How To Incorporate In Arizona

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1. Choose a Name for Your Arizona Corporation

Check on Available Names in Arizona:  You must choose a unique name for your corporation when you decide to incorporate your small business in Arizona. You must choose a name that is not in use by another corporation. You will need to conduct a thorough search of the Internet and other corporate and legal records to determine that the name that you have chosen is not already in use. You may want to start by checking the Arizona state corporation database online at Arizona Corporation.  

Reserve a Corporate Name: As soon as you have chosen a name for your corporation and searched the appropriate databases to confirm that the name that you have chosen is unique, you can reserve that name online by submitting an application to Arizona Secretary of State. You can find this online application at Reserve Arizona Corporation Name under “Application for Reservation of a Corporate Name.” The fee is $10.00 and the name will be reserved for a period of 120 days.

Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: Although the corporate name that you have reserved may be available and unique in Arizona, you should be aware that another company outside of Arizona could be using the same name. Therefore, you may encounter some restrictions on the name that you have chosen to use to incorporate your small business in Arizona.  See the article on how to choose a name for your corporation.

Arizona Corporate Name Requirements: When you incorporate a small business in the state of Arizona, the name of your corporation must include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “company,” “limited,” “association,” or an abbreviation of one of these words. To learn more about the corporate naming policy in Arizona, go to Arizona Corporate Name Requirements.

2. Find a Statutory Agent in Arizona 

When you incorporate your small business in Arizona, you need to choose a statutory agent to act as an agent for service of process. The statutory agent that you choose will be responsible for receiving legal and tax documents for your corporation.  You might consider using a company that provides registered agent services as your statutory agent. These companies provide statutory agent services as well as other corporate services for a fee.

3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements: When incorporating your small business as a normal stock corporation, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Secretary of State. You can download the Articles of Incorporation form online at Arizona Incorporation. Your Articles of Incorporation must include the corporate name that you have chosen, the purpose of your corporation, a certificate of disclosure, the number of shares authorized by the corporation, and the name and address of your statutory agent. You must also provide the name and address of each incorporator and director. The Articles of Incorporation must be signed by each incorporator as well as the statutory agent.

Other Arizona Legal Provisions: Along with the minimum requirements asked for on the Articles of Incorporation form, you may want to include other legal provisions in the Articles of Incorporation for your company. The best thing to do is to consult an attorney when you are preparing the Articles of Incorporation document. An attorney can advise you on the various additional legal provisions that you should include in your Articles of Incorporation.

Where to Submit Form: You should submit your completed Articles of Incorporation document to the Arizona Corporation Commission, 1300 W. Washington Street, 1st Floor, Phoenix, AZ 85007.

Filing Fee: The filing fee in Arizona is $60.00. Expedited service costs $35.00.

4. Create Other Arizona Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)

After you have completed and submitted the Articles of Incorporation document to the Arizona Corporation Commission, the next step is for your corporation to take actions like appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, obtaining a tax ID number and preparing to pay taxes. Also, your corporation most likely needs to obtain a business license.

You might want to consider creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements to determine when stock can be sold, and documents that explain what will happen if an owner leaves the company. These documents are especially helpful if your corporation has multiple owners. An attorney can help you to draft these documents so that you follow all the legal requirements that apply to your corporation. Corporate service companies exist that can assist you in preparing many of these legal documents for a fee.

5. Qualify Your Arizona Corporation to Do Business in Other States

If your main corporate office is not located in the state of Arizona, you will need to find out if you need to register or qualify your corporation to do business in other states. In most other states, you will be required to have some kind of qualification and you have to pay taxes in your home state. You can learn more about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states at Doing Business in other states.

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Arizona

All domestic corporations registered in the state of Arizona are required to file an annual report. You will have the opportunity to provide updated officer, director and registered agent information for your corporation in this report. The filing fee is $45.00 for this report. You can file online at Arizona Corporation and Taxes.

Your corporation will be subject to Arizona state taxes.  You are responsible for filing the appropriate tax documents and paying the annual required tax. You can find information about what the taxes for your corporation will be on the official website of the Arizona Department of Revenue at How To Incorporate In Arizona

When it is time to prepare tax documents for your corporation, it is a good idea to consult an accountant. An accountant can help you to avoid mistakes on your tax documents that could wind up costing you extra taxes.

There are a lot of decisions to make when incorporating a small business, especially when there are multiple owners. However, if you consult an attorney and an accountant when you are incorporating your small business in Arizona, you can feel confident that your paperwork will be processed correctly.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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