How to start an Arizona LLC, step-by-step
Starting an Arizona LLC costs $50. And it takes 14-16 days to get an LLC in Arizona.
Here are the 6 steps to forming an LLC in Arizona:
- Choose an LLC Name
- Select a Registered Agent
- File Articles of Organization
- Complete the Publication Requirement
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
If you want to form your LLC yourself, follow our free LLC Formation guide below.
If you want someone to take care of it for you, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent
(We recommend Northwest. We've reviewed all the top companies in the industry. And Northwest is our #1 pick for prices, customer support, and address privacy. Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom to learn more.)
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Arizona?
It costs $50 to start an Arizona LLC.
This is the fee to file the Articles of Organization – the document that creates an Arizona LLC.
To learn more about Arizona LLC formation costs, see LLC Costs in Arizona.
How long does it take to get an LLC in Arizona?
If you file your Arizona LLC by mail, it will be approved in 14-16 business days (plus mail time).
But if you file online, your LLC will be approved in 14-16 business days.
Please see How long does it take to get an LLC in Arizona to check for any processing delays with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
Here are the steps to forming an LLC in Arizona
1. Search your LLC Name
Search your Arizona LLC Name to make sure it’s available in the state.
You need to do this because two businesses in the state can’t have the same name.
First, search your business name and compare it to existing businesses in Arizona. You can make sure the name you want is unique from existing businesses using the Arizona Corporation Commission: Business Entity Search.
Second, familiarize yourself with the naming rules for LLCs in Arizona (so your Arizona LLC gets approved).
We’ll explain both in more detail here: Arizona LLC Name.
2. Choose an Arizona Registered Agent
The next step is to choose a Registered Agent for your LLC in Arizona.
An Arizona Registered Agent is a person or company who accepts legal mail and state notices on behalf of your Arizona Limited Liability Company.
Note: In Arizona, a Registered Agent is also called a Statutory Agent. We may use either term.
Who can be an LLC Statutory Agent?
You have 3 options for who can be the Statutory Agent:
- A friend or family member
- A Registered Agent Service
The Statutory Agent for your Arizona LLC must have a physical street address in Arizona. PO Boxes aren’t allowed.
And the Statutory Agent’s name and address will be listed on public records.
If you don’t have an address in Arizona, or you want more privacy, you can hire a Registered Agent Service for your LLC.
We recommend Northwest Registered Agent
Our favorite feature about Northwest is they’ll let you use their office address throughout your LLC filing. This way, you can keep your address off public records.
They’ll also scan any mail sent for your Arizona LLC and upload it to your online account.
Northwest has excellent customer service, and they’re who we trust to be our own Statutory Agent.
3. File Arizona LLC Articles of Organization
To start an LLC, you need to file the Arizona LLC Articles of Organization.
This gets filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
The Arizona Articles of Organization costs $50 if you file online.
This is a one-time fee to create your LLC.
If you want to file this yourself, see our step-by-step guide: Arizona Articles of Organization.
Or, you can hire a company to do it for you.
4. Complete the LLC Publication Requirement
Arizona is 1 of only 3 states that require Limited Liability Companies to publish an ad in the newspaper after they are formed.
The original purpose was to “notify the public” that you were forming a business.
Although newspaper ads aren’t as helpful today, Arizona’s LLC law still requires new LLCs to run an ad in 1 newspaper for 3 runs. (3 runs usually takes about 1 to 2 weeks.)
How much do the newspaper ads cost?
Average fees for your newspaper ads will be $60 – $120. We recommend calling a couple of newspapers to check their rates.
Where do I run the ads?
The newspaper must be located in the same county as your LLC’s Statutory Agent address.
Exception: If the address of your Arizona Statutory Agent is located in Maricopa or Pima Counties, you don’t have to run any ads in the newspaper.
For more information, please see Arizona LLC Publication Requirement and LLC Publication Requirements for Maricopa County and Pima County.
5. Create an Arizona LLC Operating Agreement
An Arizona LLC Operating Agreement serves as a “companion” document to the Articles of Organization.
The Articles of Organization creates your LLC, and the Operating Agreement shows who owns the LLC.
Additionally, some banks require an Operating Agreement when you open an LLC bank account.
And having an Operating Agreement will be very helpful if you ever end up in court. Reason being, it helps prove that your LLC is being run properly.
That’s why we recommend that all LLCs have an Operating Agreement – including Single-Member LLCs.
Furthermore, an Operating Agreement is an “internal document“. Meaning, you don’t need to file it with the state or the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Just keep a copy with your business records.
You can download a free template below.
Then, learn how to fill it out by watching our step-by-step Arizona Operating Agreement video.
6. Get an EIN for your LLC
The next step is to get an Arizona EIN Number from the IRS for your LLC.
Note: An EIN Number is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number or Federal Employer Identification Number.
An EIN Number is used to:
- identify your LLC for tax purposes
- open a business bank account
- apply for business licenses and permits
How much does an EIN cost?
Getting an EIN Number from the Internal Revenue Service is completely free.
How long does it take to get an EIN?
If you apply online, it takes 15 minutes.
If you apply by mail or fax, it can take 1-3 months.
How can I get an EIN?
US Citizens/US Residents: If you have an SSN or ITIN, you can apply for an EIN online. Follow these instructions: Apply for an EIN online.
Non-US Residents: You can’t get an EIN online, but you can still get one by fax or by mail. Follow these instructions: How to get an EIN without an SSN or ITIN.
What do I do after my LLC is approved?
After your Arizona LLC is approved, there are some additional steps.
Open an LLC business bank account
You’ll want to open a business bank account for your LLC.
This makes accounting and record-keeping much easier for your business finances.
Having a separate business bank account also maintains your personal liability protection. This is because it keeps your business entity finances separate from your personal finances.
Get Arizona business licenses and permits
Good news, Arizona doesn’t have a state general business license.
However, depending on where your LLC is located, you may need a local business license or permit.
For example, if you want to start a daycare, you may need a business license from the city or county.
You can learn more on our Arizona Business License page.
File and pay taxes
LLCs don’t pay federal taxes. Instead, the LLC Members pay the taxes for the Limited Liability Company.
Said another way, the owners pay taxes for the LLC as a part of their personal tax return.
How will my LLC be taxed?
By default, an Arizona Limited Liability Company is taxed by the IRS based on the number of owners your LLC has:
- A Single-Member LLC is taxed like a Sole Proprietorship.
- A Multi-Member LLC is taxed like a Partnership.
Alternatively, you can ask the IRS to tax your LLC like a C-Corporation or S-Corporation.
Married Couples: Instead of having your Arizona LLC taxed as a Partnership, married couples can elect to be taxed as a Single-Member LLC (aka Qualified Joint Venture). This is allowed in Arizona because Arizona is a community property state.
Besides federal taxes, there are also state and local income taxes – and sales tax.
In Arizona, sales tax is called the Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax. Meaning, it’s a tax you pay for the privilege of your business entity doing business in Arizona.
And to pay it, you’ll need to get a Transaction Privilege Tax License from the Arizona Department of Revenue.
Learn more in Arizona LLC Taxes.
How to Start an LLC in Arizona FAQs
Can I start an LLC online in Arizona?
Yes, you can file your LLC online in Arizona. The Articles of Organization filing fee is $50.
When you start your Arizona LLC online, it will be approved in 14-16 business days.
What are the benefits of an LLC?
The first benefit of an LLC is protecting your personal assets. Meaning, if your business is sued, your personal assets – like your home, cars, and bank accounts – are protected.
This protection applies to all LLC owners (called LLC Members). It doesn’t matter if you have a Single-Member LLC or Multi-Member LLC. All of the LLC owners are protected from the business debts and liabilities.
This type of protection wouldn’t apply if you operate as a Sole Proprietorship or Partnership. With these types of informal business structures, the owners aren’t protected in the event of a lawsuit. For that reason, Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) are a much more popular business structure.
Another benefit is LLC pass-through taxation. This means the LLC itself doesn’t pay federal income taxes. Instead, the profits “pass through” to the LLC Members. And the Members pay the taxes on their personal tax return.
And Arizona state income taxes are very similar, since the state honors the federal tax treatment of your LLC.
To learn more, please see How are LLCs taxed.
Is Arizona a good state to start an LLC?
Whether Arizona is a good state to start an LLC depends on where you live – and where you’re doing business.
Meaning, if you live in or do business in Arizona, then you should start your LLC in Arizona. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business.
For example, if you form an LLC in Nevada, but live in and conduct business in Arizona, you’ll also need to register your Nevada LLC in Arizona (and pay extra fees). And you’ll end up paying Arizona taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with no advantages.
In summary, if you live in and conduct business in Arizona, then yes, Arizona is a good state to start a business. If you don’t live in and do business in Arizona, then no, Arizona isn’t a good state to start a business.
Real estate exception: If you’re purchasing real estate outside of Arizona, you should form your LLC in the state where the property is located.
For more information, please see Best State to Form an LLC.
Do I need to file an Annual Report for an Arizona LLC?
Great news, the Arizona Corporation Commission doesn’t require an Annual Report (or fee) for an Arizona LLC.
Although most states have annual reports and fees, Arizona is one of the few states that doesn’t require LLCs to file (or pay) an Annual Report.
You can read more here: No Arizona LLC Annual Reports.
Do I need to publish my LLC in Arizona?
Yes, all Arizona LLCs must notify the public of its LLC formation.
This is done by publishing an ad in a single newspaper for 3 consecutive publications.
The newspaper ad must be published within 60 days of your LLC formation being approved.
The newspaper must be located in the same county as the address you put down for your Statutory Agent in your Articles of Organization.
The exception to this is for Statutory Agent addresses located in Maricopa or Pima counties.
If I have an LLC in another state, do I still have to register in Arizona?
If you have an LLC formed in another state, but you want to conduct business in Arizona, you’ll need to register that out-of-state LLC in Arizona. This is known as a Foreign LLC registration.
You can find Foreign LLC fees here: Foreign LLC fees by state.
What is the difference between a Domestic LLC, a Foreign LLC, and a PLLC?
The main differences between Domestic LLCs, Foreign LLCs, and Professional LLCs are where they are formed and their business purpose.
A Domestic Limited Liability Company is an LLC that is formed in its “home state”, meaning, where the business owner lives and does business.
For example, if you live in and do business in Georgia, you would form your Domestic LLC in Georgia.
A Foreign Limited Liability Company is an LLC that is formed in a state that isn’t its home state. In this case, the term “foreign” simply means that the LLC is foreign to its “home state”.
For example, if you live in and do business in Georgia, you would form your Domestic LLC in Georgia. If you later expand into Florida, you would register your existing Georgia LLC as a Foreign LLC in Florida.
Said another way, LLCs are created at the state-level.
And if you want your LLC to do business in two separate states, you have to form or register an LLC in both states.
This works by forming a Domestic LLC in your home state, and a Foreign LLC in the other state.
What is a PLLC?
A PLLC (Professional LLC) is a type of LLC formed for the purpose of providing “professional services”.
In this case, “professional” refers to business types that require special permissions (like a license, registration, or certification from the state) in order to do business legally.
For example, architects, attorneys, and social work counselors, doctors, and veterinarians often form their business practices as PLLCs.
You can read more about PLLCs, their availability, and their stricter requirements in: What’s a Professional LLC?
And for more information on Foreign and Domestic LLCs, please see:
Arizona State Agencies
Arizona Corporation Commission (AZCC)
Arizona Department of Revenue (DOR)
Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES)
Arizona Department of Economic Security
Arizona Department of Economic Security: Contact Us
602-542-4791 (8am to 5pm)