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How to Start an LLC in Arizona

Are you looking to start an LLC in Arizona? Discover the process and get expert assistance from the Phoenix Business Attorneys at Kadish Associates Law Group (KALG).

Starting a new business involves making critical decisions. Beyond defining your mission and target market, choose the proper business structure. Most entrepreneurs opt for a limited liability company (LLC) today because of its advantages over traditional partnerships and corporations.

However, establishing an LLC requires careful diligence to reap its benefits fully. At KALG, we have guided numerous clients in forming LLCs and other business entities. Prospective clients often want to know how to set up an LLC in Arizona and whether they can navigate it without legal counsel.

Here, we outline the essential steps to create an LLC in Arizona and highlight potential pitfalls to avoid.

What Is an LLC?

The LLC, introduced in Arizona in 1992, quickly gained popularity as a business structure. It merges the liability protections of a corporation or limited partnership with simpler formation processes and flexible tax and management policies.

An LLC can accommodate a variety of businesses and may have one or multiple owners, known as “members,” as well as administrators, known as “managers.”

Why Should You Form an LLC in Arizona?

If you are running or want to start a business as a sole proprietorship or general partnership, forming an LLC is worth considering for enhanced liability protection. An LLC significantly shields your personal assets from liability, as its owners and administrators (members and managers) are not responsible for most business debts.

However, this protection is not absolute. If a member or manager engages in illegal or unethical activities or fails to comply with necessary business formalities, they could be held personally liable.

An LLC also offers tax advantages by passing tax obligations and benefits directly through to the owners, thereby avoiding the “double taxation” corporations face. Additionally, LLCs provide flexible tax structures, allowing owners to choose corporate taxation if preferred. Moreover, LLCs bypass the complex requirements of corporations, such as the need for electing officers, directors, and shareholders.

Also, unlike most states, there is no annual reporting requirement for Arizona LLC’s.

Six Steps to Start an LLC in Arizona

If you’re considering creating an LLC in Arizona, it’s crucial to research all legal requirements and proceed cautiously. Investing time and effort from the beginning is worthwhile. Establishing an LLC in Arizona involves several steps, and your diligence can save you money in the long run.

Forming an LLC in Arizona requires meticulous attention to detail. Skipping a step or improperly establishing the LLC could invalidate your company structure. In the event of litigation, an incorrectly formed LLC might well expose you to personal liability, putting LLC assets as well as your personal assets at risk.

Here are the six essential steps to form an LLC in Arizona.

Step 1: Name the LLC

  • Ensure your desired LLC name includes “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.”
  • The name must be distinguishable from other LLCs registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
  • Avoid using terms that imply government affiliation or restricted terms without proper authorization.
  • Check the availability of the name on the ACC website and consider securing a matching domain name.

Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent

  • Appoint a registered agent with a physical address in Arizona who can receive legal documents for your LLC during regular business hours.
  • The agent must consent to their role in writing and filed with the ACC.

Step 3: File the Articles of Organization

  • File the Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission, either online or by mail, and pay the associated filing fee.
  • Include the LLC name, registered agent, management structure (member-managed or manager-managed), and business purpose (general purpose is usually sufficient).
  • Arizona statutes require all members with 20% or greater LLC ownership interest to be named in the Articles of Organization.

Step 4: Publish Notice of LLC Formation

  • Suppose your statutory agent’s address is in a county other than Maricopa or Pima. In that case, you must publish a Notice of LLC Formation in an approved local newspaper for three consecutive publications.

Step 5: Create an Operating Agreement

  • Draft an operating agreement outlining the management structure, roles of members and managers, distribution of profits and losses, and procedures for adding or removing members.
  • While not required by the state, an operating agreement is crucial for preventing disputes and ensuring smooth operation.  It is also generally required for opening an LLC bank account.

Step 6: Complete Additional Formalities

  • Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, which includes informing the IRS how you want the LLC to be taxed (e.g., disregarded entity, partnership, C corporation or S corporation).
  • Open a business bank account.
  • Obtain necessary business licenses and permits.
  • Consider purchasing business insurance for additional protection.
  • File a Business Ownership Information (“BOI”) report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”), a bureau of the U.S. Department of Treasury, within thirty (30) days of forming the LLC.

Need Legal Advice on Forming Your LLC?

While forming an LLC is often seen as a straightforward and efficient way to establish a business, the process can still be complex. It involves making critical business decisions and completing forms that adhere to Arizona and IRS legal requirements. Any mistakes in this process could lead to severe financial repercussions.

A properly formed LLC provides excellent limited liability protection, so we strongly recommend consulting an experienced business attorney to ensure all legal requirements are met.

At Kadish Associates Law Group, we assist Arizona business owners with LLC formations and business dispute litigation. During your consultation, we will assess whether an LLC or another business structure best suits your needs and whether forming an LLC in Arizona or a different state would be most beneficial for your goals and objecives. We will then meticulously guide you through each step to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, helping you make decisions that minimize personal liability and optimize tax savings.


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