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Arizona Corporation Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Corporation in Arizona

To start an Arizona corporation, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission, pay a $60 filing fee, and obtain an EIN from the IRS. The complete steps to incorporating in Arizona are as follows:

  1. File Arizona Articles of Incorporation
  2. Pay the Arizona Corporation Commission $60
  3. Wait to receive your approved Articles and Notice of Publication form
  4. Send your completed Notice of Publication form to a newspaper in your county for publication
  5. Get a Federal EIN tax ID for the corporation
  6. Create Arizona corporate bylaws
  7. Take your approved Articles, EIN and bylaws to the bank and get an Arizona corporate bank account
  8. Register with the Arizona Department of Revenue
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Arizona Articles of Incorporation free download. When you're done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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Documents & Forms

How to File Arizona Articles of Incorporation

To form an Arizona corporation, you file the Articles of Incorporation in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose whether to form a business or professional corporation
Step 2 Choose a name for your new corporation
Step 3 Describe the character of your business
Step 4 Decide how many shares you’ll authorize
Step 5 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 6 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 7 Decide who will be the director(s) for your corporation
Step 8 Complete and attach a Certificate of Disclosure
Step 9 File online and pay $60 with a credit card or mail to the Arizona Corporation Commission (Corporate Filings Section, 1300 W Washington St, Phoenix AX 85007) with a check or money order for $60

How Long Does it Take to Start an Arizona Corporation?

3-4

Faster (+$35)

Typically, expediting means your Articles will be processed in 1-2 weeks, but it can take as long as 3-4 weeks.

50+

Slower

Unexpedited processing time is usually around 3-4 weeks, but it can take as long as 50 business days.

What is the Cost of 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.

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.

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Do Arizona Corporations Have Publishing Requirements?

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 Pina County. These two counties automatically publish a notice for you online in the Public Notice Database for no fee.

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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%.

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Is a Statutory Agent Required for an Arizona Corporation?

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.

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Arizona Corporation Versus Arizona LLC:

An Arizona corporation is a bit pricier than an LLC. Filing Articles costs $10 more. Corporations also have to pay a $45 Annual Report fee each year that LLCs are exempt from. So, if it costs more, why would anyone choose an Arizona corporation over an Arizona LLC?

Corporations have a few distinct advantages. Corporations have been around much longer than LLCs, so they’re generally better trusted and better understood. Their long history also means many more court precedents, so it’s easier to anticipate how any legal cases would play out in the courtroom. Stocks also give corporations options LLCs don’t have. Corporations can offer investors perks like preferred stock, and corporations can even become publicly traded. All this together makes corporations popular choices for large businesses or those that hope to scale quickly. LLCs are a little cheaper and a little simpler—easier for small businesses. Thinking about an Arizona LLC? Here’s information on starting an LLC in Arizona.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for an Arizona Corporation?

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.

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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.

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.

 

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 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.

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?

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.

Arizona Articles of Incorporation Requirements

Entity Type

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.

Entity Name

Your name must include “Association,” “Company,” “Corporation,” “Limited,” “Incorporated,” or an abbreviation for one of these words, like “Inc.”

Character of Business

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.

Shares

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.

Arizona Known Place of Business

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).

Directors

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).

Statutory Agent

You can list an individual (like yourself) or a business that provides statutory agent services (like Northwest). We recommend Northwest.

Statutory Agent Address

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.

Certificate of Disclosure

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.

Arizona Incorporator

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.

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by Local Corporate Guides®