Should you form your corporation in Arizona? We've collected the relevant information that will help you make this decision.

Pros

  • Low cost of living
  • Low cost of doing business
  • Home to one of the top 20 metro areas in the US

Cons

  • Tax rate of 5.5%
  • Disclosure of owners in original filing

Cost of doing business

  • $50 filing fee / $45 annual statement

Privacy

  • Owner disclosure in original filing

Forming your corporation in Arizona

The name
In order to communicate to the public that your new business is incorporated, its official name will need to end with one of the following signifiers (or a relevant abbreviation): “incorporated”, “Company”, or “corporation.” In addition, it is required that the name of your business is not intentionally misleading to consumers, for any reason. Your company’s new name must also be completely unique, and not deceptively similar to any other organizations name or trademarks. Do a FREE name search now.

Board of directors requirements
You will need to form an official board of directors when incorporating in Arizona. Here are the states explicit regulations regarding these directors:

  • Required number of directors
    Arizona corporations must have at least one director listed in their incorporation documents.
  • Age restrictions
    Directors of corporations located in Arizona can be of any age.
  • Residence restrictions
    There are no residence restrictions imposed on the directors of C corporations in Arizona. However, S corporations are only allowed to have directors located in the United States.
  • What information needs to be included in the Articles of Incorporation?
    Arizona does require the names and addresses of directors to be disclosed in incorporation documents.

Requirements for the Articles of Incorporation

The Articles of Incorporation is a document that must be filed during the incorporation process in every state. Here is the information that must be included in this document when filing in Arizona:

Stock information
Arizona requires the number of initial shares outstanding, and their par value, to be disclosed during the incorporation process. The number of outstanding shares does not affect initial state filing fees.

Officer information
The state of Arizona does not require officer information to be disclosed during the filing process.

Registered agent information
All Arizona corporations must have a registered agent on file, and submit their name and address (which cannot be a PO box). This agent will be required to be accessible during standard business hours, and act as the state’s point of contact with the company. Learn more about registered agents.

Additional Arizona filing requirements

Many states have steps in the incorporation process that are unique to that state. These can also vary at the municipality or county level as well. Here are the steps required throughout all of Arizona:

Public notice requirements
All corporations in Arizona must pay for a public notice of incorporation in a newspaper with distribution near the business’s location. This notice must be in three consecutive editions of said paper.

If your business is a professional practice
Professional service corporations are permitted to form under the professional corporation (PC) structure.

Corporate record keeping requirements

Corporations are required to keep formal documentation regarding several of their operations. These are the explicit record keeping formalities required by Arizona:

  • A copy of the Articles of Incorporation, bylaws, and their amendments
  • Records that detail the owners and class of all outstanding stock shares
  • The address and names of all officers, directors, and shareholders
  • Meeting minutes for all shareholder and director meetings
  • A list of names and business addresses for all officers and directors
  • A copy of all written communications with shareholders within the previous three years
  • A copy of the corporation’s most recent annual report
  • Formal documentation of agreements made between shareholders.

Arizona corporate taxation and fee requirements

There are several tax and fee requirements that must be addressed by corporations in Arizona. They are as follows:

Taxation
All states have complex taxation requirements. For more information regarding taxes in Arizona it is advised that you visit the state’s official business related website. 

Annual report requirements
Corporations in Arizona are required to file two documents, the Annual Report, and Certificate of Disclosure. They are both due during the company’s anniversary month each year, and the filing cost is currently $45. Learn more about annual reports.

Tax identification numbers
Arizona requires an EIN (employee identification number) for all corporations that will have employees, and most banks will require one to open accounts. Arizona does not require corporations to obtain state tax ID numbers. Learn more about EINs.

Business license requirements

The business licenses and permits required in Arizona vary wildly depending on the county or municipality in which your new corporation is located. If you would like to see more in-depth information on licenses and permits, please feel free to visit the content in our learning library that covers business licenses and permits.

S corporation election
Arizona does not require a state-level S corp election, as they recognize any elections held at the federal level.

Need an Arizona LLC instead? Click here.