Alabama – 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted

A couple of years ago, we blogged about what it takes to start a business in each of the 50 states. Now, we’re hitting refresh on that series. Welcome back to the 50 States of Incorporation, Rebooted where we share with you the easiest tips and tricks of starting an LLC or corporation in every state.

Let’s take a stroll down to Alabama, AKA the “Heart of Dixie” state. The Corporations Division has roots dating all the way back to 1850, when legislation authorized the Alabama Secretary of State to file and certify articles of incorporation. Back then, big businesses like railroad and steamship companies filed their articles with the Secretary of State. As time passed, more startups were created and an increasing amount of entity records were deposited with the Secretary of State — so much so that it was time to create a Business Entity Division. Today, that division has 250,000 filings and receives more than 500 requests each day regarding those filings!

What’s the small business environment like in Alabama? WalletHub ranks Alabama 42nd on their 2017 list of the best and worst states to start a business in, giving it a 4th place rank for lowest labor costs. Alabama also received a “B+” rating from for overall friendliness and ease of starting a business. If you are considering starting a small business in Alabama, keep these five tips in mind.

1. The Alabama Secretary of State serves these entities: For-Profit Corporations, Non-Profit Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Limited Partnerships, Registered Limited Liability Partnerships, and Limited Liability Limited Partnerships.

2. The current filing fee for the Alabama Secretary of State is $100.00, and there is a separate fee if the process needs to be expedited as well as a probate judge fee.

3. If filing to start a LLC, your entity name must contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation L.L.C. or LLC. You must obtain a Certificate of Name Reservation prior to filing your formation documents in the county.

4. You must file the original and two copies of the Certificate of Formation in the county where the LLC’s registered office is/will be located.

5. Another note to keep in mind is that some of the Probate Judge’s Offices don’t accept credit cards as a payment method. Make sure you check in with the Office of the Judge of Probate prior to filing to determine payment methods and possible expediting processing if necessary.

You can also find more information about Alabama’s business entity division and more business services offered by the state by visiting the Alabama Secretary of State website. Stay connected and follow the Alabama Secretary of State’s Facebook page and Twitter account for all the latest updates.

Ready to start a small business in Alabama? Give us a call at 1(877) 692-6772 or visit us at if you have any questions about forming a business or the regulations required.