If you want to operate a business in Arizona using a name that's not your own name or the officially registered name of your company, you choose a trade name, also known as a DBA, or "doing business as" name. In Arizona, you're not required to register your trade name, but it's an accepted business practice that gives notice to other would-be users that the name is already in use in the state.
Choosing a Trade Name
To register a trade name with the Arizona Secretary of State, your name must be distinguishable from other registered names. You may not include any type of business entity designation, such as "Inc." or "Corp.," as part of your trade name. Plurals, possessives and apostrophes don't distinguish a name, so if "Bob's Sales" is taken, you can't register "Bobs Sales" or "Bob Sale." Similarly, spacing and capitalization don't make a name distinguishable. For example, "Selling to Sold" isn't distinguishable from "Selling to SOLD!" Before you apply, check the Arizona Secretary of State's Registered Name Information Search website to make sure your name is distinguishable from other, similar names.
To register a trade name in Arizona, you must submit a Trade Name Registration Application to the Office of Secretary of State with a registration fee. On the application, you enter the trade name you want to register; the type of entity you are registering, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation; your name and address; the type of business the company engages in; and your signature. You must have the application notarized if you're applying by mail. When you submit your application, include your payment by check or money order made payable to the Secretary of State. Credit card payments are not accepted.
How to File
You can file your trade name registration either through the mail or by phone. The requirements are the same no matter which option you choose. Mail the application to Office of the Secretary of State, 1700 W. Washington Street, 7th Floor, Phoenix, Arizona, 85007. If you prefer to register in person, you can do so during regular business hours at the main office in Phoenix at Customer Service Center, State Capitol Executive Tower, 1st Floor, Room 103 or at the Tucson satellite office at Arizona State Complex Building, 400 West Congress, 2nd Floor, Room 252.
Expect your trade name registration to take between two and three weeks. You can speed up the process by paying an extra fee with your registration. You can an get an expedited response within 24 to 48 hours of receipt of your application when you submit the extra fee with your application, according to the Arizona Secretary of State.