FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I have to register my business with the city?

Yes, you will need to register your business with the City of Tucson. You can information about applying for a business license here, including fees and steps to take before you apply here. You also jump straight to the Business License Application or you can register your business online

How can I get funding for my business?

Whether you’re just starting out or are looking to grow, there are plenty of organizations available to help you reach your funding needs. Groups like the Community Investment Corporation, the Small Business Development Center, and the Tucson Industrial Development Authority (TIDA) offer loans and bond financing for small businesses. Growth Partners of Arizona also offers micro-loans to nonprofits and small businesses. Special districts in the City of Tucson, such as Rio Nuevo and the Global Economic Development District, offer financial incentives for businesses willing to relocate. There are also specialized groups, such as the Women’s Business Center that help women-led businesses find capital, and the Export-Import Bank of the US, which provides funding to small to medium-sized businesses. 

Where can I get mentorship or coaching?

Tucson embodies a tight-knit supportive community, with plenty of local organizations looking to lend your business a hand. The Arizona Small Business Development Center provides business plan assistance, cash flow analysis, SBA loan assistance, and more. The Fuerza Local Business Accelerator program is a six-month program teaching underserved micro-entrepreneurs how to build a business and offers each graduate the opportunity to access credit at fair market rates through several partnering financial institutions. Startup Tucson works with local entrepreneurs, offering monthly coaching, startup labs, a startup skills clinic and their annual IdeaFunding Conference and Pitch Competition. The Women’s Business Center (WBC) provides business classes, technical training and free one-on-one business counseling for women-led small businesses.

What are the food and liquor laws?

All businesses will need to apply for food and liquor licenses in both the City of Tucson and Pima County. The Arizona Department of Liquor License Application Kit will guide you through the entire process and provide you with information about fees, deadlines, and more. There are additional guidelines for those looking to operate a food truck in the City of Tucson. For special events, vendors must complete a questionnaire for the City of Tucson, complete an application for the State of Arizona, and follow the guidelines for operating cooking booths and tents.

How do I register as a corporation?

Visit eCorp to register your LLC in the State of Arizona.

RESOURCES

Here are some helpful resources related to starting a new business in the City of Tucson.

ADEQ Permitting

Information about permitting needs for different types of industries.

Building Development and Permits

Information about building codes and applications for building permits.

Certificate of Occupancy

Information about occupying newly constructed, relocated, or altered areas, including application for permanent and temporary Certificate of Occupancy permits.

Export-Import Bank of the US

Financing for small to medium-sized export businesses.