In Alabama, you file a form called the Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State to incorporate a corporation.

Incorporating in Alabama is a unique process, as no other state has a similar filing procedure. Alabama requires filers to send their completed Certificate of Formation to the probate judge in the county where they’ll be incorporating. Once the judge approves the paperwork, he or she will pass the paperwork onto the Secretary of State. The Alabama Secretary of State will then send the filer a confirmation that their corporation has been formed.

What you need to start an Alabama corporation:

  • Certificate of Formation
  • $100 filing fee (an additional $100 if you want the filing expedited)
  • $50 probate judge fee; in Alabama filings are sent to the probate judge
  • $28 name reservation fee
  • Corporate bylaws (you should know how your corporation will be structured before filing)

Things to know before incorporating in Alabama:

  • How long will Alabama take to form my corporation?
    It will take the state of Alabama 6 months to process your corp’s Certificate of Formation if you mail the form. This is because you sent your corporate forms to the county where your Alabama registered office is located. Most counties take 7-10 days to process the incorporation. Our county only takes one day. Then the county forwards your incorporation to the Secretary of State who takes several weeks to process the incorporation.
    We really suggest that you pay the $100 expedite fee to get your incorporation processed by the Secretary of State in 10-14 days.
    If you need a federal tax ID number, that can be obtained online immediately with the IRS.
  • How much does it cost to form an Alabama corporation?
    The total fee is $178 to form a corporation in Alabama ($28 name reservation, $50 probate judge fee, $100 filing fee). Add an additional $100 if you choose to expedite the filing.
  • Ongoing fees?
    The Secretary of State requires an annual report when an corporation files its franchise tax return. (The Alabama business privilege tax return). C corps file Form CPT. The annual report will cost $10 every March 15th, and the BPT at least $100. Alabama corporations must file an initial return within 2.5 months of their incorporation date. From that point on, the annual report is due every March 15th. Initial returns use Form BPT-IN. They cost a minimum of $100 but could be more.