How to Register an LLC in Alabama: A Step-by-Step Guide

Alabama offers a supportive environment for entrepreneurs with its business-friendly policies and strategic Southern location. If you’re planning to register a limited liability company (LLC) in Alabama, this guide is for you. We’ll outline the straightforward steps you need to follow to get your Alabama LLC up and running.

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Alabama LLC Quick Facts

  • To register an LLC in Alabama, you must file the Certificate of Formation with the Alabama Secretary of State. 
  • The filing fee for starting an LLC in Alabama is $200.
  • Within two and a half months after forming your LLC, you must submit an Initial Business Privilege Tax return to the Alabama Department of Revenue. 
  • In order to keep your Alabama LLC in good standing, you must file an annual report and pay the associated fee by the due date each year. 

6 Steps to Form an LLC in Alabama

Forming an LLC in Alabama is as simple as these six steps.

To start an LLC in Alabama, follow these six steps:

  1. Name Your Alabama LLC
  2. Select a Registered Agent
  3. File Your Certificate of Formation
  4. Create an Operating Agreement for your LLC
  5. Obtain an EIN and manage tax responsibilities
  6. File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report for your LLC in Alabama

Step 1: Name Your Alabama LLC

To start, you need to decide on a name for your Alabama LLC. Alabama business names must meet the following criteria:

  • Must include “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviation “LLC” or “L.L.C.”
  • It must be unique and distinguishable from any other business entity in the state
  • It can’t include terms that imply government affiliation or falsify your business’s purpose
  • If it contains the words “architect,” “engineer,” “insurance,” “bank” or “trust,” you must provide a letter of approval or the relevant license from the appropriate governing agency

To ensure your business name is unique, you will need to complete a business name search on the Alabama Secretary of State website.

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Step 2: Select a Registered Agent

To form an LLC in Alabama, you must select a registered agent. A registered agent, also known as a statutory agent, is a person or entity designated to receive important legal documents on behalf of your LLC. This includes official government correspondence, tax forms, and legal notices.

In Alabama, your registered agent must have a physical street address in the state where they can receive service of process during regular business hours. This ensures that important documents are promptly delivered to your LLC.

Who is Eligible to Serve as a Registered Agent in Alabama? 

When selecting a registered agent for your Alabama LLC, you can choose an individual, such as yourself or a business partner, a friend, a family member, or you can hire a professional registered agent service. Keep in mind that the registered agent cannot be the LLC itself, but can be an owner or employee of the company.

Step 3: File Your Certificate of Formation With the Alabama Secretary of State

To register your LLC officially, you need to file an Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. You can complete this filing online or by submitting this form by mail or online

The filing fee is $200.

You should collect the following details before filing:

  • Name and full address of the contact person for your LLC
  • Your LLC name
  • Your registered agent’s name and street address
  • Management structure (member-managed vs. manager-managed)
  • A copy of your LLC’s Name Reservation Certificate from the Office of the Secretary of State

Quick Note: If you’ve already formed your business in another state, you will need to register as an Alabama Foreign LLC. This can be done online or by submitting this form by mail or online. The filing fee is $150.

Step 4: Create an Operating Agreement for Your LLC

In Alabama, it’s highly recommended for LLCs to create an operating agreement to outline the company’s internal procedures and ownership details. However, it isn’t required by the state. This document helps ensure all LLC members are on the same page and can help prevent potential conflicts in the future. 

While an operating agreement is an internal document you don’t need to file with the state, it’s essential for your LLC to keep an updated operating agreement on file.

Step 5: Obtain an EIN and Manage Tax Obligations

After successfully incorporating your LLC in Alabama, the next important step is to obtain an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This unique number is essential for tax-reporting purposes as well as for hiring employees and opening a business bank account. You can easily obtain your EIN for free on the IRS website.

In addition to obtaining an EIN, it is important to manage your tax obligations as a business owner in Alabama. Visit the Alabama Department of Revenue  to learn about the specific tax requirements for your LLC, including sales tax and other state-specific taxes. Make sure you’re aware of all the relevant filing requirements and deadlines to avoid any potential penalties.

By obtaining an EIN and managing your tax obligations diligently, you can ensure your LLC operates smoothly and remains in good standing with the IRS and state tax authorities.

Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report

LLCs in Alabama are required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). New LLCs must file this report within 90 days of formation while existing LLCs must complete the filing by January 1st, 2025. Failure to do so can result in a $500 per day fine.

You can file this report online for free on the FinCEN website. More information on exemptions can be found on its website. Make sure to complete this important step to ensure your LLC’s compliance with federal law.

Next Steps for Your Alabama LLC

After registering your Alabama LLC, it’s important to:

  • Open a business bank account to separate and protect your personal assets. Companies like Chase and Wells Fargo offer business checking accounts tailored for small businesses and LLCs. Open a business checking account in minutes using Lili.
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  • Identify and obtain any licenses and permits that may be required federally or by the state. You can check with the Alabama Department of Revenue or your local county clerk’s office for more information on specific licenses and permits needed for your business.
  • Obtain necessary business insurance. Consider getting general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, and commercial property insurance to protect your business from unforeseen events. Get an online quote today for fast, affordable coverage with Next Insurance.
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Additional Tips for Successfully Operating Your Alabama LLC

  • Build a strong network of fellow entrepreneurs, mentors, and industry leaders to gain valuable insight and support.
  • Stay on top of compliance requirements in Alabama to ensure your business remains in good standing.
  • Plan ahead and set clear goals for the future growth and success of your company.


When registering an LLC in Alabama, it’s important to follow all the necessary steps in order to set your business up for success. Researching the process and understanding the requirements are key to navigating the registration process smoothly. With the right preparation and attention to detail, you can confidently register your LLC in Alabama and start your business off on the right foot.