How to Start an LLC in Alabama

Last Updated on February 5, 2022

Step 1: Fill out the Certificate of Formation

You can either download the Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation form (called the Articles of Organization in many states) or file online with the Alabama Secretary of State. If you chose to fill in the PDF, note that it cannot be handwritten and must be typed out.

Step 2: Enter the Name of the LLC

Here you will enter the legal business name of the LLC. Each LLC in Alabama must have a unique LLC name that isn’t already registered. Before filing, the LLC’s trade name has to be reserved by the Secretary of State. If you haven’t checked to see if the name you want is available, see how to do a Alabama LLC business name search. The name can be reserved by filling out the Alabama LLC Name Reservation Request Form for $10 with standard processing, which will take about one week. The other option is to file online, which will cost $28 and is processed immediately. Filing online also makes the Certificate of Name Reservation certificate available immediately, which is required before submitting the Alabama Certificate of Formation

The company name chosen must not imply a business purpose that is different from what the business does and must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC.

Be sure to attach a copy of the Certificate of Name Reservation certificate that came from the Secretary of State.

Step 3: Enter the Form Preparer’s Information

Include the name and address of the individual or company preparing the Certificate of Formation. This name does not have to be any of the LLC members.

Step 4: Enter the Name of the Registered Agent

To have an LLC in Alabama, there must be a registered agent assigned to the LLC. A registered agent is a person or an entity with a physical address in Alabama who is available during normal business hours for service of process. The agent will be the central point of contact to receive important legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc. on behalf of the LLC.

The registered agent can be the business owner, a resident of Alabama with a physical address, a legal entity, or a registered agent service.

Remember, the address has to be a physical street address since PO Boxes are not allowed.

Include the Alabama registered agent’s name, the registered office address, and a mailing address if a different address is used for mailings.
Alabama LLC Registered Agent

Step 5: Certification

The next question asks the undersigned to certify that there is at least one member of the limited liability company. There is nothing to do here.
Alabama LLC Certification

Step 6: Special Entity Selection

This question is optional and will only be used if the LLC intends to form a Series LLC or a Professional LLC.

These are not common selections. A Series LLC provides liability protection across multiple asset groups or business lines, each of which should be protected from liabilities from the other series. The Series LLC is more common with real estate companies. A Professional LLC is only for licensed professionals, like accountants, doctors, lawyers, etc.
Alabama LLC Entity Selection

Step 7: Effective Filing Date

This is an optional field should you want to delay the formation date of the LLC. By default, the LLC has officially formed on the date the Judge of Probate files the Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation.

Most people will leave this section blank.
Alabama LLC Delayed Filing

Step 8: Additional Attachments

Last, include any additional attachments, often used to identify all of the members of the LLC. This is optional and not used by most LLCs.

Alabama LLC Additional Attachments

Step 9: Sign and Date

Step 10: File the Certificate of Formation

  1. Make two copies of the signed Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation and the Name Registration certificate.
  2. Either mail or drop off the original and two copies to the Recording Office of your county’s Judge of Probate office in the county where the LLC’s registered is or will be located. Do not send it to the Secretary of State.
  3. Include payment with two separate checks or money orders. The Secretary of State can be paid with the credit card form, but some counties will only take checks or money orders.
  4. Be sure to keep a copy for your records.