Arizona Business Entity Search (Step-by-Step Guide)
A business name search is useful in many instances. For one, it’s one of the best ways to find a business’s filing history, but it’s also one of the best ways to check the availability of a name prior to registration.
The name availability check works for various business structures such as limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and other profit corporations.
The following step-by-step guide will show you how to conduct an Arizona business entity search.
Arizona search tips
When conducting your Arizona business entity search, the following tips will ensure you get the best results:
- All letters are treated as uppercase in the search. So there’s no need to enter lowercase letters, even the letters that the name starts with.
- The search is not dependent on punctuation marks such as commas and periods, and whether you enter them or not does not affect the results.
- Adding or removing spaces in the name does not affect the search results.
- You can narrow down your search for the best results by using a number of different search criteria located below the search bars
Business search by entity name
Refer to the Arizona Corporation Commission to begin the name search.
Enter the business entity name
Enter the name of the business you are looking up. If you have additional information on the business, you may filter the results based on:
- Entity type
- Entity status
- Name type
You don’t have to filter the search by adding additional information, however, if you do have the information on hand, it will help to narrow down the results.
You may refine your search even further by selecting from the drop-down box that says search type. You may select starts with, contains, or an exact match.
Click “Search” or hit Enter on your keyboard.
Review the results
If there are matching results, either an exact match or partial match, the following information will come up next to each business entity:
- Entity ID
- Entity name
- Entity county
- Agent name
- Agent type
- Entity status
Review additional business information
After clicking on the name of the business, you’ll have access to the following additional pieces of information:
- Entity name
- Entity type
- Formation date
- Approval date
- Original Incorporation date
- Business type
- Domicile state
- Original publish date
- Entity ID
- Entity status
- Reason for status
- Status date
- Life period
- Last annual report filed
- Annual report due date
- Years due
- Detailed statutory agent information
- Detailed principal information
- Entity’s principal office address
On the bottom right-hand corner of the webpage, you should be able to see:
- Document history/business filings
- Name/restructuring history
- Pending documents
- Microfilm history
Arizona search results
The search results, irrespective of search type, display the information mentioned above.
The same process should be followed when searching using the statutory agent name, principal name, or entity ID. All you do is enter the relevant information into the respective search boxes, filter the search if needed and click on the “Search” button.
Additionally, by clicking on the button that says “Name availability check,” you’ll have confirmation of whether or not the name is available for new business registration.
Copies of documents and certificates
After conducting your name search on the Arizona Corporation Commission website, you may want to request copies of business documents.
The most frequently requested documents include Articles of Formation, Certificate of Authority, annual filings, annual reports, dissolution and withdrawals, fictitious name registration, and Articles of Amendment.
Only the state of Arizona or the Arizona Corporation Commission – Corporations Division, also known as the business services department is allowed to issue certified copies of business documents. You may obtain the relevant certified copies by using the information below:
400 W. Congress Street
Tucson, AZ 85701
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602-542-3026 or 1-800-345-5819 (in Arizona only)
Fax: 602-542-4100 or 602-542-8813
There’s a $7.50 charge for up to five pages when requesting certified copies of a business document. Thereafter, you’ll pay an additional $0.50 per page for each document.
Business name availability
The purpose of conducting a name availability check on the state’s business registry is to make sure that the name you’re considering is not in use by another business entity. From a legal point of view, you can have your business registration declined due to submitting formation documents that contain the same name as another registered business.
For this reason, it’s recommended that you do not get your hopes up or depend solely on one specific entity name. Therefore, it’s advisable to create a list of possible business names that you believe will represent and reflect your brand so that when conducting your name availability check, you do have options to consider.
During the search, you may find out that the name is already taken, and in that case, you can work down your list and search for the other preferred names you’ve compiled. In the event that the search does not bring up any matching results, then the name is probably available for business registration.
However, it’s advisable that you contact the Secretary of State in Arizona to confirm this prior to submitting your company’s formation documents.
Additionally, if the name is available, but you’re not ready to register your business immediately, then you can put in a name reservation request via the state’s office, which will ensure that the name is set aside for you for approximately 90 days.
The following link to the state’s website contains all the information you need to reserve a name in the state.
Domain name availability
While you’re in the process of looking up suitable entity names, it is also a good idea to check if the domain name is available as well. A domain name is equally important as it helps to establish a brand and online presence.
Therefore, when considering domain names, even if they differ from your legal entity name, ensure that the domain name is easy to remember, easy to search, and something that will stand out from the competition.
Using a professional domain name checking service like namechk.com is highly recommended. Not only will the service filter the available domain names, but it will also recommend alternatives that may be a good fit for your business and brand.
The most familiar domain extension is usually the .com extension. However, there are other extensions like .co, .io, and .net which are becoming increasingly popular and may be used as well.
Additionally, you may want to check if the social media name is available. In the 21st century, it is crucial to have a social media presence. This is because customers often check websites such as Google reviews and Yelp to get a feel for what others think about a specific business before they actually deal with them.
Fictitious business name search
Registering a trade name is another important consideration after deciding on a legal entity name. Trade names are also referred to as assumed, fictitious, or DBA names. The process starts with visiting the Arizona Secretary of State’s website and searching for the fictitious name that you’re considering.
Additionally, prior to looking up trade names in Arizona, make sure they comply with naming requirements. Your assumed business name should not contain any words or phrases that imply that your business is associated with a financial institution. This is unless you have prior consent or approval from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions.
Once you determine that another business entity in the state is not using the fictitious name, you can go ahead and file it with the Secretary of State using their online services at https://www.azcc.gov/.
Some of the information you need to include in the application is the name and type of the business you are registering the trade name for and the nature of your business.
The filing fee for the trade name in Arizona is $10.
What is a business’s file number?
The phone number is a unique 10-digit code that is given to each organization by the secretary of state. This code is also assigned during name registration or name reservation.
What requirements does a registered agent need to meet?
You may nominate anyone to serve as a business’s registered agent as long as they are over the age of 18, have a physical street address in the state, are able to maintain availability during normal office hours, and consent to the appointment.
What services are offered by the State of Arizona?
The Arizona Department of State will help you with most of your business needs, including notary services, partnerships, Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), as well as trade names, and trademarks.
What is a Certificate of Good Standing?
A Certificate of Good Standing is an indication that a company has made the necessary filings in terms of reports and also paid the necessary fees with the state’s office. Essentially, it is proof that the entity is authorized to transact in the state.
Can I use a PO Box address when forming my business?
Depending on the type of business you’re forming and the state that you are incorporating your business, you may or may not be allowed to submit PO Box addresses. In most cases, PO boxes are not accepted.
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