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Getting a Business License in Arizona


Starting a business in Arizona probably means getting a business license—or several. Here’s what you need to know:

What is a business license in Arizona?

Business licenses are issued at the local level by jurisdictions that collect sales tax or other business taxes. Arizona does not offer a state-wide business license.

Is an AZ business license the same as a tax license?

Getting a local business license is different than getting a tax license. For one thing, tax licenses are issued at the state level by the Arizona Department of Revenue. Different types of tax licenses and registrations include:

  • Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) License – A TPT license is required of any business that sells products or services subject to transaction privilege tax (i.e. sales tax).
  • Witholding Tax Registration – Companies with employees must register their employer identification number (EIN) with the state in order to withhold income tax from employees.
  • Regulatory Licenses/Permits – Also known as professional licenses, permits or certifications, this registration is required for certain regulated professions, like medicine, law, accounting, etc.

Do I need a business license in Arizona?

It depends. While you’ll probably need to register for a TPT license in order to pay state sales tax, not all businesses need a business license. It depends on the type of business you conduct, as well as the location of your business, since not all cities or counties in Arizona collect sales tax.

To find out whether you need to apply for a local business license for your company, head to the Arizona Commerce Authority’s Business Licensing page. There, you can create a checklist for your business, which will ultimately put you in touch with any licensing agency you may need to contact.

How do I get a business license in Arizona?

You’ll need to contact the governing agency in the city or town where your business is located to determine whether or not you’ll need a local business license. (Note that you will need a business license—if applicable—in every jurisdiction you operate your business.) The Arizona Commerce Authority offers a handy list of City/Town Offices you can click on for contact info, as well as information about whether or not a business license is required.

This entry was posted in Opinion.