Starting a corporation in Arizona requires that you file the appropriate documents with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). Your corporation comes into existence on the date the ACC accepts your documents, not on the date you submitted the documents. The time it takes between when you submit your documents and when your documents are accepted will vary, depending on the number of documents pending review in the ACC and whether you requested expedited filing.
Articles of Incorporation
The primary document that must be filed to create an Arizona corporation is called "Articles of Incorporation." Section 10-203 of the Arizona Revised Statutes sets forth the minimum information required to file Articles of Incorporation. This includes the corporation's name, address and a brief description of the business; total number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue; name and address of the statutory agent who can accept legal papers for the corporation; and name and business address of each of the corporation's directors and incorporators. The ACC provides an optional form for the Articles of Incorporation that you can download from its website. You can also use the forms and services of an online legal services company.
Certificate of Disclosure
You must also file a document called "Certificate of Disclosure" along with your Articles of Incorporation. The ACC provides a certificate form that is mandatory to use and can be downloaded from the ACC's website. The certificate must indicate whether or not any officer, director, trustee, or incorporator who owns or controls 10 percent or more of the corporation has been convicted of fraud or securities-related felonies or had a judgment against him. The certificate must also disclose whether any officer, director, trustee, or incorporator is currently involved in the management of another corporation or owns 20 percent or more of another corporation that is subject to bankruptcy or receivership.
Submitting Documents to the ACC
All documents filed with the ACC must be accompanied with an ACC cover sheet. This cover sheet is available for download from the ACC website. In addition to indicating the type of document you are filing, you must also specify on the cover sheet how you want your documents handled -- if you want expedited filing or regular filing. Regular filing means the ACC reviews your document in approximately 30 business days or less. In contrast, by paying an extra fee and requesting expedited filing, the ACC will review your document in approximately five business days or less. The ACC posts current processing times on its website every Monday. You can also submit copies of your documents to be stamped by the ACC, indicting the originals were filed. You must indicate on the cover sheet how you want the copies returned to you -- by mail or fax, or if you wish to pick them up in person.
After the ACC has accepted your documents for filing, Arizona law requires you to publish a copy of the Articles of Incorporation. This publication must occur within 60 days of the date the ACC accepted the documents for filing. The ACC provides a list of newspapers published in each county qualified to handle the publishing of the Articles of Incorporation. After publication, you will receive an Affidavit of Publication from the newspaper. You may (but are not required to) file the affidavit with the ACC. If you do not file the affidavit with the ACC, you should keep the affidavit with your corporation’s permanent records.