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Starting a business in Arizona will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state and local agencies.  Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a business will register for in Arizona.

Business License – There is no general state of Arizona business license, however many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. Rules for business registration vary depending on location and what the business does.  Below are a few cities that have licensing requirements. 

Phoenix – Amusement businesses, massage establishments, vending machines, mobile food vendors and others require licensing from the City of Phoenix.    

Tucson – The City of Tucson requires a license for businesses operating within City limits, including businesses operating out of personal residences. 

The cost for a Tucson business license includes a $25 application fee and $50 annual fee.

Mesa – Common businesses requiring a business license in Mesa include; pawn shops, antique dealers, massage establishments, scrap metal dealers and more.  Licensing is through the City of Mesa.

Chandler – The City of Chandler requires a Business Registration Application for each business with a physical location operating within City limits.

The Chandler Business Registration annual fee is $45.

Flagstaff – A business license is required for any business operating in or providing a service within the City of Flagstaff.  Home-based businesses are also required to complete the Application for Home Occupation Permit.

The cost for a Flagstaff Arizona business license is $8.

Employer Identification Number (EIN) – Many businesses will register with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for an EIN or Employer Identification Number.  The EIN is the business equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual.  Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number. 

There is no cost for an EIN and it only takes a few minutes to get.

Learn how to apply for an EIN.

State of Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax License (TPT) – The most common license from the state that a business may need to register for is the Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) from the Department of Revenue.  The TPT is typically referred to as a sales tax but is actually a tax on the gross sales of a business.

Resale Certificate – Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain an Arizona Resale Certificate in order to not pay sales tax for merchandise that is being resold to customers.

Professional License – A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services.  A few common professions that require licensing in Arizona include; construction, transporting for hire, massage, child care, home inspection, pest control and many more.   Additional information, fees and licensing requirements for professions are available from the Arizona One Stop.

Trade Name Registration – While not a business license, Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) must register for a Trade Name (also known as a Doing Business As or DBA) with the Secretary of State.

These are a few of the most common business licenses, but there are far too many business licenses and permits in Arizona for us to keep track of. Before starting your business, check with the City Hall, County Clerk, Chamber of Commerce and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding business licensing.  Additionally, there are companies like IncFile or CorpNet that can do the research to ensure you have the proper federal, state and local licenses.