A business is any entity carrying the creation or delivery of goods and services in exchange for payment. Business entities operating in Arizona are subject to Arizona business law, a body of statutes that govern the formation, operation, and dissolution of private and public business entities in Arizona.
Arizona business law also affects formal and informal business transactions within the state jurisdiction. Generally, this includes the legal implications of the activities of a business as well as employees. Any business entity operating in Arizona can incur criminal and civil liabilities. The body of statutes that cover Arizona business law mostly include:
- Title 10 – Corporations and Associations
- Title 29 – Partnership
- Title 44 – Trade and Commerce
- Title 47 – Uniform Commercial Code (UCC)
What Areas Do Arizona Business Law Cover?
Arizona business law covers every aspect of the business from inception to dissolution. A legal business entity must comply with statutory and administrative rules and regulations depending on its class, i.e., public business or private business. Otherwise, the business and business owners may face criminal and civil sanctions. Per various chapters of the Arizona Revised Statutes, the common areas of Arizona law applicable to businesses in the state include:
- The nature of a business
- Formation of a business
- Management of a business
- Formation, execution, and discharge of contracts and agreements
- Application for licenses, where applicable
- Taxes and changes or exemptions from taxation
- Business dispute resolution
- Business ethics
- Acquisition and disposal of business resources (property & employees)
- Business public records
- Torts, claims, and civil suits
Enforcement of Arizona Business Law
The Arizona Secretary of State handles all aspects of the establishment of business, registration, and choosing a business name. The status of a business entity also determines whether it is subject to public records law. After filing financial documents with the Secretary of State during incorporation, a private business need not disclose any additional information to the public regarding business operations. However, the law requires all business entities to file financial documents and tax returns with the Department of Revenue. Asides from these, a business must accede to public requests for its records unless it acted in the capacity of a public agency or performed an activity funded in part or whole by taxpayers’ money (Arizona Public Records Act).
Civil and Criminal Liabilities for a Business in Arizona
Every business in Arizona has a fiduciary responsibility to clients, customers, and other business entities. Thus, unless otherwise specified by law, a business in Arizona is subject to civil suits for breach of contract, damage, or injury to person and property. Likewise, a business may also sue other entities for the same reasons. However, the consequences of civil suits depend on the nature of the company.
Under the Arizona Limited Liability Act, the owner of an LLC is separate from the business. Consequently, an individual may not sue an owner for the obligations of a business and vice versa. Furthermore, a business owner cannot bear debt liability for the LLC. This exemption is important during bankruptcy.
Arizona business law deals with the civil responsibilities and liabilities of a business entity and the owners. However, if a person commits a business crime, he/she will face criminal charges and prosecution, e.g., for fraud and violation of Arizona securities laws (Az. Rev. Stat. Title 44).