Do you own a business operating in the state of Arizona? If so, you may need to acquire licenses and permits to ensure that your company operates in a compliant fashion.
But how do you determine which permits and licenses you need (if any), and where do you acquire them? In this guide to Arizona business licenses and permits, we’ll answer all the tough questions about this process.
Are There Federal Licenses That My Business Needs?
First off, let’s discuss the matter of federal licenses and permits. There are many business activities that are regulated by various federal agencies, from agriculture to transportation and logistics. We recommend taking a look at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s guide to federal licenses and permits to make sure you’ve got your bases covered.
In addition, most businesses should acquire a federal tax ID number, also known as an EIN (employer identification number). This is essentially a social security number for your business, and it enables you to hire employees, pay business taxes, open business bank accounts, and more. You can acquire an EIN from the IRS for free.
What State-Level Licenses and Permits Apply in Arizona?
The state of Arizona does not have a general business license that applies statewide to every business entity, as some states do. However, depending on the nature of your business, there could be several licenses and/or permits that you may be required to obtain.
In general, there are three primary types of licenses that can apply to Arizona businesses:
- State Transaction Privilege Tax License
- Regulatory Licensing
- Local Licenses/Permits
To determine which permits you need to operate a compliant business, we recommend that you pay a visit to the Arizona Department of Revenue website and/or the Arizona Commerce Authority. Both websites provide ample information and links to relevant departments to help ensure that your business is compliant with state regulations.
Occupational Licenses and Permits
The occupational licenses and permits required by the state of Arizona vary widely, from construction to pest control. Depending on the exact nature of your business, you might need more than one of these permits.
Environmental Licenses and Permits
Finally, Arizona also has some environmental permits that apply to any business whose activities produce pollutants or otherwise cause harm to the environment. You can find out if you need one of these permits by consulting the Arizona One Stop Directory.
Which Tax Registrations are Required for Arizona Businesses?
In addition to occupational licenses and permits, there are a number of state-level tax registrations, which are based on the industry you operate in and which business structure your company uses.
Every Arizona business must register with the Arizona Department of Revenue before conducting any taxable business. Many businesses will also need to register and pay the State Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT).
There are also many industry-specific tax registrations in the state of Arizona, Thankfully, the Department of Revenue also handles tax registrations, and you can find more information on which ones your business needs at this link.
Are There Local Licenses, Permits, or Registrations in Arizona?
The answer to this question obviously depends on where in Arizona you’re operating your business, but there are indeed quite a few licenses, permits, and tax registrations required by Arizona localities.
All county-level occupational license tax forms are managed at the local level. This includes those in Maricopa, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai, Yuma, Mohave, Coconino, Cochise, and Navajo counties. You can learn more by contacting your local county clerk’s office.
There are also some requirements on the city/municipality level. For example, Phoenix, Tucson, Mesa, and Chandler all have business resource websites that explain the applicable permits and licenses required to do business.
If we were to break down the exact rules and regulations regarding permitting in every locality in the state of Arizona, this article would become excessively lengthy. With that in mind, we’ll simply say that every business owner should check with their local government to determine whether there are licenses, permits, or tax registrations required to operate in compliant fashion.
Can I Hire Someone to Research Licenses and Permits for My Business?
If this process sounds like a bit of a hassle, that’s because it certainly can be. If you would rather hire a reputable business services provider to handle this for you, that is always an option.
Companies like Incfile and LegalZoom can research the necessary licenses and permits for your company on the federal, state, county, and municipal levels. They will then send you the applications you need to acquire these permits and licenses, meaning all you need to do is fill them out and mail them in.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the question of which licenses and permits your business might require to operate in the state of Arizona. Instead, it’s important that you know how to access the resources to determine which permits your company needs to operate in a compliant fashion.
We hope this article helped you to do just that, and we wish you good fortune in your business future!