Arizona Statutory Agent – Documentation and Process

There are many businesses in Arizona that prefer to act as their own statutory agent. However, the majority of these businesses need some type of help once they have been established.

The best Arizona statutory agent service can be just what a business needs to stay organized and on track with keeping records straight.

What is a statutory agent?

A statutory agent is someone who has the power to sign documents on a business’s behalf. A traditional agency may require an individual to be present at all times, which can be particularly difficult for businesses that work with agents in other states or countries.

Additionally, most state agencies require their agents to post a cash bond and define limits of liability for damages due to the agent’s negligence.

In Arizona, a statutory agent does not have to post a bond or be responsible for damages done by his/her actions. However, agents must still abide by the Business and Commerce Code Title 28 §423(A)-(B).

A statutory agent in Arizona may also act as the registered owner of their company, which allows them to open bank accounts and sign contracts on their company’s behalf. This eliminates the need for owners of a business to be physically present.

When is a Statutory Agent Needed in Arizona?

Arizona Statutory Agent Services are needed when:

  • A business prefers to work via a corporation (this means there is not an individual owner).
  • An outside company wants to hire someone or pay them as an agent but does not want to deal with AZ. CLS Corporation requirements.
  • Someone needs to sign documents for trust and does not want to be responsible for the trust.

As you can see, statutory agent services in AZ are needed to simplify business transactions and keep everything running smoothly; especially if a company wants to hire another individual as an agent in AZ or needs one themselves.

A statutory agent is sometimes preferred by banks who wish to have only one person authorized to conduct company business in the event an owner is not present. The agent can receive checks, make deposits and sign documents for a business without requiring someone’s physical presence.

What are the duties of a statutory agent?

Arizona Statutory Agent Services are required by the Arizona Business and Commerce Code Title 28 §423(A)-(B). These include:

  1. To be authorized in writing by the business owner or both owners.
  2. An agent may act on behalf of one or more business associates. This allows an individual to have multiple agents who can work together.
  3. A statutory agent(s) must be at least 18 years old. If they are a corporation or limited liability company, the statutory agent(s) must be an adult.
  4. An Arizona statute agent has the power to sign and receive complete contracts on behalf of the business, as long as they are countersigned by another specified party.
  5. An Arizona business’ statutory agent has the power to open a corporate account(s) and deposit checks on behalf of the company.
  6. Any money an Arizona Statutory Agent receives is considered the property of the company they represent; not themselves.
  7. A statutory agent must keep copies of all documents signed for four years, as well as records of all cash transactions.
  8. Any statutory agent in Arizona is required to be bonded, if requested by the business owner(s). However, their bond does not need to exceed $10,000 which most state businesses find sufficient.
  9. An Arizona Statutory Agent may only act on behalf of one company at a time; however they can be an agent for more than one business.
  10. If a statutory agent is a corporation or LLC, the state of Arizona still reserves the right to pursue them if found guilty of fraud; even if they are not directly involved with the actions that led to fraud charges.

What happens if you don’t have a statutory agent?

If an Arizona business chooses not to use a statutory agent, they must ensure that another party is present when entering into agreements. If this is not the case, any contracts or agreements made by the Arizona business will be considered void.

Exceptions in Arizona: 

  • A person may act as a statutory agent for their family trust and still take advantage of the statutory agent services in AZ.
  • An Arizona business may choose not to hire a statutory agent for any reason, although many banks prefer one.

Who can be a statutory agent in Arizona? 

Anyone can be the Arizona statutory agent for your business. They must be at least 18 years old and able to legally complete contracts on behalf of a business.

Arizona Statutory Agent Services should not be confused with:

  1. An individual authorized by another person to enter into agreements on their behalf (i.e., an attorney in AZ, or a power of attorney)
  2. A person named in a corporation or LLC’s Articles of Organization as an officer. This person will hold the same status, but will not be considered a statutory agent by the state of Arizona.

The most common scenario for using an Arizona Statutory Agent Services is if you need to set up your company and you are currently out of the state, or otherwise unavailable. Many businesses choose to hire a statutory agent for this very reason.

A statutory agent does not require an appointment process with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). They only need to have one business owner authorize their use as an Arizona Statutory Agent Services, and then they can begin accepting contracts on behalf of the business.

Can I be my own statutory agent in Arizona?

Yes, although it is not recommended. If you are your own statutory agent in Arizona, along with acting as a director or officer of the company, there is an increased risk that one of these persons will make errors on behalf of your business.

No matter who you choose to act as your Statutory Agent Services in Arizona; a power of attorney, a family friend, or an employee; the corporation will hold them fully responsible for any actions they take.

Can a statutory agent be changed?

Yes, in fact this is something that should be done if you are hiring a professional service. Although it can be changed by any of the parties involved; it helps to have documents available or made at the time of your initial agreement so they are easier to locate and edit.

Is a statutory agent liable for the actions of the business in Arizona?

No, Arizona Statutory Agent Services is not liable for any actions performed while conducting business. Their liability only extends to their duties as an agent.

The Business and Commerce Code Title 28 §423(C) states: “Any statutory agent acting on behalf of a business is personally responsible for all acts done by him or her in the course of his or her agency. An action may be brought against the statutory agent personally for any cause of action arising out of any act or omission in the conduct of his or her business.”

If an Arizona Statutory Agent suspects fraud is occurring, they are required to notify law enforcement and terminate their position as soon as possible. A statute agent can also refuse to conduct business if they feel fraud may occur.

Can a statutory agent sign on behalf of an LLC?

Arizona Statutory Agent Services are not required to be licensed specifically as a statutory agent. However, they can become one by filling out the Application for Arizona Business License (BCC-1) and paying $70 via either check or credit card.

A license is not needed in order to become an AZ statutory agent, but it may help if fraud is suspected.

Can an individual be a statutory agent for more than one business?

Yes, although it is not required they can sign agents’ documents as long as they do not receive any payment from the businesses or have direct involvement with them or their accounts; AZ Statutory Agent Services are permitted to conduct business with multiple companies simultaneously.  If they do, they must complete a separate application for each business (BCC-2) and pay another $70.

A person can also be an agent for multiple LLCs. However, this is not specifically addressed in the Arizona Business Code Title 28 §424(H); therefore it must be done with caution.

A statutory agent may create records for an LLC but must not create any bank accounts or sign on behalf of an LLC.  If an agent is involved with a business bank account, they can be held personally responsible if it were to fall into disrepute.

How much does a statutory agent cost?

Regardless of the agent’s experience or ability, Arizona Statutory Agent Services are compensated by the business on a commission basis. This means that they do not charge an hourly wage or base salary; instead, they will receive a percentage of the profits made by their actions.

If an agent is working with your company for multiple years, or you have had several contacts with them in both your business and personal life, it may be possible to pay an agent a set filing fee for their services each year. This is something that can be arranged after the initial contract terms have been fulfilled; however, they will still receive a commission based on the number of sales they make.

A statutory agent has no power over their business unless they are a member of an Arizona LLC, have been hired as a manager or the company has given them specific power to act on their behalf.

Is there a limit on how much a statutory agent in Arizona can charge?

No, however, Statutory Agent Services are allowed to charge a fee of ten percent (10%) on the first $5,000 in business and five percent (5%) over that amount.

 As long as they have written notice from the company or owner(s) that allow this fee, it is valid. However, if an agent charges a different than what’s stated above, the company can file a complaint against them and have it removed.

  1. In the state of Arizona, statutory agents may charge interest on payments they are owed but not collected within sixty (60) days after services were rendered.  However, it cannot exceed eight percent (8%) annually.  In other words, $10,000 repaid on a $40,000 account in one year would only incur an interest rate of $480 ($60k X .08%).  
  2. If they collect more than what has been agreed upon, it is considered a loan and does not fall under the agency provisions of Title 28 §423.

If a company’s statutory agent goes out of business or terminates their agency, does it impact any existing contracts? No, a company or principal is not required to immediately find another agent to sign on behalf of the business.

Does a sole proprietor need a statutory agent?

No, a sole proprietor does not need statutory agent services. A business owner can sign all documents on behalf of the company themselves, although it is recommended they employ an outside entity to provide bookkeeping or payroll services.

Why Businesses Use an Arizona Statutory Agent Service?

Arizona statutory agent services are used for a number of reasons. The most common and arguably the most important reasons are:

Avoid Debt Collection on Their Business.

A company should never operate without a business license or EIN (employer identification number) because if they do, their ability to receive credit is terminated and creditors can begin collections procedures.

Enforce Financial Privacy for Owners / Shareholders.

A company cannot protect the private information of owners or shareholders if they do not report their identity to the state, Federal government, and other businesses; this can lead to identity theft. When signing an agency agreement, a business is only required to identify the statutory agent information: name and office address. This is for the security of personal information.

Reduce Errors or Fraud.

An Arizona business registered without a statutory agent service faces a greater risk of errors and fraud since it is impossible for the business owner to be present at all times, preventing possible inconsistencies and inaccuracies in document preparation or record keeping.

Separate Personal from Business Accounts.

Owners of a business should never use their own personal bank account for company transactions.  This can lead to audits, lawsuits, and other legal issues.

Avoid Costly Bank Charges.

A business must ensure it has an active bank account before opening any new accounts or they will be charged by the bank on the account’s unused balance until it is closed.  

Increase Productivity.

Business owners can focus on their business rather than deal with administrative tasks that prevent them from working at full capacity.

 Statutory agents are a great resource for a small business or multi-state business because they can operate without needing to hire a full-time in-house employee or spend money on additional office space.

Save Money.

A business is required by law to notify the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Arizona Department of Revenue of a change in ownership or control.  If they do not, it can lead to direct federal fines assessed against them each year as well as possible audits if an error is found in their financial documents.  A resident agent provides a cost-effective alternative to hiring an in-house employee.

Businesses can be Formed Quickly.

A company does not need to wait for accounts to be set up before being able to conduct business because an Arizona statutory agent service can open bank and utility accounts on behalf of the company; this saves valuable time.

Time and Energy Savings.

An Arizona statutory agent service can perform tasks that the business owner does not have time for, has no interest in, or lacks the required training to do properly; this allows business owners to spend more time working on what matters most- their clients.

Qualify for Government Contracts.

A business must apply for a business license and receive an Arizona tax identification number (TIN) to qualify for government contracts; this ensures the company is operating legally.

Best Arizona Statutory Agent Service

In Oro Valley, AZ, the AICPA provides a variety of business services to help people start or run a successful small business.  They can assist with finding Arizona statutory agents that are perfect for your specific needs and will serve to maximize your profits.

Here is the list of top Arizona SAA providers.  If you are looking for a business agent in Arizona to fulfill your needs, consider using one of these top companies:

1. BRAVO Business Agent Service – http://bravo-inc.com/ – A Better Business Agent (SBA) with offices in AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, MI, NY, TX, and VA.

2. Express Business Management – http://expressbam.com/ – Located in AZ with offices nationwide.

3. American Business Consultants – http://americanbcinc.com/ – Located in NY with offices throughout the US (AZ included).

4. Business Formation Experts – http://businessformationexperts.com/ – A CorpNow and Registered Agent service with offices in AZ, NV, UT, IL, MO, TX & FL.

5. Business Agents USA – http://bausaaservices.com/ – Located in CA with offices nationwide (AZ is included).

6. Corporate Express Arizona – http://corporateexpressarizona.net/ – An Arizona Registered Agent service based in AZ with offices nationwide (AZ is included).

7. Lighthouse Business Services – http://lhbservices.com – Located not only in AZ but also in CA, GA, NY, and TX with a national presence.

Secretary of State Business Services Division

The Secretary of State has business services that a statutory agent may take advantage of when opening or maintaining their company.

The Arizona Business Search is free for all corporations with no registration fee. This will provide any individual with key documents and information about a company’s registered agent.

How Do I Elect A Statutory Agent In Arizona?

To establish a statutory agent for your business, you must file state forms with the Arizona Corporation Commission.  This form includes:

  • Your name and street address
  • The name of the person or business entity you wish to act as your statutory agent
  • Your signature
  • The signature of the statutory agent you choose

You should expect this process to take about 3 weeks to complete.  It is important to keep in mind that you can change your Arizona statutory agent at any time.

However, if there is more than one owner and they choose a different person or state entity then the process for changing agents must be completed with each of them.

Conclusion

There are many reasons to choose an Arizona statutory agent service.  They help businesses save money by providing services they otherwise would need to hire in-house employees or spend more funds on office space.

 Business owners can also expect their AZ statutory agent service to be familiar with state laws and requirements and help them conduct business legally, saving them time, money, and stress. 

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