How to Start a Business in Alabama
Starting a business in Alabama can and should be easier than you think. You file simple forms with the secretary of state, and your business is formed! Obviously there’s a few more things than that, but if you’d like to start your own business yourself, you will find it easy to hire us as your registered agent and you’ll find all the forms you could file to start a business in Alabama, along with great filing instructions on the quickest and cheapest ways to start your business in Alabama.
What’s the actual process to start a business in Alabama?
- You file articles of incorporation for an alabama corporation or articles of organization for an alabama LLC with the AL Secretary of state.
- You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Alabama showing your approved Alabama business.
- Opening a business banking account under your new Alabama business name should be easy with these two items.
- You register your Alabama LLC with the Alabama Department of Revenue or Alabama Department of Employment & Labor if you're going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax.
- You obtain a state trade license, if you actually need one. Most businesses don't, but if you do, these quick links and contact details for the Alabama Department of Business and Professional Regulation are in your online account.
- Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
- You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
- If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.
- If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.
If you want a corporation, you file Alabama Articles of Incorporation:
It will cost $100 to file the articles of incorporation with the AL Secretary of state, plus a $25 minimum franchise tax fee.
We custom draft your Alabama articles of incorporation when you hire Northwest to start your Alabama business. The basic requirements of Alabama corporations are:
- The Alabama Corporation must have a corporate ending such as INC, Incorporated, Corporation or a different variety.
- The Alabama corporation name must be different than already registered Alabama corporations
- The number of shares the Alabama Corporation is authorized to issue
- The corporations principal address (this must be a street address, you may use a PO Box as the mailing address)
- You only need to state a specific purpose if you are forming a professional corporation
- Naming the Alabama corporations officers and directors is optional
- The name and office address of the registered agent in Alabama
- The name, address, and signature of the incorporator(s)
Alabama’s technically requires original signatures on your Alabama incorporation filing. The truth is that nobody in the office rejects filing for lack of an original ink signature. Once they file your articles of incorporation, they will return the filing to the address on your coversheet.
If you want a LLC, you file Alabama Articles of organization:
To form an alabama LLC, you file Alabama articles of organization. The Alabama Secretary of state articles of organization filing fee is $100. The basic requirements of Alabama LLC filings are:
- The business name must have a LLC ending or variation of it
- The Alabama company name must be different than already registered Alabama companies
- The Alabama LLCs principal address (must be a physical address, but you may use a PO Box as the mailing address)
- The name and address of each manager or managing member
- The Alabama registered agent name and the physical address
- The articles of organization must be signed by a member or authorized representative
- The articles are effective when filed, unless you state a different date
Technically, Alabama requires original signatures on new AL LLC filings. In reality, they don’t reject filings for not having the original ink signature. Your filing will be returned to the mailing address on the coversheet.
Are you a do-it-yourselfer? You can save some money:
If you want to start a business in Alabama yourself, you can just hire us as your Alabama registered agent, and you'll instantly have the Alabama LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate an alabama corporation or form an alabama LLC. You'll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Alabama registered agent service.
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Northwest Registered Agent Service, Inc.
Birmingham, AL 35242