Business & Commercial Law
Arizona Small Business Law
As a small business owner in Arizona, the pressure of running your business legally will be mostly, if not entirely on your shoulders. You’ll be expected to pay the required taxes, register for the proper licenses and adhere to local and state safety codes.
For business owners in Phoenix, Mesa or Tucson, it’s important to understand state and federal laws and know how to proceed when a legal issue develops. LawInfo has the Arizona small business law information you need from starting a new business to registering for business taxes.
First Steps to Starting a Small Business in Arizona
The way you start your small business depends on your specific tax, legal and business needs. There is no one way to start a small business in Arizona, though the state government provides some guidance for the specific first steps you should take. In general, though, the major first steps to starting a small business include:
- Make a business plan.
- Choose a legal structure for your business.
- Choose and register your business name.
- Find a location that suits your business’s needs and get information on the required safety and zoning codes.
- Seek financing if you’re unable to self-finance your business.
- Register for federal, state and local taxes, licenses and permits.
- Register your new and original business products, services or inventions as intellectual property using trademarks, servicemarks, copyrights or patents.
Common Employment Law Issues in Arizona
As a small business owner, you’ll likely have more liability than owners of larger businesses in employment law issues. Your business could suffer a major setback should it be sued for an employment law violation.
A few of the common employment law issues Arizona business owners should be aware of include:
- Violating employee leave protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act, such as denying a parent time off to care for their sick children.
- Retaliating against employees who report an employer’s unfair or illegal activities.
- Discriminating against potential or current employees in hiring, promotion or termination.
- Denying compensation for work-related injuries.
- Withholding overtime pay for time worked over the 40-hour work week.
Arizona Buyout Agreements
There may come a time when a shareholder of a corporation or a member of a limited liability company (LLC) must leave the business. This can happen when the co-owner dies, becomes incapable of performing their duties due to old age or illness, or by some other reason. When a co-owner leaves the business, it can create a complex and stressful legal issue that can be avoided with a buyout (or “buy-sell”) agreement.
A buyout agreement is used to ensure that the business’s interests are protected by having the departing coowner’s shares in the company sold back to the other co-owners. This also helps to protect the business from the departing coowner’s bankruptcy, which would otherwise threaten to liquidate business assets to pay off the coowner’s debts.
Arizona law doesn’t require businesses to have a buyout agreement, but it’s a best practice if your business has more than one owner, especially if the other owners are family.