Arizona LLC Basics & Helpful Information
General Overview of the Arizona LLC
This article is meant to be a general overview of the Arizona LLC formation process and other basic issues related to LLCs.
Arizona LLC Filing Fees
The Arizona filing fee for the Articles of Organization (to create an Arizona LLC) is $50.00 plus $35 to expedite the filing for a quicker turn around.See full fee schedule →
Arizona LLC Filing Time
Regular processing time generally takes 25-30 business days. Expedited processing reduces the turn around time to 5-10 business days. The Arizona Corporation Commission does not currently offer same day or next day service.
Arizona Annual Compliance Requirements
Unlike Arizona Corporations, Arizona LLCs are not required to file annual reports.
Form an LLC in Arizona
You can use this checklist to help guide you through the process of forming an Arizona LLC:
Step 1: Decide on a Business Name
The first step in creating an LLC in Arizona is naming your business. You’ll need to check with the Arizona Corporation Commission to make sure the name you’ve chosen is available. You can do this online via the Arizona Business Search.
It is also highly recommended that you check the US Patent and Trademark Office to see if someone has a federal trademark of the business name you want (the Arizona Corporation Commission will not check other state’s databases or the federal trademark database). You can click here to have a comprehensive name availability search performed for you.
Your LLC name must contain the words “limited liability company” or “limited company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C”, “L.C.”, “LLC”, or “LC”.See Arizona LLC Naming Criteria →
Arizona Trade Names
A trade name is similar to a “doing business as” (DBA) name. Although a trade name is not legally required, it is a wise business practice. Trade names last for 5 years and can be renewed. The filing fee is $10 and processing time takes 2-3 weeks (or 1-2 days if expedited). Arizona trade names are only applicable in Arizona and are not substitutes for a national trademark filing.See more about Arizona Trade Names →
Step 2: Register your LLC with the State
Arizona Articles of Organization
Your Arizona LLC is formed by signing and filing your Articles of Organization and the required Cover Sheet with the Arizona Corporation Commission. You can also e-file the Arizona Articles of Organization. The A.C.C. staff will examine the articles for statutory compliance and will either approve the articles for filing or reject the articles with instructions on how to resubmit the document.
The Articles of Organization must include at a minimum:
- Name of the Arizona LLC
- Statutory Agent’s Name and Address
- Physical or street address of the known place of business of the LLC in Arizona
- Management Structure of the LLC (and include a member structure attachment or manager structure attachment
- Duration of LLC
- Organizer’s Name and Signature
- Statutory Agent Acceptance to be attached
When the Articles are approved for filing, you will receive a Notice of LLC Formation, or Notice for Publication, that you are required to publish. The approval letter you receive from the Arizona Corporation Commission will contain information on how to publish. You have 60 days to publish your Articles in a newspaper in the Arizona county where the LLC does business for 3 consecutive publications. The Arizona Corporation Commission website has a list of acceptable newspapers in each county. You then have 90 days after the date of filing the Articles of Organization to file a notarized Affidavit of Publication evidencing the publication of the Notice for Publication as required by Arizona law.
Typically, persons in licensed professions, such as doctors, accountants, or lawyers, form professional LLCs. You should check with the agency or board that licenses your profession to see if it requires you to form a professional LLC or if it prohibits you from forming a professional LLC. The Arizona Corporation Commission cannot tell you whether you can or should form a professional LLC because this issue may involve legal or tax advice, and A.C.C. staff are not licensed attorneys or accountants and cannot give legal or tax advice to the public.
Arizona Registered Agent Information
Arizona requires that the LLC have a Statutory Agent (same as a Registered Agent in other states), which is an individual or a business entity the LLC appoints for the purpose of accepting service of process (lawsuit papers or legal documents) for the LLC. An LLC cannot be its own statutory agent, but the LLC can appoint one of its members as the statutory agent. Arizona law requires that the statutory agent have a permanent, physical address on the records of the Arizona Corporation Commission at all times. The statutory agent must accept the appointment in writing.Read more about Statutory Agents →
Step 3: Create and Sign the LLC’s Governing Document
The governing document for an LLC is called the “company agreement” or sometimes the “operating agreement”. The company agreement is to an LLC like a partnership agreement is to a partnership (or bylaws to a corporation). The company agreement governs the internal operation of the LLC and is typically a private document that is kept in the company book and the principal place of business (it is NOT filed with the state). The company agreement can address many issues, some of the more common concepts found within a company agreement are:
- Limitations on the members liabilities
- The level of consent needed to take various actions (i.e. simple majority required to add new members)
- The percentage of the LLC that each member owns
- How profits and losses are allocated between the members (typically based on ownership percentages)
- Limitations on transferability
- What each member is contributing to the LLC and what happens is such contributions are not made.
- The authority of the members, officers, managers, committees, etc.
- How meeting are conducted
One of the reasons we recommend using an LLC formation company like IncFile is that they can provide you with a company agreement in connection with their LLC formation services.
Step 4: Get an EIN
After you form an LLC in Arizona, you can get the EIN. There are a few different ways to get an EIN:
- Apply Online Yourself: The IRS has an online EIN Application you can use to get an EIN. The turn around time on the EIN using this method is only a few minutes.
- Use Form SS-4: You can get an EIN the old fashion way by completing Form SS-4 and mailing or faxing into the IRS. How long does it take to get the EIN this way? According to the IRS: if you mail in Form SS-4, it will take 4-5 weeks to get your EIN. If you fax in Form SS-4 you should have the EIN back in a week if you provide a fax number or 2 weeks if you don’t have a fax number.
- Have a Third-Party Obtain: All of the LLC formation companies have the ability to get the EIN for you. The EIN obtainment charge varies by company, but it is generally between $50 and $100. If you get one of the higher priced packages, they will sometimes throw in the EIN for free.
Step 5: Get Licenses and Permits
After you create your new Arizona LLC, you’ll need to determine if your business/profession requires any license or permits to conduct business.See the Arizona Licensing Guide →
Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (AZ TPT)
If you are selling a product or engaging in a service subject to transaction privilege tax, you will most likely need to obtain the state transaction privilege tax (TPT) license from the Arizona Department of Revenue (commonly referred to as a sales tax, resale, wholesale, vendor or tax license) and a transaction privilege tax or business/occupational license from the city(ies) in which you are based and/or operate.Read more about the Transaction Privilege Tax →
Registering a Foreign LLC in Arizona
If you have a non-Arizona LLC (aka Foreign LLC) and you are doing business in Arizona, you may need to register the Foreign LLC in Arizona. Each state has a different definition of “doing business”. In Arizona, the kinds of activities that would not constitute “doing business” are outlined in the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 29-809.
The filing fee for the Application For Registration of Foreign LLC in Arizona is $150, plus an extra $35 to expedite the process.