Licensing requirements should be checked at the City, County and State levels of government.

Trade Names are filed with the Arizona Secretary of State. A Certificate or Affidavit of Trade Name can then be filed with the County Recorder’s office.

Local Licensing, Trade Names and DBA’s

Licensing requirements for corporations and limited liability companies in Arizona vary according to the businesses pursuit. In addition to complying with any licensing requirements of any state regulatory agency, County and City codes where the company will have a business presence should be reviewed.

Luckily, local governments are well trained in informing an entrepreneur what licensing requirements exist in their jurisdiction.

In addition to local licensing requirements, it is common for a business to register a trade name (also referred to as a “dba”) with the Secretary of State. An Affidavit of Trade Name can also be recorded at the County level. While the registration of trade names, a dba, or trademark is not legally required in Arizona, it is an accepted business practice. Arizona law 44-1460 specifically provides for the filing of a trade name affidavit or certificate.

An application for trade name is filed with the Secretary of State. When the Secretary of States office has approved the application, the Certificate of Trade Name can be recorded with the Recorders office in the county of the business principal location. Recording the certificate is optional, but is seen by some as a way of preserving the rights to the company name.

Registering a trade name and business licensing are not limited to limited liability companies and corporations. In fact, an LLC or Corporation will not need to apply for a trade name, unless the corporation or LLC will conduct business under an assumed name which is different from the name of the LLC or Corporation. For example, if XYZ LLC will conduct business under the name of XYZ as well as an assumed name of ABC Arizona, then XYZ must file an Application of Trade Name with the Arizona Secretary of State to give notice that XYZ LLC owns the name and is one and the same as ABC Arizona.

Sole proprietors, limited liability partnerships and general partnerships also have the option of filing a trade name.

This page will be of assistance in contacting Arizona county and city governments for licensing and recordation of trade name affidavits. Each Arizona county with its corresponding county seat is listed in the table appearing immediately below. The city and county corresponding internet addresses are included. By navigating to the county website, you will be able to locate the recorder’s office to record a trade name and check county licensure requirements.

By navigating to the county seat’s site, you can obtain contact information for business licensing codes.

For information about business regulation and licensing requirements at the state level, please see Licensing Board and Regulatory Agencies in Arizona.