Home » Alabama LLC » Alabama Filing Forms

Last updated September 1, 2021

Beginning 2021, Alabama LLCs don't file with Probate Judge and online filing is available.
Deal alert! Our favorite company, Northwest, is forming LLCs for $39 (60% off!)

Alabama LLC
Certificate of Formation

How to form an LLC in Alabama
This Quick Start Guide is a brief overview of how to form an LLC in Alabama.

Detailed Lessons:

 

Alabama LLC Costs:
Alabama LLC filing fee: $200
Alabama LLC annual fee: $100 minimum

Need to save time?
Hire a professional to form your LLC in Alabama:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

★ Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom

File a Certificate of Formation to form an LLC in Alabama

In this lesson, we will walk through filing your Certificate of Formation. This is the document that officially forms your Alabama LLC.

Alabama LLC Secretary of State Business Services
(Alabama Secretary of State, Business Services Building)

Changes to Alabama LLCs beginning 2021

Act 2020-73 made large changes to the Alabama Business and Nonprofit Entities Code. LLC formation is now a lot easier in Alabama! You are no longer required to file with the Probate Judge. And the Certificate of Formation can be done entirely online. For more details on what changed, please see Alabama LLCs no longer file with the Probate Judge.

Alabama LLC filing fee ($200 + $28)

The filing fee for an LLC in Alabama is $200. This is a one-time filing fee.

The $200 LLC fee is the same for both online and mail filings.

Note: The “LLC filing fee” (the fee to create an Alabama LLC) is the same thing as the “Certificate of Formation fee”. The Certificate of Formation is the document that, once approved by the Secretary of State, creates your Alabama LLC.

Most states don’t require an LLC Name Reservation, but Alabama does. We recommend filing this online ($28) because it’s processed and approved instantly. The LLC Name Reservation can actually be filed together with the Certificate of Formation online. The instructions are below on this page.

The total state fees to form an LLC in Alabama are $228 – $236.

Alabama LLC filing methods

You can form an LLC in Alabama by mail or online.

In both cases, the fees are very similar.

If you file by mail, the total cost will be $228. That’s $200 for the Certificate of Formation and $28 for the LLC Name Reservation (assuming you filed it online).

If you file online, the total cost will be $236. It’s the same $200 for the Certificate of Formation and $28 for the LLC Name Reservation, however, there is an extra $8 fee for filing the Certificate of Formation online.

If you file by mail, your Alabama LLC will be approved in 4-7 days. Your LLC approval will be returned via physical mail.

If you file online, your Alabama LLC will be approved instantly. Your LLC approval will be returned via email.

Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and government delays. For the most up-to-date LLC processing times, check how long does it take to get an LLC in Alabama.

LLC University® recommendation:

We recommend the online filing (instructions below) as it’s much easier to complete, approval time is instant, and it’s a lot easier to download your LLC approval.

Note: The only exception to this is if you are forming a Professional LLC (PLLC). In that case, both the LLC Name Reservation and the Certificate of Formation must be filed by mail. You must also include a copy of your professional license with both filings.

Alabama LLC mail filing:

If you prefer to file the Certificate of Formation by mail (instead of online), the instructions below on this page will help guide you. You’ll need to:

  • Download the paper Certificate of Formation (revised 01/2021)
  • The form cannot be handwritten, it must be completed on your computer
  • Pay by check, money order, or credit card ($200)
  • If paying by check or money order, make payable to “Secretary of State”
  • You need to send two copies of the Certificate of Formation and a self-addressed and stamped envelope
  • Include a copy of your LLC Name Reservation Certificate
  • Send everything to: Secretary of State, Business Services, PO Box 5616, Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5616
  • If you don’t include 2 copies of the Certificate of Formation and a self-addressed and stamped envelope, you’ll need to purchase a copy of your LLC approval via the Business Entity Record Copies page
Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your LLC in Alabama:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)

LLC University® prior lessons:

You need to file an LLC Name Reservation & select a Registered Agent for your LLC before filing your Certificate of Formation. Make sure you’ve read the prior lessons before proceeding:

How to form your Alabama LLC online with the Secretary of State (filing your Certificate of Formation online)

Get started:

Contact Information

Enter your contact information and your address and click “Continue”.

The email address you enter here is where the state will send your LLC approval document (a stamped and approved Certificate of Formation). This email address doesn’t have to be a “business email”. You can use any email address you’d like.

Note: Your contact information and address entered here are private (not on public records) and are not made part of your LLC filing. This is just contact information that the Secretary of State may use in case they have any questions about your filing.

  • The address can be any address you’d like.
  • It doesn’t have to be an address used on your LLC filing.
  • The address can be located in any state or in any country.

Alabama LLC Name Reservation

Already have an LLC Name Reservation?

If you’ve already filed an LLC Name Reservation and obtained an LLC Name Reservation Certificate, enter your Reservation ID Number at the bottom.

Don’t have a Name Reservation?

Enter your desired Alabama LLC name and click “Continue”

Type of Reservation: Select “Domestic“.

Type of Entity: Select “Limited Liability Company (LLC)“.

Note: A Foreign LLC is an LLC formed in another state that is registering to do business in Alabama.

Click “Continue”.

You’ll then have the option to file only the Name Reservation or file the Name Reservation and the Certificate of Formation.

Click “File of Formation Data“.

Requestor

The Requestor is the person (or company) that is reserving the Alabama LLC name.

If this is the same information you entered earlier, you can click the link at the top to copy/paste the information.

If the Requestor is a different person, enter their information here.

Make sure to select “Organization” or “Individual”.

Review Reservation

Confirm the LLC name information is correct by checking the box.

County

Which county should I put here?
The county that goes here is the county where your Registered Agent’s address is located.

If you or someone you know will be your LLC’s Registered Agent, enter the county where their address is located.

If you hired Northwest Registered Agent, their address is in Houston County.

If you hired another Commercial Registered Agent, you’ll need to contact them to determine which county to use.

Filing Options

Select “Limited Liability Company”.

Delayed Effective Date (optional)

  • Related article: We recommend reading LLC effective date. If you’re forming your LLC later in the year (October, November, or December), it may be better to forward-date your filing to January 1st next year.

If you would like your LLC to become effective (go into existence) on the date it’s processed by the Alabama Secretary of State, you can leave this blank.

If you want your LLC to become effective on a future date, enter that date here in this formation: month/day/year. For example, 03/25/2023.

If you are using a delayed effective date, the date can’t be more than 90 days ahead.

Can I back-date my filing?
No, your filing will not be accepted if you enter a date in the past.

Registered Agent

Select whether your LLC’s Registered Agent is an Individual or Organization, enter their contact information, check the box, and click “Continue”.

If your Registered Agent is an Individual:

  • Select “Individual” at the top
  • Enter their last name and first name
  • Enter their office address (doesn’t have to be an actual “office”) and check the box
  • Enter their mailing address (if different than the office address) or click the link to copy the office address

If your Registered Agent is an Organization:

Note: You’ll need to login to your online account with your Registered Agent to get their address.

  • Select “Organization” at the top
  • Click the blue search link and search for your Commercial Registered Agent’s name
  • Select their name in the list (the Entity ID Number will auto-fill)
  • Enter their office address and check the box
  • Enter their mailing address (if different than the office address) or click the link to copy the office address

Organizer

An LLC Organizer is the person (or company) who signs and submits the Certificate of Formation to the state.

An LLC Organizer (while they may also be an LLC Member) doesn’t automatically become an LLC Member by signing the Certificate of Formation. LLC Members are listed in the Alabama LLC Operating Agreement.

For most people forming their own LLC, they are the LLC Organizer.

What’s confusing about this section of the online filing is it says “Organizer Information is Optional“.

This doesn’t mean the Organizer is optional (it’s required), but rather that their contact information isn’t required.

Note: As per Section 10A-5A-2.01(a) of the Alabama Code, your LLC’s Certificate of Formation must be signed by an Organizer.

So you can skip entering the LLC Organizer’s information (they’ll just sign later) and click “Continue”.

Document Uploads (Adding Members to Certificate of Formation)

This section is optional, however, it can be used to upload any additional documents along with your LLC filing.

If you are not uploading any attachments, just click “Continue”.

LLC Members (owners) are not required to be listed in the Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation (they are listed in the Alabama LLC Operating Agreement), however some people may want to publicly list who owns the LLC. If that’s the case, you can upload an attachment listing the LLC Members.

We’ve provided a form that you can use. It’s available in PDF and Microsoft Word format:

Feel free to add or remove sections/lines as needed by editing the Word document.

Also, you are not required to list the address of the Members. So if you just want to just list the names of the Members and not the addresses, edit the Word document and remove the address lines.

If you are editing the Word document, it must be converted to a PDF file before uploading it to your online filing. In Microsoft Word, click File > Save As > and select PDF from the File Format list.

Summary & Signature

Review your LLC filing. Check for accuracy and look for any typos.

Click the “Edit” buttons if you need to make any changes.

If all looks good, you can now sign your filing. Sign your name, enter your title, check the box, and click “Continue”.

Enter your first and last name in the Electronic Signature box.

Enter your title in the Title box:

  • If your LLC is Member-managed, your title will be “Managing Member“.
  • If your LLC is Manager-managed and you are a Member, your title will be “Member“.
  • If your LLC is Manager-managed and you are the Manager, your title will be “Manager“.
  • Alternatively, regardless of how your LLC is managed, you can use the title “Organizer” (instead of signing as the Member or Manager) and then sign a Statement of LLC Organizer (note: this document doesn’t get sent to the state; it’s a private and internal document)

Payment

Note: There is an extra $8 “processing fee” when filing online. The information entered on this page is private (not on public records) and is not made a part of your LLC filing.

Enter your contact information and billing information and submit your online payment.

Congratulations! Your Certificate of Formation has been successfully submitted to the state.

Your Alabama LLC will be approved instantly.

Alabama LLC approval time (online filing)

When filing your Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation online, it will be processed and approved instantly.

You will receive a download link via email within a few minutes. It will be sent to the email address you entered in the “Contact Information” section.

Important: Make sure to save your LLC approval document, which will be a stamped and approved copy of your Certificate of Formation. The download link will only last for 15 days.

If you don’t download the stamped and approved LLC Certificate of Formation within 15 days or you lose it, you’ll need to order a copy (see Business Entity Record Copies) and pay a small processing fee.

We recommend saving a copy on your computer and printing out a few physical copies as well.

Next Step: LLC Operating Agreement

Once your Alabama LLC is approved by the state, you can proceed to the next lesson: Alabama LLC Operating Agreement.

Alabama Secretary of State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the Alabama Secretary of State: Business Services at 334-242-5324.

Their hours are Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm Eastern Time.

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.

21 comments on “Alabama Filing Forms”

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. Hi there, I have a question. I would like to form a DBA. Do I form it after the approval of LLC? If so, how and where I can form a DBA in ALABAMA?

    • Hi George, the best verb to use in this case is “register”, since a DBA (called a Trade Name in Alabama) is essentially your LLC operating and doing business under a different name. “Form” implies something separate and apart from your LLC (which a Trade Name is not). You’ll want to wait for your LLC to be approved first, then you’ll file an “Application to Register Trademark, Service Mark or Trade Name”. You can find the form for download on this page of the state’s website: Alabama Secretary of State: Trademarks. Hope that helps.

      • Thank you so much for your help. You are such a big help!

          • Thank you so very much Matt. I am sorry I have another question for you if you don’t mind. So I received back 2 copies of certificate of formation from probate court and 2 letters of business privilege tax letters from department of revenue. That means they approved my LLC correct? If so, am I going to receive a approval of my new LLC from secretary of state? Or do I have to pay and get a copy of so call Certificate of Existence from secretary of state website?
            Sorry for the questions. Thanks

            George

            • Matt, my apology. I think I found my answer on this article. Please disregard.

              Thanks,
              George

              • You’re welcome George. Glad you found it. For others reading, we have this information in the lesson above.

  2. In the State of Alabama do I need Articles of Organization to form an LLC and would these need to be filed with the State?

    • Hi Debbie, the filing form for an Alabama LLC is called the Certificate of Formation (it’s the equivalent of an Articles of Organization). At the top of this page, you’ll see the detailed lessons. Just follow those in order. They provide instructions on the entire LLC formation process in Alabama. Short version: you have to reserve your LLC name first. That’s done with the Secretary of State. Once you have that, you’ll file your Certificate of Formation and LLC name approval with the County Probate Judge (located in the same county as your Alabama Registered Agent). The Probate Judge’s Office records your LLC and then forwards it to the Secretary of State for final approval. Hope that helps.

  3. Thank you for your response. I thought that was the case. Just wanted to say I have gone though the detailed lessons on filing the LLC and have completed the process. The steps are very easy to follow, clear and specific. Great information. Can’t believe the process was that easy. Thanks!

    • You’re welcome, Debbie! That is fantastic to hear. We work hard to make things easy ;) Glad you found it to be the case. Thanks!

  4. Should a Loan Signing Agent (also offering notary services) consider a Professional LLC?

    • Hi Shernika, a Professional LLC wouldn’t be used for this type of business. You can just form a regular LLC.

  5. Should the extra copies mailed to the Probate Office be copies of the original to include the signature or should they be copies without the signature?

  6. In the State of Alabama, do I need to file an amendment if one member leaves the LLC? We did not list member information on the Certificate of Formation.

    • Hi Craig, no, you don’t because LLC Members aren’t listed in the Certificate of Formation. You can amend the LLC Operating Agreement. It’s also a good idea to document the prior Member assigning their LLC membership interest to current Member(s). This can be done via an Assignment of LLC Membership Interest (we don’t provide this form at this time). Is your LLC going from a Multi-Member LLC to a Single-Member LLC? If so, you’ll need to file Form 8832 with the IRS to change the tax classification of the LLC from Partnership to Sole Proprietorship. Hope that helps.

      • Thank you! Once the current member leaves the LLC, there will only be one member and I plan to file form 8832 to convert to a Single Member LLC. However, I’m considering adding my wife as a member and was wondering (since we file our return married filing jointly) if adding her would be considered a Multi Member LLC or a Single Member LLC?

        • Hi Craig, you’re welcome :) Please see this page: Husband and wife Qualified Joint Venture LLC. Since Alabama isn’t a community property state, if you add your wife, the LLC will be treated as a Multi-Member LLC and will be treated as a Partnership for federal tax purposes. If the current Member assigns their LLC membership interest to your wife, then you won’t need to file Form 8832.

  7. I believe the State of Alabama has changed the LLC formation process as of Jan 1 2021 – where you go directly to SOS website and skip the local Probate Office. Do you have an estimated date as to when this website will be updated with the new steps?

    • Hi Denise, yes, Act 2020-73 went into effect 1/1/2021 and you no longer need to file with the Probate Judge. We’ll be working on these updates next week. So hopefully in 1-2 weeks our Alabama LLC lessons will be all updated. Thank you for your patience and understanding :)

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