizona Corporate Commission.

Who can be a statutory agent in Arizona? 

The business owner or the Arizona LLC organizer can fill this role, as well as a friend, coworker, other Arizona business, or a foreign corporation or LLC that is authorized to conduct business in Arizona. Lastly, an Arizona statutory agent service can be selected too. An Arizona statutory agent service is a company that you pay to be your statutory agent. Regardless of which route you decide to take with your LLC, there are a few requirements that need to be met:

  • Any person or business with a physical address in the state of Arizona, not a PO box.
  • Be available during normal business hours on all standard business days
  • Must be 18 years of age.

Can I be my own statutory agent in Arizona?

Yes. Arizona allows a business owner to be its own statutory agent, but not the business entity itself.

Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service/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. To minimize administrative chores, entrepreneurs like working with a registered agent service as it can ease the workload. These services also often provide users with an online account that safely and securely stores all business filings and documents in one place.
  • Location. A business owner might be new to Arizona or live out of state and therefore does not yet have an office address or business address. If this is the case, they can use the registered agent’s address to fulfill this requirement. This could be also beneficial if a business is based online.
  • Peace of mind. With a commercial statutory agent in place, an owner knows that nothing is missed and their company remains in good standing with the state. 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 as it is the agent’s name and the agent’s address listed in public records instead of your personal or office address.

Read more:  Best Registered Agent Services

How much does a commercial statutory agent cost in Arizona?

The cost of an Arizona statutory agent service will vary. A company that simply forwards legal notices or notifies a business owner when documents arrive could cost as little as $50 a year. However, for additional fees, some companies may offer more services such as filing annual reports or helping with general LLC formation. These services could cost upwards of $100-250. Business owners will also want to be aware of any additional filing fees or state fees that may accompany these services.

List of Arizona registered agent services/commercial statutory agents 

For companies interested in a commercial statutory agent, here’s a quick list of possibilities to choose from:

  • Northwest Registered Agent is one of the most recognized names in the registered agent business. The company has decades of experience and local offices scattered across the U.S. to serve small businesses like yours. The cost for a registered agent service is comparable to others. Business owners can also take advantage of additional services like report filing.
  • ZenBusiness is fairly new to the market, but it’s grown a strong following. Business owners love the affordable rates for a registered agent service, which are as low as $99 per year. The company also offers worry-free compliance to help business owners file the necessary reports on time.
  • Harbor Compliance is a great fit for organizations that register in multiple states and for those who don’t want to pay excessive service fees. With their network and electronic document delivery, they help ensure your business never misses a legal notification.

Arizona registered agent FAQs

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 a company change its statutory agent?

Yes. To change your statutory agent in Arizona, fill out a statement of change form. The cost is $5. As with the original LLC formation paperwork, the new statutory agent must accept this position in writing by signing a Statutory Agent Acceptance Form. This form must be mailed or delivered in person to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office in Phoenix. No online option is available currently. It will take the state 15-17 days to make this change.

What if my out-of-state company needs to do business in Arizona? 

If you’re planning on conducting business in the state of Arizona with a company licensed in a different state, you will need to elect an Arizona statutory agent. You will also need to file a certificate of authority as a foreign LLC or foreign corporation as well as get a certificate of good standing from your home state.

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 statutory agents for several companies. As mentioned above, for a fee, they receive notifications to their physical street address first and then forward them to the company owner.

Are there Arizona registered agents?

Forming an LLC in Arizona will introduce you to a whole new vocabulary. You’ve likely learned terms like “LLC formation paperwork”, “resident agent”, 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 a statutory agent.