How to Create an LLC in Alabama | AL LLC Guide

You probably are here for an easy-to-follow Alabama DIY guide. Well, you don’t need to look any further to create an LLC in Alabama. Just follow these 5 simple and there you go. 

This how-to guide will walk you through every single step of establishing an LLC in any US state along with filing and compliance costs.

Before You Go!
If you are not from Alabama, find your state here. The majority of entrepreneurs think they are better off without indulging themselves in paperwork and legal formalities. They simply hire an LLC service and let them take care of the rest.

If you feel the same, our experts have reviewed and shortlisted the best options for you. Our editors recommend ZenBusiness in most the cases due to its outstanding feedback and a range of services that fulfil the personalized needs of its customers.

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5 Easy steps to form a Limited Liability Company in Alabama

If you seek to limit lawsuits and personal liability to your business, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) is the best way to do so. You can start an LLC in Alabama by following these 5 steps

  1. Decide on a suitable name for your LLC
  2. Choose a registered agent for document correspondence
  3. Submit LLC application form to Department of State
  4. Draft an Operating Agreement
  5. Get Federal Tax ID Number or EIN

1. Decide on a suitable name for your LLC

The first step towards forming an LLC in Alabama is to choose an appropriate business name for your LLC that must contain the following words in it;

  • Limited Liability Company
  • LLC
  • L.L.C

If you try to register your LLC name without the above mentioned words, they state may reject your LLC. It is because, the state may assume that your LLC is an insurance, government or banking affiliated company.

Moreover, your LLC’s name should be distinguishable and has not been taken by any other business registered with the Al Secretary of State. To make your LLC’s name unique, you should:

  • Include one or more distinctive keywords
  • Ensure that the keywords are used in passive, singular, or plural form
  • Change the order of keywords
  • Change the Arabic numerals into written form or roman numerals and vice versa

How to check Business Name Availability and Reserve a Business Name?

To check the name availability, visit the Business Entity Record section of the Alabama Secretary of State’s website. You can also reserve a suitable name by requesting the state for a fee of $25 (online) or $10 (hardcopy).

In case, you don not plan to open an LLC in coming months and still want to reserve a business name, Alabama government allows you to reserve your LLC’s name for one year.

Pro Tip: Please note that you should complete this process at least 2 weeks before filing your articles of organization with Alabama Secretary of State. ZenBusinessNorthwest Registered Agent, and LegalZoom offer business name availability search in their basic package.

2. Choose a registered agent for documents correspondence

In Alabama, by default, the Secretary of state acts as a registered agent for all the LLCs registered with the Alabama Department of State. The Department accepts the legal documents in case of lawsuits against an LLC and forwards these papers to the concerned person you labeled your registered agent.

According to section 10A-1-5.31, you are required to give the Alabama Department of State the details of your registered agent (name and corresponding address). State will forward process (complaints and summons for lawsuits) and other legal documents to your nominated registered agent.

You can be your registered agent, or appoint someone who is a resident of Alabama, or hire a registered agent service.

Pro Tip: To avoid your personal information from publicizing, consider a registered agent service such as ZenBusiness that reduces the cost of publication and keeps your information private.

3. Submit LLC application form to Alabama Secretary of the State

To register your LLC, you need to fill LLC application form or Article of Organization and submit it to the Alabama Secretary of State. This document gives your company the authorization to commence business in Alabama. The Article of Organization must include the following:

  • The LLC’s name
  • The Alabama’s county where the LLC will be located
  • The LLC must designate the Secretary of State as its agent for service of process
  • The Registered Agent’s address where the Secretary of State should forward legal documents to the LLC
  • Signature the LLC’s members
  • Name and address of the filer of the Articles

Depending on how soon you want your LLC formed, there are 3 different filing fees for the domestic LLC’s Article of Organization:

  • Standard Processing Fee: It usually takes 3-5 business days, but expect up to 14 days during peak filing times. The standard processing cost is $100.
  • Expedited Processing Fee: It is completed within 24 hours of receipt of the paperwork. The filing cost of expedited processing is $200.
  • The Minimum Probate Judge Fee$50.

You can apply online or mail your application. While writing your information on the Alabama certificate of formation, make sure you type everything. Form filled in hand writing are not accepted. Once you complete this form, print the form and make to copies.

Send all 3 copies to your county’s probate judge. Documents submitted directly to secretary of the state will not accepted. Locate your county’s probate judge here, who will serve as an intermediary and forward your documents to secretary of the state.

Pro Tip: You can get all the paperwork done and procedural aspects covered by hiring an LLC formation service online at a fraction of the cost.

4. Draft an Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement is a legal document that outlines the LLC members’ powers, rights, duties, obligations, and liabilities among themselves and to the LLC.

It ensures that LLC members are on the same page and minimizes the risks of future conflicts. Unlike article of organization, it is an internal document and you do not need to submit this to state authority. 

Alabama does not make it obligatory to adopt an LLC operating agreement. However, adopting a formal written Operating Agreement will help you deal issues with the other LLC members, banks, and customers.

If you do not adopt an operating agreement and your LLC dissolves, Alabama’s default law will decide what will happen to company’s remaining assets and debts.

Since, you have not outlined these situations in the form of an operating agreement, the defaults state laws may not be in your favor in that case.

Pro Tip: Better Legal online LLC formation service helps you draft custom Operating Agreement and bylaws to run your business smoothly and avoid unpleasant legal situations.

5. Get Federal Tax ID Number or EIN

Employer Identification Number (EIN) aka Federal Tax ID number (FTIN) or Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) is like a social security number for business. It is a nine-digit number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to help identify businesses for tax purposes.

You need an EIN;

  • If you choose to be taxed as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship
  • If you plan to hire employees
  • If your LLC has more than one member
  • To open a Business bank account

How to Apply for EIN?

To apply online click here. You can also apply by downloading the EIN form and sending it to:

Mailing Address

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999


(855) 641-6935

Pro Tip: For international EIN applicants, you do not need a Social Security Number. Moreover, you can get an EIN free of cost (IRS does not charge any fee to assign an EIN). However, if you have obtained an EIN as a sole proprietors and now wish to convert your business into an LLC, you need to get a new EIN.

What to do Next?

Many new business owners think that they have registered their LLC, and that is it. But the truth is, the real game starts after the filing process which distinguishes your company from the others. So, the most important thing you need to do after forming an LLC is to Comply with tax and regulatory requirements. Here is how you can do that;

Business License

The state of Alabama requires you to obtain a business license or permit for certain businesses. You can check about such requirements on the website of Alabama Business Express. Some businesses may also require a local business license from the municipality; for that, contact the local county clerk and the clerk of the city, town, or village of your LLC operation. 

Annual State Filing Fee

If your LLC is being operated on a partnership model or works as a disregarded entity for federal income tax purposes and having any income, gain, loss, or deductions derived from Alabama sources is required to pay an annual filing fee. This fee ranges from $25 to $4,500, depending upon the total income of your LLC. You can pay this fee to the Department of Taxation and Finance using Form IT-204-LL.

Doing Business As (DBA)

Doing Business As (DBA) is a fictitious business name or assumed name or trade name under which you run your business. It could be different from the name you used as your official LLC name in the Article of Organization.

In Alabama, you can register your assumed business name online with the Secretary of the State. You can fill the Certificate of Assumed Name with a fee of $30

Submit DBA form by hand or post it to:

Mailing Address:

State of Alabama Office of the Secretary of State,
Trademarks Division,
11 South Union St., Suite 224, P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 36130-5616

If you want to hire someone professional for DBA filing, try LegalZoom. In this services, LegalZoom offers name search, DBA filing, publication and more.

More on Alabama LLC

How to Hire Employees in Alabama?

If you plan to hire employees for your Alabama LLC, you must follow the guidelines of Alabama Department of Labor. You can stay compliant with the law by following these steps:

  • Make sure new hires are US citizens or can work in the US by having work permit
  • Report new hiring to the state
  • Provide workers’ compensation insurance if required by state regulations
  • File quarterly reports on wages and taxes
  • Withhold taxes from paycheck until withheld federal income tax has been paid out or owe any past-due amounts at time of annual return filing deadline
  • Report job refusal 

How to Form Alabama Foreign LLC?

Foreign LLC Fee: $150 (Non-refundable)

Operating as an LLC in multiple states is a great way to manage your business expansion. If you want to do business in Alabama, but are resident of a different state, then it’s time for some filing.

Entrepreneurs often form an LLC in a state other than the one they reside to have some tax benefits and reduce formation cost. Moreover, many business owners’ companies are franchises with multiple states across America. Such entrepreneurs register their newly formed business or franchise as foreign limited liability corporation (LLC).

You can register your business as a foreign LLC online or mail Foreign LLC Application at the Office of the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103.

How to Get Alabama Certificate of Good Standing?

Certificate of Compliance Fee: $10 (Non-refundable)

A Certificate of Good Standing is an important document verifying that the formation, operation, and maintained of your LLC is done in a compliant fashion. It is also called certificate of compliance and can help you avoid unnecessary problems down the line. Moreover, it helps you in:

  • Seeking funds and investments from banks or investors
  • Filing your business as a foreign LLC 
  • Acquiring or renewing relevant business licenses or permits

Apply for certificate of compliance online at Alabama Department of Revenue website.

How to Terminate an LLC in Alabama?

Termination Fee: $100

Whether you want to dissolve your LLC in Alabama or no longer wish to continue operating there, it’s important to officially dissolve it. Tax liabilities and legal troubles can arise if company has not been dissolved properly – including fines or worse jailtime. Here is what generally needs doing:

  • Have all member receive consent by submitting a notice of dissolution which
  • Signify the document of termination
  • Pass an agreement among members agreeing that their individual shares may be sold at any point after approval
  • Pay any outstanding debts collectively before termination
  • Download the Articles Of Dissolution form from the Secretary Of State website.
  • Mail this form to the Office of the Probate Judge of the county where your previously submitted the LLC’s Certificate of Formation.

Click here to download the Articles Of Dissolution form.

Alabama LLC FAQs

How to form an LLC in Al online?

By filing your Article of organization with the Alabama Department of State using this link, you can register your LLC in Al online. The above article describes all the steps to form an LLC in Al online in detail.

How much does it cost to form an LLC in Al?

The state fee of forming an LLC in Al is $200.

How long does it take to form an LLC in Alabama?

The Alabama Department of State usually takes about six to seven weeks to process your document. Hence you can have 42 days in mind to set up an LLC in Al.  

Is there an annual fee for an LLC in Alabama state?

If your LLC is disregarded for federal tax or operates on a partnership model, you need to pay an annual fee of $25 to $4,500, depending upon the total income of your LLC.

Is hiring an LLC formation service is good idea in Al?

Starting a new business is already a huge task. We suggest you to focus on establishing your business in a highly competitive market of Alabama and let the legal and procedural aspects of your LLC creation covered by professional LLC formation Services. Why to put yourself in such hassle when these companies offer you their services with 100% accuracy and guaranteed satisfaction at a rock bottom price.

Which LLC formation company is best to form an LLC in Al?

Although LegalZoom is a famous LLC formation compaAl with brand power, but its order processing is slow and add-ons make it pricier. You can consider ZenBusiness as the best alternative. It is economical with most comprehensive silver package and offers expedited or rush filing option to get your LLC registered super fast.

What are the other alteratives of LegalZoom?

Our experts have reviewed and tried hundreds of LLC creation companies available online and came up with 8 best LLC formation services. You can read the detailed review of these companies and select the company which better serves your customized needs.

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