To understand how to get a trade name in Arizona, you must follow the instructions to apply for a name at the Arizona Secretary of State website. Effective June 2017, all applications for a trade name must be completed online.

Selecting a Trade Name

Before applying for a trade name in Arizona, it is recommended that you make sure the name you've selected follows the requirements set by the state. For a trade name to be approved in the state of Arizona, several things must be done prior to applying.

  • There are several words that the state of Arizona doesn't allow to be part of your business name. These include a bank, trust, deposit, thrift, credit union, building association, and savings association. You must have permission from the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions to use any of these words.
  • The name cannot contain special symbols. The exceptions are !, ?, !, ;, #, :, &, *, %, (), -, >, and +.
  • Use the Arizona Corporation Commission website to conduct a search of the business name to ensure trade name availability.
  • If the name you've selected is available, continue to the next step of filling out an application. If you find instances of potential conflicts between your name and one that's already registered, make adjustments to your business name to make it distinguishable from those already on record.

About Online Trade Name Applications

Applying online for a trade name eliminates the need to have the application notarized before submitting. This speeds up the application process. An applicant must be at least 18 years old to apply for a trade name. An applicant is not required to have the registration published in the state of Arizona. When filling out the online application, you must provide the following information:

  • The trade name you are requesting.
  • The date the trade name was first used for your business in Arizona.
  • The type of business organization you will be operating such as a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, etc.
  • A description outlining the nature of your business.
  • Your name, contact information, and signature.

Once the online trade name application is submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State, it will be placed in the queue for review. This can take from two to three weeks. If for any reason the trade name application is rejected, you will be notified by the state with an explanation for the rejection.

For applications that are approved, an email is sent with a request for a payment of $10 to cover the filing fee. Once the payment is processed, a certificate is issued with the trade name and mailed to you. You must renew your trade name every five years. This is due by the date of registration. Both registration and renewal have a state fee of $10 for standard service (2-3 weeks) and $25 for expedited service (1-2 days).

Currently, the renewal process can be filed by mail or in person. The option to renew online will be implemented in the future. Until the online process is put into action, renewals must be notarized.

The PDF file on the Arizona Secretary of State has additional information on trade names and trademarks.

About Trade Names

To avoid the risk of putting your personal assets in jeopardy with a sole proprietorship, you can register for a trade name. Doing so allows you to create a fictitious business name that isn't linked to your personal identity.

Businesses that plan to use a name that isn't their legal business name may need to register with the state. When choosing to register an assumed name, the process can take place at the local level, the state level, or the local and state levels. In Arizona, a limited liability company, corporation, or another type of business entity is not required to file a trade name registration prior to forming the business.

You also won't need to register with the Secretary of State and the Corporation Commission, as the names are cross-indexed so information is accessible by both divisions. Registering a trade name does not entitle the holder to exclusive rights to the name.

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