How to Start An LLC in Arizona
To start an LLC in Arizona, you must file Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Organization cost $50 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Arizona LLC. However, to actually ready the LLC to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Arizona LLC Guide:
Arizona LLC Filing Options
Free PDF Download
Download the Arizona Articles of Organization. Fill out the form and submit it to the state.
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Our free account and tools will walk you through starting and maintaining an Arizona LLC. All for free.
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Arizona LLC Articles of Organization Requirements
To form an Arizona LLC, you must complete and file the Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Arizona uses the same form for both professional and standard LLCs, so you’ll need to tick the right box. Most LLCs are standard. PLLCs offer the service of licensed professionals (like real estate agents).
You must include “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company” in your name, or an abbreviation like “LLC.” Professional LLCs must include “Professional Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation. Banking words like “bank” or “trust” require approval from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (and yes, you actually have to be in banking to get approval).
PLLCs have to describe what professional services they provide. Don’t have a PLLC? Skip this section.
You can put your own name and address, someone else’s, or you can list a business that provides statutory agent service. Hey! Northwest is a business that provides expert statutory agent service!
Seriously, how weird is the phrase “known place of business?” What does that even mean? Basically, your “known place of business address” is an Arizona business address. It can be your actual office location, or it can be your statutory agent’s address. (In other words, when you hire us, our address can go here).
Want to put a self-destruct timer on your business? Include the date you want your business to shut down. Most people don’t actually want their businesses to stop existing on a certain date, however, and they leave this section blank.
If the members of your Arizona LLC make decisions for the company, then you are “member-managed.” If decision-making powers are vested in one or more managers, you are “manager-managed.” (If your manager is also a member, don’t worry. You haven’t created a time-space paradox; just consider your LLC “manager-managed.”) In your Articles, you don’t just tick the appropriate box. You also have to fill out an appropriate attachment: either a Member Structure Attachment or a Manager Structure Attachment, where you include the names and addresses of members and managers. Just like your Articles, these docs are public, so many people opt not to put personal addresses and use their business or statutory agent’s office instead. (Yep, you can use our address again here.)
“Organizer” may sound like a fancy, official position like “director” or “manager,” but it’s just the person who signs and submits your Arizona LLC Articles of Organization. The organizer doesn’t need to be an owner or manager. We’ll be your organizer when you hire us.
Submitting with a paper form? The Arizona Corporation Commission requires a special cover sheet for every document you submit. On the sheet, you indicate your payment method and how you want to receive your documents (email, mail, pick up, etc.). Again, Arizona is pretty clear that all documents submitted to the ACC are public, so…maybe don’t put your personal email or address? Especially when you can hire us and use our address.
How much does it cost to start an Arizona LLC?
The filing fee for Arizona LLC Articles of Organization is $50 for standard processing (add another $35 for expedited processing).
If you hire Northwest to form your Arizona LLC, your total out-the-door cost is $310. This includes registered agent service, loads of useful forms and tools, and customer service you can really count on.
How long does it take to start an Arizona LLC?
Well, it used to be pretty quick. After the ACC rolled out its new online filing system in May 2018, everything fell behind and still hasn’t really caught up. Currently, expedited filings take 3-4 weeks, and standard filings take even longer—sometimes as long as 50 business days.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your expedited Arizona LLC formed within 24 business days.
Does Arizona require an annual registration fee for LLCs?
No. Unlike many states, Arizona doesn’t require LLCs to file an annual report, so there’s no annual fee.
Does an Arizona LLC need a statutory agent?
If you’re like 99.9% of people, you’ve never even heard of a statutory agent—but yes, you are legally required to have one. Your statutory agent (called a “registered agent” in most states) accepts legal notices for your Arizona LLC. Your agent can either be an individual or a business (but not your own business). It sounds like a cake job (accepting mail!), so some people just appoint themselves or their friends—but it’s a lot more annoying than it sounds.
First, you have to be publicly list the physical address you’re using. No PO Boxes. And that address becomes a permanent part of the public record. Also, you actually have to be at the address during regular business hours. Not in meetings. Not at other offices. Not traveling overseas. Need to move offices? Hired a friend that didn’t work out? You’ll have to file forms to update your info (and pay a “change agent” fee).
Avoid these annoyances and hire us. With Northwest as your agent, you can better keep your privacy, your own schedule, and your peace of mind.
Publish a Newspaper Notice for Your Arizona LLC
What are the publishing requirements for an Arizona LLC?
Your Arizona LLC will most likely have to publish a notification of formation in a local newspaper for three consecutive weeks. After you submit Articles of Organization, you’ll receive an approval letter from the Arizona Corporation Commission, which will include directions for publication. There is typically a fee for publication, but rates for each newspaper vary. Good news, however, if your business is located in Maricopa or Pima County. These two counties automatically publish a notice for you online in the Public Notice Database for no fee.
Create the Arizona LLC Operating Agreement
Do I need an Operating Agreement?
It’s tempting when you learn that there’s no legal requirement to have an operating agreement just to cross it off your “to do” list. We get it. By the time you’ve reached this stage in the process, you’ve got paperwork burnout. You’re not about to create one more document or fill out one more form than is absolutely necessary. You really do need an operating agreement though.
Why is an Operating Agreement important?
There are business decisions you should put in writing before the situation arises—how will you allocate profits and losses? What happens if members can’t agree on an issue? What happens if your business closes down? Even if you’re the only person in your business, new partners will want to see your operating agreement. When you open a business bank account, the bank will probably ask to see your operating agreement.
Do I have to write the Operating Agreement?
We’re happy to give you a solid foundation to work from. At Northwest, we believe every LLC should have a strong operating agreement. That’s why when you sign up with us, we include a free operating agreement, specific to your management style. Our operating agreements are just a few of many forms we’ve spent years developing. Over a million LLCs have used our free LLC forms. Take a look:
Get an Arizona LLC EIN
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
You’ll need a federal tax ID if you want to hire employees or if you submit special tax filings like Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns. You may also find you’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account, establish credit with a vendor or fill out local tax forms. It’d be kind of weird not to get an EIN, especially since they’re free from the IRS. Not keen on filling out any more applications? You can add on EIN service for an additional fee when you hire us.
Open a Bank Account for Your Arizona LLC
To open a bank account for your Arizona LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Arizona LLC Articles of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The Arizona LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open business accounts nearly as frequently as personal accounts, so some bankers may be unfamiliar with their own bank’s requirements. As frustrating as that may be for you, calling ahead will help save you from being super annoyed when you walk into the bank.
Obtain a Business License
Does an Arizona LLC need a business license?
Most likely—Arizona itself doesn’t issue a general business license, but most cities do. The Arizona Department of Revenue issues TPT licenses. Some occupations require professional licenses. All in all, there are plenty of potential licenses and permits you may need.
Arizona doesn’t have a centralized licensing office and pretty much expects you to research all the different licensing possibilities yourself. The Arizona Commerce Authority does however have a checklist that can help you determine what licenses your LLC might need.
Pay the LLC Taxes
What are the Arizona LLC taxes?
The Arizona tax rates for personal net income are:
2.59%: $0 to $10,179
2.88%: $10,179 to $25,445
3.36%: $25,445 to $50,890
4.24%: $50,890 to $152,668
4.54%: $152,668 +
Instead of a sales tax, Arizona has a gross receipts tax called a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT). Basically, instead of taxing the buyer, the state taxes the seller on income from retail sales. So, if your LLC engages in retail or requires a TPT license (like restaurants, hotels, utilities and publishers), you’ll have to pay the TPT. However, since it’s legal to pass this tax on to the customer, most businesses end up treating the TPT kind of like a sales tax.
Watch out for local taxes. In addition to the TPT rate of 5.6%, some counties AND cities have their own TPT or sales tax as well. For example, in Phoenix, you’ll add both 2.3% (courtesy of the city) and an additional 0.7% (courtesy of Maricopa County), bringing the total TPT/sales tax to 8.6%.