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.
Before applying for any licenses, the business structure will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the sole proprietorship, general partnership, corporation, and Limited Liability Company (LLC).
Related: Comparison of Business Entities
Learn more about forming an LLC in Arizona
Also see: Steps to Starting a Business in Arizona
State of 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 a $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 filing 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 filing fee for a Flagstaff Arizona business license is $8.
Prescott – City licensing is required for special events, liquor sales, and peddlers or solicitors who sell products and services door-to-door.
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State Liquor License
Businesses selling alcohol will need to apply for a liquor license with the State of Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.
State Transaction Privilege Tax License (TPT)
The most common license from the state a business may need to register for is the Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) from the Arizona Department of Revenue (ADOR). The TPT is typically referred to as a sales tax permit but is actually a tax on the gross sales of a business.
Learn how to register for the Transaction PrivilegeTax.
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 / Occupational License
A variety of professions and occupations in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common occupations 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.
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.
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 Arizona Secretary of State.