Arizona Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses in Arizona. Information from the Secretary of State, the Arizona Department of Revenue and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

 

Business Name Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners are not required to register a statewide trade name in Arizona. If you choose to register a trade name, the name should be different from any other name already registered with the state or county. Start with a statewide business name search to avoid legal problems and customer confusion. Search online for trade names, trade name application forms and fees at the Arizona Secretary of State’s site.

Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Arizona” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.

Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris’ and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in the state of Arizona or their local county recorder’s office.

A DBA (doing business as) or “fictitious name” should be registered with the county recorder’s office where the business will be based.   Find a county recorder’s office:

Business License Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners do not need a state business license in the State of Arizona. Residential house cleaning service businesses should check with the local city or county clerk’s office for licensing requirements.

In Arizona, both an individual and a husband and wife team can operate as a sole proprietorship.

In Arizona, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. While general partners are not required to file any documents with the Secretary of State, it is advisable to file for a trade name and have a written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft.  You can apply for an EIN online.  In addition, some business registration forms will require a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Note: The Arizona Commerce Authority has a simple checklist for start up businesses. The checklist directs sole proprietors and general partners to state and county license and tax information.

Business Tax Registration

Residential housecleaning services are not taxable in Arizona. Cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue.

Sole proprietors and general partners who start residential house cleaning services do not need to register for a state transaction privilege sales tax.

Sole proprietors and general partners pay tax on business income to the state of Arizona through their personal state tax return. Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for paying estimated self-employment income taxes in Arizona (on Form 140ES) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the Arizona Department of Revenue at (602) 255-3381 from Phoenix or from area codes 520 and 928, toll-free (800) 352-4090.

Arizona general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065: as of the 2016 tax filing that occurs in 2017 and after, the Arizona Department of Revenue no longer requires business partnerships to send:

• federal Form 1065,
• federal Schedules K-1 (Form 1065)
• and all federal supporting paperwork

with their Arizona income tax return. Taxpayers are still required to provide these documents available upon request. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out when your partnership must provide those documents.

Selected Arizona City Licenses

Avondale Business License: https://www.avondaleaz.gov/government/departments/finance-budget/business-license

Buckeye Business License: https://www.buckeyeaz.gov/business/business-licenses/apply-for-a-business-license/business-license-application

Chandler Business License: https://www.chandleraz.gov/business/tax-and-license?pageid=399

Casa Grande Business License: https://casagrandeaz.gov/starting-a-business-in-casa-grande/

Flagstaff Business License:  https://www.flagstaff.az.gov/3513/Business-Licenses

Gilbert Business License: https://www.gilbertaz.gov/departments/development-services/business-registration-and-licensing

Glendale Business License: https://www.glendaleaz.com/cms/one.aspx?pageId=15331504

Goodyear Business License:  https://www.goodyearaz.gov/government/departments/finance/business-registration

Lake Havasu City Business License: https://www.lhcaz.gov/business-license

Mesa Business License: The city of Mesa does not require a business license for house cleaning services.

Peoria Business License: https://www.peoriaaz.gov/government/departments/finance/sales-tax-and-license/business-licenses#biz

Phoenix Business License: The city of Phoenix does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Scottsdale Business License: https://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/licenses

Surprise Business License: https://www.surpriseaz.gov/1491/Business-Licensing

Tempe Business License: The city of Tempe does not require a business license for residential house cleaning services.

Tucson Business License: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/finance/apply

Yuma Business License: https://www.yumaaz.gov/business/business-license

2 thoughts on “Arizona Cleaning Business Start-up Laws”

  1. Judy E Brault

    An acquaintance of mine does occasional housekeeping / lawn care for neighbors / friends while he’s in Arizona for the winter months. Is he required to carry any license / liability insurance to continue? His total income from this would be under $300 a month. Thank you for any information you can provide.

    1. Hi Judy,

      For accurate and legal information, your friend should contact his local city or county government. They would also be able to tell him whether he needs to carry liability insurance. There are links to city licensing offices in Arizona on the last part of this page.

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