Start a Business in Alabama

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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This guide on starting your business in Alabama provides step-by-step instructions on the paperwork to file formation documents, obtain tax IDs, and set up company records.

how to start a business

Step-By-Step Startup

Below is an overview of the paperwork, cost, and time to form each of the most popular business structures. Simply click on the link for your desired structure to view detailed step-by-step instructions.

  • If you have not decided whether you want to form an LLC, corporation, or other business structure, click here.
  • If wish to form your business in a different state than Alabama, click here.
Structure Paperwork Cost Time

Alabama Sole Proprietorship

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  • Form LAT-1: Application to Register Trademark, Service Mark, or Trade Name in Alabama (optional)
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form COM-101: Alabama Department of Revenue Combined Registration/Application
  • Alabama county privilege licenses
  • Name registration: $30 (optional)

Alabama General Partnership

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  • Form LAT-1: Application to Register Trademark, Service Mark, or Trade Name in Alabama (optional)
  • Partnership agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form COM-101: Alabama Department of Revenue Combined Registration/Application
  • Alabama county privilege licenses
  • Name registration: $30 (optional)

Alabama Limited Liability Company

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  • Name Reservation Certificate
  • Form SOSDF-8: Domestic LLC Certificate of Formation
  • Operating Agreement
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form COM-101: Alabama Department of Revenue Combined Registration/Application
  • BPT-IN: Initial Business Privilege Tax Return
  • Name reservation: $28
  • Formation: $100 + minimum $50 Office of the Judge of Probate fee + optional $100 expedite fee
  • Alabama business privilege tax: Minimum $100
  • Formation: ~7-10 business days at the probate's office. Then ~6 months at the secretary of state unless you pay the $100 expedite fee for ~10-14 day turnaround.

Alabama Corporation

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  • Name Reservation Request Form for Domestic Entities
  • Name Reservation Certificate
  • Domestic Business Corporation Certificate of Formation
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form COM-101: Alabama Department of Revenue Combined Registration/Application
  • BPT-IN: Initial Business Privilege Tax Return
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Name reservation: $28
  • Incorporation: $100 state filing fee + min $50 county filing fee + optional $100 secretary expedite fee
  • BPT-IN: minimum $100
  • Name reservation: 24 hours
  • Incorporation: ~7-10 business days at the probate's office. Then ~6 months at the secretary of state unless you pay the $100 expedite fee for ~10-14 day turnaround.

Alabama Nonprofit

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  • Name Reservation Request Form for Domestic Entities
  • Name Reservation Certificate
  • Form SOSDF-5: Domestic Nonprofit Corporation Certificate of Formation template
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • IRS Form 1023: 501(c) Tax Exempt Application
  • IRS Determination Letter
  • Form COM-101: Alabama Department of Revenue Combined Registration/Application
  • Alabama Charitable Organizations Registration Statement or Alabama Charitable Organizations Registration Exemption
  • Name reservation: $28
  • Incorporation: $100 state filing fee + min $50 county filing fee
  • 501(c): $275 or $600 IRS fee
  • Alabama charitable registration: $25 ($0 if exempt)
  • Name reservation: 24 hours
  • Incorporation: 4 days to ~6 weeks
  • 501(c): 2 weeks to 3 months

Top 5 Tips on Registering a Business in Alabama

  1. Name reservation in Alabama is mandatory. You must obtain a name reservation prior to filing formation documents.
  2. In many states you submit your formation documents directly to the secretary or department of state. In Alabama, you submit your formation documents to the Office of the Judge of Probate in the county where your registered office is located. We'll explain this in detail later.
  3. Alabama offers a consolidated registration form for state taxes (Form COM-101). The good news is that it's a brief one page form. The bad news is that you'll have to determine what tax accounts to register for specifically and check the appropriate boxes. The tax code is complex and you might need the assistance of an accountant to make sure you register for the appropriate taxes.
  4. LLCs and corporations must file an initial Business Privilege Tax Return and pay the business privilege tax within two and one-half months after formation.
  5. In Alabama, a privilege license is required in every county where you conduct business. We'll explain how to obtain this from the County Probate Office.

Incorporation Service

Your specialist works with you 1-on-1 to form your LLC, corporation, or other business structure. We prepare and file most formations in just one business day!

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