Setting up a limited liability company, or LLC, in Arizona requires filing an Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. An LLC is a hybrid form of business organization that combines the limited liability of a corporation with the pass-through taxation treatment of a partnership. These benefits, as well as filing requirements that are simpler than a corporation, make an LLC an attractive option for a person looking to start a new small business in Arizona.
Choose a name for your Arizona company. Arizona law requires that the name of an LLC include either the words "Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.,” “L.C.,” “LLC” or “LC.” Arizona law prohibits the name of an LLC to contain words indicative of other forms of business organizations, such as “association,” “corporation” or “incorporated.” Unless your company is engaged in the banking, credit union or trust industry, your company name may not include the words “bank,” “deposit,” “credit union,” “trust” or “trust company.” The name of your company must also be distinguishable from the name of any business registered in Arizona. To assist individuals in creating a lawful and distinguishable name for their businesses, the Arizona Corporation Commission maintains an online name availability tool (see Resources).
Decide on a statutory office. Arizona law requires all businesses to maintain a statutory agent. Called a “registered agent” in most states, a statutory agent is the person or business that will receive service of process if your business is ever sued or subpoenaed. If you are an Arizona resident, you may serve as the statutory agent for your business. If you are not an Arizona resident, or do not wish to associate yourself with your business in a public record, you may hire a statutory agent service, which will receive service of process on behalf of your company.
Download the Articles of Organization form (see Resources). The Arizona Corporation Commission requires an individual seeking to start an LLC to use their Articles of Organization form.
Fill out the Articles of Organization form. Indicate whether you are forming an LLC or a professional LLC, which is an LLC for companies wishing to provide professional services such as accounting or legal services. Provide the name of your LLC and the principal address where your company will conduct business in Arizona. Provide the name and statutory agent of your company and have your statutory agent sign the Articles of Organization to accept appointment. If you are not creating a professional LLC, leave Article 4 blank. Choose a date of dissolution or indicate if you want your LLC to have perpetual duration. Indicate whether the day-to-day management of your company will vest with members, who are persons with an ownership stake in your company, or managers, who do not have an ownership stake. Provide the name and address of at least one member or manager. Sign and date the Articles of Organization, and include your phone and fax number.
File the Articles of Organization form and pay the filing fee. As of 2010, the filing fee is $50. If you do not have a preexisting account with the Arizona Corporation Commission, you must file by mail or in person. If filing by mail, you must pay by check or money order and send it with the form to the address on the website (see Resources). If filing in person, you may pay by check, money order or credit card. When filing, you must fill out a cover sheet (see Resources).
Publish your Articles of Organization. Within 60 days of approval from the Arizona Corporations Commission, a person wishing to start an LLC must publish a copy of the LLC’s Articles of Organization in a newspaper of general circulation within the county where the LLC is principally located. The Arizona Corporations Commission maintains an online list of newspapers of general circulation in every Arizona county (see Resources). Contact your newspaper of choice regarding how to publish your Articles of Organization.
While setting up an Arizona LLC is easy, check with an attorney about the tax implications of operating a business as an LLC.
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