Owning an LLC in Alabama offers you and your shareholders limited liability protection and access to flexible taxation systems for your business structure.
Although you’d want to benefit from these perks as soon as possible, you need to be aware of the time LLCs must wait before their formation paperwork is approved by the state.
Working with our team of certified LLC specialists with over a decade in the industry, we spent weeks researching the Alabama Secretary of State's website for correct processing times.
Here's everything you need to know.
- Forming an LLC in the state of Alabama takes 4-6 weeks (standard time) if done by mail and one business day if you file online.
- The expedited processing of the Alabama Articles of Organization costs $100 for a 3-business day turnaround.
- During the registration process, the Certificate of Formation is submitted to the Judge of Probate's Office, who then approves and transmits it to the Secretary of State.
How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Alabama?
It takes 4-6 weeks to form an LLC in Alabama, and it includes the duration from when the Judge of Probate's Office receives the completed form to when the SOS mails a certified copy to you.
This is the standard processing time for registration documents sent via mail. The Alabama Secretary of State’s office offers different LLC filing methods, including online and expedited shipping, with varying processing times.
If you form LLCs online, your filings may be accepted almost instantly. Expedited shipping takes less than 3 business days .
Alabama LLC Processing Time
Once you obtain a legal LLC name in Alabama, the next step for your LLC is to file the Articles of Organization.
You can file these registration papers online or by mail in Alabama. These two options offer different standard processing times, but you can pay extra for expedited processing, as well see shortly.
1. Online Filings
Online filings for a domestic LLC in Alabama can be done via the Secretary of State's official website, costing $200. Online foreign LLC registration costs $150 .
If you file your LLC registration online, the approval is almost immediate, but it can take up to 1 business day for it to be approved, depending on the time you file and the volume of filings the state receives.
Per business law, if you make your online LLC registration payments via a credit card, you'll have to pay an extra 3-5% convenience fee.
Note that a few counties allow credit card payments, so you must confirm this with the Secretary of State Credit Card Payment Option Sheet before you proceed with the online filing.
2. Mail Filings
For mail filing in Alabama, you must submit your registration papers to the Office of the Judge of Probate in the county where your limited liability company's primary head office is situated.
You must send a folder comprising two copies of your primary Articles of Organization (also known as the Certificate of Formation) and the Certificate of Name Reservation.
At this time, pay all county fees, which vary depending on the county location of your LLC, but it's typically a minimum of $50, plus the state processing costs of $100.
The Probate Judge's Office analyzes and files the paperwork, sends notice of filing via a sealed copy, and forwards a certified copy and applicable fees to the SOS.
The SOS then indexes the file and publishes the data on its website.
3. Expedited Filings
Expedited filings allow LLC owners in Alabama to have their registration approved faster than the standard delivery period.
Expedited shipping in Alabama costs an additional $100 to the standard state fees, and the Judge of Probate's Office will approve the articles of incorporation within 3 business days. Check our article for more information on the cost to start an LLC in Alabama.
After the approval, the Judge of Probate's Office transmits the registration papers to the Alabama Secretary of State, who'll stamp and certify the document within 7 business days.
You'll then receive a certified document copy within that period, and your LLC can start transacting in Alabama as soon as possible.
However, you should note that expedited shipping in Alabama is not available for all counties, so it's essential to check if this applies to your LLC before paying the additional filing fee.
7 Steps To Start an LLC in Alabama
Follow these seven steps if you want to register an LLC in Alabama.
- Step 1: Conduct an Alabama LLC name search and select a unique LLC name for your enterprise.
- Step 2: Select an Alabama registered agent service who'll be responsible for handling legal documents.
- Step 3: Prepare and submit your Articles of Organization to the Alabama Secretary of State.
- Step 4: Obtain a certified copy of your registration papers from the Alabama Secretary of State.
- Step 5: Draft an operating agreement to govern your LLC members and operations.
- Step 6: Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for taxes and opening a business bank account.
- Step 7: File the necessary Alabama tax privilege returns.
How Long Does It Take an LLC To Be Approved in Alabama?
It takes 4-6 weeks for an LLC to be approved in Alabama. However, this is the standard processing time. Still, you can pay an extra $100 for expedited processing and have your LLC paperwork approved in 3 business days by the County of Probate's Office.
What Is the Fastest LLC Processing in Alabama?
The fastest LLC processing in Alabama is expedited processing which will have your formation approved within one business day. However, this option is not available for all counties.
Do You Need a Business License For an LLC in Alabama?
Yes, you need a business license for an LLC in Alabama. Alabama LLCs must obtain the Business Privilege Tax return license from their respective counties.
Should You Hire an LLC Service in Alabama?
Starting an LLC can be intimidating, heavy, and expensive if you're a novice entrepreneur in Alabama.
This is why it's a smart idea to use LLC formation companies when forming a limited liability company in Alabama so they can help you with the business registration procedure.
Make sure to check our list of the best LLC formation services in Alabama that will assist you in submitting your certificate of formation to the Alabama Secretary of State. These services will also offer compliance notifications and handle possible legal issues in the long run.