Last updated July 13, 2021
Arizona LLC Statutory Agent
(aka “Registered Agent”)
How to form an LLC in Arizona
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Arizona.
Arizona LLC Costs:
Arizona LLC formation: $50 (regular) or $85 (expedited)
Arizona LLC annual report: none
★ Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom
Before forming an LLC, you need to choose an Arizona Statutory Agent.
Why do I need an Arizona Statutory Agent?
The purpose of an Arizona Statutory Agent is to receive Service of Process for your LLC.
Service of Process is the delivery of legal documents, such as a notice of a lawsuit. The word “process” means a legal document or a collection of legal documents. And “service” is the act of serving, or delivering those documents. Examples of things that are delivered by Service of Process are a court summons, a complaint, a writ, or a subpoena.
An Arizona Statutory Agent is simply the person, or company, 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.
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).
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.
Additionally, the Arizona Corporation Commission uses your Statutory Agent as your LLC’s main “point of contact” for receiving notices from the state.
(The Arizona Corporation Commission is the agency that regulates the creation of businesses.)
(To learn more about Northwest, check out our Northwest Registered Agent review.)
Who can be my Statutory Agent in Arizona?
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
- they must have a physical street address.
If your Arizona Statutory Agent will be a company:
- they must be registered to do business in Arizona,
- they must have a place of business in Arizona, and
- they must have a physical street address in Arizona.
Can Arizona Statutory Agents use professional mailbox services?
No, your Arizona Statutory Agent must have a physical street address located in Arizona.
Again, their address cannot be a PO Box.
And the Statutory Agent’s address cannot be a Private Mailbox (PMB) or Commercial Mail Receiving Agency (CMRA).
Some examples of PMBs and CMRAs include, but are not limited to:
- Biltmore Mailboxes Plus
- Mailbox Plus
- Pak Mail
- Pack N’ Ship
- Ship Rite
- The UPS Store
- any other mailbox rental facility
Can I be my own Statutory Agent in Arizona?
Yes, you can be your own Statutory Agent in Arizona.
You actually have 4 options for who can be your Statutory Agent in Arizona:
- a friend or family member
- an attorney or accountant
- a Commercial Resident Agent
You can save money by being your own Statutory Agent, but there are some risks.
What are the risks of being my own Statutory Agent in Arizona?
The risks of being your own Statutory Agent in Arizona are:
- missing an important notice from the state,
- administrative dissolution, and
- missing service of process (and therefore a potential default judgment).
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, or
- 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. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you have a reliable Statutory Agent address for your LLC to ensure you receive everything sent to your LLC.
As per Section 29-3708 of the Arizona LLC Act, if you are the Statutory Agent for your LLC, and you move without updating your Statutory Agent address within 60 days, the state has the power to 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?
Option 1: You
You can be your LLC Statutory Agent if:
- you are a resident of Arizona, and
- you have a physical street address in Arizona.
You also should be 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).
Option 2: Friend or family member
A friend or family member can be your Arizona LLC Statutory Agent if:
- they are a resident of Arizona, and
- they have a physical street address in Arizona.
They also should be 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 Commercial Statutory Agent).
Option 3: Attorney or Accountant
Some attorneys will be your Statutory Agent at no additional charge (if you hire them for other LLC-related services). Other attorneys charge an annual fee for Statutory Agent services (whether or not you hire them for other LLC-related work).
Additionally, some accountants will be your Statutory Agent for a fee as part of their LLC services.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you are already working with an attorney and you like their services.
There are some downsides:
- Many attorneys and accountants don’t have mail forwarding, scanning, and email notification in place (like a Commercial Statutory Agent).
- If the attorney or accountant changes office locations, you must update the Arizona Corporation Commission – the attorney or accountant is not obligated to.
- The attorney or accountant’s address may not help you avoid the Arizona LLC newspaper publication requirement.
A Commercial Statutory Agent (aka Commercial Registered Agent) is a company that specializes in receiving mail and Service of Process for your LLC.
Commercial Statutory Agents 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 account.
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 to hire an attorney or accountant, or
- don’t want your address listed in the Articles of Organization.
Additionally: If you choose a Commercial Statutory Agent 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 Commercial Statutory Agent, 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
Keeping 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 Registered Agent, 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.)
Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.
(To learn more about Northwest, check out our Northwest Registered Agent review.)
Next Step: Articles of Organization
Once you determine who will serve as the Statutory Agent for your Arizona LLC, you can then proceed to the next lesson: Arizona LLC Articles of Organization.
If you plan on hiring a Commercial Statutory Agent, 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 29-3116 (Statement of change)
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 LLC Act: Section 29-3119 (Service of process)
Arizona LLC Act: Section 29-3708 (Administrative dissolution)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 4 (Summons)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 4.1 (Service of Process within Arizona)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 5 (Serving Pleadings)
Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure: Rule 140 (Default Judgment)
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)
Gila County Courts: Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Default Judgment
Maricopa Superior Court: Default in Civil Cases