LLC vs. S Corp in Arizona 2024: A Comprehensive Comparison

LLCBase is your go-to place for everything about LLCs, and it's led by Brian Cohan, who's an expert in the field. Brian and our team are here to give you clear and helpful advice on how to set up and manage an LLC. We've been through the process and know the ins and outs. Our articles and guides are based on real experiences, making them practical for you. We're committed to helping you make smart choices for your business. With LLCBase, you're in good hands as you navigate the world of LLCs.

LLC vs. S Corp in Arizona: Understanding the Differences

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey in Arizona, also known as The Grand Canyon State, is an exciting and transformative experience. Arizona LLC and S Corporation are two popular options that often top the list of considerations for entrepreneurs. This article serves as your comprehensive guide, comparing LLC vs. S Corp in Arizona and ultimately assisting you in determining the best fit for you.

Dive into business formation with confidence and clarity as LLCBase expert analysis simplifies the complexities of LLCs and S Corps, shedding light on their unique advantages and drawbacks. So, let’s explore the fascinating world of LLCs and S Corps and set your business on the path to success in Arizona.

What are an LLC and an S-Corp

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular legal business structure that offers a combination of benefits from both corporations and partnerships. It is specifically designed to provide personal asset protection to its owners, known as members. This protection ensures that the owner’s personal assets are separate from the business liabilities, such as debts and lawsuits.

In Arizona, forming an LLC involves several steps, including paying an initial filing fee. Additionally, LLCs in Arizona are required to pay an annual fee of $0 to maintain their legal status and stay compliant with the state regulations.

An LLC in Arizona offers an attractive option for entrepreneurs seeking a flexible business structure with added liability protection and favorable tax treatment.

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On the other hand, an S-Corporation, or S-Corp, is not a separate legal business entity like an LLC. Rather, it is a tax classification that existing corporations and LLCs can elect. A business can bypass double taxation by opting for this tax status, as the profits and losses are directly passed through to the owner’s personal tax return. Starting an S Corp in Arizona  allows business owners to report and pay taxes on their business income as part of their individual income tax filings, eliminating the need for separate corporate taxes.

In Arizona, it is crucial for business owners considering this tax classification to fully understand the implications and requirements of being an S-Corp in Arizona. This includes adhering to specific rules and regulations related to ownership, shareholder limits, and tax filing deadlines. If you want to start an S-Corp, LegalZoom will help you every step of the way!

LLCs and S-Corporations Comparison

Let’s explore the comparison between LLCs and S-Corporations to help you make an informed decision.

1. Taxation Differences in Arizona

One of the main differences between LLCs and S-Corporations in Arizona lies in how they are taxed. LLCs are typically subject to pass-through taxation, meaning the business profits and losses are reported on the owner’s personal tax return. In contrast, S-Corporations must adhere to specific tax requirements, including distributing salaries to shareholders and adhering to the state’s income tax rate.

  • Federal Taxes: When choosing between an LLC or S-Corporation in Arizona, it’s essential to consider several federal tax factors. These factors include differences in Pass-Through Taxes and Self-Employment Taxes.
  • Pass-Through Taxes: Both LLCs and S-Corporations in Arizona benefit from pass-through taxation at the federal level. Due to pass-through taxation, these entities do not pay federal income taxes as separate legal entities. Instead, their owners are required to pay federal income taxes on their share of the business income. This type of taxation prevents the company from being taxed twice. In contrast, C-Corporations in Arizona are subject to double taxation, meaning they must pay federal taxes at the entity level and their owners’ taxes.
  • Self-Employment Taxes: Many LLC owners in Arizona opt for S-Corporation taxation to reduce their self-employment taxes. An S-Corporation owner is not considered self-employed; they can become an employee of the company and receive regular salary benefits. Conversely, an LLC member must include their guaranteed payments and a portion of the LLC’s earnings when calculating their self-employment tax. Share distributions determine the corporate income of S-Corporation shareholders. For example, suppose you are the sole owner of an LLC in Arizona with an annual profit of $150,000 and a fair wage for someone in your location doing the same job as you is $100,000. Under the default LLC taxation, you must pay self-employment taxes on the $150,000 profit. However, if your company is taxed as an S-Corp in Arizona, you would be responsible for paying payroll taxes only on the $100,000 standard wage. Income tax would still apply to the remaining $50,000.
  • Arizona State Taxes: No major tax differences exist between regular LLCs and S-Corporation LLCs at the state level. For filing an annual report in Arizona, it costs $0, which can be paid to the AZ Corporation Division. Additionally, before forming the LLC, you must pay $50.

On the other hand, if you form an S-Corporation in Arizona, you will also need to pay taxes. This includes the S-Corp filing fee and an annual report fee after establishing your S-Corp for one year. You must also go to the AZ Corporation Division to make these payments.

2. Liability Protection

LLCs and S-Corporations in Arizona provide liability protection for their owners. This means that the owner’s personal assets are protected from business debts and lawsuits. However, S-Corporation status does not offer the same level of protection as an LLC, as it is primarily a tax designation.

The following factors exclude certain individuals and entities from becoming shareholders in an S-Corporation in Arizona:

  • Insurance businesses
  • Domestic international sales corporations
  • Partnerships
  • Corporations
  • Unauthorized immigrants
  • Specific financial institutions

While understanding the ownership requirements of LLCs and S-Corporations in Arizona is essential, seeking legal counsel when establishing your business is still advisable. For assistance with your Arizona LLC or Arizona S-Corp, consider consulting with professionals.

3. Ownership Requirements and Restrictions

LLCs and S-Corporations in Arizona have specific ownership requirements and restrictions. For instance, an LLC can have unlimited members, while an S-Corporation is limited to 100 shareholders. Additionally, S-Corporations can only have one class of stock and must follow strict rules regarding shareholder eligibility.

Easier to File in Arizona: LLCs or S-Corporations

While filing an LLC or S-Corporation in Arizona requires time and preparation, proper planning can make the process manageable. Both LLCs and S-Corporations can be filed through the Arizona Statutory Agent.

To start an LLC in Arizona, you must submit the Articles of Organization to the Arizona Secretary of State. This document should contain all the necessary information for your LLC, along with the payment of the associated filing fee.

On the other hand, if you want to elect S-Corporation status for your Arizona LLC, you will need to submit additional paperwork. First, file Form 8832 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to indicate your preference to tax your LLC as a corporation rather than a partnership. Next, submit Form 2553 to choose S-Corporation status.

Remember, maintaining legal compliance is crucial for your LLC. This means submitting annual tax returns and reports after establishing your business entity.

With that, we’ve carefully curated a list of the best LLC services in Arizona to support and guide you through filing an LLC and S-Corp. Check them out!

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Filing Process for LLCs vs. S-Corporations in Arizona

Forming an LLC in Arizona involves several crucial steps. To start, you must file Articles of Organization with the Arizona Department of Revenue and pay the associated filing fee of $50. Once your LLC is established, you must comply with annual reporting and tax requirements.

On the other hand, if you want to elect an S-Corporation status for your existing LLC or corporation, the process is slightly different. Firstly, you must file Form 8832 with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to classify your LLC as a corporation for tax purposes. Then, you must submit Form 2553 to the IRS to choose S-Corporation status. In Arizona, the S-Corporation filing fee is $60 for filing in-person and by mail.

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The LLC formation and S-Corporation election processes can be completed through two ways, in-person and by mail. Online incorporation is available at There’s no online filing available., while offline incorporation can be done at Send the form by mail or drop it in person to Arizona Corporation Commission, Corporate Filings Section, 1300 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007. It is essential to stay up-to-date with any ongoing reporting and tax requirements for your chosen business structure.

The filing process for LLCs and S-Corporations in Arizona varies slightly, with each requiring specific forms and fees. It’s essential to consider the unique requirements of each business structure before making a decision. Consulting with a legal or financial advisor can provide valuable guidance on which structure best suits your business in Arizona.

FAQs

What is an LLC?
An LLC is a type of business entity that provides limited liability for its members.
What is an S Corp?
An S Corp is a type of corporation that passes its income, losses, deductions, and credits through to shareholders.
Which type of business entity is more popular in Arizona?
LLCs are more popular in Arizona because they are more flexible and easier to manage than S Corps.
Can an LLC convert to an S Corp in Arizona?
Yes, an LLC can convert to an S Corp in Arizona by filing Form 2553 with the IRS.
What are the tax implications of forming an LLC or S Corp in Arizona?
The tax implications will depend on the specific circumstances of the business and its owners. It is best to consult with a tax professional.
Are there any annual requirements for LLCs and S Corps in Arizona?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps are required to file an annual report with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
How is the income of an LLC taxed in Arizona?
The income of an LLC is typically taxed as personal income to the members.
How is the income of an S Corp taxed in Arizona?
The income of an S Corp is passed through to shareholders and taxed as personal income.
Can an LLC or S Corp get a business license in Arizona?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps can get a business license in Arizona.
Are there any limitations on the number of members an LLC can have in Arizona?
No, there are no limitations on the number of members an LLC can have in Arizona.
Are there any limitations on the number of shareholders an S Corp can have in Arizona?
Yes, an S Corp can have no more than 100 shareholders in Arizona.
Can an LLC have a single member in Arizona?
Yes, an LLC can have a single member in Arizona.
Are there any double taxation issues with(LLC or S Corp) in Arizona?
There are no double taxation issues with either LLCs or S Corps in Arizona.
Can an S Corp in Arizona have foreign shareholders?
Yes, an S Corp in Arizona can have foreign shareholders.
Can a non-resident of Arizona form an LLC or S Corp in the state?
Yes, both non-residents and residents can form LLCs and S Corps in Arizona.
Are LLCs or S Corps subject to state income tax in Arizona?
Yes, LLCs and S Corps are subject to Arizona state income tax.
Can an LLC or S Corp own property in Arizona?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps can own property in Arizona.
Can an LLC or S Corp in Arizona be owned by another business entity?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps can be owned by other business entities in Arizona.
What is the filing fee for an LLC or S Corp in Arizona?
The fee for filing an LLC or S Corp in Arizona is $50.
Are there any residency requirements for forming an LLC or S Corp in Arizona?
No, there are no residency requirements for forming an LLC or S Corp in Arizona.
Can an Arizona LLC or S Corp do business in other states?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps can do business in other states, but they may need to register as a foreign entity.
What is the liability protection for LLCs in Arizona?
LLCs in Arizona provide their members with limited liability protection.
What is the liability protection for S Corps in Arizona?
S Corps in Arizona provide their shareholders with limited liability protection.
Can an LLC or S Corp operate under a different name in Arizona?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps can operate under a different name in Arizona, but they must register the alternate name with the Arizona Secretary of State.
Are there any residency requirements for directors or officers of an S Corp in Arizona?
No, there are no residency requirements for directors or officers of an S Corp in Arizona.
Can an LLC or S Corp in Arizona have non-voting members or shareholders?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps can have non-voting members or shareholders in Arizona.
Can an LLC or S Corp in Arizona have different classes of membership or stock?
Yes, both LLCs and S Corps can have different classes of membership or stock in Arizona.
What is the involved procedure for converting a closely-held C corporation into an LLC or an S corporation in Arizona?
The procedure for converting a closely-held C corporation into an LLC or an S corporation in Arizona will depend on the specific circumstances of the corporation and its owners. It is best to consult with an attorney or tax professional.
What are the advantages of using an LLC over an S Corp in Arizona?
The advantages of using an LLC over an S Corp in Arizona include greater flexibility in management, less administrative burden, and fewer restrictions on ownership and participation.
What are the advantages of using an S Corp over an LLC in Arizona?
The advantages of using an S Corp over an LLC in Arizona include greater tax savings for some businesses and greater ease of offering employee benefits.

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Conclusion

Navigating the world of business structures and filings may seem daunting, but with the right information and guidance, you can confidently make the best decision for your unique entrepreneurial journey. Remember, the path to success is paved with well-informed choices and a clear understanding of your business goals. So, take the time to research, consult with professionals, and weigh the pros and cons of LLCs and S-Corporations in Arizona.

As you embark on this exciting adventure, remember that a strong foundation built on sound legal and financial principles will be the backbone of your thriving enterprise. Embrace the challenge, stay curious, and always remember your passion and vision. Visit LLCBase today to access valuable resources, expert guidance, and personalized support tailored to your needs. Don’t wait any longer – let us help you realize your entrepreneurial dreams. 

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