STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE YOUR LLC BRAND NAME

Choose a Business NameFirst 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!

STEP 2) ELECT AN ARIZONA REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered AgentWhat 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.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION

Register an LLCTo 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

STEP 4) GET AN EIN

Get an EIN for Your LLCAn 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.

STEP 5) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountDo 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.

STEP 6) DRAFT AN OPERATING AGREEMENT

Create an Operating AgreementWhile 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 Rocket Lawyer’s customizable Operating Agreement Tool. It’s free and very easy to use.

STEP 7) HANDLE LLC TAXES/BUSINESS LICENSES

Business LicensesTwo 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.

OPTIONAL) CREATE A GENUINE BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business PlanAll companies have plans, but relatively few have professional plans. What’s the difference? Well, for starters, when it comes time for outside funding in any conventional sense this plan will be required. No bank, venture capitalist or potential partner will take the company seriously without it.

These plans nail down and present all important aspects including the Executive Summary, Marketing, Financials, Management, and so on in a streamlined and presentation/funding-ready formal. To learn more check out our resources below.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  • Our free email-based Business Plan Course is specially designed to take you smoothly through the process step-by-step.
  • Business Plan Software Guide is our savvy breakdown of all the best software solutions to help you plan better. (Spoiler: We’re huge fans of LivePlan, plus they offer our readers a special discount.)

OPTIONAL) BUILD AN INITIAL BUSINESS WEBSITE

Build a Business WebsiteAlong with planning, no business can be taken seriously these days without a website. They build credibility, open countless marketing avenues, connect to social (selling/brand expansion) platforms, and give people a convenient way to engage with your brand and investigate it.

Although building a website was extremely difficult to do in the early 2000’s, nowadays you can use a fantastic tool like Wix or Weebly to build a customizable website. No need to spend thousands on a custom designer anymore! They’re both easy to use and very reasonably priced.

Need Help Forming Your LLC?

Have a reliable LLC filing service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form an LLC in Arizona isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an LLC in Arizona or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.