How to Start an LLC in Arizona

L L C members happy after starting an L L C in Arizona

It’s easy to form an LLC in Arizona online yourself. Just follow these steps: 

  1. Name Your LLC
  2. Choose a Registered Agent
  3. File the AZ Articles of Organization
  4. Publish Notice of LLC Formation
  5. Create an LLC Operating Agreement
  6. Get an EIN

Or, use a professional service:

four point eight out of five stars Northwest Registered Agent ($29 + State Filing Fee)

three point four out of five stars LegalZoom ($79 + State Filing Fee)

Starting an LLC in Arizona is Easy

You can form an Arizona LLC online by filing the AZ Articles of Organization with the Corporation Commission. The cost to set up an LLC in Arizona is $50.

Follow our How to Start an LLC in Arizona guide below to get started.

Steps to form an L L C in Arizona

For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, visit our How to Start an LLC guide.

Step 1: Create A Name For Your Arizona LLC

Before you register your Arizona LLC, you'll need to come up with a name. Your business name needs to be catchy for branding purposes and legitimate for legal purposes.

We go into depth on this topic in our LLC naming guide. We’ll go over the basics below.

Naming Your LLC

First, brainstorm some possibilities. Use our LLC name generator to get the ideas flowing.

Next, make sure your name meets Arizona guidelines:

  • it contains the words limited liability company, limited company, or LLC or L.L.C.
  • it doesn't contain the words bank, credit union, deposit, savings association, building association, thrift, or trust without approval
  • it's distinguishable from any other entity or trade name registered in Arizona
  • full list of Arizona naming guidelines

Next, do an Arizona LLC name search with the Corporation Commission to find out if your name is available in Arizona.

If your business name is available and meets guidelines, you’ll be able to register it when you file your Arizona Articles of Organization with the Corporations Commission.

Is the URL available? Before you commit 100% to a name, check to see if there’s a good web domain available.

We recommend buying your domain right away because even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it will be soon.

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Once you register a domain name for your LLC, consider setting up a business phone system to establish credibility and enhance your customer service. Nextiva provides a plethora of useful features and a quick, easy setup. Try Nextiva.

Using an Arizona Trade Name (DBA)

An Arizona DBA (doing business as), also known as a trade name, is any registered name that a business operates under that isn't its legal business name. A trade name can be used by any type of business, including a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability company (LLC).

Learn how to get a DBA in our Arizona DBA guide.

Step 2: Appoint An Arizona Statutory Agent

When you file your Articles of Organization, you'll need to list a registered agent, known as a statutory agent in Arizona.

A registered agent's job is to accept legal documents like service of process and tax notices for your LLC. To learn more about Arizona Registered Agents, read our guide.

Your registered agent can be a person or a registered agent service. You can act as your own registered agent, but many business owners choose to use a registered agent service.

Here are a few things to think about before you decide to act as your own registered agent:

  • You’ll need to be available during normal (9 am - 5 pm) business hours at the address you provide
  • If you run your business from home, you’ll have to make your personal address public
  • You could be served with a lawsuit in front of your family or coworkers

Recommended: Northwest Registered Agent offers a free year of registered agent services when you form your LLC ($29 plus state fees).

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

It’s time to officially form your Arizona LLC by filing your Articles of Organization with the Corporations Commission. The filing fee is $50. 

You can file online with the Corporations Commission or fill out a hard copy of the following forms: 

  1. Articles of Organization
  2. Statutory Agent Acceptance
  3. Manager Structure Form or Member Structure Form
  4. Cover Sheet

Recommended: Now is a good time to decide if your LLC will be member-managed vs manager-managed.

You'll need to know the following information to complete each "Article":

  1. Entity Name
  2. Statutory Agent Name and Principal Address
  3. Governing Authority Type (LLC Management Structure)

For more detailed help with completing the form, visit our Arizona Articles of Organization guide.

Mail Your Articles of Organization:

If mailing your LLC application, send the forms linked above to the following address:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007

How long does it take to get an Arizona LLC approved? The LLC processing time can be up to 30 business days. Expedited processing is available.

Step 4: Complete Arizona LLC Publication Requirements

You are required to publish your Arizona LLC name, address, and Statutory Agent info in an approved newspaper in the county of the LLC's principal address.

You'll also need to state whether your LLC is member-managed or manager-managed, as well as the names and addresses of your manager(s) or members.

Recommended: Search for a full list of approved newspapers, organized by county.

Read our full guide for Arizona LLC publication requirements to learn more.

Step 5: Draft An Arizona Operating Agreement

Creating an Arizona LLC operating agreement is the only way to legally lock down your LLC’s management and ownership structure. Having an operating agreement in place will give you something to return to if a dispute or lawsuit arises. 

Even single-member LLCs benefit from having an operating agreement.

Your operating agreement should outline the following:

  • Each member’s responsibilities
  • How new members will be admitted
  • How existing members may transfer or terminate their membership
  • How profits and dividends will be distributed

You can add as many provisions as you want, as long as they don't conflict with Arizona law. Take a look at our What is an Operating Agreement guide to learn more.

Download a template or create a custom Free Operating Agreement using our tool.

Step 6: Get an EIN

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a Social Security number (SSN) for your company. The IRS and the state of Michigan will use this number to track your business activity.

Your EIN will come in handy when it’s time to:

  • Open a business bank account
  • File Federal and State taxes
  • Hire employees

The best way to get an EIN for your LLC in Michigan is by using the free online application on the IRS website.

Read our Get an EIN guide for instructions.

Need Help Forming an LLC?

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Steps After Forming an LLC in Arizona

After forming your Arizona LLC, it's important to:

Open A Business Bank Account

A business bank account helps separate personal expenses and company expenses, which is required to maintain your Arizona LLC's corporate veil. A corporate veil protects your personal assets from creditors in potential lawsuits against your LLC or Business.

Learn more by reading this guide to Banking for Entrepreneurs. For a multi-member LLC, you'll also want to set up capital accounts for LLC members. We also recommend checking out our review of the best business bank accounts.

Get A Business Credit Card

A business credit card will help separate personal and business expenses while building your company's credit history. A strong credit history will be useful for raising capital in the form of venture capital, angel investment, or small business loans.

Set Up Business Accounting

Hiring a business accountant is one of the best ways to ensure you’re taking advantage of LLC tax benefits; possibly saving you and your business thousands of dollars per year.

When forming an LLC in Arizona, it’s a good idea to start a relationship with a business accountant as soon as you start your business to help set your company up for success.

Get Business Insurance

Business insurance helps manage risk. The most common forms of business insurance are general liability, professional liability, and workers' compensation.

Find out the real cost of getting insurance for your business. Get a free quote or call 855-965-3168.

Keep Your Company Compliant

Research Arizona Business Licenses and Permits

To operate an LLC in Arizona, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations such as health permits, building permits, and signage permits. 

Business licensing and permit requirements vary from state to state. To get started, visit our How to Get a Business License in Arizona guide. To help facilitate this process, you can also utilize a business license service.

Understand Arizona State Tax Requirements

Arizona imposes a tax on vendors in the state known as the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT), which is paid to the state’s Department of Revenue. The TPT works similarly to sales tax in other states and varies in rate by county and city. Visit our Arizona sales tax guide to learn more.

Additionally, any businesses with employees in the state must pay employee withholding tax and unemployment insurance tax to the Department of Revenue using Arizona’s AZTaxes portal.

Understand Your Arizona LLC’s Federal Tax Requirements

Most Arizona LLCs will need to report their income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) each year using Form 1065: Partnership Return (multi-member LLCs) or Form 1040 - Schedule C (single-member LLCs).

How you pay yourself will affect your federal taxes. Visit our guide to learn more about how to pay yourself from your LLC.

Know Your Arizona LLC’s Federal Tax Election Options

Pass-through taxation entails a business’s profits passing through to the LLC member’s individual tax returns. Like a sole proprietorship, an LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity, also known as a disregarded entity. 

Once this process is completed and after any tax-deductible expenses are taken out, the LLC members pay self-employment taxes and income tax on their portion of the business income. 

Alternatively, Arizona LLCs can choose to elect to be taxed as an S corporation (S corp) or C corporation (C corp). If S corporation tax status is elected, LLC members can be taxed as employees of the business, potentially reducing tax burden.

More LLC Resources

  • Arizona Foreign LLCs: Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. Download the Arizona foreign LLC form to get started.
  • Arizona Certificate of Good Standing: A certificate of good standing verifies that your LLC was legally formed. To order, follow our Arizona certificate of good standing guide.
  • Dissolving an Arizona LLC: If you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Arizona LLC Dissolution Guide.
  • LLC Legal Forms: TRUiC offers a number of free LLC legal forms including operating agreements, LLC resolutions, and hiring documents.

Need Help Forming an LLC?

Read our Best LLC Services review to learn more about pricing and packages.