Sales Tax Rates – Am I Ready to Start My Own Business?


Dear M & M:

I am always unsure if I am charging the proper sales tax rates for my business. Where can I get the latest information?


Dear Beverly:

The Arizona Department of revenue has a web site set up to search your city and county for the proper tax rates at the following link:

You can find Transaction Privilege (Sales) Tax Rate Tables for your region at the web site listed or just search “(Sales) Tax Rate – Arizona Department of Revenue”. The tax rates in the drop-down menu you will see the both the state’s transaction privilege tax rate and the county excise tax rate. They also include the accounting credit rates for applicable classifications on state tax only. The drop-down menu on the web site contains all of the city privilege tax rates and city codes for program cities. The Arizona Department of Revenue collects these taxes for the program cities. Some cities collect their own taxes. These are called Non-Program cities. Sales in these Non-Program cities must be reported directly to the applicable city. The State/County and Program City taxes must still be reported to the State. There is a link to click to find out additional contacts for Non-Program cities for basic rates, telephone numbers and links to their websites on the states’ page. In addition, links are created for TPT due dates that enable you to download a calendar. PLEASE NOTE: Rate tables are updated only as changes in tax rates occur and not necessarily every month. Additional telephone numbers to use to contact the Arizona Department of Revenue Tax Assistance for business taxes (Transaction Privilege/Sales Tax, Use Tax, Withholding, Waste Tire, etc.) is 602-255-2060. If you are calling from 520 or 928 area code please use this toll-free number; 800-843-7196. As always please consult your CPA, bookkeeper or accountant to make certain you are collecting and paying the correct tax amounts for your business.



Dear M & M:

I am wondering is there a test I can take to see if I am ready to start my own business?


Dear Joan:

Every person starting a business will have questions along the way, and as soon as one question is answered another one arises. In fact, several questions may exist at the same time.  Although not inclusive the following questions should be answered by almost anyone interested in starting a business: Why am I starting a business? What kind of business do I want? Who is my ideal customer? What products or services will my business provide? Am I prepared to spend the time and money needed to get my business started? What differentiates my business idea and the products or services I will provide from others in the market? Where will my business be located? How many employees will I need? What types of suppliers do I need? How much money do I need to get started? Will I need to get a loan? How soon will it take before my products or services are available? How long do I have until I start making a profit? Who is my competition? How will I price my product compared to my competition? How will I set up the legal structure of my business? What taxes do I need to pay? What kind of insurance do I need? How will I manage my business? How will I advertise my business?

Do I have what it takes to operate my own business? What do I do first? How should I organize my business? What permits or licenses do I need? How do I get people to buy my product/service? Why do I need a business plan? What are my alternatives for financing my business? What kind of records do I need to keep?  How much do I need to make each day to pay my expenses? Where can I go for help? These questions address a central point in assessing your “readiness” to own and operate a business. Often each of the questions leads to more questions that must be answered. Remember seek out professional help. Do not try to go it alone. Business planners, economic development people, accountants, insurance people, lawyers, bankers and other successful business people you may know can offer some exceptional tips to get you started.


To ask your questions: Call the Small Business Development Center(SBDC) at Cochise College (520)-515-5478 or email or contact the Sierra Vista Economic Development Foundation(EDF) at 520-458-6948 or email


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