So, you’ve got your business idea and are ready with enough capital to get started. The only thing in your way is knowing how to start a business in Arizona and what processes and permits you need to establish before launching.
Whether you’re a novice entrepreneur trying to set up a new venture or a seasoned one looking to expand with a new branch or brand, Arizona’s bustling consumer market and business environment make it a smart choice for profit-making endeavors. With that said, let’s dive into the process of starting a business in Arizona with this 10-step checklist.
How to Start a Business in Arizona: A 10-Step Guide
You can start a business in Arizona at any time of the year, as long as you have the things below finalized, cleared, and settled. The steps can vary slightly, depending on the type of venture you are planning to start, but the process below is more or less consistent.
1. Decide on the type of business you want to start.
To succeed at entrepreneurship, you need to have the knowledge, the skills, and the heart for the role. Look for an idea that relates to your goals and values and complements your interests.
Starting a business from the ground up is no easy feat. You can expect to do some legwork around different Arizona registration and licensing offices all while working extend work hours well over the typical 9-to-5. Having an authentic interest in and love for your business is what will keep you motivated when the process gets tough and tedious.
2. Know more about your target market.
You can’t start a business in Arizona without identifying your customer profile. Understanding your target market will determine your marketing approach because, otherwise, you would just be shooting blanks and wasting your resources.
Which age group is your target audience? What do they like and not like? Do they have an unfulfilled need that your business can address? These are key questions to ask when deciding what your initial product or service offerings will be and how your marketing strategy will be planned out. Go out and talk with people and ask them questions about their interests and needs in your market.
3. Write your business plan.
This is a lengthy discussion that requires a separate guide, but know that the core of your business plan would include the following:
- People and partnerships
- Sales and marketing efforts
- A mission statement and values
- Product planning
- Financial planning
- Business goals and objectives
Every new Arizona business, small or big, needs a business plan that sets the goals, key performance metrics, and parameters early on. This will help you stay on track toward your goals and set achievable milestones.
4. Choose a name and register it.
Begin by choosing a name for your business, keeping in mind that Arizona has set guidelines and requirements for naming corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs). You can check the availability of your planned name or have it reserved for up to 120 days via the Arizona Corporation Commission’s website. If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership entity, you can check for available trade names through the state’s Entity Search tool.
If you plan to set up a website, this is the right time to check if the domain name is available for your business’ name too.
5. Find funding support.
Now, this is where a well-crafted business plan will come in handy. If you find that your initial capital is not sufficient to meet your startup needs, you will have to look for potential sources for extra funding, such as friends and family, investors, lenders, banks, and more. Your prospective investor will look at your business plan to see if the venture is feasible and will bring in a good return on investment.
6. Register your Arizona business.
Now that you have your structure, plans, and finances somewhat settled (it’s okay if they are not 100 percent at this point), it’s time to register your business with the right Arizona offices.
To do this, select a statutory agent that will accept and process tax and legal documents on your behalf. This agent can be an individual, like a bookkeeper or accountant, or an entity, like an accounting or law firm. It’s important to have a licensed professional handle this type of paperwork to ensure that nothing is overlooked. You should also get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for tax purposes.
Your lawyer or accountant should be able to walk you through all of the necessary documents and filings needed to establish your business in Arizona.
7. Get your Arizona business licenses and permits in order.
The types of permits you need will depend on your type of venture, but you will need some form of permit to operate before you can start your business in Arizona.
You can contact your local county clerk to find out about local permits and licenses. The Arizona Department of Revenue also details requirements in its state licensing page, same with the Small Business Administration guide on a federal level.
8. Get insured.
To protect your investment from any untoward incidents, you need to get it insured. Arizona also requires new businesses to have basic forms of insurance to shield themselves, their property and stocks, and their employees from potential damage and losses.
The type of insurance will depend on the nature of your Arizona business, but the most common ones include General Liability Insurance, Workers’ Compensation Insurance, and Professional Liability Insurance. If you are operating in a shared workspace, you likely won’t need property insurance, but you will want to get Professional Liability or Workers’ Compensation coverage.
9. Find the right location or virtual office.
In the time of COVID-19, the brick-and-mortar location of your new business isn’t as essential, as many businesses work at least part time remotely. However, having a set location in Arizona to conduct meetings and close deals, have on-the-ground staff to collaborate, entertain clients, and keep essential office paperwork and/or stocks in one place adds huge brownie points to your legitimacy and trustworthiness.
This can be an entire property that you purchase or rent out or a dedicated space in a shared work environment where your staff can also get to mingle with other people in a fun office setting. Virtual office spaces are another cost-effective option that allows you to gain access to office features without paying for a full-time office rental.
The best coworking spaces are not just those that separate users into rooms and cubicles. They are those that foster a collaborative professional atmosphere that has all the standard office amenities, supports further learning, and well, sometimes even free coffee and snacks!
10. Hire staff.
At this point, you already have the legal requirements to finally launch your business in Arizona. It’s time to hire the right people who will help your business grow.
Start Your Arizona Business on the Right Foot With MAC6
Starting a business in Arizona might seem intimidating at first, but this guide can help you get on the right path to see your entrepreneurial dreams come true. Given all the work that goes into setting up an Arizona business, you will need a dedicated place where your entire team can converge, brainstorm, collaborate, and empower each other to grow and thrive.
MAC6 offers various leasing options for full service and flexible workspaces and private suites ranging from 1,500 to 9,000 square feet, serving 10 to 75 employees. On-site amenities include fiber internet, VOIP phone capabilities, IT and printing facilities, a 24/7 gym with trainers, Cartel cold brew coffee, and FloWater. With all these perks in one place, picking an office in Arizona should be easy.
In addition to all the tangible resources that any office might need, members also gain access to the Leadership Academy, which conducts a series of workshops and training programs to help individuals and teams boost their skills and productivity. Contact the MAC6 team to book a tour and see how we can help you succeed in starting a business in Arizona.