The Alabama Secretary of State allows for the incorporation of the following types of entities within the state: Corporations (Profit | Non-Profit), Limited Liability Companies (LLC), and Partnerships (LP, LLP, & LLLP). Entities that will be located in the state are referred to as ‘Domestic’ and those that have been formed elsewhere and are looking for the authority to operate within the state of Alabama are noted as such through the ‘Foreign’ description. All applications for entity formation may be filed with the county probate office or with the Secretary of State along with the required filing fees.
Start an Entity
Search For a Name
Before making your filing for any type of entity you must make sure that the name you are intending to use is not the same or close to another business registered with the Secretary of State. Therefore you must make a Search of the Business Database to ensure that the name you desire is not listed. After performing the query and not seeing any like matches you will be able to file for a Name Reservation and begin the incorporation/formation process.
A Name Reservation is required to incorporate the majority of the available entity types in Alabama. There is a $28 filing fee associated with the reservation and it can be completed Online or through the PDF application. If you have not selected a name or would like to see if the name you have has been by another entity, use the Business Directory. This process should be one of your first steps when registering an entity in the state of Alabama.
How to Register in Alabama
Step 1- The first step that we recommend is to perform a preliminary search to see if the proposed operating name is available for use in Alabama. Use the Business Database Search to verify if the name has been registered. The applicant also has the option to reserve the business name for one (1) full year before filing. This process may be completed using the Online Filing System or through the Hard Copy Application and sent in the mail.
Step 2- The applicant should now download the application associated with their business and submit the requisite filing information. Select the link below that corresponds with your business type to learn more about the exact filing requirements.
- Domestic Profit Corporation
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation
- Foreign Profit Corporation
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Limited Partnership
Step 3- After completing the application forms in their entirety, the applicant will be required attach the filing fee (fees listed below). Accepted forms of payment include check or money order made payable to the Secretary of State. Payment by credit card is also possible by completing the last page of the PDF application, though this payment method is not applicable to all entity types.
- Domestic Profit Corporation- $100
- Domestic Non-Profit Corporation- $100
- Foreign Profit Corporation- $150
- Foreign Non-Profit Corporation- $150
Limited Liability Company
- Domestic Limited Liability Company- $100
- Foreign Limited Liability Company- $150
- Domestic Limited Partnership- $100
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership- $100
- Domestic Limited Liability Limited Partnership- $100
- Foreign Limited Partnership- $150
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership- $150
- Foreign Limited Liability Limited Partnership- $150
Step 4- For domestic entities the document should be sent to the Office of the Judge of Probate in the county where the corporation’s registered office is/will be located. Foreign entities must send the document to the Secretary of State’s office (address below). The filing process should take approximately 10 to 15 business days.
Secretary of State
Business Services – P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, AL, 36103
Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing, also known as a certificate of compliance, can be obtained online with the Department of Revenue by using their Online Filing Service. This type of certification serves as an indication that your entity does not have any delinquent accounts and does not have any outstanding debts that are interfering with their relationship with the Secretary of State. Filing for a Certificate of Good Standing requires the payment of a filing fee of $10. This filing fee must be paid at the time of submission of the application or your application will not be processed. It is recommended that all entities that are operating within the state of Alabama obtain a Certificate of Good Standing on a yearly basis.
To establish arrangements with all the members of the company over the day-to-day business practices, ownership interest, and any other details that are to be agreed upon, the individuals should write a contract depending on the type of entity. The agreement is not filed with the Secretary of State and is to be kept by all active participants. The available agreements to be adopted in the state of Alabama are as follows:
Employer Identification Number
This is a number provided by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), also known as an “EIN”, that allows an entity to open bank accounts, establish lines of credit, and participate in all types of financial activity. An entity is not allowed to open a bank account without one. Also, all taxes shall be paid through this number and it may be obtained from the IRS Website or through the PDF application known as Form SS-4.