Gilbert, AZ

You can’t wait to start your business. If only you could skip all the “Legal stuff”.


How to start your LLC in Gilbert, AZ

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE by Michael Bradley Updated: January 13, 2023
Name your LLC
Appoint a Statutory Agent
13 - 15 d.
File Articles of Organization
<60 days
Fulfill Arizona’s LLC Publication Requirement
Draft an Operating Agreement
Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

Why form an LLC in Gilbert, AZ?

With sunny weather and safe neighborhoods, Gilbert offers a high quality of life. The vibrant dining scene and eclectic mix of retail shops provide boundless entertainment. And the pipeline of educated workers attracts world-class companies and many growing startups.

If you’re ready to join Gilbert’s diverse economy, there’s no better time than now. Transform your dream into reality by creating a legal entity. The process can seem daunting. And that’s why we’re here to help. This article has everything you need to form an LLC in Gilbert, Arizona.

We’ll cover:

  • The six easy-to-follow steps to form a Gilbert LLC
  • Permits, licenses, and other resources to start your new business
  • Extra steps to take after forming a Gilbert, Arizona LLC

LLC Formation Process in a Nutshell

1. Name your LLC

How to decide on a name for your Arizona LLC? Every business needs a good name. Advertising and marketing concerns are important. But the name must meet the legal requirements as well.

You should start by reviewing Arizona Revised Statutes section 29-3112 to ensure your desired LLC name complies with the law. Every Arizona LLC name must include one of the following:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Company
  • Abbreviations of either above option

The name must be unique and distinguishable from existing businesses. You can use Arizona’s online Entity Search to find out what names are already taken. You should avoid using exact matches as well as closely-related names.

It’s also important to only use certain terms if authorized to do so. This applies to many highly-regulated industries, such as banking. Misleading the public and holding your LLC out as something it isn’t will create many problems.

Using a doing business as (DBA) name provides a lot of flexibility. Arizona calls these trade names. For example, “Gilbert Landscape Services LLC” could operate under “Gilbert Premier Lawn Care.”

Now is a also good time to consider the available domain names (URLs) for your business’s online presence. Even if you don’t want to launch a website right away, reserving a matching domain name for your business can avoid future setbacks.


2. Appoint a Statutory Agent

What is a statutory agent? All businesses need to provide a primary contact to handle important notices. Many states call this the registered agent. Arizona calls it the statutory agent.

The main purpose for the statutory agent is to receive service of process. If your LLC gets sued, the paperwork goes to the statutory agent. As you can imagine, you need to handle this role with care.

You may appoint yourself to serve as the statutory agent or registered agent. But many seasoned business owners avoid doing so. Instead, they hire registered agent services to take the burden off their shoulders.

Serving as your own statutory agent has some advantages, including:

  • It’s cheap: You can dodge an extra expense by handling it yourself.
  • It’s simple: There’s only one address to update.
  • It’s reliable: Documents and notices come straight to you.

But there are some flaws to appointing yourself, such as:

  • No privacy: The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) lists the contact on its website. It is public information.
  • Junk mail/spam: You’ll have to sort through junk mail without missing notices.
  • No breaks: Registered agents don’t get time off. They must be available during business hours.
  • Business interruptions: Your customers could witness you getting served with a lawsuit. This may tarnish your reputation.
  • It’s your fault if you miss something: If you miss a key notice, there’s no one looking over your shoulder to catch it.

We recommend using a statutory agent or registered agent service. By doing so, you can stay clear of many problems and focus on your business. The service will sort your mail and keep your address confidential.

Statutory agent or registered agent services are quite affordable. They cost around $100-$150 per year. Attorneys can charge up to $500 per year for the same service.

If you choose to start your LLC by using a business formation company, they often include a registered agent service in their packages. Feel free to take a look at our registered agent recommendations article for more information.

$0 - $100

3. File Articles of Organization

How do I file the Articles of Organization? Pay close attention to this important step. It is what transforms your business from an idea into a real legal entity. The LLC does not exist until you file the Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporations Commission.

It’s a common belief that it’s necessary to hire an attorney in order to complete this step. But the process is likely much easier than you think.

Section 29-3201 provides the legal requirements. In short, the Articles of Organization for every Arizona LLC must include:

  • The LLC’s name;
  • The principal address, which can be the statutory agent’s address;
  • The statutory agent’s contact information; and
  • Whether the LLC is member-managed or if you’ll hire a non-member manager.

To make the process easier than ever, Arizona provides a fillable form. Be prepared to pay a $50 fee. Arizona also provides the estimated processing times for LLC formation filings. Non-expedited filings can take as long as 15 business days.

If the delay doesn’t fit your desired timeline, you can pay for faster service. An extra $35 fee gets you Expedited service. This usually lowers the processing time to less than five business days. You can also select one of these options:

  • Next-day service: $100
  • Same-day service: $200
  • Two-hour service: $400

To save time and avoid the hassle of LLC filings, all seasoned entrepreneurs use LLC formation services. For recommendations, check out our article on the best LLC services.

13 - 15 d.

4. Fulfill Arizona’s LLC Publication Requirement

How do I meet the publication requirement? Before the internet era, it was common to publish certain legal matters in local newspapers. While most locations in the United States have removed this step, Arizona still requires it.

Under Arizona law, there are two methods for meeting the LLC publication requirement:

  • Publish the information listed in the Articles of Organization in a local newspaper. It must be in the county where the statutory agent is located. State law requires that you publish this information in three consecutive publications.
  • If the LLC is in a county with a population of over 800,000, the Arizona Corporations Commission will publish the information in its database.

For the companies that must pay for the publication, the typical cost is usually between $30 to $300. You need to complete this step within 60 days of filing the Articles of Organization.

<60 days
$30 - $300

5. Draft an Operating Agreement

Does my Arizona LLC need an operating agreement? Operating agreements are contracts between LLC members. They dictate how the LLC functions and handles many situations.

Arizona does not require LLCs to have an operating agreement. But experienced business owners execute one anyway. Operating agreements help protect businesses and personal interests.

Without one, the LLC falls back to state law when disputes arise. These might not have the results you desire. Instead, you can create an operating agreement customized to your needs. Review section 29-3105 to see what an operating agreement can have.

The best operating agreements cover any situation the LLC might encounter. This includes:

  • They determine the rights and duties of LLC members. If one LLC member is responsible for running the business or managing the books, the operating agreement should say so.
  • They say whether the LLC has a member or non-member manager and what the manager has the right to do. Managers also have special duties to the company and its members. The operating agreement should state these.
  • They outline what the LLC is legally able to do. The operating agreement should also set down how the company is allowed to conduct its business from day to day.
  • They say how new members can join the company. They also have rules about how exiting members can leave.
  • They set down how and when profits are paid to members. They can also create different types of membership and payment schemes.
  • They say whether members or managers are in charge. They also say how to hire and fire managers.
  • They say how and under what circumstances the LLC should end. You might not want to dissolve your business now, but you might in the future. It’s best to think about it and plan before it becomes an issue.
  • They say how to change the rules. You may need to amend your operating agreement in the future. The operating agreement should set down the rules for making changes.

Operating agreements are private contracts. You do not need to file it with the state.

Having an operating agreement can mitigate many future headaches. The best LLC formation services make it easy to create by providing templates for as little as $50. We recommend taking this route.


6. Get an EIN (Employer Identification Number)

Do I have to get an EIN? The Internal Revenue Service assigns and uses Employer Identification Numbers (EIN or FEIN) to track business entities for federal tax purposes. Employer Identification Numbers essentially function like Social Security Numbers, but for businesses instead of individuals.

Certain types of businesses are obligated to obtain an EIN from the IRS. These include any of the following cases:

  • Your LLC has more than one member;
  • Your LLC hires any employees; or
  • You have elected for your LLC to be taxed under C-corporation or S-corporation taxation rules.

Even if your LLC doesn’t fall under one of these qualifications, getting an EIN is generally beneficial for your business. For example, some states require LLCs to have an EIN for their state tax filings, and many banks require having an EIN to open a business bank account for your LLC.

Luckily, the IRS has made the process very easy and straightforward via its online EIN application. It only takes about five minutes to complete and is entirely free of charge. As a rule, it’s not worth hiring someone else to do this unless it’s part of a wider LLC formation package.

Read More: How to get an Employer Identification Number in Arizona


Cheapest way to start your LLC

Do it Yourself
Gain personal knowledge
Lower upfront cost
You're losing money when you consider how much time it takes
There's the risk of making a mistake
It's a headache
Potential price
Potential time
5+ days
Formation Service
Very easy to use
Affordable ($39 for an LLC)
Same-day filing
Highly reliable
Not ideal for complex LLCs
Potential price
Potential time
30 min
A lawyer can help you manage risk
Offers more customization when you need it
Costs more than any other method
Finding one takes time
Slower compared to formation services
Potential price
> $400
Potential time
5+ days

Licenses and Permits in Gilbert, AZ

All new businesses must get the necessary licenses and permits. The state, county, and city-level authorities can issue these crucial components. Neglecting to get what your business needs can result in serious setbacks.


Some states require every business to get state approval. Arizona is not one of those and does not offer a general business license.

But Arizona does regulate some business activities. Review the Professional Licenses to see if you need to get one before starting up.


Besides the State’s needs, you’ll also need to follow local regulations. These come from the City of Gilbert and Maricopa County.

Start by getting a business license from the City of Gilbert. Every business must get one to operate in Gilbert. This applies to home-based businesses as well.

The City of Gilbert provides the One Stop Shop to streamline the approval process.

Maricopa County does not provide a general business license. But some businesses must get County licenses and permits. These apply to the specific activities involved, including:

  • Liquor sales,
  • Food establishments, and
  • Fireworks displays.

Connect with the local officials for more guidance. They can help you get what your business needs before starting operations.

Support for Small Businesses in Gilbert, AZ

Leveraging the knowledge of experienced business owners can unlock the secret to success. Connect with seasoned entrepreneurs by reaching out to the local community. Others are eager to help your business reach its full potential.

Here is a list of local organizations dedicated to helping businesses thrive:

Next Steps After you Register your LLC

If you’ve completed the above steps, you’ve formed your Arizona LLC. You can celebrate being a giant step closer to opening the doors to your new business.

But there are a couple of extra steps that are worth completing right away.

  • Register a Matching Domain

    The internet has fundamentally changed the way the world does business, to the point where almost every business will need to have an online presence. But even if you’re not looking to create a website right away, it’s still worth considering registering a matching domain name (URL) for your company.

    If you don’t register your LLC’s domain name right away, there’s a significant risk of domain squatters registering your ideal domain name before you. These groups track new business formations via publicly available records and rush to buy all their matching domain names, only to resell them back to the business at vastly inflated prices. Alternatively, there’s the risk of one of your rivals registering your desired domain names to block you from using it.

    Luckily, getting a domain name is a very straightforward and affordable process. Most cost about $20-$50 per year and you can register your URL fully online. Doing so now can help mitigate future headaches.

  • File for a DBA (Doing Business As)

    Many business owners use doing business as (DBA) names. These allow you to operate under a name that’s different from the LLC’s legal name. It opens up a world of possibilities.

    For example, “Gilbert Textiles LLC” can use “Gilbert Denim Dealers.”

    Arizona calls these trade names. And there are some specific requirements to follow to use one. You’ll need to register the trade name with the Secretary of State. The online portal makes the process easy.

    A $10 filing fee applies to registering Arizona trade names. It lasts for five years before needing renewal.

  • Stay Compliant

    Unlike many states, you are not required to file an annual report for an Arizona LLC. But you need to keep the LLC’s contact information, including the statutory agent, up to date. Arizona provides a fillable form to make this easy.

    Handling tax responsibilities is another crucial consideration. Most LLCs receive pass-through taxation. The income flows through to the personal income tax returns of the members.

    But if your LLC hires any employees, it needs to withhold taxes. If it sells any goods or services, you’ll have to collect and pay the transaction privilege tax.

    It’s also a good idea to open a business bank account. These make accounting much easier. They can also help protect personal assets.

    You might want to consider purchasing certain insurance policies. General liability or workers’ compensation insurance can be well worth the cost.

LLC Formation FAQs

What are the benefits of an LLC?

Most importantly, having an LLC will ensure your personal assets are protected if your business cannot pay its debts. Running your business through an LLC can also provide you with better tax treatment. In addition, LLCs have fewer and less complicated reporting requirements compared to other types of businesses, making them particularly suitable for smaller businesses.

Do I have to form an LLC to start a business?

It is not strictly necessary to form an LLC in order to start a business. You can engage in business as a sole proprietorship instead. However, in that case, your personal assets may be at risk if your business takes on too much debt or loses a lawsuit in court.

How much does it generally cost to form an LLC?

It doesn’t cost much to set up an LLC for your business. In most states, you will need to pay less than $150 to register your new LLC with the local state authorities. In some states, you may need to pay some additional costs later on, for example, when filing an annual report or filing for a DBA.

How long does it take to form an LLC?

The time it takes to have your LLC approved can vary wildly depending on the state, the filing method you used and if you opted for expedited filing. In some states, you can have your LLC approved in as little as one day, while in others, it may take weeks or even months.

If you want the fastest possible turnaround time, you should consider using online filing and pay for expedited service, if available.

How will my LLC be taxed?

The IRS and most state tax authorities treat LLCs as “pass-through” entities. This means that your LLC does not pay taxes directly (as corporations do). Instead, the tax burden is passed through to the members of your LLC. The members will then include profits and losses from the LLC’s business on their personal income tax returns.

In what state should I form my LLC?

It is generally best to form your LLC in your home state, where you will actually carry out your business. Some people believe that it is advantageous to form your LLC in Delaware or Nevada. In reality, you would then have to register with the authorities in your home state as a foreign LLC and pay additional fees – without much benefit in return.

Do I need to file for a DBA?

You are not generally required to file for a DBA (“Doing-Business-As”). However, most business owners choose to do so anyway. Getting a DBA will allow you to omit the letters LLC from your customer-facing business name. You can also have multiple names for your LLC if you want to run more than one business through your LLC.

Can I form an LLC if I am not a US citizen or US resident?

Yes, you can form an LLC for your business in any US state. There is no requirement for you to be a US citizen in order to form an LLC, nor do you need the right to reside in the US. If your business is going to own physical property in a given state, you may want to form your LLC in that state.

Do I need to hire an attorney to form an LLC for my business?

No, you don’t need to hire an attorney to form an LLC for you. It is generally much cheaper and straightforward to file the necessary paperwork yourself or to hire an affordable LLC formation service to handle the work on your behalf. However, you may want to consider hiring an attorney if your business is very complex.