AZ Business Facts
Originally a frontier state established on mining and agriculture, the Grand Canyon State of Arizona is now home to several of the fastest-growing cities in the nation and a strong economy that continues to gain momentum in the wake of the American recession. The sprawling capital of Phoenix offers a year-round warm climate and affordable housing in comparison to the nearby west coast.
Major Companies in Arizona
Arizona serves as headquarters to many major companies including GoDaddy, PetsMart and Republic Services.
Arizona Startup Environment
Arizona provides a business-friendly environment with lower costs in relation to neighboring states. The state also provides tax credits for investing in Arizona small business through its Angel Investment Program.
Steps on How to Start a Business in Arizona
Before starting a business in Arizona, you will need to complete several important steps.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name (you can always change it later but the less times you have to do that the better). In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Arizona, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Arizona state databases:
TIP: search misspellings, plurals, variations of spelling, sound-alikes and other versions of your chosen name to be sure it’s not already registered.
Restrictions on Arizona Business Name & Business Purpose
Familiarize yourself with the Arizona business naming guidelines. LLC entity names need to contain the words words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company” or the abbreviations LLC, L.C., L.L.C. or LC in uppercase or lowercase letters. An Arizona corporation should contain the word “association”, “bank”, company”, “corporation”, “limited”, “incorporated or an abbreviation of one of these words.
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and picked your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Arizona.
How to form an LLC in Arizona
How to Incorporate in Arizona
Considerations when incorporating or forming an LLC in Arizona
How to File a DBA in Arizona
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLC’s and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if you we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire on the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Top Business Banks in Arizona
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including: a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We can help you identify the necessary forms to obtain your business license.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection. Click here to view our preferred provider of business insurance online.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. This means have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set-up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Arizona trade name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change the company name or other information). Prior to expiration, you have up to six months to renew your trade name with the Arizona Secretary of State.
LLC: Arizona LLCs are unique from most other states and are not required to file an annual report.
Corporation: An officer of your corporation must file an annual report every year by the anniversary of the corporation’s formation. The cost of filing this report online is $80.
Ready to Start a Business in Arizona?
Our Arizona filing services will help you get started as quickly as possible.
Arizona Corporation Commission (for Corporation and LLC filings)
1200 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arizona Secretary of State (for DBA/trade name filings)
1700 W. Washington Street Fl. 7
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arizona Taxation Department
Arizona Labor Department
Arizona Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) Arizona District Offices
3. Arizona Legal Statutes
5. Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA)
6. Angel.co Arizona Startups
7. Arizona Business News
9. Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation (AREDF)
10. Arizona Green Business
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