7 Simple Steps
First off, in order to launch a successful Arizona LLC, you need to give it a stellar name.
Your business name needs to be catchy and memorable for branding purposes and appropriate and relevant for legal purposes. All of Arizona’s business name requirements are listed here, but we’ll go over the basics now. For instance, your name must:
Once you’ve decided what you’d like to call your LLC in Arizona, do a business name search to find out whether or not it’s in the cards. If your business name is available, you’ll be able to lock it down when you file your Articles of Organization. If you’re concerned about waiting, however, you can also reserve your name for a $10.00 fee.
Before you can file your Articles of Organization with the state, you need to appoint a local statutory agent, otherwise known as a registered agent.
Your statutory agent will be responsible for accepting service of process notices and other important legal documents on behalf of your Arizona LLC. A statutory agent may be an individual that’s a full-time, permanent resident of Arizona, or a company that’s authorized to represent Arizona businesses.
You may elect yourself or another member of your LLC as your statutory agent, but it’s not a job to take lightly. Before signing yourself up for the task, keep in mind:
Sure, acting as your own statutory agent is definitely a way to save some money, but it may not be worth it depending on your personal and professional schedules.
If you’re considering signing yourself up, first read our registered agent guide for more details on what the duties of a statutory agent are. (Keep in mind that “registered agent” and “statutory agent” are two different names for exactly the same role.)
Once you’ve settled on an agent, they’ll need to fill out the statutory agent acceptance form. Arizona asks you to submit this form along with your Articles of Organization, but there’s no extra filing fee for it.
As far as professional statutory agent services go, IncFile is our favorite. Why? Not only are they totally reliable, they also include a free year of statutory agent services when you form an Arizona LLC with them. It’s a good deal.
Now you’re ready to officially form an LLC in Arizona! You’ll do this by filing Articles of Organization with the state. This document will ask for:
Arizona accommodates filing online or on paper. If you choose the online method, you won’t have to download or print anything out — you’ll take care of everything digitally, including the signatures and $50.00 filing fee. If you prefer the old-school approach, you’ll print out your completed Articles of Organization and send them to the following address, along with a $50.00 check:
Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Keep in mind that if you want to expedite your filing, you can send them an extra $35.00.
If you choose to file independently, simply follow the instructions above and triple-check that all the information is 100% accurate before submitting anything.
An EIN, or Employer Identification Number, is the federal government’s vehicle for tracking your LLC’s financial activity. They’re required for all corporations, and most LLCs. However, if you meet all of the following conditions, you can most likely opt out of getting one:
That said, there are still a few other circumstances that necessitate an EIN, so check out this IRS page even if you meet all of the conditions above.
We think the best way to get an EIN is by using the free online application on the IRS website. We prefer this method because it’s the most efficient, but if you’d prefer to apply via phone, fax or mail, read through our guide to find out how. All these options are free, too!
Arizona doesn’t legally require you to have a written operating agreement, but it’s pretty much essential if you’re running a multi-member LLC.
Writing an LLC operating agreement is the only way for you and your members to fully define your roles and lock down the management/ownership structure of the Arizona LLC. Having this document in place will give you all something to return to if a dispute ever arises.
Among the things your operating agreement should detail are:
These are just a few points that are important to address. You may add as many additional provisions as you want, as long as none of them conflict with Arizona business statutes.
If you’re already working with a filing service, it’s worth taking a peek at their rates for custom operating agreements. Depending on the package you purchase, it may even be included for free. Alternatively, you can craft a beautiful, thorough operating agreement by using a professional online template.
Now that you’ve got your EIN in tow and your members’ roles all sorted, it’s time to set up a business bank account.
Even if you’re running an SMLLC, this is still a necessary step — mixing personal and professional expenses never goes well. Plus, as soon as you open your business bank account, you’ll be able to start:
Remember to use your EIN, not your social security number, to open your business bank account. This way it’ll be completely separate from your personal finances.
When it comes to finding the right bank, local and national options both have their benefits. On the one hand, Arizona-based banks like Bank of Arizona and OneAZ Credit Union may offer better customer service, and on the other hand national banks may have more financial incentives.
Once you’ve set up your bank account, sync it with a small business accounting software as soon as you get the chance. Particularly if you’re not working with an accountant yet, this is extremely important to get you headed toward full-on financial responsibility.
The final step is to obtain any permits and licenses needed to be fully compliant with the state of Arizona. Unlike other states, Arizona doesn’t issue general business licenses, but depending on your trade you may need to obtain an array of special permits on the federal, state and local level.
It’s possible you won’t even need to apply for any license at all, but it’s worth checking now to be sure you’re conducting business completely legally!
If you’ve got a hunch that your business is going to need a whole mess of permits and licenses, you can always recruit the help of a business license service.
These services will do 100% of the research on your behalf, and send you all the applications along with helpful information on how to fill them out. We don’t recommend this for every entrepreneur registering an LLC in Arizona, but in some circumstances, it’s worth the extra cost so you can focus on other areas of the business that need your attention.
When you’re starting an Arizona LLC, it might be worth getting professional help.
You have several resources at your disposal, and it’s up to you to decide which you’d benefit from the most. That said, here are three of the most popular LLC formation services and our reviews of them:
– IncFile ($49 + state fee) = Best Price & Overall Value
– LegalZoom ($149 + state fee) = Best For Brand Recognition
– Harbor Compliance ($399 + state fee) = Better Customer Service