How to Form an LLC in Arizona

This guide to starting an LLC in Arizona provides step-by-step instructions on filing formation documents, obtaining tax IDs, and setting up company records.

Overview

LLCs are the most popular business structure because they are inexpensive to form, provide flexibility to the owners, and are easy to run. Forming your LLC legally establishes your business, limits your personal liability, and gains tax flexibility. The following step-by-step will help you as you undertake this process.

Fast Facts: Your Budget and Timeline

Here is an overview of the total paperwork, cost, and time it takes to form an LLC in Arizona. Be sure to read the final step in this guide - "Ongoing Filings" - to understand your ongoing costs to maintain a compliant Arizona LLC.


Paperwork
  • Form CFCVLR: Cover sheet
  • Form L010: Articles of Organization
  • Form L040: Manager Structure Attachment or Form L041: Member Structure Attachment
  • Form L042: Organizer attachment, if applicable
  • Form M002: Statutory Agent Acceptance
  • Publishing affidavits
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form JT-1: Arizona Joint Tax Application, if required
Cost
  • Formation: $50 + optional $35 expedite fee
  • Publisher fees: ~$200
Time

Step-by-Step Arizona LLC Instructions

  1. Check Name Availability

    The legal name of your LLC may not conflict with any other registered name. Check availability of your desired name by conducting a name search.

    Name Search: Arizona Corporation Commission - Corporations Division
    Name search
    Name Reservation: Optional
    Suffix:

    "A. The name of a limited liability company as set forth in its articles of organization shall: 1. Contain the words "limited liability company" or "limited company" or the abbreviations "L.L.C.", "L.C.", "LLC" or "LC", in uppercase or lowercase letters.
    2. Not contain the words "association", "corporation" or "incorporated" or an abbreviation of these words.
    3. Not include the words "bank", "deposit", "credit union", "trust" or "trust company" separately or in combination to indicate or convey the idea that the limited liability company is engaged in banking, credit union or trust business unless the limited liability company is to be and becomes actively and substantially engaged in the banking, credit union or trust business or the limited liability company is a holding company holding substantial interest in companies actively and substantially engaged in the banking, credit union or trust business." 
    ARS §29-602

  2. Appoint a Registered Agent

    Before you officially file to create your Arizona LLC, you will need to decide who your Arizona registered agent will be. A registered agent is a business's legal appointee to receive notice of lawsuit and other legal or government notices.

    State law requires every LLC to have a registered agent. The registered agent is designated when you file Arizona articles of organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission - Corporations Division.

    Our reliable registered agent service fulfills this requirement. You get:

    • Same-day documents from our local office in Oro Valley
    • Immediate online access to state forms with our address and, where required, our signature
    • Annual fees from $89 to $99 per state with no additional charges

    Order Now
  3. File Arizona Certificate of Formation

    File the articles of organization to create your limited liability company.

    Agency:Arizona Corporation Commission - Corporations Division
    Form:

    Articles of Organization

    Instructions:

    Instructions L010i: Articles of Organization

    Filing Method:

    Mail, in-person, or online.

    Agency Fee:

    $50 + optional $35 expedite fee

    Turnaround:

    See state-published current processing times (usually about two months). ~7-10 business days for $35 expedite fee.

    Law:

    ARS §29-601 et seq

    Notes:

    A complete application package contains:

    • Form CFCVLR: Cover sheet
    • Form L010: Articles of Organization
    • Form L040: Manager Structure Attachment or Form L041: Member Structure Attachment
    • Form L042: Organizer attachment, if applicable
    • Form M002: Statutory Agent Acceptance
    • Payment including optional expedite fee
    Fact Checked:6/13/17
  4. Publish

    Instructions:

    When the Arizona Corporations Commission approves your formation, they will send you a notice that includes instructions on publishing. 

    Agency Fee:

    Legal journal and newspaper fees vary based on the publication and length of copy; estimate ~$200 in publishers’ fees.

    Fact Checked:7/26/19
  5. File Proof of Publishing

    Not required



     Submitting affidavits evidencing publishing to the A.C.C. is optional.

    More information: Arizona Corporation Commission - Corporations Division
  6. Establish Company Records

    Your LLC must keep correct and complete books and records. Your filed articles of organization are the first documents for your LLC’s records. Your LLC will generate many other official records such as:

    • Meeting minutes
    • Operating agreement
    • EIN verification letter
    • Amendments and other filings made to the LLC throughout its lifetime

    Organizations need a secure, centralized tool for managing and accessing sensitive records. Our Records Manager software offers a simple, efficient way for LLCs to store records, track members and managers, and customize meeting notifications.

  7. Create the Operating Agreement

    Draft an Operating Agreement (potentially using a template) which is the governing document for the LLC. It defines the formalities of how the LLC will run itself such as holding an annual meeting. You will review and adopt the agreement at your organizational meeting.

  8. Hold the Organizational Meeting

    The first meeting of the members of the LLC is the organizational meeting. You will need your filed articles of organization and your operating agreement in order to conduct this meeting. Keep minutes of this meeting and store them in your company record book.

  9. Get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    If your LLC has more than one member or will hire employees, it must obtain an EIN. An EIN is also often required to open a bank account.

    Agency:Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    Form:

    IRS Form SS-4

    Filing Method:

    Mail, phone, fax, or online.

    IRS fee:

    $0

    Turnaround:

    Immediately online or by phone. 4 business days by fax. 4-5 weeks by mail.

    Notes:

    The IRS website is only available during certain hours. Print your EIN before closing your session. For additional guidance, see IRS Pub 1635: Understanding Your EIN.

    Fact Checked:8/28/19
  10. Get Arizona State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

    Arizona does NOT offer a consolidated state tax registration application. Apply for each individual tax account that is needed.

    Guidance:
    A Guide to Taxes for Arizona Businesses
    Submit to:
    Arizona Department of Revenue
    http://www.azdor.gov/

    Arizona Joint Tax Application (Form JT-1) is used to apply for Transaction Privilege Tax, Use Tax, and Employer Withholding and Unemployment Insurance. The cost for each license/location is $12.

  11. Consider Electing S-Corp or C-Corp Taxation

    By default, your LLC receives pass-through taxation and the vast majority of LLCs keep this tax classification. Some LLCs benefit from electing S-Corp or C-Corp tax treatment:

    • S-Corp treatment can help owner-employees who earn more than ~$75,000 per year save on self-employment taxes. File Form 2553: S-Corp Election.
    • C-Corps suffer from double taxation: the corporation pays taxes on profits then members pay taxes on their distributions. If profits exceed $250,000 per owner, you provide employee benefits, or you will re-invest most of your profit in the business, you may benefit from the low tax rates on retained earnings under C-Corp treatment. File Form 8832: C-Corp Election.
  12. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

    To run your business legally, you must obtain applicable licenses and permits. The easiest way to navigate the wide range of federal, state, and local requirements is to search by your business type and locality using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit look-up tool.


    Arizona Business License

    Not required



    General Business License licensure is not required on the State level in Arizona.

    Arizona does not have a general business license at the state level, but local licenses are often required.

  13. Ongoing Filings to Maintain Your LLC

    You must file federal and state tax returns.

    Many states also require business entities to file an annual report to maintain good standing with the secretary of state. If an annual report is required for LLCs formed in Arizona, view the table below.


    Arizona Corporation Annual Report Requirements:

    Agency:Arizona Corporation Commission - Corporations Division
    Form:

    Start online filing then click the link to "print form" or contact the ACC to have them send you a form.

    Filing Method:

    Mail or online.

    Agency Fee:

    $45

    Turnaround:

    See current processing times. Expedited processing available for $35.

    Due:

    Annually by anniversary of formation or registration. You can start filing 3 months prior.

    Law:

    A.R.S. § 10-1622

    Penalties:

    $9/month. A Notice of Pending Administrative Dissolution will be mailed to the corporation's statutory agent approximately 90 days after the due date. If the annual report is not submitted, approximately 60 days after the date of the Notice, the corporation will be administratively dissolved.

    Notes:
    • An officer listed on the report must file.
    • You may not change your registered agent using this annual report.
    • If you file online, be sure to print the receipt page at the end of the process (after the credit card payment page) for your records.
    • If you file by mail, be sure to include a cover page.
    Fact Checked:1/11/21

    For more details, see our Arizona annual report information center page.

    As your LLC grows, you will need to demonstrate your company’s good standing to banks, customers, and other state agencies. After all the work involved in forming your Arizona LLC, don’t let a missed annual report filing cause your new business to fall out of compliance.

    Tracking and filing annual reports on your own can be time consuming and lead to accidental lapses. Protect your LLC’s good standing with Managed Annual Report Service, which tracks and automatically files reports on time, every time, so you can focus on your business.

Order Registered Agent Service Order Online

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