How to File the Articles of Organization in Arizona
In order to file your LLC’s Articles of Organization, you will need to fill out the following information:
Section 1: Entity Type
You will need to select the type of entity that you need to form. You can choose between an LLC and a PLLC (i.e., a professional limited liability company.).
A PLLC is similar to an LLC, but it is tailored towards professionals (i.e., persons with professions that require them to obtain certain licenses in order to operate legitimately.).
Examples of professionals that may wish to register their business as a PLLC include doctors, architects, and attorneys.
Section 2: Entity Name
Your LLC’s name will have to be both creative and legally compliant.
You will need to make sure that your business name:
- Satisfies Arizona’s naming guidelines
- Is not already taken by another business in Arizona
There are certain guidelines that you will need to follow when naming your LLC:
- You must include the words “limited liability company” or “limited company”, or any abbreviations (e.g., L.L.C., L.C., LLC, etc.).
- You cannot include the words “association”, “corporation”, “incorporated”, or any of their abbreviations.
- You will need to have obtained prior written approval from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions in order to include certain words (e.g., banking, bank, etc.).
For a full list of naming guidelines see the Arizona naming statute.
Check Name Availability:
Do a name search with the Arizona Corporation Commission to check your LLC name’s availability. If you are unsure about what to name your LLC, use our business name generator to brainstorm business names.
Register Your Domain Name:
You’ll want to check that your business name (or something very similar) is available as a web domain.
Find a Domain Now
Section 3: Professional LLC Company Services
If you are forming a PLLC, you will need to state what type of professional service your business will provide (e.g., accounting, legal services, etc.). Unless you selected “PLLC” in section 1, you can skip this section.
Section 4: Statutory Agent
Your Arizona statutory agent, known as a registered agent in most states, can be:
- An LLC
- An individual
- A foreign corporation
- A foreign LLC
Your registered agent will need to be authorized to conduct business in the state of Arizona if they are not an individual.
Individuals who are appointed as statutory agents need to be permanent, full-time residents of the state of Arizona. They must also have a full-time physical or street address within the state.
If a separate mailing address exists, it must also be provided.
Note: Your registered agent will need to provide written consent. This is done by completing Form M002: Statutory Acceptance, which needs to be filed in conjunction with your Articles of Organization.
Recommended: Get a year of free of registered agent services when you form your LLC with Northwest ($29 + State Fees).
Section 5: Principal Address
Your principal address is the registered office that will be used by the Arizona Corporation Commission for sending tax information and general correspondence to your LLC.
If your principal address is the same as the street address of your statutory agent, you can ignore this section and skip straight to section 6.
Otherwise, use this section to write down your principal address.
Section 6 and 7: Management Structure
You must state whether your LLC will be member or manager-managed.
If your LLC will be member-managed, you will need to provide the names and addresses of all of your members by completing and filing Form L041: Member Structure Attachment.
Otherwise, you will need to provide the name and address of each manager, as well as each member with a 20% or more ownership share. This can be done by completing and filing Form L040: Manager Structure Attachment.
Execution and Cover Sheet
Finally, you will need to sign and date the Articles of Organization.
How to Submit the Articles of Organization
You can mail or hand-deliver all of the required forms to:
Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporations Division - Examination Section
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Hard copy filings will require a Cover Sheet in addition to all of the aforementioned forms.
To file online, use the Arizona eCorp website. You will need to create an account.
Steps After Filing the Articles of Organization
After you have filed your Articles of Organization, we recommend taking the following steps:
1. Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Federal Tax ID Number, can be thought of as your business’s Social Security number. It is used by the IRS to identify your business and ensure that it is operating legitimately.
According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), an LLC is required to obtain an EIN if:
- It hires employees
- It is required to file excise tax forms
- It is a multi-member LLC
- It withholds taxes for non-wage income paid to nonresident aliens
That being said, we recommend that all LLCs get an EIN so that they can open a business bank account.
You can apply for an EIN for your LLC by filing Form SS-4.
2. Create an Operating Agreement
LLC operating agreements are legal documents that outline the responsibilities, duties, and rights of all members of your LLC.
Even though Arizona law does not require you to draft an Arizona LLC operating agreement, it is still highly recommended. This is the case even if you operate as a single-member LLC (e.g., to avoid piercing your corporate veil, etc.).
Recommended: Use our free LLC operating agreement template to create your very own LLC operating agreement quickly.
3. Apply for Business Licenses
After you have registered your LLC and applied for your EIN, you will want to ensure that your business remains “legitimate”. You can do this by applying for any local, state, and federal business licenses that you may need.
For a more in-depth overview, see our guide on how to get business licenses in Arizona.
4. Create a Business Website
Now is a good time to build a business website. A business website adds to your credibility, branding, marketing, and customer experience.
Your website can also be a gateway to your other platforms, including your LLC’s social media accounts, online stores, and contact information.
Recommended Service: Check out the GoDaddy Website Builder to get started.
5. Get a Business Bank Account
Next, you will want to open a separate bank account. This can offer both legal and financial benefits.
Choosing to open a business bank account can allow you to:
- Build your business credit
- Access larger business loans
- Allow you to accept credit card payments
- Offer high-yield savings accounts
Most premium online banks also come with third-party integrations, including accounting and ecommerce tools. These can help you manage your budget, automatically detract a percentage of your revenue for your LLC taxes, and expedite your online payments.
Besides the financial benefits, opening a business bank account can allow you maintain your LLC’s corporate veil by separating your personal and business finances.
Recommended: Interested in getting started? See our in-depth review of the best banks for startups and entrepreneurs in 2023.
6. Build Business Credit
When you are just starting your business, you will need to build your business credit from the ground up. The fastest way to do this is by opening net 30 accounts and getting a business credit card:
- First, you will want to open at least five net 30 accounts that report to business credit bureaus.
- Then, you can apply for an easy-approval business credit card from a company like BILL.
Taking these steps will help you increase your business’s cash flow and build business credit fast, which will be essential when you are applying for higher-end business credit cards and large business loans in the future.
See our How to Build Business Credit guide for more information.
7. Find a Business Phone System
You will also likely want to invest in a business phone system. This can go a long way in improving your credibility and can ensure that you have placed yourself in a position that always allows you to provide adequate customer service.
Most high-end business phone systems will include the following features:
- Unlimited calling
- Conference calling
- Voicemail transcription
- Toll-free and vanity phone numbers
- Team collaboration tools
- Hold music
Recommended: Check out our review of the best business phone systems to get started.
8. Get Business Insurance
As a business owner, you will also want to consider whether you will benefit from purchasing business insurance.
This will be highly dependent on your industry, amount of risk, and business operations. It can also depend on the existence — and number — of employees in your LLC.
There are several business insurance policies that you may want to consider, although this can be highly situational. Below we have provided an overview of the most common small business insurance policies:
See our Small Business Insurance article for more information.
9. Taxes and Accounting
Next, you will want to learn everything you need to know about how LLCs are taxed. This is important because LLCs are a very flexible business entity, and — depending on the situation — can choose to be taxed as:
- Pass-through entities
- C corps
- S corps
Generally speaking, we recommend talking to a professional attorney or law firm if you are in need of the most up-to-date tax advice (e.g., whether you need to pay sales tax, etc.).
Working with an accountant can help you manage all your business expenses and taxes effectively and on time, and ensure you do not face any penalties or back taxes when starting out.
Need help with accounting? Check out our review of the best accounting software.