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Starting a Business in Alabama

We’re Just Not Annoying®

How To Start a Business in Alabama

Starting a business in Alabama is easier than you think. You file simple forms with the Secretary of State, and your business is formed! Obviously there are 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 in Alabama. 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?

Certificate of Formation

You file a Certificate of Formation for an Alabama corporation or an Alabama LLC with the AL Secretary of State. Alabama is weird in that you have to include a name reservation and submit everything to the local probate judge. Then the court forwards it on to the Secretary of State for you.

Federal Tax ID Number

You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and a filed certificate from the State of Alabama showing your approved Alabama business.

Bank Account

Opening a business banking account under your new Alabama business name should be easy with these two items.

Register Your LLC or Corporation

You register your Alabama LLC or AL corp 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.

State Trade License

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.

General License

Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.

Local Trade License

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.

Get Started

If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.

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. 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 form an Alabama corporation or LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Alabama registered agent service.

Start Your Business Today

If you want a corporation, you file an Alabama Certificate of Formation:


It will cost $100 to file the Certificate of Formation with the AL Secretary of State, plus a $50 minimum probate judge fee and a $28 name reservation fee.

We custom draft your Alabama Certificate 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 corporation’s principal address (this must be a street address, and 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 corporation’s 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 technically requires original signatures on your Alabama incorporation filing. The truth is that nobody in the office rejects a filing for lack of an original ink signature. Once they file your Certificate of Formation, they will return the filing to the address on your cover sheet.



If you want an LLC, you file an Alabama Certificate of Formation:


To form an Alabama LLC, you file an Alabama Certificate of Formation. The Alabama Secretary of State Certificate of Formation filing fee is $100 plus at least $50 for the local probate judge and $28 for a name reservation. The basic requirements of Alabama LLC filings are:

  • The business name must have an LLC ending or variation of it.
  • The Alabama company name must be different than already registered Alabama companies.
  • The Alabama LLC’s 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 Certificate of Formation must be signed by a member or authorized representative.
  • The certificate is 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 cover sheet.



Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®