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Alabama Limited Liability Company Setup Tips


Setting up an llc, or limited liability company, in Alabama isn’t all the tricky. But three tricks can make the process easier, faster, and less expensive.

Trick #1: Get Free Alabama LLC Forms

Here’s the first trick to use: No matter who’s going to do the llc formation paperwork—you, an attorney, your accountant, or one of those online incorporation services—grab the free form available at the Alabama secretary of state’s website. What you want to locate is the Alabama Articles of LLC Formation pdf. The actual hyperlink address changes rather regularly, so I’m not going to provide the web address here. But you should be able to just google or bing on the Alabama secretary of state’s website name, “www.sos.alabama.gov” and the Alabama’s fill-in-the-blank form for setting up an llc: “sosdf-8.pdf” to easily find the form.

By the way, once you do get your forms, take a whack at filling them out. Even if you choose not to use the form you prepared yourself, working through the form will help you understand what the limited liability company setup process works like in Alabama.

Trick #2: Consider Expediting the Formation

The basic fee for filing articles of limited liability company formation in the state of Alabama is $100 and gets your paperwork processed in a week or two. But you know what? You probably want to fork over an extra $100 and get expedited processing. You need to pay for the expedited processing at the time you file. But as long as you do that, you should get your articles filed within three business days of when the Secretary of State’s office hears from the County Probate Judge.

Note: Filing articles of llc formation in Alabama works slightly different than in most other states. In Alabama, you send the articles of formation (one signed original and two additional copies) to the Office of the Judge of Probate in the county where your LLC’s registered agent and registered agent office is or will be located.

Trick #3: Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

One final tip: The Alabama Secretary of State’s Business Entity Division is available to answer questions and provide basic help about the entity formation and state procedures. You can’t, obviously, get legal help or accounting advice from the office’s staff. And because the 8 employees in the office receive more than 500 requests a day for information, they’re of course very busy.

You can, however, call them to ask basic questions about how entity formation and registration works and about current processing times. Note that the Business Entity Division handles corporations (both for profit and not for profit), limited liability companies, limited partnerships, registered limited liability partnerships, and limited liability limited partnerships.

The Business Entities Division telephone number is 334-242-5324 and someone will answer your call during normal business hours. You also have the option to visit the Business Entity Division office at 100 North Union Street in Suite 770 in Montgomery. (The mailing address is PO Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103-5616.)

A CPA for three decades, Stephen L. Nelson is the author of QuickBooks for Dummies and two downloadable do-it-yourself guides for Alabama LLC formation and Alabama S corporation setup.