HOW TO START AN LLC IN AZ
Starting a business is an exciting time.
But, also a time where we encounter many firsts.
Ready to start an LLC in AZ? I’ve launched companies in a few different states. Arizona makes it both easy and affordable to do so. Trade names are a snap to register. And, LLCs are almost as easy. The hardest part of filing an LLC is simply knowing what each of the terms you will encounter mean, beyond that it’s largely filling out your name and address.
You can find an excellent read on the greater subject of how to start a company in AZ over at How to Start an LLC.com. But, for the nitty gritty on how to fill out the AZ online LLC application form see below.
*THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE*just making sure we are clear 😉
Before you get started:
Have a business address figured out as well as the addresses of each member.
You’ll also need to have decided who will be the designated person to receive mail and know who you want to have certain levels of decision making capabilities if there is more than one member (described more in step 5).
Head on over to the AZ Corporation Commission website: http://ecorp.azcc.gov/ Then, click on FILE to begin the process of filing for your LLC.
If you haven’t already, click on NAME> CHECK ENTITY NAME AVAILABILITY to make sure you don’t anticipate any conflicts that would cause your name request to be denied. Then, click on CREATE> FORM AN ARIZONA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY OR PROFESSIONAL LLC.
This is where you will be guided through the process of filing your Articles of Organization, a fancy term for the paperwork that basically just lists who’s who in your LLC. Only members with more than 20% equity need to be listed.
SIDE NOTE: If there is more than one member in your LLC it is a best practice (for sure!) to have a good Operating Agreement in place, too. That is the document that describes each person’s relationship, responsibility, ownership and how various situations are managed. That document is not filed with the state.
If you are ready to file online simply click EFILE, the orange button. If you’d prefer to file via paper (mail) you can also do that. Note you’ll need to print and complete all 4 forms they list there.
Your Statutory Agent is the person designated to receive official mail (and things like lawsuits) for your organization. In many larger companies this is the lawyer on retainer, in many smaller companies this is the owner. Either way they must be an AZ resident. And, if the person completing the online form isn’t also the Statutory Agent then a signed acceptance form must be uploaded here.
In many simple cases the owner elects to fulfill this role. If that is your situation, simply select YES and NEXT.
Assuming the person completing the form is the Statutory Agent, you simply enter your name and address here.
The entity type is typically simply LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY and the “Professional Limited Liability Company” is required for those with some sort of professional license (like lawyers, etc).
Lastly on this page, unless you have a specific reason to set your LLC to expire simply select the PERPETUAL option.
This is probably the most confusing step. You have to decide if you are Manger-Managed or Member-Managed. If you are a multi-person LLC with very specific preferences I’m going to suggest you work with your atty and have all roles and responsibilities defined (ideally in an operating agreement) before you get here. But, if you are in a simple situation this can be easy, too.
They offer excellent tips on their site, see inset, but in plain english you are choosing if a MANAGER, a person (or group of people), will be given the exclusive right to act on behalf of the company or if the MEMBER(s) all share that right.
If you are a single person LLC one could argue if doesn’t matter which option you choose. But, I have a personal preference to select the MANAGER-MANAGED LLC and list myself as both the Manager and Member. That way if I add others over time (remember those with less than 20% equity don’t have to be listed with the state) I remain as the Manager unless I take deliberate action to add someone as an additional Manager.
Almost there! See how easy? : )
Double and triple check all info and then sign in the box to make it official.
As you select your method of contact for them to reach you you’ll have one more question: expedited or standard processing. It’s worth clicking the link to check their current processing times. I’ve always found it to be a good month or so offset and call me impatient but I tend to like the idea of hearing back in a week or two instead of 4-6. Work the $35 in my book. 😉
Note that once you hear back from the state you’ll need to publish your LLC info in public papers to be fully official, but they’ll give you all the info on how and where to do that. Usually runs another $30-40.
Lastly, one you have your LLC set you are ready to head over and get your (free and usually instant) tax ID # from the IRS and with those two things you are armed to open a bank account. Let the fun begin.
Congrats on your new biz.
It’s not too hard to start an LLC in AZ, huh?