Forming an LLC (Limited Liability Company) in Arizona may seem like an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be if you have the right information. Here’s what you need to know about setting up this kind of business.

Forming an LLCDo a name search

You can save yourself a ton of time and trouble by doing a name search before you file any formal paperwork.  It starts with a Google search. Granted, this isn’t very official, but if you want a name that will stand out and not be confused with other listings people will find online, this is a useful step to take. If you find another biz using a name that will be easily confused with yours, it’s a good idea to brainstorm alternatives.

Assuming your desired name passes the Google test, it’s time to do a formal search. This involves double checking that it’s not already being used as an official trademark, or is otherwise copyrighted. Next, head over to the Arizona Corporation Commission‘s (ACC) website to see if there are any other official entities already using that name locally.

If it passes all of the above tests, you can move on to the next step.

Reserve your business name

You’ll need to officially save the name for yourself before proceeding any further.  The most common routes people take are to use a temporary name registration (good for 120 days), or a trade name registration (good for five years).

Filing the LLC paperwork

You’ll need to fill out and submit forms called the Articles of Organization. If your forms are approved after submission, you can proceed with the next steps in forming an LLC.

Taxes, licenses, and banking

Find out if you’ll need to fill out a privilege tax application (via Arizona’s Department of Revenue). You should also find out if your county or city requires you to have a business license. Also, check with the IRS about whether or not you need a federal TIN (tax identification) or EIN (employer identification) number. Finally, since your biz is presumably intended to make money, you’ll need a corporate bank account. Once your paperwork has been approved by the ACC, it’s a good time to head over to your chosen credit union or bank and open up an account – if you’ll be incurring business expenses, it’ll be worthwhile to inquire about getting a corporate credit card also.

Forming an LLC in Arizona is best done with some help

While it’s possible to do all of the above on your own, most people find it much easier to have an expert on their side to help. While many people go to a lawyer for this kind of advice, it’s sometimes overkill. In these cases, a legal document prep service is the perfect alternative (and they can always refer you to an attorney if it becomes necessary).