How to get Business License in Arizona

Updated on December 21, 2023

I. Introduction

Obtaining a business license is crucial for legally operating a company in Arizona. This guide covers who needs an Arizona business license, steps to apply, required documentation, costs, maintaining compliance, and key considerations for specific industries. Read on to learn the licensing process to legally run your Arizona business!

II. Who Needs a Business License in Arizona?

Nearly all commercial businesses operating in Arizona require some form of state, city, or industry-specific licensing. This includes retail stores, restaurants, service providers, rental properties, tourism companies, contractors, and professional service firms.

Consequences for unlicensed operations range from fines of $100 – $1500 per violation to permanent closure. Multiple offenses can also result in felony charges.

III. Understanding Arizona Business Licenses

Arizona recognizes several statewide license types, for eg.:

Cities also require their own privilege (sales) tax licenses issued through the State Department of Revenue.

Industry-specific licenses related to healthcare, alcohol sales, adult care, construction trades, and more are administered through various state agencies.

IV. Preparing to Apply for a License

First, research which specific state, city, and industry licenses match your business activities and location. The AZ Commerce Authority Licensing Tool is helpful for identifying requisite licenses.

You’ll need supporting documents like government-issued ID, business formation papers, tax IDs, service agreements, commercial lease details, and more. Application fees range from $50-$500+.

V. Step-By-Step Guide to Apply

Fortunately AZ offers convenient online business licensing applications.

To apply for most license types:

  1. Visit to create OneStop account
  2. Access License Manager and complete Eligibility Quiz
  3. Select correct license types and start application
  4. Provide ownership identity details
  5. Submit supporting documents
  6. Pay fees via debit/credit card

VI. After Submitting an Application

Online submissions shorten processing times to 5-7 business days typically. You can monitor status on your OneStop account.

If application issues arise or licenses get denied, administrators will contact you with next steps for resolving concerns. Reasons for denial might include insufficient identity proof, zoning problems, or incomplete documentation.

VII. Maintaining Compliance

To uphold licensing compliance in Arizona once approved:

  • Display physical license onsite
  • Renew licenses annually
  • Report changes to ownership, location or business activities
  • Remit monthly or quarterly tax payments
  • Maintain legally required insurance policies

VIII. Obtaining Federal Registrations

Alongside state licensing, federal-level business registrations are also typically needed, mainly:

IX. Special Considerations

Added requirements apply for service professionals, construction contractors, liquor stores, healthcare providers and facilities, hope care centers, tourism companies and more. Consult directly with industry oversight agencies for guidance.

X. Registering Your Business Name

Register your intended business name with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to receive an official Certificate of Good Standing.

XI. Arizona Tax Permits

  • Transaction Privilege Tax Permit – For taxable goods/services
  • Use Tax Permit – For out-of-state purchases


  • Who Needs a Business License in Arizona?
    Nearly all commercial business entities, including LLCs, corporations, retail stores, restaurants, service providers, contractors, and independent professionals.
  • What are the Costs to Obtain an AZ Business License?
    Between $50-$500 depending on license type. Annual renewal fees apply.
  • How Long Does Approval Take?
    Online submissions take 5-7 business days typically. Paper applications extend the process.
  • What Documents are Needed to Apply?
    Government-issued ID, business formation docs, tax IDs, service agreements, lease details, etc.
  • Can I Apply for an AZ License Fully Online?
    Yes, through Arizona’s convenient OneStop online licensing portal.
  • What if I Operate Without a License?
    Penalties range from fines of $100-$1500 per violation to permanent closure after multiple offenses.
  • Do Licenses Need to be Renewed?
    Yes, AZ business licenses expire annually and must be renewed by set dates.
  • Are There Different Licensing Requirements for Different Cities in Arizona?
    Yes, some cities require you obtain an additional municipal business license even if you have the state registration. Check with the local government office.

XIV. Final Thoughts

Obtaining proper licenses, though requiring an initial time investment, allows Arizona businesses to operate legally by staying compliant. Utilize the simplified online application options to establish your compliant business foundation.

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.