Forming an LLC in Arizona is a big decision. Before filing the Articles of Organization, you will need to choose a statutory agent. In this article, we’re going to walk through what the role of a statutory agent (referred to as registered agent in some states) is and what your options are as a business owner.
What Is an Arizona Statutory Agent & Is It Necessary?
Yes, a statutory agent is legally required. A statutory agent is an individual or service that acts as a go-between with the LLC and the state of Arizona.
In short, the statutory agent assumes statutory responsibilities. They must agree to receive and deliver any official communications such as tax or legal documents from the state of Arizona to the LLC. Furthermore, the registered agent must be consistently available to carry out this responsibility without interruption.
Here’s what the Arizona Corporation Commission specifically says:
If an LLC does not assign or maintain a statutory agent, the LLC risks being named non-compliant. This can lead to dissolution of the LLC by the state.
What Are the Requirements of a Statutory Agent?
Aside from carrying out the statutory responsibilities defined above, a registered agent must meet the following requirements:
- The agent must be an individual resident of the state of Arizona and at least 18 years of age or a corporation authorized for business in Arizona.
- The agent must have a permanent, full-time physical address in Arizona.
- The agent must have a mailing address in Arizona. This cannot be a PO box.
- An LLC cannot act as its own statutory agent in Arizona.
For reference, here is a screenshot of what information is required on the Arizona Articles of Organization:
Who can be a Statutory Agent in Arizona?
The statutory agent can be either an individual or a professional service. Here are the pros and cons of each option.
As mentioned above, if using an individual as your statutory agent, the individual must be a resident of Arizona.
This means that the individual cannot be in the process of establishing residency in another state, territory, or country or receiving benefits while claiming residency in another state, territory, or country.
Otherwise, the individual can be an attorney, accountant, or even a friend or family member. Simply add the person’s name and address to the Articles of Organization.
- Convenience – Using someone you know saves the time of searching for a statutory agent service. The individual is probably also someone that you trust.
- Cost – The cost will likely be much lower than using a service, perhaps even free.
- Inconvenience – The individual who acts as statutory agent is required to be available without interruption. This might make vacations a bit tricky.
- Risk that documents are not delivered in timely manner – If using an attorney, for example, you may be risking that she/he is away from the office at the time of delivery. This leaves open the possibility that the document is put in other hands, possibly slowing the process. If using a friend or family member, you run the risk of having documents misplaced or even ignored. Personal and work lives often have many distractions. For example, if quarrelling with Aunt Louise over a late or missing tax document worries you, a statutory agent service may be a better option.
Statutory Agent Service
Statutory agent services provide this type of assistance. The service’s name and address must be included on the Articles of Organization.
- Privacy – If documents regarding a sensitive issue such as a lawsuit are being delivered, the service provides a cushion of privacy between your business and the public. In addition, the address of the service, not your business (or family member or friend) is public record. This means that marketing materials or junk mail will be sent to the service, not to the LLC.
- Reliability – The statutory agent needs to be available during regular business hours – all business hours. Using a service might provide a measure of comfort knowing that important documents will not slip through the cracks (as long as you use a reputable service). After all, receiving and delivering important and time-sensitive documents is what the service is experienced doing.
- Location – An LLC is not required to maintain a physical presence in the state of Arizona. The LLC may also do business in various states. Many services have you covered by providing that presence in multiple or even 50 states.
- Cost – Using a service is going to cost you more than using an individual. Still, having the peace of mind that important documents are being handled by a professional service may be worth it.
- Unfamiliarity – Using an individual usually means using someone you know and trust. With an unknown entity there is always a risk of unsatisfactory service. Of course, this is what reviews are for!
Finding a statutory agent that is the right fit for your LLC may be one of many tasks when setting up your LLC, but one that is essential to running your business efficiently.
How to get a Free Statutory Agent
The most cost effective way to get a free statutory agent in Arizona is to use a professional LLC service that also offers a free statutory agent service.
How it Works
Simply hire a service like IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent to form an Arizona LLC. As part of their package, they’ll include a free statutory agent service and list their address on the Articles of Organization instead of yours.
All you pay for is the $50 or $85 Arizona state LLC formation fee + $49 or $79 service fee.
This will remove all statutory agent responsibilities off your plate, take care of LLC formation paperwork and provide you with an online dashboard to keep track of things that come up in regard to your LLC in Arizona.
How to Change Your Arizona Statutory Agent
If you need to change your current statutory agent in Arizona, you must file an LLC Statement of Change of Known Place of Business Address or Statutory Agent. Find it under the Limited Liability Company section of the Arizona Corporation Commission Forms page. Here are step-by-step instructions to complete it.
- In section 1, provide your LLC name. It must be an exact match with the name on file with the state.
- Skip section 2, unless you’re also changing your business address.
- If you’re simply making a change to your current statutory agent’s name or address, provide that information in sections 3, 3.1, and 3.2. But if you’re changing your statutory agent completely, skip to section 4.
- Provide your new statutory agent’s name, physical address, and mailing address (only if it’s different from the physical address. You must also submit a Statutory Agent Acceptance form (M002), which your new agent will sign.
- Sign the form and check the appropriate box to indicate whether you are an LLC manager, member, or statutory agent.
Note: All Arizona Corporation Commission forms must be submitted with a cover sheet, which you can find here, or on the A.C.C. forms page.
This filing requires a $5 fee (or $35 for expedited processing) and can only be submitted by mail or in person to:
Arizona Corporation Commission
1300 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
If filing by mail, you must pay by money order or check, which you can make payable to “Arizona Corporations Commission.” In person, you can pay with check, credit card, money order, or cash.
Got all that? To recap, here’s everything you need to submit when filing your statutory agent change:
- LLC Statement of Change of Known Place of Business Address or Statutory Agent form
- Statutory Agent Acceptance form, signed by your new statutory agent
- Cover sheet
- $5 standard or $35 expedited fee
Some states allow you to change your registered agent by updating your annual report, but since Arizona LLCs are not required to submit annual reports, this is not an option. If you are making changes to your Articles of Organization using an Articles of Amendment form, you may also make the statutory agent change there.
If you’re too busy, or if you’d feel more comfortable letting someone else take the reins, you have the option of hiring a company or individual to file your paperwork for you. It’s a great way to save time and stress.
Submit your form? Pay your fee? You’re good to go! The A.C.C. updates its processing times weekly. To check them, go to their eCorp page and click “Processing Times” at the bottom.
Have Questions or Concerns?
If you’d like to talk to the state directly about your questions or concerns, it’s easy!
Visit Their Website
Visit the Arizona Corporations Commission for more information about statutory agents in the state of Arizona. They have a great FAQ regarding how to appoint a different statutory agent or change an agent’s address, and much more you should be aware about.
Give Them a Call
If you’d prefer to call, reach out to their Phoenix office at (602) 542-4251 or (800) 222-7000.