The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a smart entity choice for many start-up businesses. The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Arizona without an attorney.
Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.
Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership, and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.
Forming an LLC in Arizona can be both affordable and is simple enough for most people to start on their own. That said, it’s not a bad idea to have a legal professional like While the filing is pretty straightforward, it’s nice to have some support if you have questions, alerts when the annual report is due, forms like operating agreements, banking resolutions and more. There are companies like IncFile or Swyft Filings and others that do all of this for only $49.
To form a Limited Liability Company in Arizona, the Articles of Organization are filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission. The LLC filing fee for both online and by mail is $50 for standard filing which takes around 3 weeks. For faster filing and the expedited fee of $35 reduces the filing time to 7 – 10 days.
If you have questions, contact the Arizona Corporation Commission.
HOW TO FILE THE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM AN ARIZONA LLC
The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same. Below, we have step-by-step instructions on how to form an Arizona LLC.
ArizonaTo get started either download the Articles of Organization create an eCorp account with the Arizona Corporation Commission. After logging in, Go to “Online Services” and then click on “Start a New Business”.
On the next screen, select Form an LLC or PLLC.
The Limited Liability Company is the most common choice, but there is an option for a Professional Limited Liability Company. A Professional Limited Liability Company is for state-licensed professionals such as doctors, lawyers, accountants, veterinarians and more.
Step 1: Entity Name
This section asks whether the LLC name has been reserved for the LLC. Assuming the name hasn’t been registered yet, select No and then enter the name you want to use in the Entity Name field.
The legal name of the LLC must include:
- Limited Company
- Limited Liability Company
There can’t be another LLC with the same name as the one you want. If you pick a name that already exists, a message saying “The entity name is not available. If the conflicting entity name is a Trade Name, and you are the owner of the Trade Name, then it is unnecessary to reserve the entity name. However, if you are not the owner, then you must choose another entity name.”
If the name is available, a message shows that the name is available. Otherwise, the system won’t let you move forward until a unique name is chosen.
If you want to check the availability of names before starting the formation process, read more about searching the Arizona business entity database.
Step 2: Entity Information
Entity Email Address – This is an optional field or you can add your personal email address.
Effective Date – By default, the LLC is effective on the date submitted. If you prefer to have the LLC officially start at a later date (up to 90 days), enter that date in the field
Character of Business – Here you can select the activities the business will be engaged in. If you can’t find one that is relevant or want to keep options open, choose “Any legal purpose”.
Duration – Most businesses intend to exist forever and would suggest “perpetual”. If you have a specific end date in mind (typically used for investment-related businesses) choose the close date.
Step 3: Statutory Agent Information
In Arizona, there must be an individual or company with a physical presence in the state and act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC. This person or company is referred to as a Statutory Agent, more commonly known as a Registered Agent. If using this company, it must be registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
If using a company that offers Registered Agent services, click on “yes”. Otherwise, click “no”.
Any individual can be the Statutory Agent, provided they have a physical address in Arizona and this includes the business owner. One note is that the name and address of the Statutory Agent become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.
It’s important that the Statutory Agent accept the confirmation email from the Arizona Corporation Commission within 7 days of receipt. Not confirming will delay the filing of the LLC until accepted.
Read more about the statutory agent requirements in Arizona.
Step 4: Known Place of Business
Include the physical address for the LLC. This has to be a street or physical address in Arizona and not a PO Box or personal mailbox service. The known place of business can also be the same as the Statutory Agent’s street address.
Step 5: Manager/Member Information
The Manager/Member Information section asks if the LLC is Member-Managed or Manager-Managed.
Member-Managed LLCs have an active involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business.
Manager-Managed LLCs are hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.
Most LLCs are member-managed.
Enter the name, date taking office, address and email for each of the members (owners) of the LLC. When all the information has been filled out, click on “Add Principal” to save that member’s information. Add information for each of the members of the LLC.
Step 6: Organizer Information
An LLC Organizer is involved with the formation of the Articles of Organization. The Organizer may or may not become a member, such as a mentor, attorney or accountant, but the initial members will all be listed as organizers. The Organizer does not have to live in Arizona.
Only one organizer is required to sign the Articles of Organization.
Step 7: Upload Attachment
Unless a physical Articles of Organization has already been prepared, use the current information you have filled out. This information will become the LLC’s official Articles.
It isn‘t common to upload, so most filers will use Click “No” and then “Next”.
Step 8: Signature
Here, the LLC organizer from Step 6 will agree that the information being submitted is true, complete and accurate and sign.
Step 9: Pay and File
Standard processing is about 3 weeks and the expedited filing reduces it to 7-10 days.
Step 10: Newspaper Publication
After the LLC is approved, it is typically necessary to publish an ad in a newspaper to complete the registration process. In Arizona, if the LLCs Known Place of Business is in Maricopa or Pima county there is nothing else to do. LLCs in other counties are required to publish an ad in the legal section of a newspaper within 60 days of filing the Articles of Organization. The newspaper has to be located in the same county as the LLC’s Known Place of Business and an ad has to run in 3 consecutive publications.
That concludes the basics of forming an LLC in Arizona.
Remember, even though you can do it yourself, there is more to an LLC than just the filing. If you have questions work with an attorney or a specialized entity formation company such as .
While not required, an Operating Agreement is often recommended for most LLCs. An Operating Agreement is a legal document outlining the roles and responsibilities of the members. Read more about when an LLC needs an Operating Agreement.
After forming the LLC, be sure to file for an EIN with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The EIN is basically a social security number for a business and will be needed before opening a bank account. There is no cost to apply, and it takes about 5 minutes to get one. See how to apply for an EIN.
Last, before starting a business in Arizona, you may still need to apply for business licenses, sales tax permits, self-employment taxes and more in Arizona. See the Guide to Starting a Business in Arizona for more information.