Creating a Limited Liability Company (LLC) in Arizona involves several key steps in compliance with the Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS). Here’s a detailed step-by-step guide:
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STEP 1: Choose a Name for Your Arizona LLC
Select a name for your LLC. According to ARS § 29-3110, the name must be distinguishable from other entities registered in Arizona and must include “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.”
Use the Arizona Corporation Commission’s (ACC) eCorp system to check for name availability.
Optionally, reserve the name for 120 days by filing a Name Reservation application online and paying a fee.
Time it Takes to name a Arizona LLC
Researching and deciding on a name: 1-2 hours
If opting for a name reservation: The act of filing can take about 10-15 minutes.
If opting for a name reservation: Filing can take minutes, but approval might take a few days to a week.
STEP 2: Appoint a Registered Agent
Your LLC must appoint a Statutory Agent (also known as a Registered Agent in other states) who agrees to receive legal papers on the LLC’s behalf. This can be an individual resident or a business entity authorized to do business in Arizona.
The agent must have a physical street address in Arizona.
Time it Takes to be a Registered Agent
Registered Agents MUST BE at the Business Address everyday during business hours. This is why Home Addresses Are Not Accepted.
If you already have someone in mind (like an attorney or a service), this can be quick. If you need to find and appoint a registered agent: 1-3 hours.
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Benefits of having Inc Authority serve as your Registered Agent include:
· Privacy: Keep your home address private
· Efficiency: Easily receive and promptly process state and legal documents
· Hassle-free: Reduction of junk and solicitation mail
· Legal Compliance: Avoid fines, penalties, and possible dissolution
· Convenience: Serves as your public & legal business address
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STEP 3: File Articles of Organization
To officially form your LLC, you must file the Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission. This can be done online or by postal mail.
Information needed includes the LLC’s name, address, Statutory Agent’s information, whether the LLC will be managed by members or managers, and the organizer’s information.
There is a filing fee, which you should verify on the ACC‘s website for the most current amount.
Time it takes to write the Articles of Organization
Preparing the document: 1-2 hours
Filing online: 30 minutes to 1 hour.
Waiting for confirmation/approval: This can range widely, but typically, online filings can be processed in a few days to a couple of weeks.
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STEP 4: Create an Operating Agreement
Although not required by Arizona law, it’s highly recommended to draft an Operating Agreement to establish the operating rules for your LLC. This agreement is kept on file by the LLC members and is not submitted to the state.
Time it takes to write an Operating Agreement
If using a template and making minimal changes: 1-3 hours
If drafting from scratch or having extensive negotiations among members: Several days to weeks.
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STEP 5: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.
You can apply for an EIN online at no cost through the IRS website: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online
The EIN will be used for tax filings, opening bank accounts, and hiring employees.
Time it takes to get an EIN / Tax ID
Filling out the online form and receiving the EIN: Approximately 0.5 to 1 hour (the online process is relatively quick if there are no complications).
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SO HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE TO FORM AN LLC MYSELF? DO IT MYSELF (DIY) an LLC?
Total Time Investment (Minimum): 5 hours (if you exclude the higher range estimates and name reservation)
Total Time Investment (Maximum): 11.5 hours (if you include the higher range estimates and name reservation)
This gives a ballpark range of 5 to 11.5 working hours for an individual, excluding all waiting times. It’s worth noting that these times can vary based on the person’s familiarity with the processes and any specific details or challenges related to the business being set up.