Choosing a Registered Agent for your LLC
Before forming an Arizona LLC, you need to choose an Arizona Statutory Agent.
The purpose of an Arizona Statutory Agent is to receive Service of Process for your LLC.
Note: Statutory Agents are sometimes referred to as a Registered Agent or Resident Agent. We’ll use these interchangeably. Statutory Agent is the official term used in Arizona. Registered Agent is the more commonly used term in the industry in other states.
Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.
What does Statutory Agent mean in Arizona?
An Arizona Statutory Agent is an individual or business entity who agrees to receive any Service of Process sent to your LLC – and then forward it to you. Your Arizona Statutory Agent also gets listed in your Articles of Organization (the document filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission that creates your LLC).
Service of Process is the delivery of legal documents, such as a notice of a lawsuit. Examples of things that are delivered by Service of Process are a court summons, a complaint, a writ, or a subpoena.
Do you need a Registered Agent in AZ?
Yes, you are required by Arizona LLC law to keep a Registered Agent on file with the state. Statutory Agents play a critical role in how the Arizona court system works. They allow Process Servers – people who deliver court and legal documents – to create an official record that something was delivered (similar to how Certified Mail Return Receipt works).
Additionally, the Arizona Corporation Commission uses your Statutory Agent as your LLC’s main “point of contact” for receiving notices from the state.
We hope that you never receive Service of Process for your LLC, like notice of a lawsuit, but we think it’s important to explain why Statutory Agents exist in the first place.
Who can be a Registered Agent for an LLC in Arizona?
You actually have 3 options for who can be your Statutory Agent in Arizona:
- A friend or family member
- An Arizona Statutory Agent Service (Registered Agent Service)
What are the requirements to be an Arizona Statutory Agent?
As per the Arizona LLC Act (Section 29-3115), your Statutory Agent must have a physical street address located in Arizona. An Arizona Statutory Agent can’t use a PO Box address.
If your Arizona Statutory Agent will be a person, they must be a resident of Arizona, and have a physical street address in the state.
If your Arizona Statutory Agent will be a company, they must have a physical location in the state to use as their Arizona Registered Office and be registered to do business in Arizona.
Can Arizona Registered Agents use professional mailbox services?
No, your Arizona Registered Agent can’t use professional mailbox services. And the Statutory Agent’s address cannot be a Private Mailbox (PMB) or Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA).
Your Registered Agent must have a physical street address located in Arizona. This is because a Registered Agent’s job is to accept Service of Process, so someone must be physically present to accept legal notices during regular business hours.
Can I be my own Statutory Agent in Arizona?
Yes, you can be your own Statutory Agent in Arizona.
You can save money by being your own Statutory Agent, but there are some risks.
What are the risks of being my own Registered Agent in Arizona?
The risks of being your own Statutory Agent in Arizona are:
- Missing an important notice from the state
- Administrative dissolution
- Missing service of process (and therefore a potential default judgment)
Why might a process server be unable to deliver Service of Process?
These issues are more likely to occur if you:
- Don’t have a reliable address
- Don’t keep up with your mail
- Travel or leave town for extended periods of time
- Move and forget to update your address with the Arizona Corporation Commission
We’ll explain a few of these below.
Missing an important notice from the state
You want to make sure you receive all important notices sent by:
- the Arizona Corporation Commission
- the Arizona Department of Revenue
- any other state agency
Notices sent by state agencies often have actions that your LLC must take by a certain deadline. And in some cases, there are penalties and fees if you miss those deadlines.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you have a reliable Registered Agent address for your LLC – to ensure you receive everything sent to your LLC.
Per Arizona law, if you are the Registered Agent for your LLC, and you move without updating your Statutory Agent address within 60 days, the state can administratively dissolve (shut down) your LLC.
To clarify, the state isn’t looking over your LLC every single day, so this potential administrative dissolution isn’t going to automatically occur 60 days after you fail to update the Statutory Agent address. However, if the state finds out that your Statutory Agent address isn’t up to date, and they attempt to notify you but can’t reach you, then they have the power to shut down your LLC.
If there is a lawsuit against your LLC, a process server will make multiple attempts to serve your LLC and deliver the court documents.
However, if they are unsuccessful in serving your LLC, Service of Process can be made through alternative methods (like Certified Mail), which can mean the court notices and/or documents were “delivered” to you, even if you didn’t physically receive them.
And as per Rule 140 of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, the person suing your business can argue their case without you being there to defend your business. In these situations, the person suing your business usually wins and the court enters a default judgment against your company.
While the above risks of being your own Statutory Agent do exist, they don’t come up all that often. Having said that, there are some other Statutory Agent options worth considering.
Which Arizona Statutory Agent option should I choose?
You can be your LLC Statutory Agent if you:
- are a resident of Arizona,
- have a physical street address in Arizona, and
- are comfortable with your address being listed on public records.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you would like to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Commercial Statutory Agent).
A friend or family member can be your Arizona Statutory Agent if they:
- are a resident of Arizona,
- have a physical street address in Arizona, and
- are comfortable with their address being listed on public records.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you aren’t a resident of Arizona, but want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Registered Agent Service).
Registered Agent Services
A Registered Agent Service (aka Statutory Agent Service) is a company that specializes in receiving mail and Service of Process for your LLC.
Registered Agent Services usually charge $100 to $300 per year. After they receive mail for your LLC, they’ll forward it to you or upload it to your online dashboard.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you:
- aren’t a resident of Arizona
- don’t have a friend or family member’s address to use
- don’t want your address listed in the Articles of Organization
Pro tip: If you choose an Arizona Registered Agent Service located in Pima or Maricopa county, you don’t have to fulfill the Arizona LLC newspaper publication requirement.
If you’d like to hire a Registered Agent Service, the company we recommend is Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation and the service we use because they:
- Have excellent customer service
- Have been in business for over 20 years
- Keep your address off of public records
How to keep your address off of public records:
In addition to being the Statutory Agent for your LLC, Northwest will also let you use their office address throughout your entire Articles of Organization.
That means you can use Northwest’s address in the following address fields:
- Statutory Agent’s Physical Address
- Statutory Agent’s Mailing Address
- LLC’s Principal Address
- Member/Manager’s Address(es)
To clarify: Your name will still appear on the Articles of Organization, but your address won’t. Arizona requires the Members or Managers‘ name(s) to be listed on the Articles of Organization, but allows the Members or Managers’ address(es) to be the Statutory Agent address.
If you hire Northwest as your Arizona Statutory Agent Service, any state notices or Service of Process that are sent to your LLC will be scanned by Northwest and uploaded to your online account.
Additionally, because Northwest Registered Agent’s office is located in Pima County, you don’t have to take care of the LLC newspaper publication requirement. (The newspaper publication requirement is based on the address of your Statutory Agent.)
Special discounted pricing for LLC University® readers
Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.
Arizona Registered Agent FAQs
A Statutory Agent in Arizona is a person or business entity who receives Service of Process (legal notices) for your LLC.
This means Registered Agents must be available at an Arizona physical address during normal business hours in order to be your Arizona LLC’s Statutory Agent.
Note: Registered Agents are sometimes referred to as a Resident Agent or a Statutory Agent. These all mean the same thing and can be used interchangeably.
You can get a Statutory Agent in Arizona by listing an eligible Arizona resident as your Statutory Agent on your Articles of Organization. Or you can hire a Statutory Agent Service.
How to make an individual your Registered Agent:
If you – or a friend or family member – live in Arizona, you/they can be the Registered Agent for your Arizona business.
In this case, you just list the individual’s name and address as your Registered Agent’s name and address on your LLC formation documents. And they’ll need to sign the Statutory Agent Acceptance form.
How to hire a Statutory Agent Service
You can also hire a Statutory Agent Service (a Commercial Statutory Agent). Our favorite service (and the one we use ourselves) is Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Northwest allows you to use their Arizona business address throughout your LLC filing to keep your address off public record. They offer this unique service because your Registered Agent’s name and address are made public record with the Arizona Corporations Division of the ACC.
However, Maricopa and Pima county businesses are exempt from this requirement. Since Northwest’s office is in Pima county, you can avoid the expensive publication requirement by using their local office address.
You can hire an Arizona Registered Agent Service like Northwest through their website. Then you can list their name and business address as your Statutory Agent’s information – and in the rest of the address fields throughout your LLC filing. They’ll also need to sign the Statutory Agent Acceptance form.
The cost of Statutory Agent Services ranges from $100 to $300 per year.
While you can google various different Registered Agents and check on their pricing, here is a list of some of the most popular Arizona Registered Agent Services and their fees:
- Northwest Registered Agent is $125 per year
- Our #1 recommendation for privacy
- ZenBusiness is $99 per year
- MyCompanyWorks is $99 per year
- Harbor Compliance is $99 per year
- IncFile is $119 per year
- Rocket Lawyer is $150 per year
- LegalZoom is $299 per year
Note: If you want to save money, you can also be your LLC’s Registered Agent in Arizona.
You can change your Statutory Agent in Arizona by filing a Statement of Change form with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
You can submit this form online or by mail. The filing fee is $5.
As per Section 29-3105 of the Arizona LLC Act, an Operating Agreement isn’t required for an LLC in Arizona.
But while it’s not required in Arizona, we strongly recommend having an Operating Agreement for your LLC.
Additionally, financial institutions (like banks) and other organizations may need to see a copy of this paperwork in order for you to do business with them.
Don’t worry. We have free Operating Agreement templates for you to download to make it easy.
You can file Articles of Organization in Arizona yourself by following the instructions in our Arizona LLC Articles of Organization guide.
We break down the process for you step-by-step.
Next Step: Articles of Organization
Once you determine who will serve as the Statutory Agent for your Arizona LLC, you can proceed to the next lesson: Arizona LLC Articles of Organization.
If you plan on hiring a Statutory Agent Service, please do so before going to the next lesson. You’ll need their address for your Articles of Organization.
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Arizona LLC Act: Section 29-3115 (Statutory Agent)
Arizona LLC Act: Section 29-3119 (Service of process)
Arizona LLC Act: Section 29-3116 (Statement of change)
Arizona LLC Act: Section 29-3708 (Administrative dissolution)
Arizona LLC Act: Section 29-3117 (Resignation of Statutory Agent)
Arizona LLC Act: Section 29-3118 (Statutory Agent’s change of name or address)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 4 (Summons)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 5 (Serving Pleadings)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 140 (Default Judgment)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 4.1 (Service of Process within Arizona)
Arizona Corporation Commission: Notice to process servers
Arizona Corporation Commission: Frequently asked questions
Arizona Corporation Commission: Statutory Agent Acceptance form
Arizona Corporation Commission: Statutory Agent Acceptance (Instructions M002i)
Maricopa Superior Court: Default in Civil Cases
Gila County Courts: Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Default Judgment