Getting started with a new company always takes time and effort, and if that company is an LLC there’s more to be considered. The rules, regulations, and requirements for this type of business entity are different from what is required for other types of businesses, so it’s important to follow the legal guidelines carefully. Fortunately, Arizona’s requirements are not that difficult, allowing for the creation of an LLC in the state with relative ease.

GETTING STARTED

Naming the LLC

  • The first thing that needs to be done is naming the LLC. While this does not seem difficult, it’s not always possible to simply pick a name and use it. Another company may have already registered that name, or it may be restricted or prohibited in a way that the LLC cannot use it. Generally, restricted words (such as Bank) require more paperwork, or a licensed individual to be part of the LLC. Words that are prohibited cannot be used at all, because they belong to federal and state agencies and could cause confusion. Additionally, the LLC should see if the domain name is available for their chosen name, and remember that Limited Liability Company or its abbreviation must appear in the name, as well. Searching online will help determine what names are and are not available.

Selecting a Registered / Statutory Agent

  • A registered, or statutory, agent is someone who is authorized by an LLC to receive official correspondence. It can be a person or a company, but there are some caveats to follow. First, if it’s a person they must be a resident of the state. Second, if it’s a corporation they must be authorized to do business in the state. Someone in the LLC, including the owner themselves, can be chosen as a registered agent, or someone outside of the company can be chosen. The important part is to select someone who is trusted, and who will be readily available the majority of the time.

Filing Articles of Organization

Creating an Operating Agreement

  • Arizona joins the majority of other states in that it does not require an operating agreement for an LLC to be formed. However, many LLCs still create one of these agreements just to have a clearer pictures of everything. Any LLC that chooses to do so will not have to provide that document to the state.

RUNNING YOUR BUSINESS

Getting Your EIN

  • An EIN is an employee identification number, issued by the Internal Revenue service. Sometimes it is also called a Federal Tax Identification Number. It’s a unique number issued to each business. You’ll need an EIN to open a business bank account; file Federal and State Taxes; and hire employees.
  • Before you get your EIN make sure your new business has been properly formed before applying and be wary of paid sites. EINs are free direct from the IRS.
  • The easiest way is to apply online for an EIN. Note, the IRS website has office hours, and is only available Monday through Friday, 7am to 10pm. Yes, we also agree this is one of the most ridiculous things we’ve ever seen. You can call 1-800-829-4933, between 7am to 7pm of your time zone, Monday to Friday. Snail mail: You can download the form and mail it in.

Keeping Business and Personal Accounts Separate

  • Get a business bank account for your business. This will help you protect your personal assets from potential creditors and lawsuits, and will also make life a lot easier come tax time. 
  • Get a business credit or debit card. This will help you keep your expenses separate and easier to track.

Accounting

  • No matter what business you run, accounting software and processes is a must for any small business. If you have an accountant, ask them which software they work with and recommend. A good accounting system is necessary to track income and expenses, so you can easily see if you’re making money and make filing income taxes so much easier.
  • Always try and find something that will: sync with all of your bank and credit card accounts automatically – not just downloads, but auto sync; auto-match vendors, customers and other accounts; and let you accept credit cards and ACH drafts with ease. This can be applied for online, as can unemployment

Filing Arizona LLC Taxes

Getting Insurance for your LLC

  • One of the most important requirements for an Arizona LLC is workers’ compensation insurance. This is a requirement of the state, and something every LLC must have if they hire employees.
  • While there are many other types of insurance available, including general liability, that might be helpful for an LLC to have, the state requirements come first. After that, other kinds of insurance may be worth exploring.

KEEPING YOUR LLC COMPLIANT

  • There are specific hiring requirements set out by the state of Arizona, and these have to be followed by every LLC doing business there. These requirements help to ensure fair and just treatment of workers, and also reduce the chances of a company hiring workers who are not authorized to legally work within the United States. There is an annual report filing required for an LLC in Arizona, and a Certificate of Good Standing can be obtained online for a $45 fee.

FILING A FOREIGN LLC IN ARIZONA

ABOUT HOW TO START AN LLC

I'm an entrepreneur myself. When talking to others who want to start their own business, they often get wrapped up in the nitty gritty of paperwork and forming the company. They forget that what really matters is customers, sales, and profit. That's why I created How to Start an LLC.org: a simple resource and guide so you can spend less time on forming your company, and more time on building it.

My lawyers want me to remind you that I'm not a lawyer and that I'm completely unqualified to offer legal advice. This site is meant to serve as a reference for you on your journey. If you have questions or concerns, please contact a qualified lawyer (or accountant) to help you. Also, as a general rule, never take random legal advice on the internet.