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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)
Choosing a Statutory Agent for your Arizona LLC
Before filing your Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission (AZCC), you need to choose a Statutory Agent (aka “Registered Agent”) for your Arizona LLC.
An Arizona Statutory Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail (known as “Service of Process”) on behalf of your Arizona LLC in case your business gets sued.
The AZCC may also use your Statutory Agent’s address as your LLC’s point of contact for official notices sent to your business.
As per the Arizona Revised Statutes, section 29-604, your LLC’s Statutory Agent must have a permanent and full-time physical street address located in the state of Arizona. An Arizona Statutory Agent address can’t be a PO Box address.
Your Arizona Statutory Agent should also be available (generally speaking) during normal business hours (9am – 5pm) in case Service of Process arrives. Service of Process includes the delivery of legal documents such as complaints, summons, and subpoenas.
Your LLC’s Statutory Agent is a key component to how the court and legal systems work. By requiring all Arizona LLCs to have (and continuously maintain) a Statutory Agent on file with the state, the delivery of legal mail and court documents can be tracked and accounted for.
This is similar to how ‘certified mail return receipt’ works, but in the legal world, this is how process servers – (people delivering legal documents) – create a record that something was delivered.
No PMB (personal mailbox) or CMRA (commercial mail receiving agency)
Again, as per the AZCC’s filing rules, your Arizona Statutory Agent must have a permanent, full-time street address located in the state. Their address cannot be a PO Box.
Furthermore, their address cannot also be a PMB (private mailbox) or CMRA (commercial mail receiving agency) such as The UPS Store or any other mailbox rental facility.
Can I be my own Statutory Agent in Arizona?
Yes, you can be your Arizona LLC’s Statutory Agent, as long as you have a street address located in the state.
However, you actually have 3 options when forming an LLC in Arizona:
Option 1: You can be your LLC’s Statutory Agent in Arizona (are there risks?)
Option 2: A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Statutory Agent.
Option 3: You can hire an Arizona Statutory Agent Service, also known as a Commercial Statutory Agent or a Commercial Registered Agent.
Statutory Agent Information is Public Record in Arizona
While you do have the option to be your Arizona LLC’s Statutory Agent (or use a friend or family member), you may not want to have your address listed on public records.
The information you enter in your Articles of Organization becomes public record with the AZCC.
Not only is this information searchable by the public, but other websites download the state’s records and republish them on their website. Then things begin to multiply as other “public record websites” take that same information and list it on their website again (and the process repeats itself).
Pretty soon your address is listed on various websites and people can easily find it by doing a google search.
There is a solution though if you’d like to keep your address off public records. We’ll discuss this below.
What’s the best Statutory Agent option to choose?
Option #1 (You):
If you have a street address located in Arizona, are available during business hours, and don’t mind your address being on public record, then you can be your LLC’s Statutory Agent.
Option #2 (Friend or Family):
If you don’t have a street address located in Arizona, but you have a friend or family member who does, they can be your LLC’s Statutory Agent. They’ll need to be available during business hours and they shouldn’t mind having their address being listed on public record.
Option #3 (Statutory Agent Service):
If you don’t have a street address in Arizona (or you’d rather not use it for this purpose), you can hire a Statutory Agent Service in Arizona. As mentioned earlier, this can also impact whether or not you’ll need to publish an ad in the newspaper.
Note: The terms “Statutory Agent Service” and “Commercial Statutory Agent” mean the same thing. We may use them interchangeably.
An Arizona Statutory Agent Service specializes in receiving Service of Process (legal mail) on behalf of your LLC.
Most Statutory Agent Services in Arizona cost between $100 and $300 per year.
The Statutory Agent Company we recommend in Arizona is Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Why we recommend Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the service we use) because they have great customer service, have been in business for over 20 years, and they let you use their address as your LLC’s Known Place of Business address – as well as any other address fields – in your entire LLC filing, not only to keep your address off public records, but to save you money (and the hassle) on the newspaper publication requirement (since you won’t have to meet it). We’ll explain these below.
How to keep your address off public records:
Many filers in Arizona start businesses from their home. For this reason, it’s important to know that your LLC’s Statutory Agent address (and all addresses listed in your LLC’s Articles of Organization) become a part of public record.
If you want to keep your address off of public record, you can hire a Statutory Agent that will allow you to use their address throughout your LLC’s Articles of Organization. The only company that allows this is Northwest Registered Agent. They offer Statutory Agent services for $125 per year and they’ll let you use their address throughout your entire LLC filing.
Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your online account.
Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.
How to avoid the newspaper publication requirement?
As described in our newspaper publication requirement lesson, all LLCs in Arizona (except for those in Pima and Maricopa counties) must publish an ad in a newspaper for 3 consecutive publications. This must be done within 60 days of your LLC being approved.
However, due to House Bill 2447, any LLC that is formed in Pima County or Maricopa County doesn’t have to publish an ad in any newspaper, since the AZCC publishes LLCs formed in those 2 counties on their website, therefore fulfilling the requirements as set forth in the Arizona Revised Statutes, section 29-635.
We mentioned all that because the address that determines what county your LLC is “located in” is your Known Place of Business.
Therefore, if you hire Northwest Registered Agent and use their address (which is in Pima county) as your LLC’s Known Place of Business, then you don’t have to spend any money publishing an ad in the newspaper.
On the lower end, this could save you about $60 to $120, however, in some counties where newspapers charge a lot more money, this could save you a few hundred dollars, not to mention the hassle of having to deal with the newspaper and then filing an Affidavit of Publication with the AZCC.
Takeaway: We’re not saying that you should hire a Commercial Statutory Agent just to save money on the newspaper publication costs (since it costs money to hire a Statutory Agent), however, if you were leaning this way anyway, either because you don’t have an address in AZ, or you prefer to keep yours off of public records, then this is quite an added bonus.
As mentioned above, you can be your own Statutory Agent in Arizona.
Besides the address privacy we mentioned, are there any risks to being your own Statutory Agent?
In short, there are risks. They are not extremely likely to occur, but if they do, you could lose your liability protection and the Arizona Corporation Commission (AZCC) has the power to administratively shut down your Arizona LLC if you’re not in compliance with state laws.
This can happen if you don’t “continuously maintain” (always have) a Statutory Agent on file, or if the AZCC is unsuccessful in reaching your LLC’s Statutory Agent.
Additionally, if a process server (a person who serves court documents and notices of lawsuits) is unsuccessful in reaching your Arizona Statutory Agent (or is unsuccessful in serving your LLC through the AZCC), a court case can proceed in your absence and you might not even know about it.
A few reasons a process server might not be able to reach your Arizona LLC’s Statutory Agent:
- you, your friend, or family member are not there during business hours
- you/they are on vacation or out of town
- you/they moved and you forgot to file a Change of Statutory Agent with the AZCC
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 an Arizona Statutory Agent Service (aka a “Commercial Statutory Agent”), please do so before going to the next lesson. You’ll need their address for your Articles of Organization.