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How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Alabama?

Keeping your business legally registered and in good standing involves some necessary expenses. Some of these payments are due to the Alabama Secretary of State, while others are owed to the federal or state government. We’ve summarized the most common requirements and fees here.

Note that Alabama business license and permit fees may need to be owed right when you form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.

Initial Alabama LLC Fees

When you first create your business, you’ll need to file as an LLC with the Secretary of State and pay a fee. Here are the current Alabama LLC fees and filing times:

State Fee State Filing Time Expedited Filing Time
$236* 3 Weeks 2 Business Days
State Fee $236*
State Filing Time 3 Weeks
Expedited Filing Time 2 Business Days

*includes online processing fees

When you form through Incfile, we collect this fee from you and forward it to the Alabama Secretary of State when we file your formation paperwork.

Incfile can file your formation paperwork for you for free — just pay the Alabama LLC filing fee
Alabama allows you to form your LLC more quickly by paying a rush fee

Employer Identification Number

Every LLC in the U.S. should secure a unique Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is issued by the Internal Revenue Service, and you use it when you file taxes, open a business bank account and pay employees. You can get one yourself at no cost from the IRS, or have Incfile do it for you.

Foreign Qualification to Operate in Alabama From an Outside State

If you’re thinking about expanding your LLC beyond the borders of your home state, you’ll need a Foreign Qualification or Certificate of Authority to operate in Alabama. These are typically necessary if you want to have a physical presence, employees or want to bank in Alabama. You’ll also need to complete the Foreign Limited Liability Company Application for Registration and pay a $150 filing fee. Incfile provides complete Foreign Qualification service for Alabama.

Annual Report Requirements

Alabama is like most states, and requires businesses to file an annual (or other periodic) report with the Secretary of State. In Alabama, this amount is determined based on the total amount of income passed through to the LLC members — with a minimum of $100.

Annual Report

Frequency

Annually

Due Date

Annual Year: April 15th Fiscal Year: 3½ months after beginning of tax year

Note

LLCs elected to be taxed as corporations follow corporation rules.

Incfile can also complete and file your Alabama annual report on your behalf

Alabama Business Licenses and Permits

As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have the proper state, federal or local business licenses to operate your LLC. Some of the associated fees only need to be paid once, while others are ongoing charges.

Permits and licenses vary based on:

1

The industry your LLC operates in (e.g., restaurants will need health permits)

2

The location of your LLC (county or city) (e.g., a license to conduct business from the city of Baton Rouge)

3

The type of business you run (e.g., healthcare providers must meet HIPAA requirements)

Remember that operating your business without the required licenses can expose you to risks and fines from federal, state and local governments.

You can research these permits and licenses yourself or use Incfile’s Business License Research package, which includes:

  • A complete report on all the licenses, permits and tax registrations your LLC will need
  • The application forms you will need to file with the state, regional and federal licensing authorities

Operating Agreements

Alabama does not require you to have an Operating Agreement for your LLC.

An Operating Agreement is a document that covers how the business will be run, how managers and members are chosen, rights and duties of members and several other key areas.

This document can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and prepared for any future events that may affect your business.

If you’re interested in having an Operating Agreement created for you, Incfile can draft a general Operating Agreement template when you form your Alabama business.

You can make changes to the template based on your unique requirements.

Other Potential LLC Fees or Requirements in Alabama

There are several other fees or requirements that you may need to pay or meet during the life of your Alabama LLC. These ad hoc fees will only be payable in specific circumstances, which we’ve listed below.

Obtaining a Trade Name or DBA

If you want to establish an Alabama DBA (trade name), you must file a form with the Secretary of State. You’ll need to pay a filing fee of $30.

Incfile can file your Trade Name or DBA forms on your behalf

Changing the Registered Agent

You must appoint an Alabama Registered Agent when you file your Certificate of Formation. You can also switch to a new Registered Agent later by filing a form and paying a $100 fee.

Choose Incfile to serve as your Registered Agent.

It’s free for the first year if you form your business with us, and $119 a year after.

Reserving a Name for Your LLC

If you don’t want to form your LLC right away, you can reserve a business name for one year with the Alabama Secretary of State for a fee of $25. First, perform an Alabama business search and learn about rules pertaining to business names to ensure the name you choose meets all state requirements.

Amending Certain Facts About Your LLC

Your business formation documents state certain facts about your Alabama business when it was originally formed. Over time, these facts may change. If they do, you need to file Articles of Amendment and pay a $100 fee. You can do this yourself or have Incfile complete the filing on your behalf.

You may want to file Articles of Amendment when you:

  • Add, remove or change an LLC member or manager
  • Change the stated business activities of your LLC
  • Alter the stated business activities of your LLC

Getting a Alabama Certificate of Compliance

Some organizations will request that you prove your LLC’s compliance with laws and tax requirements. If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need a Certificate of Compliance from the Alabama Secretary of State.

Incfile can obtain a Certificate of Good Standing on your behalf

The fees listed above detail many of the charges a standard LLC will be required to pay in Alabama. In some unusual circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.

Of course, your LLC will also likely need to pay self-employment, payroll, federal, state and sales taxes. More information about taxes can be found on the Alabama Business Taxes page.

FAQs About Alabama LLC Fees

What Happens to the State Fees I'm Charged When Forming My LLC?

We charge you this fee at cost and then pay the fee to the Secretary of State on your behalf when forming your Alabama business.

Where Do I Get Business Licenses and Permits for My LLC?

It depends on various factors, including:

  • The type of business you run
  • Where you're located
  • Governing organizations in your industry
  • Federal, state and local regulations

Many new businesses need a business license, and you may be required to have additional licenses and permits. Our Business License Research package can take the guesswork out of it for you and help you learn what your LLC needs to be compliant.

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