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Overview of the Arizona Court System

The variety of legal issues faced by Arizona residents on a regular basis may seem overwhelming at first, but knowing a bit about the state's courts and legal paperwork may help them know how to proceed. The state court system can be broken down into three different types of courts: limited jurisdiction courts, general jurisdiction courts and appellate courts.

Limited jurisdiction courts handle basic nonrecord cases such as municipal affairs, petty offenses, traffic violations and orders of protection. They also include Justice of the Peace courts, which have the authority to handle cases involving breaches of peace, less serious assault and battery charges, minor landlord/tenant disputes and domestic violence. They may also be used for the purpose of preliminary hearings in felony cases.

General jurisdiction courts fall under the auspices of the Superior Court of Arizona, which hears a wide variety of cases. All original cases that don't fall under the limited jurisdiction courts are heard in the general jurisdiction courts, including civil and criminal trials, tax issues, juvenile issues, family issues, probate, arbitration and all other matters not exclusively handled by other federal or state courts.

Appellate courts review trials conducted by the general jurisdiction courts. There are two main appellate courts: the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Most decisions are appealed to the Court of Appeals, but some issues such as those involving elected officials, county disputes or death penalty appeals go straight to the Supreme Court. Decisions made by the Court of Appeals may also be appealed to the Supreme Court.

Arizona Attorneys and Lawyers

When faced with a legal issue, contacting an experienced attorney is always the best bet. At LawInfo you can search for a skilled, Lead Counsel Rated Arizona attorney by location and by practice area. We have Alabama attorneys who dedicate their practice to specific areas of the law, so you will not only find an attorney, but an attorney who is knowledgeable to help you with your particular legal issue.

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Starting an Arizona Business

Starting a business in Arizona can mean the beginning of a new chapter in your life. There are many state resources available to help you through the process. The state website has lists of licenses, tax incentive programs, grants and other useful information that you need to know.

The first step to starting a business in Arizona is to decide on a name. You can check with the Arizona Corporation Commission to see if that name has been taken by an existing business. If others are using a registered business name, there may be legal consequences for using it. The second step is to choose the right business structure. You may operate a corporation, a non-profit corporation or a limited liability corporation. Different structures are ideal for different fields, expected revenue levels and tax purposes. The third step is to file with the state and city or county authorities for business licensing and taxes. You will need to file with the Arizona Corporations Commission and Department of Revenue as well as the local authority under which your business operates.

Arizona Business Statistics

With nearly 100,000 small businesses employing more than 900,000 workers, Arizona's small business climate is healthy and robust. The state is also home to nearly 3,000 large businesses, including six major Fortune 500 companies. Some notable businesses headquartered in Arizona include Avnet (AVT), US Airways (LCC) and PetSmart ( PETM).

Arizona is also a leader in self-employment status, with 79.5 percent of its business owners being self-employed. In particular, female self-employment in the state has fared very well and weathered difficult economic times.