Our picks for LLC formation services

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FAQs

Are there any ongoing maintenance requirements for Arizona LLCs?

While Arizona LLCs do not have annual reporting requirements, owners should maintain proper records, hold regular meetings, and follow the terms of their Operating Agreement to ensure compliance with state regulations and maintain their limited liability protection.

Do I need an Operating Agreement for my Arizona LLC, and what does it entail?

While Arizona does not legally require LLCs to have an Operating Agreement, it is highly recommended. This document outlines the internal workings of your LLC, including member responsibilities, management structure, and decision-making processes. It helps prevent misunderstandings among members and can be beneficial in legal matters. You can find templates online to make the process easy.

Can I change the name of my Arizona LLC after it's formed?

Yes, you can change the name of your Arizona LLC after formation by filing an Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. There will be a filing fee associated with this process.

Can I have a single-member LLC in Arizona, and what are the benefits?

Yes, Arizona allows for single-member LLCs, which are owned and operated by a single individual. The main benefit is that it combines the limited liability protection of an LLC with the simplicity of a sole proprietorship for tax purposes, making it a popular choice for solo entrepreneurs.

Are there any restrictions on foreign LLCs doing business in Arizona?

Foreign LLCs (those formed outside Arizona) can do business in the state but must register with the Arizona Corporation Commission as a foreign entity. Compliance with state and federal tax and licensing requirements is essential for foreign LLCs operating in Arizona.

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For many new companies, forming an LLC is the best option as it is an uncomplicated business structure that affords business owners legal protection by separating personal assets from business debts. Additionally, LLCs often enjoy a lower tax rate than corporations. However, forming an LLC can be a little complicated, and each U.S. state has its own checklist for starting an LLC with minor procedural variations.

Forming an LLC in Arizona follows a fairly standard process of filing Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporations Commission. The main difference from other states is that Arizona uses the term “statutory agent” rather than the commonly used “registered agent” when referring to the individual or business entity that handles the service of process on the LLC’s behalf.

In order to avoid a misstep in the filing process, follow these steps to start an LLC in Arizona.

1. Select a name for your Arizona LLC

Follow naming requirements

There are two major guidelines to follow when naming your LLC in the state of Arizona:

  1. The LLC’s name must be unique compared to those of existing business entities on file with the Arizona Corporations Commission.
  2. The LLC’s name is required to contain the words, “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations, “LLC”, “L.C.”, “LC”, or “L.L.C.”. The names of professional LLCs in Arizona must include the phrase, “professional limited liability company”, or the abbreviations, “PLC”, “P.L.C.”, “PLLC”, or P.L.L.C.”

Need help coming up with a business name? Check out our free business name generator.

Reserve your LLC name with the Arizona Corporations Commission

After selecting a name for your LLC, check its availability online using the Arizona Corporations Commission business name database. If the name is available, you may reserve it with the Arizona Corporations Commission for up to 120 days through the filing of an Application to Reserve Limited Liability Company Name.

The application can be filed online or via postal mail. The online filing fee is $45, while the mail filing fee is $10.

Doing business under a trade name

Arizona LLCs have the option of doing business under an assumed trade name or “DBA” (doing business as) name rather than using its official name included in the LLC Articles of Organization.

There is no legal filing requirement to do business using a trade name in Arizona; however, the Arizona Secretary of State provides the option of registering a trade name online for a $10 filing fee.

2. Designate a statutory agent

As in every U.S. state, forming an LLC in Arizona requires the appointment of a statutory agent service (typically known as a registered agent) to handle state and federal legal documents and service of process on the business’s behalf.

The statutory agent must either be a state resident with a physical address in Arizona OR if the individual or business entity is based out-of-state, they must have a business office in Arizona.

Arizona requires an LLC’s appointed statutory agent to submit a completed Statutory Agent Acceptance form which can accompany the Articles of Organization when they are filed with the Arizona Corporations Commission.

Our picks of the best registered agent services

  • Northwest Registered Agent: Starting a business requires a lot of state-mandated paperwork, which can be confusing for new business owners. Northwest offers business services that can help entrepreneurs find the right documentation, fill it out, and file it on time with the right government agency. In addition to helping you set up an LLC, Northwest has a host of additional services, like registered agent services, that new owners will find useful too.
  • ZenBusiness: There’s no need to stress about filing paperwork when you work with ZenBusiness. This company offers a great variety of LLC services, the focus of which is to ensure your business is set up correctly with the proper paperwork filled out and delivered to the right branch of your state government. Of course, ZenBusiness does charge for their services, but customers say they get the most bang for their buck.
  • 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.

FAQs

Are there any ongoing maintenance requirements for Arizona LLCs?

While Arizona LLCs do not have annual reporting requirements, owners should maintain proper records, hold regular meetings, and follow the terms of their Operating Agreement to ensure compliance with state regulations and maintain their limited liability protection.

Do I need an Operating Agreement for my Arizona LLC, and what does it entail?

While Arizona does not legally require LLCs to have an Operating Agreement, it is highly recommended. This document outlines the internal workings of your LLC, including member responsibilities, management structure, and decision-making processes. It helps prevent misunderstandings among members and can be beneficial in legal matters. You can find templates online to make the process easy.

Can I change the name of my Arizona LLC after it's formed?

Yes, you can change the name of your Arizona LLC after formation by filing an Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. There will be a filing fee associated with this process.

Can I have a single-member LLC in Arizona, and what are the benefits?

Yes, Arizona allows for single-member LLCs, which are owned and operated by a single individual. The main benefit is that it combines the limited liability protection of an LLC with the simplicity of a sole proprietorship for tax purposes, making it a popular choice for solo entrepreneurs.

Are there any restrictions on foreign LLCs doing business in Arizona?

Foreign LLCs (those formed outside Arizona) can do business in the state but must register with the Arizona Corporation Commission as a foreign entity. Compliance with state and federal tax and licensing requirements is essential for foreign LLCs operating in Arizona.

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3. File Articles of Organization

To legally form your LLC in Arizona, you must file Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporations Commission. The articles can be filed online at the Arizona Corporations Commission website (you must first register an account), or completed and submitted through the mail. The filing fee for both online and postal mail filing is $50 (with an optional $35 for expedited service).

An Arizona LLC’s Articles of Organization must provide the following details:

  • LLC name
  • Whether the LLC is a standard LLC or professional LLC (professional LLCs must also include a description of provided services)
  • Statutory agent name and address
  • LLC principal office address
  • Whether the LLC is managed by its members or managed by a specially-appointed manager
  • Signature(s) of LLC organizer(s)

4. Create an operating agreement

Although not a legally mandated step for forming an LLC in Arizona, drafting a comprehensive LLC operating agreement is strongly recommended for all nascent limited liability companies. This document should describe the LLC’s business structure, establish the individual responsibilities and obligations of LLC members, and detail how the LLC will be run.

Without an operating agreement clarifying the specific duties of its members, an LLC may face significant legal and operational difficulties.

5. Obtain an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) 

All newly formed LLCs in the United States must acquire an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (with the exception of a single-member LLC). The nine-digit EIN is like a business’s social security number and is necessary to pay income tax, file tax returns, open business bank accounts, and perform a number of other important functions.

You can apply for an EIN online on the IRS website without paying a filing fee.

6. Publish a notice of LLC Formation in a local newspaper 

Unless your LLC was formed in Pima or Maricopa counties, newly-formed Arizona LLCs must publish a Notice of LLC Formation in a local newspaper with general circulation in the county in which it operates within 60 days of the approval of its Articles of Organization. This is an important step, as neglecting to publish a Notice of LLC Formation may result in the legal dissolution of the LLC.

Maricopa County and Pima County-based LLCs are not required to publish a Notice of LLC Formation because the Corporations Commissions in those counties publish recently formed LLCs on their websites, thereby fulfilling the obligation.

7. Fulfill your Arizona LLC’s additional legal obligations

Once an LLC is registered, it is important that its members devote attention to fulfilling legal requirements that apply for the duration of the company’s existence.

Review necessary business licenses

Arizona does not require a general business license for all LLCs, but most businesses will need licenses of some kind. Take a look at the Arizona Department of Commerce Licensing Guide for information on how to obtain state licenses, and consult with a city clerk for more details on municipal or county licenses and permits.

  • Research occupational licenses: The specific licenses required can vary depending on your type of business, location, and the nature of your business activities. Your LLC may be required to obtain one or more state or locally issued business licenses, permits, or certifications, depending on the nature of the business. To determine what licenses you need, you can visit AZ.gov.
  • Obtain an Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax License: Arizona transaction privilege tax (TPT), commonly referred to as a sales tax, is a tax on vendors for the privilege of doing business in the state. Various business activities are subject to transaction privilege tax and must be licensed. The license costs $12.
  • Check with local government officials: Your city or county may have licensing requirements that you need to comply with. Call your city or county clerk to inquire about licenses you may need for your new LLC.

Understand state taxes

Arizona levies state income tax. Expect to pay the flat 2.5% tax on your reported income.

As with other LLCs in other states, Arizona LLCs are pass-through entities, which means all income (and expenses) are passed to the owner’s personal tax returns. Your LLC doesn’t pay a corporate tax, but you’ll pay personal income tax on the money you earn.

  • Register with the Arizona Department of Revenue: Certain Arizona LLCs, such as those that have employees or collect sales tax from selling products, are obligated to register with the Arizona Department of Revenue. Registration can be done online or through the mail.

Understand BOI Reporting

While Arizona does not have required annual reports or annual statements for LLCs, a new law enacted across the country requires BOI, or Beneficial Ownership Information, reporting to be completed. This report is filed through FinCEN either during formation or for a previously formed company, as well as when any major ownership changes are made.

  • Companies formed prior to 2024 have all of 2024 to complete the filing.
  • Companies formed in 2024 will have 90 days from completing the filing to send in their BOI reporting,
  • Companies formed in 2025 have a 30-day window.

This report is free to complete and file.

Learn more about BOI reporting.

LegalZoom can help you file a compliant and stress-free BOI Report for only $149.

FAQs

Are there any ongoing maintenance requirements for Arizona LLCs?

While Arizona LLCs do not have annual reporting requirements, owners should maintain proper records, hold regular meetings, and follow the terms of their Operating Agreement to ensure compliance with state regulations and maintain their limited liability protection.

Do I need an Operating Agreement for my Arizona LLC, and what does it entail?

While Arizona does not legally require LLCs to have an Operating Agreement, it is highly recommended. This document outlines the internal workings of your LLC, including member responsibilities, management structure, and decision-making processes. It helps prevent misunderstandings among members and can be beneficial in legal matters. You can find templates online to make the process easy.

Can I change the name of my Arizona LLC after it's formed?

Yes, you can change the name of your Arizona LLC after formation by filing an Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. There will be a filing fee associated with this process.

Can I have a single-member LLC in Arizona, and what are the benefits?

Yes, Arizona allows for single-member LLCs, which are owned and operated by a single individual. The main benefit is that it combines the limited liability protection of an LLC with the simplicity of a sole proprietorship for tax purposes, making it a popular choice for solo entrepreneurs.

Are there any restrictions on foreign LLCs doing business in Arizona?

Foreign LLCs (those formed outside Arizona) can do business in the state but must register with the Arizona Corporation Commission as a foreign entity. Compliance with state and federal tax and licensing requirements is essential for foreign LLCs operating in Arizona.

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Post LLC tasks

Set up business bank accounts

Setting up specific business bank accounts for your Arizona LLC is crucial. A separate company account simplifies tax preparation, tracking income and expenses, and liability protection.

  • Research banking solutions: Look into various banks to determine which one provides business banking services and terms that are appropriate for your LLC. You may also look for banks that can provide other services like credit cards or lines of credit in case you need to grow your business in the future. One example is Found, which is a digital banking platform made specifically for small businesses and startups. You may also look at options like Relay or Mercury.

Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing

A crucial step in forming and operating an LLC in Arizona is obtaining a Certificate of Good Standing, sometimes referred to as a Certificate of Existence. This certificate attests to your LLC’s authorization to do business and conformity with state laws. You might need this certificate when applying for loans, opening a bank account, or signing contracts. The Arizona Corporation Commission provides a Certificate of Good Standing at no cost upon request.

Build a website

Most small businesses today cannot survive without an online presence of some sort. Creating a website can assist you in effectively marketing your goods or services, reaching a larger audience, and establishing a reputation. You don’t need website design or coding experience to make a website.

When you’re ready, just follow these steps:

  1. Search for and purchase a domain name.
  2. Sign up for web hosting.
  3. Pick a web builder like Domain.com or GoDaddy to create a site with no coding experience necessary.
  4. Tailor your site to your customers, adding appropriate pages, content, and images.
  5. If you’re selling goods, add an e-commerce section to your site.
  6. Review, test, and publish your site.

Costs to form an LLC in Arizona

Average cost to set up an LLC in Arizona: $110-$310

To get an LLC up and running in Arizona, here are the fees you’ll incur as you establish your business:

  • Incorporation fees: The state fee when filing an LLC in Arizona is $50 for online and mail filings. For $85, you can have this expedited.
  • Publication requirement fees: Most Arizona LLCs also have a publication requirement. They must announce their LLC formation in a local newspaper, with publication costs ranging from $60 to $300.
  • No Annual Report Fees: However, unlike some states, Arizona LLCs do not have to file annual reports, which means you won’t be burdened with an annual report fee, offering a cost-saving advantage to LLC owners in the state.
  • Registered agent service fee (optional): A registered agent service is typically $50 to $200 per year and can provide peace of mind for owners who prefer to hire a registered agent rather than appoint one. Hiring a professional service is easier for owners who travel or who aren’t in the office regularly.

Foreign LLCs

LLCs formed outside of Arizona that intend to do business in the state are required to register with the Arizona Corporations Commission. Registration of a foreign LLC can be done by completing the following steps:

  1. Comply with Arizona LLC naming requirements and determine that the LLC’s name is available for use in the state
  2. Appoint a statutory agent that is based in Arizona
  3. Complete and file an Application for Registration of a Foreign Limited Liability Company by postal mail, along with a certificate of existence from the LLC’s state of origin, and a $150 filing fee payment.

FAQs

Are there any ongoing maintenance requirements for Arizona LLCs?

While Arizona LLCs do not have annual reporting requirements, owners should maintain proper records, hold regular meetings, and follow the terms of their Operating Agreement to ensure compliance with state regulations and maintain their limited liability protection.

Do I need an Operating Agreement for my Arizona LLC, and what does it entail?

While Arizona does not legally require LLCs to have an Operating Agreement, it is highly recommended. This document outlines the internal workings of your LLC, including member responsibilities, management structure, and decision-making processes. It helps prevent misunderstandings among members and can be beneficial in legal matters. You can find templates online to make the process easy.

Can I change the name of my Arizona LLC after it's formed?

Yes, you can change the name of your Arizona LLC after formation by filing an Amendment to Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. There will be a filing fee associated with this process.

Can I have a single-member LLC in Arizona, and what are the benefits?

Yes, Arizona allows for single-member LLCs, which are owned and operated by a single individual. The main benefit is that it combines the limited liability protection of an LLC with the simplicity of a sole proprietorship for tax purposes, making it a popular choice for solo entrepreneurs.

Are there any restrictions on foreign LLCs doing business in Arizona?

Foreign LLCs (those formed outside Arizona) can do business in the state but must register with the Arizona Corporation Commission as a foreign entity. Compliance with state and federal tax and licensing requirements is essential for foreign LLCs operating in Arizona.

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