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 Business Entity Formation

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 recorded 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. 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 allows
any person, sole proprietor, partnership or corporation to register a trade name.

Applications for trade names (also referred to as a “DBA” are filed with the Secretary of State. Trade name forms and Trademark forms are downloadable from the Secretary of State Online Trade Name and
Trademark Program page. 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.

Filing a DBA (trade name) is not limited to sole proprietors. An LLC or Corporation needs to register a DBA, when it will does business under an assumed name. For example, if XYZ LLC will do business as “ABC Arizona”, then XYZ LLC must file an Application of Trade Name with the Arizona Secretary of State. This provides notice that XYZ LLC does business as ABC Arizona.

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. 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.

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

Municipal Business Licensing

Remote Municipality Licensing

County Business Licensing