7 Simple Steps
First thing’s first, you need to choose and register a name with the state that isn’t already taken, too similar to another business, or that contains restricted words. Conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues do the same using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Also, your business name should contain ‘Limited Liability Company’ or alternatively, any of these acronyms: ‘L.L.C’, ‘LLC’, ‘L.C.’ or ‘LC’. If needed, you can file an Application for Reservation of LLC Company Name form for $10/$30. Be sure to read the instructions linked in the form!
What is a Registered Agent? This is an Arizona resident or recognized Arizona company that accepts/receives and forwards official documents on your behalf (state filings, tax documents, legal notices, etc.). They’re like an official intermediary you need to legally conduct business.
To get one you have essentially three choices: hire an outside third-party service and expect to pay up to $160/year, elect someone within your company, or get a certified/qualified Alabama Registered Agent free of charge when you start an LLC with a filing service like IncFile or BizFilings.
To officially register an LLC in Arizona, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Download the Arizona Articles of Organization form, then read every word and understand what it’s asking (especially if you don’t have a lawyer and aren’t working with an LLC filing service). This is a declarative document of the basic details of your LLC for the public record so don’t file this until you know you’re ready.
Filing Fee: $50
An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is your LLC’s unique identifier as a legally operating business in the state. You’ll need it to process taxes, to set up official business bank accounts, to legally hire employees, etc.
Thankfully it’s easy to obtain an EIN through online application. Head on over to the IRS website, go through the steps and get yours free of charge.
Do not under any circumstances mix your/any personal bank accounts with your LLC’s business bank accounts. This is a big mistake that dramatically increases risk across the board for everyone involved. Your brand’s financials should be completely separate.
Instead, shop around at local/national banks, find the one with the most to offer and set up a unique business account you can then sync with an accounting software. Capital One offers excellent features to the entrepreneur and won’t pull fees from you left and right. That’s who we bank with.
While not required by law, an operating agreement is a document that outlines the internal operations of a business. Once signed by you and your team, it adds a layer of protection for everyone involved as well as the company’s LLC status.
If this is all new to you, a great place to get started would be an online Operating Agreement Tool, which is free and very easy to use.
Two of the most important requirements to ensure your business is legally operating and compliant with all federal and state laws are your Arizona LLC Tax status and business licenses/permits.
To get started bookmark the Phoenix district office of the Small Business Administration, and the Dept. of Revenue’s Business Licensing section because they’re likely going to be go-to sources for a variety of things along the way. Also if you need help, consider professional Business License Research packages that source all important forms for you quickly.