How To Start & Grow Your Business

State Home Arizona

How to Start a Business in Arizona

Do you want to start a new business in the state of Arizona, but you’re not sure how to get started?

At , we provide free software and how-to content that will help you start, manage, and grow your business.

Sign up for free HERE

Let's Get Going

With low income tax, $3 million awarded annually to entrepreneurs, and a robust Angel Investment Program, Arizona has attractive incentives for the business start-up. Arizona, with its warm, arid climate, is home to the Grand Canyon National Park, as well as other National Parks and monuments. Women in Arizona were granted the right to vote eight years before national suffrage (awesome), the planet Pluto was discovered here, and…in Arizona, it’s illegal for donkeys to sleep in bathtubs. That’s actually a law.

Bonus

Discover bizHUMM's popular ebook

How to Start a Business

Starting a business can be both exhilarating and challenging. It requires your full attention and energy. It all begins with an idea, an observation that there is a problem and the belief that you have a new solution – or a better one. Allow us to walk you through the steps in this free guide: How to Start A Business.

General resources for starting a business in Arizona

  • Phone Numbers

    Voice: 602-542-4285(Sec. of State)
  • Physical Address
    Business Services
    State Capitol, Executive Tower
    1700 West Washington Street, Suite 220
    Phoenix, AZ


    Business and Election Services State of Arizona Regional Complex 400 West Congress Street First Floor, Suite 141 Tucson, AZ

  • Arizona Tax Forms
    https://www.azdor.gov

up

Fun facts about starting a business in Arizona

Famous business founded in Arizona: P.F. Chang’s China Bistro

PF Chang’s is an Asian-themed restaurant chain owned and operated by Centerbridge Partners and founded and headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona. As of October 2014, P. F. Chang’s operated 204 restaurants in the U.S.

Famous entrepreneur born in Arizona: Arte Moreno, owner of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Born in Tuscon, Arizona. In 2003, he became the first Mexican-American to own a major sports team in the United States when he purchased the Anaheim Angels baseball team from the Walt Disney Company.

“While no road is ever straight, dedication and persistence will always lead you to your dreams.” – Arte Moreno

up

Which type of legal structure is best for my business in Arizona?

At bizHUMM we strongly recommend you incorporate, but you must consider the tax, legal, and liability implications carefully before deciding on the best structure for your business.

Here are 5 helpful steps to help you determine the best legal structure:

Click one of the buttons below to learn more about the different types of business legal structures and how to start them in the state of Arizona.
LLC (Limited Liability Company)
A limited liability company, commonly called an "LLC," is a legal business structure that combines the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation.

Steps to starting an LLC in Arizona:

  • Step 1 — Give your LLC a name.
  • Step 2 — File an Articles of Organization.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a Statutory Agent.
  • Step 4 — Create and sign an operating agreement.
  • Step 5 — Comply with necessary publication requirements.
  • Step 6 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 7 — Register foreign LLCs doing business in Arizona.

For help forming your LLC in Arizona we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Alternatively, visit the Arizona Secretary of State website.

Other Arizona resources for LLCs:

Arizona Corporation Commission: Corporation and LLC name requirements for the state. Search for your business name here – search under “registered name”. Reserve your business name, and file your Articles of Organization here.

Statutory Agent Form: Every Arizona LLC must have a statutory agent to accept legal papers on your LLC’s behalf.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your LLC. If your LLC has more than one member, even if it has no employees, you will need an EIN.

Arizona Department of Revenue: If you will be selling goods and collecting sales tax, or if you have employees, you’ll need to register with this site.

Arizona Commerce Authority: Information on business licensing for the state.

Sole Proprietorship
A sole proprietorship is the simplest and most common structure chosen to start a business. It is an unincorporated business owned and run by one individual, with no distinction between the business and the owner. The owner is entitled to all profits, and is responsible for all the business’s debts, losses, and liabilities.

Steps to starting Sole Proprietorship in Arizona:

  • Step 1 — Choose a business name.
  • Step 2 — File a trade name.
  • Step 3 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 4 — Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your sole proprietorship in Arizona we recommend CorpNet (there are fees for their service). Alternatively, visit the Arizona Secretary of State website.

Other Arizona resources for Sole Proprietorship:

Arizona Secretary of State: In Arizona, a sole proprietor can use their given name, or may use a fictitious name. Search for your fictitious business name here. Search under “registered name.”

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal site for your business name search. Click on the “TESS” link.

Arizona Commerce Authority: Information on business licensing for the state.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN for your business here. You will need an EIN if you have employees.

Arizona Department of Revenue: Register your business here. Businesses that hire employees must report new hires within 20 days of the start date.

Partnership
A partnership is a business operation between two or more individuals who share both management and profits. The two most common types of partnerships are general and limited partnerships. Each partner contributes to all aspects of the business, and shares in the profits and losses of the business.

Steps to starting Partnership in Arizona:

  • Step 1 — Give your partnership a name.
  • Step 2 — File a trade name.
  • Step 3 — Create a partnership agreement.
  • Step 4 — Obtain licenses, permits, and zoning clearance.
  • Step 5 — Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

For help forming your partnership in Arizona we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service).
Or, visit the Arizona Secretary of State website.

Other Arizona resources for Partnership:

Arizona Secretary of State: In Arizona, a partnership can use the surnames of the partners, or, a fictitious business name. Search for your fictitious business name at this site. Search under “registered name.”
If you want you want to file a trade name, you can do so here. This is optional.

U.S. Patent & Trademark Office: Federal site for your business name search. Click on the “TESS” link.

Arizona Commerce Authority: Information on business licensing for the state.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN number for your business. All partnerships are required by law to obtain an EIN, whether or not you have employees.

Arizona Department of Revenue: Register your business here to report taxes.

S Corporation
An S corporation (or S Corp for short) is a special type of corporation created through an IRS tax election. An eligible domestic corporation can avoid double taxation (once to the corporation and again to the shareholders) by electing to be treated as an S corporation. What makes the S corp different from a traditional corporation (C corp) is that profits and losses can pass through the shareholder’s personal tax return. Consequently, the business is not taxed itself.

Steps to starting S Corporation in Arizona:

  • Step 1 — Choose a name for your corporation.
  • Step 2 — Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Comply with any publishing requirements.
  • Step 5 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 6 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 7 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 8 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 9 — Issue stock.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — File annual reports.
  • Step 12 — Register foreign corporations doing business in Arizona.

For help forming your S corporation in Arizona we recommend CorpNet (there are fees for their service). Or, you can visit the Arizona Secretary of State website.

Other Arizona resources for S Corporation:

Arizona Secretary of State: Search for your corporate name here. Search under “registered name.”

Arizona Corporation Commission: File your Application to Reserve Corporation Name, Articles of Incorporation, and Annual Reports here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN for your corporation here (required by law).

IRS S corporations: Specific instructions for your tax requirements as an S corp.

Arizona Commerce Authority: Information on business licensing for the state.

Arizona Department of Revenue: Register your business here to report and pay taxes.

C Corporation
A C corporation (or C corp), refers to any corporation that is taxed separately from its owners. A C corporation is distinguished from an S corporation, which generally is not taxed separately. From a legal standpoint, C corporations are separate entities that can sue and be sued. From a tax standpoint, they are separate taxpayers, paying tax at special corporate tax rates that differ from those applicable to individuals.

Steps to starting C Corporation in Arizona:

  • Step 1 — Name your business.
  • Step 2 — Prepare and file Articles of Incorporation.
  • Step 3 — Appoint a registered agent.
  • Step 4 — Comply with publishing requirements.
  • Step 5 — Set up a corporate records book.
  • Step 6 — Prepare corporate bylaws.
  • Step 7 — Appoint initial corporate directors.
  • Step 8 — Hold your first Board of Directors meeting.
  • Step 9 — Issue stock.
  • Step 10 — Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • Step 11 — File annual reports.
  • Step 12 — Register foreign corporations doing business in Arizona.

For help forming your C corporation in Arizona we recommend CorpNet (they have fees for their service). Alternatively, visit the Arizona Secretary of State website.

Other Arizona resources for C Corporation:

Arizona Secretary of State: Search for your fictitious business name at this site. Search under “registered name.”

Arizona Corporation Commission: File your Application to Reserve Corporation Name, Articles of Incorporation, and Annual Reports here.

IRS EIN Online: Apply for an EIN for your corporation (it’s required by law).

Arizona Commerce Authority: Information on business licensing for the state.

Arizona Department of Revenue: Register your business here to pay taxes.

up

Why choose Arizona for my business?

  • 1

    Arizona Innovation Challenge
    “The Arizona Innovation Challenge (AIC), powered by the Arizona Commerce Authority, awards the most money in the country for a technology commercialization challenge – $3 million ($1.5 million twice yearly) to the world’s most promising technology ventures. Awards range from $100,000 to $250,000 per company.”

  • 2

    Arizona Angel Investment Program
    “The principal objective of the Angel Investment program is to expand early stage investments in targeted Arizona small businesses.”

  • 3

    Fast Grant Program
    “The AZ Fast Grant program is a highly competitive grant providing qualified Arizona-based, early stage technology companies with intensive training and technical assistance to commercialize their innovations, grow their business and create quality jobs.”

  • 4

    Arizona Grant Watch
    “Grants to start or grow a small business including grants for women, minorities and veterans.”

  • 5

    Arizona Small Business Association
    “ASBA offers some great opportunities to engage the business community and establish important referrals that drive customers to you.”

up