In 2022, there were over 641,000 small businesses in Arizona, which accounts for 99.5% of the state’s businesses. So if you’ve always wanted to try your hand at owning your own company, there’s no better place to do it than in Arizona.
While there are pros and cons to the various business structures available, many people opt for limited liability companies (LLCs). This is because the main benefit is you won’t have personal responsibility for your company’s debts or liabilities should they occur.
If this sounds optimal, then keep reading. Here’s how to start an LLC in Arizona.
Choose a Business Name
It might sound obvious, but you need to have a business name before you proceed. Not only should it be creative, memorable, and reflective of what services or products you offer, but it needs to follow state guidelines too.
First, you must ensure that the name you pick is a unique one. You can check this by doing an Arizona LLC search through the Arizona Corporations Commission database.
Also, you need to have either “Limited Liability Company” in the name, or some variation of it. Acceptable abbreviations include “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, “LC”, and “L.C.”. If you’re creating a professional LLC, then you need either “professional limited liability company”, “PLC”, “P.L.C.”, “PLLC”, or “P.L.L.C.” in the name.
In addition, you can’t use words that government agencies use. So words like “CIA” and “FBI” aren’t allowed.
If you’d like to use certain restricted words (such as “attorney” or “bank”), you’ll be asked to provide additional information to get approval.
Something good to know is you can do business under a different name. This is known as “doing business as” (DBA) and you can register your trade name for $10. You won’t need to file anything else either.
Reserve Your Business Name
This step isn’t required but is highly recommended. Reserving your business name gives you peace of mind, as no one can take it before you’re finished registering.
By filing an Application to Reserve Limited Liability Company Name, you’ll hold that name for up to 120 days. Filing online will cost you $45; filing by snail mail will reduce the fee to $10.
Pick Your Statutory Agent
A statutory agent (also known as a registered agent in other states) is required when you file an LLC in Arizona. This is someone who’s authorized to receive your company’s legal documents and has completed a Statutory Agent Acceptance form.
The statutory agent must have an Arizona address and be available during regular business hours to perform their job. This means you, your partners, or employees can be potential statutory agents.
However, it’s better to subscribe to a registered agent service like ours at Business Anywhere. We’ll automatically complete admin work so you won’t have to worry about it.
File Your Articles of Organization
Part of Arizona LLC registration requires you to file Articles of Organization. You’ll need several pieces of information, so while you can submit your Articles of Organization by snail mail, it’s probably better to do it online instead (both methods cost $50, and an additional $35 if you want expedited service). Either way, you’ll need to file them with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
In these papers, you’ll need to list your LLC name and address, and specify whether it’s a standard or professional LLC. If it’s the latter, then you’ll need to add a description of your services. In addition, you’ll need to list your statutory agent and their address, and the management structure.
Lastly, you or the person forming the LLC will need to sign the Articles of Organization.
After the secretary of state approves these articles, you’ll receive a certificate.
Create an Operating Agreement
Arizona isn’t a state that requires operating agreements, but it’s best if you write one out anyway. It’s a good frame of reference should there be legal issues in the future; without an operating agreement, courts will use state law to settle things, and it may not be in your best interest.
In an operating agreement, you should have the information from your Articles of Organization, as well as the duration of your LLC, the purpose of it, all members (what they contribute and how they’ll divide profits and losses), the process for admitting new members, and general management of the business.
Get Your Employer Identification Number (EIN)
If you’re running the LLC on your own with no employees, then you won’t need to apply for an EIN. Otherwise, you’ll need to fill out a free online form on the IRS’s website.
Treat this 9-digit number as your LLC’s Social Security number. You’ll need to use it for things like opening business bank accounts and filing tax returns.
Publish a Notice of LLC Formation
In Arizona, newly-formed LLCs are required by law to publish a Notice of LLC Formation in the local newspaper. This needs to be done within 60 days after your Articles of Organization are approved. Make sure you get this done promptly; if you don’t, your LLC may be dissolved.
The pieces of information you need to include are your LLC’s name and address, your statutory agent’s name and address, how your LLC’s managed, and the names and addresses of the LLC members or manager.
If your LLC was formed in either Maricopa County or Pima County, you won’t need to do this. The Corporations Commissions there automatically publish new LLCs on their websites.
Form an LLC in Arizona Smoothly
Forming an LLC in Arizona may seem like it takes a lot of steps and hard work. And truth be told, it can be, especially if you’re not familiar with this type of administration.
But don’t give up before you’ve even taken the first step. If you employ the services of an expert like us, then it’ll be much easier and smoother to form an LLC. It’ll certainly be worth every penny spent when you can completely focus on getting your business set up.
Get started now and have Business Anywhere take care of business registration for you. We have affordable plans that include other services, such as registered agent service and mail scanning.