Arizona Incorporation Services
To start a corporation in Arizona, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission. You can file the document online or by mail. The Articles of Incorporation cost $60 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Arizona corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.
Starting an Arizona Corporation Guide:
- Choose your Arizona corporation filing option
- Submit the Arizona Articles of Incorporation
- Publish a notice in your county newspaper
- Create Arizona corporate bylaws
- Get a Federal EIN from the IRS
- Open a corporate bank account
- Obtain any required business licenses
- File the Arizona Corporation Annual Report
- Pay taxes on the corporation’s income
Arizona Corporation Filing Options
Free PDF Download
Arizona Articles of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.
Do It Yourself Online
Our free account and tools will walk you through starting and maintaining an Arizona corporation. All for free.
Includes registered agent service, bylaws & more.$285 Total
Arizona Articles of Incorporation Requirements
To form an Arizona corporation, you must complete and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission. See the document below and click on any number to see what information is required in the corresponding section.
Select whether your business is a “business corporation” or a “professional corporation.” Professional corporations provide state-licensed services (think doctors and lawyers). If you are a professional corporation, you’ll also have to briefly describe your professional services in your Articles. Tip: Most corporations are just regular business corporations.
Your name must include “Association,” “Company,” “Corporation,” “Limited,” “Incorporated,” or an abbreviation for one of these words, like “Inc.”
What is your corporation actually going to do? Manufacture pet food? Sell and install flooring? Just put a few words to describe the main business activity of your corporation.
You have to authorize (create) at least one share. You can distribute some or all of these shares later on at your organizational meeting. In your Articles, list how many of each kind of share you’re authorizing. You can also include their par value (initial price), but this is optional.
While it sounds like something out of an old detective movie, “known place of business” is just an Arizona business address. It can be your actual office location, or it can be your statutory agent’s address. (That means when you hire Northwest, our address can go here).
You have to list the name of every director of your corporation. You also have to include their business address, which can be the corporation’s “known place of business” (which, once again, can be our address when you hire Northwest).
You can list an individual (like yourself) or a business that provides statutory agent services (like Northwest). We recommend Northwest.
This Arizona street address is where your statutory agent will be available to accept legal notifications on behalf of your business. Like all the information in your Articles of Incorporation, this address will become part of the permanent public record of your corporation. Hire Northwest and our address will go here.
This is a mandatory form submitted along with the Arizona Articles of Incorporation. Basically, the state wants to make sure that no one in your business is playing fast and loose with financial laws. For example, you have to disclose if any director, officer, major shareholder, etc. has fraud or antitrust convictions or has recently gone through bankruptcy with another corporation.
Someone has to sign your Arizona Articles of Incorporation, and that person is your incorporator. Incorporators don’t have to be directors, shareholders, or anyone in the corporation—but they do have to be willing to provide their name, address, and signature. We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest.
How much does it cost to start an Arizona corporation?
The Arizona Corporation Commission charges a $60 filing fee for Articles of Incorporation. Expediting is an additional $35.
Hire Northwest and your total, out-the-door cost is $285 ($320 expedited), including state filing fees.
*Note: Depending on the county where your corporation is registered, you may also have to pay a fee to publish a notice of formation after your Articles are approved (see the next section for details).
How long does it take to start an Arizona corporation?
Unexpedited processing time is usually around 20 business days. Typically, expediting means your Articles will be processed in 8 days.
If you hire Northwest to start your corporation, we file online and typically have your expedited Arizona corporation formed within 8 business days.
Can I form an Arizona Benefit Corporation?
Yes, absolutely. If you want to start a corporation in Arizona that will allow you to allocate some amount of profits to an environmental or public benefit, you can. We’ve even created Arizona Benefit Corporation Articles of Incorporation you can use to start a B Corporation in Arizona.
Does an Arizona corporation need a statutory agent?
Yes, you’re required to appoint an Arizona statutory agent in your Articles of Incorporation. So, what the heck is a statutory agent? Your statutory agent (also called a registered agent) is the person or business authorized to accept legal notices for your corporation. “Accepting legal notices” sounds like a pretty straightforward job—but it comes with a lot of annoyances.
If you opt to be your own registered agent, you’ll find you have to publicly list the physical address where you’ll be, meaning you’ll end up on who knows how many mailing lists. And that address becomes part of the permanent record of your corporation. You’ll also have to BE available at the listed address during business hours—not running errands or in meetings (or sunbathing at Lake Powell). And when you move offices as your business grows, you’ll have to file state forms and pay fees to update your information with the state.
Avoid these problems when you hire Northwest as your statutory agent. We’ll list our address on your documents, and we’ll accept, scan and send you any legal notifications the same day. No worries about our address changing either. Keep things private, convenient, and consistent with Northwest.
Publish a Newspaper Notice
What are the publishing requirements for an Arizona corporation?
Yes, your corporation will likely have to publish a notification of formation in a local newspaper for three consecutive weeks. After you submit Articles of Incorporation, 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 Bylaws for Your Arizona Corporation
Do I need bylaws?
You don’t file bylaws with the ACC or any other state agency, but that doesn’t mean you won’t need them. Bylaws are one of your Arizona corporation’s most important documents. Why? Bylaws are the internal rules you set for your business—and these rules can have a significant impact on your corporation.
Why are corporate bylaws important?
In your bylaws, you get to decide how to run the show—how decisions will be made and who gets to make those decisions. There’s a lot to consider: How will you elect the board of directors? How long does their tenure on the board last? How many members of the board are required to vote on a resolution? Who will be officers? What duties and authority will they have? Which types of stock have voting shares?
Do I have to write bylaws?
You’ll likely need your bylaws to open a corporate bank account (and really just to get your business organized and operational). It’s tempting to just hurry through it or throw something together—but these are decisions that deserve careful consideration. That’s why Northwest gives you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your Arizona corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We also give you other free corporate forms, like resolutions and meeting minute templates. Paperwork is one of the annoying parts of starting and maintaining a business—but it’s also incredibly important. Let us help you start out on the right foot. Check out the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.
Get an EIN for Your Arizona Corporation
Do I have to get a tax ID number (EIN)?
Yes, the IRS requires corporations to have a federal tax ID number (known as an EIN or FEIN). You’ll need this ID number for federal tax filings, opening a corporate bank account and even registering for many licenses and permits. You can get an EIN for free directly from the IRS. Can’t bear to fill out yet another form? Hire us to get an EIN for you when you sign up for our services. Just add on EIN service during checkout.
Open a Bank Account for Your Arizona Corporation
To open a corporate bank account, you will need to bring the following to the bank:
- A copy of the Arizona corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
- The Arizona corporation’s bylaws
- The Arizona corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation.
We recommend calling your bank ahead of time before going in and asking what their requirements are. Most banks don’t open corporate 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 corporation need a business license?
Arizona doesn’t have a general, statewide business license—but there are loads of specific licenses and permits you may need. For example, if you sell anything, you’ll need a TPT license from the Arizona Department of Revenue.
Counties, cities, and towns may have their own licensing requirements as well. For instance, if you’re engaging in business in Tucson, you’ll need to pay the $25 fee for a Tucson Business License.
File Arizona Corporation Reports
What is an Arizona Annual Report?
Your Arizona Annual Report is a form you submit every year to the Arizona Corporation Commission in order to confirm your current ownership and contact information. The report and $45 fee are due on the anniversary of your incorporation. (It’s like your company’s birthday! Except the ACC gets the present.)
Forget to file? There’s a $9 a month penalty. After 90 days unpaid, the ACC will send you a Notice of Pending Administrations Dissolution. Roughly 60 days after that, the state will dissolve your corporation. Yikes.
When you hire Northwest as your statutory agent, we’ll send you reminder notifications for your reports. You can even get rid of this yearly headache entirely and hire us to file your Annual Reports for you.
How much does a corporation in Arizona cost each year?
Arizona corporations are required to pay a $45 filing fee to submit their Annual Report each year.
Pay Corporate Taxes
What are the taxes for an Arizona corporation?
The Arizona corporate net income tax rate is a flat 4.9%. There’s a minimum tax of $50.
Arizona has no sales tax per se, but the state has a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT). This is a gross receipts tax that sellers pay on their income from retail sales. Businesses are allowed to pass the TPT onto customers, so it typically ends up appearing similar to a sales tax. The state TPT rate is 5.6%, but cities and counties can tack on their own TPTs, so the total rate can be as high as 11.2%.