Changes to Alabama LLCs
(no more Probate Judge filings)

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Act 2020-73 got rid of the Probate Judge filings for Alabama LLCs, among other things

Act 2020-73, which became effective January 1st, 2021, made numerous changes to the Alabama Business and Nonprofit Entities Code.

Alabama has gone from one of the most confusing states to form an LLC to one of the best.

Congratulations to the Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and his team and the Alabama Legislature for revamping the Alabama LLC formation process.

Here are the highlights for Alabama LLCs, effective 1/1/2021:

  • No more filings with the Probate Judge
  • The Certificate of Formation is now $200
  • LLCs can be filed online with the Alabama Secretary of State

Alabama LLCs no longer need to file with the Probate Judge

For the longest time, Alabama was one of those “notorious” states known for being a headache to form an LLC.

Before Act 2020-73 went into effect:

You would first file an LLC Name Reservation with the Secretary of State.

Then you would submit your LLC Name Reservation and Certificate of Formation to the Probate Judge’s office (in the county where the Alabama Registered Agent was located). You’d pay a fee to the Probate Judge ($30 – $80) and pay $100 fee to the Secretary of State. You had to include two separate checks, 2 copies of the Certificate of Formation, and a self-addressed and stamped envelope.

The Probate Judge’s office would process your filing and then forward it to the Secretary of State. Then the Secretary of State would mail your LLC approval.

Because there are 67 counties in Alabama, there were 67 different ways to form an LLC in Alabama and each county’s Probate Judge had their own sets of fees and different processing times.

Our team used to regularly call the various Probate Judge’s offices to keep the filing fees up to date (see Alabama LLC Probate Judge Fees). Thankfully we no longer need to do that.

The entire LLC formation process was confusing, had too many steps, and took a few weeks for the LLC to be approved.

However, this is no longer the case.

Now, LLC filings can now be made online directly with the Alabama Secretary of State: Business Entities and there are no more filings made with the Probate Judge’s office.

Plus, online Alabama LLC filings are approved instantly!

The Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation is now $200

In order to continue to provide revenue to the counties, the Secretary of State forwards $100 to the County Treasurer.

This is why the Certificate of Formation filing fee went from $100 to $200.

$100 goes to the Secretary of State and $100 goes to the County Treasurer in the county where the LLC’s Registered Agent is located.

Alabama LLCs can now be filed online

The entire LLC formation process in Alabama can now be filed online.

This includes the Alabama LLC Name Reservation and the Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation.

Not only can both of these be filed online, but their approval time is instant!

This is great news for small business owners forming LLCs in Alabama.

We think Secretary of State John Merrill said it well:

“Our office is proud to provide this one-stop shop for business owners. As we navigate these difficult times, government should be working to assist the American people – not hinder them further. As we approach the 2021 Legislative Session, I look forward to advancing more legislation that will further support Alabama’s business community.”

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator, LLC University®
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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2 comments on “Alabama 2021 Changes”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. OMG!!! I followed your steps for filing my LLC in Alabama before this was updated. I submitted everything as stated. Guess I should have done more research. I need to call my probate office to get my money back and file the right way. This stinks! But thank you for your diligence and providing an easy step-by-step way to getting an LLC the right way.

    • Hi Shernika, I just sent you an email. We will help cover any costs you can’t recover (if that occurs). It’s not your fault for not doing more research. It’s our fault for not getting these updates published as soon as possible. I’m so sorry about this. We will make it right.

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