Arizona Business License Requirements for an LLC

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An Arizona business license gives your Limited Liability Company (LLC) permission to operate in a certain location or within a specific industry.

While we can’t walk you through any applicable license applications step-by-step, we do provide helpful resources like:

  • information about state licensing rules
  • instructions for researching municipal licenses

And if you want to just hire a company to do the research for you, we have a recommendation below.

Arizona Business License Requirements

Business License

After you form an Arizona LLC, you may need to obtain a business license or permit.

Your requirements are determined by the industry you are in and where your Arizona Limited Liability Company is located.

Because of the large number of industries and all of the municipalities in Arizona, it’s not possible for us to explain them all. However, you can use the search tools below, call your local municipality, or hire a company for help.

Need to save time? We recommend hiring MyCompanyWorks (for $99) to handle the business license research for you.

How to get a Business License in Arizona

You can obtain a business license in Arizona by applying with the relevant licensing or regulatory agency. The agency you apply with will depend on where your business is located and what business activities it engages in.

The business license application typically requires basic information, such as your LLC name, EIN Number, business address, and contact information. Many also include a questionnaire that asks about your business activity.

There are three main licensing jurisdictions:

  • State licensing
  • Local licensing, such as county, city, township, etc.
  • Federal licensing

Does Arizona Require a Business License?

That depends on where your business is located, and what it does.

There are two types of state-level business licenses:

  • a general business license
  • and an occupational license

Arizona General Business License

Some states have a general license requirement, which means all businesses operating in those states must have the license, regardless of what they do.

But good news: Arizona doesn’t require a general license to do business in the state.

Meaning, your Arizona LLC doesn’t need a general state business license. But depending on what type of business you run, your LLC might need an occupational license.

Arizona Occupational License

Most states have occupational business license requirements. This means a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does or what your occupation is. For example, if you sell used cars, or run a hair salon, you may need an occupational business license. But a license may not be required for other types of businesses.

The Arizona Commerce Authority’s Business Licensing page can help you determine if your Arizona business needs an occupational license or permit, and which agency to contact about applying for the license.

Note: Arizona business licenses are not issued by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is responsible for business entity administration, for example Limited Liability Company formation.

How much is an Arizona Business License?

Arizona doesn’t have a general business license at the state level, so there are no fees there.

However, your business may need a state-level occupational license or municipal-level license or permit to operate. The filing fee for these licenses will vary depending on where you’re doing business and what industry you’re in. To be honest, we can’t predict your specific Arizona business license cost.

For example, licenses issued by a county that contains a large city are usually more expensive than licenses in less populated, rural counties. And licenses for regulated industries, like child care facilities, are usually more expensive than generic business licenses.

But your LLC might not need a license or permit at all. So your Arizona business license cost could be $0.

See LLC Cost in Arizona to learn about all the possible LLC fees.

Municipal Business License

Municipal business licenses can be issued by the city, town, county, parish, township, borough, etc. We refer to all of these as a “municipality” to keep things simple.

There are two types of municipal business licenses:

  • general business license
  • industry-specific license

For example, if a municipality has a general business license requirement, all businesses operating in that municipality must have the license, regardless of what they do.

And if a municipality has industry-specific business licenses, a license or permit may be required depending on what your business does. For example, if you operate a food truck, or run a daycare, you may need an industry-specific municipal business license. Or if you’re purchasing or leasing real estate, you may need a zoning permit.

But a license may not be required for other types of businesses, like making wedding invitation templates or offering marketing consulting.

You can contact your municipality to check on their local licensing requirements:

Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT)

The Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) is sometimes called a sales tax. But it’s actually a tax on the business, or a fee that you pay for the privilege of doing business in Arizona. Most businesses pass the tax on to their customers (like they would with sales tax).

The TPT is applied to businesses in certain industries, including:

  • retail sales
  • restaurants/bars
  • hotel/motel (transient lodging)
  • commercial leasing
  • advertising
  • amusements
  • personal property rentals
  • real property rentals
  • construction contracting
  • owner/builders
  • manufactured building
  • severance (mining, timbering)
  • transportation
  • printing
  • publishing
  • communications
  • private cars
  • use tax

Note: This requirement will apply whether you sell products online or in a physical location in Ssstate.

If your LLC engages in a business type that’s subject to the TPT, you must get the state transaction privilege tax license from the Arizona Department of Revenue.

This license is sometimes called a sales tax, resale, wholesale, vendor or tax license) and a TPT.

If you have questions about whether or not your business activity is subject to TPT, you can contact the Department of Revenue.

You can also find more information about the Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) here: Department of Revenue: Transaction Privilege Tax.

Tip: Save time by hiring an expert. We recommend using TaxJar. They'll help you register for, collect, and pay sales tax.

Do I need any federal business licenses?

Most businesses in Arizona don’t need a federal business license. However, certain industries do need federal licenses:

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Check out the Small Business Administration’s Licenses and Permits page for a full list of industries with federal license requirements.

If your business isn’t one of these special cases, then the only federal requirements are that your LLC get an Arizona EIN Number (aka Federal Employer Identification Number) and that you file taxes.

Arizona Business License FAQs

Arizona doesn’t have a general business license for LLCs, so there are no fees there.

If your business has to get an occupational license or municipal (city or county) permit, the fees are hard to predict. Depending on your LLC’s location, and what type of business or industry you’re in, the fee varies.

And you might not need a business license at all!

Unfortunately, we can’t say what your LLC’s business license costs would be, because it depends on several factors and the cost of Arizona licenses varies.

No, an LLC is not a business license. They are two completely different things.

An LLC is a type of business structure created by filing a document with the state government.

And a business license is a document that gives a person, or a company, the right to transact business. It doesn’t create an LLC.

Sometimes a new business owner chooses to operate as a Sole Proprietorship in Arizona instead of an LLC.

Even if you’re just trying out a business idea as a Sole Proprietorship, you may still be subject to license requirements at the state and municipal levels. It just depends on what you will be doing, and where you will be operating your business.

No, the Arizona Secretary of State doesn’t handle licensing requirements. Instead, they manage business entity formation and registration. For example, depending on business entity type, business owners file different paperwork with the Secretary of State to create their business entity.

For more information, or to determine if there is an Arizona business license cost for your business, we recommend contacting the Arizona Department of Revenue and/or your local government agency. For example, your local county or city government will have information about any local licenses.

Here are the steps to starting an LLC in Arizona:

  1. Select a business name for your Arizona LLC
  2. Choose your Registered Agent
  3. File the LLC Articles of Organization with the state
  4. Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get a Tax ID Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  6. Open an LLC bank account
  7. Check whether you need a business license or tax permits in Arizona
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
 
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

2 comments on “Business License in Arizona”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. I see that advertising is listed as a business activity subject to TPT but then it also lists “advertising sales” as an exception. Could you please clarify?
    I am starting a business that will involve selling online advertising in Arizona and I’m trying to determine if this is subject to the Arizona TPT. I will be doing business from my house which is outside of any city boundaries.

    Reply
    • Hi Jared, apologies for the confusion. Unfortunately we can’t advise on TPT in Arizona specific to your situation. Taxes vary so much from person to person and business to business. I wish we could though. I recommend giving our “knights of the roundtable” strategy a try and phoning a few accountants who are more familiar with TPT requirements. I’m curious to hear what you come up with though, so feel free to keep us posted.

      Reply

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