An Arizona trade name is the name under which an Arizona company operates its business in Arizona that is different from its legal name. When the ACC approves the company’s Articles of Organization, its legal name will be <legal name of the llc>, LLC. The company does not have to register its legal name with any state agency other than the ACC. Neither the Arizona Corporation Commission nor the Arizona Secretary of State will allow another Arizona company or an out of state entity that wants to do business in Arizona to use a company name or a trade name that is the same as your company’s legal name.
Sometimes an Arizona limited liability company may operate its business or hold itself out to the public under a name that is different from its ACC approved legal name. When this happens, we commonly refer to the operational name as a “doing business as” name or a “DBA” or a “fictitious name.” If the company intends to use a DBA, it should register the trade name with the Arizona Secretary of State, the state agency that is responsible for overseeing trade names. Registration is not required by Arizona law, but it provides three important benefits:
a. The ACC will not allow another company to form in Arizona with the same trade name or allow a foreign entity to register to do business in Arizona under the same trade name,
b. The Arizona Secretary of State will not allow another person or entity to register the same trade name, and
c. Registration is notice to the world that the company is the owner of the trade name.
How to Register a Trade Name with the Arizona Secretary of State
To learn how to obtain an Arizona trade name using the Arizona Secretary of State’s simple online application system watch our demonstration video and read Chapter 5, Sections 5.15 – 5.18 of the Operations Manual.
Important Note for People Who Purchased a Gold LLC with a Trust
You will not be able to submit an application for an Arizona trade name if your LLC’s sole member is a trust unless you prepare a special letter, get it signed by a trustee of the trust and upload the signed letter to the Arizona Secretary of State during the application process. Go to Chapter 5, Sections 5.17 & 5.18 of the Operations Manual to get the text of the letter and learn what you must do.