How to File for an LCC in Arizona

Updated on January 22, 2024

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Arizona can be a great way to formally structure your small business. An LLC offers liability protection and tax flexibility for business owners. There are a few key steps you need to take to establish an Arizona LLC. First, you must choose an available business name and register it with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Next, you’ll file LLC formation documents, create an operating agreement, obtain an EIN from the IRS, and make sure you comply with AZ licensing and permit rules for your industry. Taking the right initial steps when starting your Arizona LLC can set your business up for success.

Understanding LLCs

An LLC, or limited liability company, is a business structure that combines aspects of partnerships and corporations. LLCs provide liability protection for the owners, called members, so their personal assets are generally protected from business debts and claims. At the same time, LLCs allow pass-through taxation like partnerships, avoiding double taxation on business income.

Some key things to know about LLCs:

  • LLCs have great flexibility in structuring ownership and management.
  • They require less paperwork and formalities than corporations.
  • Most states, including Arizona, require articles of organization to be filed.
  • LLCs need an operating agreement to govern relations between members.

Overall, the LLC structure combines the limited liability benefits of a corporation with the tax efficiency and flexibility of a partnership or sole proprietorship.

Choosing a Name for Your LLC

When choosing a name for your Arizona LLC, you’ll want to make sure it complies with state regulations and is distinguishable from other businesses. Here are some tips for selecting your LLC name:

  • Check name availability by searching the Arizona Corporation Commission database. The name must be available and distinguishable from other businesses.
  • Include words like “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited Company,” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.” or “LLC” at the end of the name. This identifies your business as an LLC.
  • Avoid restricted words that require consent or additional paperwork. This includes “bank,” “trust,” “insurer,” etc.
  • Make sure the web domain is available if you want to use your LLC name online.

Choosing a unique, memorable name allows customers to identify your Arizona LLC brand. Check name availability early on to secure your preferred LLC name.

Selecting a Registered Agent

When starting an LLC in Arizona, you must designate a registered agent. This is a person or business that agrees to accept legal documents on behalf of your LLC. When selecting a registered agent, consider the following:

  • Cost – Some registered agent services charge annual fees while others provide free agent services when you form your LLC through them.
  • Availability – Make sure the registered agent provides an address and contact information in Arizona that will be available during normal business hours.
  • Responsiveness – Choose a reputable company that responds promptly to legal inquiries and forwards documents in a timely manner.
  • Flexibility – Consider an online registered agent service for convenience in accessing and managing your business filings.

Doing your research to find an experienced and reliable registered agent will ensure your LLC remains compliant with Arizona laws. The Arizona Corporation Commission provides more guidance on registered agent requirements as well.

Filing Your LLC Paperwork

Once you have chosen a name for your Arizona LLC and drafted your operating agreement, the next step is to file your Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Here’s an overview of completing and submitting your LLC paperwork:

  • Prepare your Articles of Organization form. This document establishes your LLC as a legal business entity in Arizona. It must include information like your business name, address, management structure, and filing fees.
  • File online or by mail. You can submit your Articles of Organization on the ACC website or print and mail the form. The filing fee is $50.
  • Obtain an EIN from the IRS. An Employer Identification Number essentially functions as a Social Security number for your business for tax and banking purposes. Apply online.
  • Make sure to also file your operating agreement. While not formally submitted to the state, it is a key document outlining ownership, responsibilities, and more.

Ensuring that you have completed all required paperwork and obtained your EIN are crucial steps to forming your Arizona LLC before conducting business operations.

Drafting an LLC Operating Agreement

After officially forming your Arizona LLC, the next important step is to create an operating agreement. An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure, member responsibilities, distribution of profits and losses, voting rights, and other governance rules for your LLC. While an operating agreement is not legally required in Arizona, it is highly recommended for all LLCs.

Here are some key things to address in an Arizona LLC operating agreement:

  • Ownership structure – Spell out the percentage interests of each member and rules around owning/transferring interests.
  • Member roles and responsibilities – Define what each member’s duties entail.
  • Capital contributions – Detail members’ initial and future capital contributions.
  • Profits, losses, and distributions – Explain how you will allocate profits and losses, and distribute funds to members.
  • Governance and voting – Establish voting procedures for business decisions.
  • Meeting formalities – Set out when and how member/manager meetings will be conducted.
  • Adding/removing members – Provide rules and restrictions around admitting new members or allowing members to withdraw.

There are many free LLC operating agreement templates available online that you can customize for your Arizona business. Using a template can help ensure you cover all important bases. Consulting a business lawyer when drafting your agreement can also help you create a document that protects all members.

Carefully drafting an operating agreement upfront aligned with Arizona laws and regulations can help prevent disputes down the road and allow you to amend rules as needed. Revisit the document periodically as your business grows and changes.

Obtaining Tax Identification Numbers

One of the steps for forming an LLC in Arizona is obtaining tax identification numbers from the appropriate government agencies. This includes getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and transaction privilege tax (TPT) license from the Arizona Department of Revenue. Here’s an overview of this process:

  • Apply for an EIN from the IRS online or by completing SS-4 form. This number will be used for federal tax purposes.
  • Register for a TPT license with the Arizona Department of Revenue. This sales tax license allows you to conduct business transactions in Arizona.
  • List the EIN and TPT numbers on all official LLC documents and tax filings. These ID numbers legitimize your business with state and federal agencies.

Properly obtaining these tax IDs ensures your Arizona LLC complies with state and federal reporting requirements from the start.

Pros and Cons of Starting an LLC in California

Starting a limited liability company (LLC) in Arizona has several advantages and disadvantages to consider. Here are some of the key pros and cons:


  • Limited personal liability – An LLC protects your personal assets if the business is sued or has debts
  • Tax flexibility – LLCs can choose corporate taxation or pass-through taxation
  • Credibility – The LLC structure carries more credibility with customers and partners than a sole proprietorship


  • Increased legal and tax compliance – LLCs require more record keeping, paperwork and compliance than sole proprietorships
  • Higher startup costs – The LLC formation process has fees for filing articles of organization
  • Self-employment taxes – LLC members may have to pay higher self-employment taxes than corporate employees

Weighing the pros and cons can help you decide if an Arizona LLC is the right choice for your business.

Cost Considerations

When starting an LLC in Arizona, there are several costs to consider. The Arizona Corporation Commission charges a $50 filing fee to organize your LLC. You may also need to pay an annual report fee, which ranges from $45-$300 depending on your revenue. Additionally, you may need to pay fees for

  • Registering your business name ($5-$10)
  • Obtaining licenses and permits
  • Setting up an Employer Identification Number (free)
  • Hiring a registered agent ($50+ per year)
  • Opening a business bank account ($0-$500)

On top of official fees, consider ongoing costs like accounting services, legal services, insurance, rent, payroll, and more. Carefully estimate these expenses when drafting your business plan and budget.

Economical LLC Formation Options

When starting an LLC in Arizona, it’s important to keep costs low, especially when just launching your business. Here are some of the most affordable options for LLC formation:

  • Use an online service like LegalZoom or Incfile to form your LLC. These services charge $79-99 plus state fees to prepare your articles of organization and submit the paperwork.
  • Hire a business attorney to review your LLC paperwork before submitting it yourself. While not free, having an attorney review key documents often costs less than having them handle the full formation.
  • Handle everything yourself through the Arizona Corporation Commission. If you’re familiar with all the legal paperwork required, this route avoids any formation service fees.

The best balance between cost and ease is often using an online service. They simplify the process so you avoid mistakes, provide good customer support, and even include a free year of registered agent service.

Pre-Formation Steps

Before officially forming your Arizona LLC, you’ll need to take a few key steps to prepare. Here are the main pre-formation tasks:

  • Choose a business name – Select a unique name that is distinguishable from other businesses in Arizona. Check name availability by searching the Arizona Corporation Commission database.
  • File for an EIN – Obtain a free Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC from the IRS online. This establishes your business identity for tax purposes.
  • Create an operating agreement – Draft an operating agreement to establish ownership percentages, voting rights, member responsibilities, distribution of profits and losses, etc. Get this important document notarized.
  • Set up accounting – Choose an accounting system to handle bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, etc. QuickBooks and Xero are popular options.
  • Comply with licensing – Research if your LLC needs any state, county or city licenses or permits to operate legally based on your intended business activities.

Completing these key pre-filing steps will ensure you have all legal and operational ducks in a row before submitting your official Articles of Organization form to the ACC to form your Arizona LLC.

Comparing Business Entity Types

When starting a business in Arizona, you have several options for structuring your company. Some of the most common business structures include sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies (LLCs). Here is a brief comparison of some key factors to consider when choosing an entity type:

  • Liability protection – Sole proprietors and general partnerships provide no personal liability protection. Business owners are personally responsible for debts and liabilities. Corporations and LLCs provide liability protection for owners.
  • Taxes – Sole proprietors pay personal income tax on business profits. Partnerships, corporations and LLCs file business tax returns. LLCs allow tax flexibility as they can choose corporate taxation or pass-through taxation.
  • Paperwork and compliance – Sole proprietors have minimal paperwork. Partnerships, corporations and LLCs require more recordkeeping and reporting obligations. For example, corporations hold shareholder meetings and issue stock certificates.
  • Ownership flexibility – LLCs allow for greater flexibility in dividing profits and ownership stakes. Corporations limit ownership to shareholders and issue stock certificates as proof of ownership.

In summary, LLCs provide personal liability protection with less paperwork than a corporation. LLCs also allow tax flexibility and freedom in determining ownership structures. This makes the LLC an appealing entity option for many small business owners in Arizona looking to formalize their business.

After Filing Your LLC

Once your Articles of Organization have been filed with the Arizona Corporation Commission and you have paid the required fee, you have officially formed your LLC in Arizona. However, there are still some important next steps you need to take to legitimize your business and keep it compliant with state laws.

Create an Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a document that outlines the ownership structure, rules, regulations policies, and procedures for operating your Arizona LLC. While an operating agreement is not required by law, it is highly recommended to have one for the following reasons:

  • It explains each member’s rights, responsibilities, and percentage of ownership
  • It prepares for future changes in ownership or members leaving
  • It designates how profits and losses will be divided
  • It prevents disputes between members

Get an EIN

You will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you plan to open a business bank account, have employees, or pay taxes for your LLC. Apply for an EIN easily online through the IRS website.

File for Licenses and Permits

Depending on your type of business, you may need additional county, city, or state licenses and permits. For example, if you plan to sell products, you will likely need a transaction privilege tax (TPT) license. Use the Arizona Business One Stop portal to find out what licenses and tax registrations you need.

Business Licenses and Permits

When starting an LLC in Arizona, you may need to obtain certain business licenses and permits depending on your industry and location. Some common licenses and permits include:

  • Business license – Most cities and towns in Arizona require businesses operating within their jurisdiction to obtain a general business license. Fees typically range from $25-$100 annually.
  • Sales tax license – If you plan to sell physical products, you will need an Arizona Transaction Privilege Tax License to collect and remit sales tax. You can apply online.
  • Industry-specific permits – Certain industries like restaurants, bars, medical facilities, construction companies etc. require permits and licenses from health departments, Secretary of State, contractors boards etc.

Be sure to research the specific legal requirements for your type of business. The Arizona Corporation Commission’s website and your local government’s website are good places to start. Consulting with an attorney or accountant can also help ensure you obtain all necessary licenses and permits.

Growth Considerations for Your LLC

As your Arizona LLC grows, there are some key things to consider. You’ll want to develop a strategic growth plan that aligns with your business goals and targets new markets or services. Some things to factor into your growth plan include:

  • Hiring new employees or independent contractors to take on more work
  • Upgrading or expanding your physical space and equipment to support more production or operations
  • Increasing marketing and advertising to reach more potential customers
  • Securing business financing such as a small business loan or line of credit to fund growth initiatives

Additionally, make sure to file any necessary amendments with the Arizona Corporation Commission when you undergo major business changes, such as changing your LLC’s name, structure, ownership percentage, etc. Planning for future growth will allow your Arizona LLC to scale smoothly over time.

Additional Resources

Transitioning to the next steps after forming your Arizona LLC, it’s important to understand ongoing compliance. Luckily, there are great online resources that provide useful information. The table below contains additional resources related to starting and maintaining an Arizona LLC. These sites offer guidance on creating an operating agreement, obtaining licenses and permits, filing taxes, and staying compliant with state regulations. Checking out these resources can ensure your LLC is set up properly from the start.

Arizona Corporation Commission official Arizona government site to manage your LLC registration and documentation.
Nolo Arizona LLC Guide on total Arizona LLC state fees and includes a useful LLC learning center.


Starting an LLC in Arizona provides numerous benefits for small business owners, such as personal asset protection, tax advantages, and operational flexibility. By following the key steps outlined in this article, you can officially form your Arizona LLC – from choosing a business name and registered agent to filing formation documents with the Arizona Corporation Commission.

Remember that properly maintaining your LLC status involves keeping up with all Arizona state compliance requirements on an ongoing basis. This includes submitting your annual report, paying taxes, holding member meetings, keeping finances separate, and more. If run properly, an Arizona LLC can help lay the foundation for a successful, thriving business.

For more help on starting and operating your new venture, check out this small business resource from the SBA. With the right legal structure and business knowledge, your Arizona LLC will be off to a great start.


Here are some suggested FAQs for an article on how to start an LLC in Arizona:

What are the steps to form an LLC in Arizona?

The key steps are: choose a business name; file articles of organization; create an operating agreement; get an EIN; file paperwork with AZ Corporation Commission; make sure to comply with licensing and permits.

What information do I need to provide when filing articles of organization?

You’ll need to provide the LLC name, name and address of statutory agent, LLC’s address, name and address of each organizer, and filing fee payment.

Do I need a registered statutory agent when forming an Arizona LLC?

Yes, Arizona law requires all LLCs to have and continuously maintain a statutory agent who has an address in Arizona where they can receive service of process and official state correspondence.

What are the state filing fees for establishing an Arizona LLC?

The filing fee to form an Arizona domestic LLC is $50, with an expedited processing fee of $35 if completed in 24 hours. You may also need to pay publication fees.

Is there a requirement for when I need to file my annual report?

Yes, Arizona requires domestic LLCs to file an annual report by the anniversary date when articles of organization were originally filed each year. If missed, penalties may apply.

Do I need to publish notice of my Arizona LLC formation?

Yes, you must publish a notice in a local newspaper for three consecutive weeks after filing your articles of organization. This serves the purpose of notifying the public.

Frank Gogol

A seasoned SEO expert, Frank has a long history of working with and for startups. Starting in mid-2018, Frank served as the SEO Strategist for Stilt, a fintech startup that provided fair loans for immigrants in the US and other underserved markets. While with the company, he scaled site traffic from zero to more than 1.5 million unique visits per month, driving the bulk of the company’s lead generation until it was acquired by J.G. Wentworth in December 2022. As employee #5 at Stilt, Frank was witness to, and part of, the successful building and sale of a fintech company, uniquely positioning him to create content for founders about all things startups.