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Starting a business in Arizona

Those interested in business formation should assure that their venture complies with state business law. However, each business may have its own legal and financial situation.

Choosing a name is the first step. Any name should be searched through the internet to assure that it is not being used by another person or business. There may be legal consequences for using a name that is identical or like names that already being used.

If the business intends to have a website that is identified with the entity's name, the domain name may be purchased. It may be more practical to check the name availability with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). However, the ACC does not sell or register these names. Ownership of a domain name does provide any rights through the ACC or Department of State.

Selection of the entity type is next. It may be a corporation, nonprofit corporation or limited liability company. S corporations, C corporations and 501(c)3 corporations are designations recognized for federal tax purposes but are not registered under state law.

The entity name should also be reviewed on the ACC website for availability. If it is available on the website, a name reservation may be sought on the ACC website. The name may also be registered with the Department of State as a trade name or documents may be submitted to the ACC for entity formation.

A trade name remains in effect for five years. Names may be reserved with the ACC for 120 days. Next, the formation documents must be submitted to the ACC. Limited liability corporations require submission of articles of organization. Corporations require filing of its articles of incorporation.

A transaction privilege tax application may have to be filed the Department of Revenue if the business is subject to the transaction privilege tax. The business should register with the city where it will be located or the county in unincorporated areas for transactional tax privileges and any required business or occupational licenses.

The IRS should also provide an employer identification number or tax identification number. Finally, a business account should be opened with a bank or credit union.

Attorneys can help furnish advice on the business' specific needs. They can help assure that there is regulatory compliance with the formation.

Source: Arizona Corporation Commission, "Ten tips to starting a business in Arizona," accessed on Oct. 30, 2017

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