Yes, in an opinion provided by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, interpreting Arizona Revised Statute § 32-2101(48), a company or individual must be licensed if it engages in real estate activity for another and for compensation. Compensation is broadly construed to be any fee, commission, salary, money or other valuable consideration for services rendered or to be rendered as well as the promise of consideration whether contingent or not. A.R.S. § 32-2101(16).
There is little to misconstrue when reviewing the statute and since 1963, when Attorney General Pickrell opined that a corporate officer needed a real estate license to sell property that the corporation owned when that person’s only compensation was based on a set fee per unit. Pickrell also considered whether a corporate officer needed a real estate license to sell property that the corporation owned when that person was on a salary and his only duties involved real estate sales. In both instances, the Attorney General concluded that the exemption did not apply and that the statute required a real estate license for those individuals. More recently, former Attorney General Thomas Horne affirmed that though the statute’s language has changed, the Letter Opinion’s analysis is still relevant and provides further support for the conclusion that the exemption is narrow.
The law is clear and a company that owns the property is a different legal entity from the company that manages the property, may be in violation of Arizona. An exception to this requirement may apply if the individual or the entity is managing the individual’s or entity’s own property and does not receive special compensation or other consideration or is a licensed real estate broker. A.R.S. § 32-2121(A)(1).