You may be asked to provide a certificate of existence for your Alabama limited liability company (LLC). Many creditors ask for such a certificate before issuing business credit.
An Alabama certificate of existence is relatively easy to obtain, but it does take some know-how.
What Is an Alabama Certificate of Existence?
A certificate of existence, known as a certificate of good standing in most states, is issued by the state and verifies that your LLC complies with all Alabama regulations. The state will issue the certificate if you’ve met all deadlines, such as annual report filings.
In Alabama, you’re not required to get a certificate of existence, but banks and creditors might request one, so it’s wise to have it on hand.
Alabama also issues a certificate of compliance when you have paid all required taxes in Alabama. Some creditors may request this certificate as well.
In What Situations Would I Need a Certificate of Existence?
A bank or creditor might request a certificate of existence as part of their due diligence and risk assessment if you apply for a business loan or business credit. They need to verify that you’re registered to do business in the state and fully compliant.
If you expand your business to other states, you’ll have to register as a foreign LLC. In such cases, the new state may request a certificate of existence from your home state.
Requirements to Obtain a Certificate of Existence in Alabama
To get a certificate, you must have a registered business entity in the state, either an LLC or a corporation. Sole proprietorships and partnerships do not register with the state, so they cannot obtain a certificate of existence.
You’ll also need to be up-to-date on all Alabama business licenses, permits, and reporting requirements for your LLC or corporation in Alabama.
Which Department Issues Certificates of Existence in Alabama?
In Alabama, the Secretary of State issues certificates of existence. You can obtain one online by filling out an application on the Secretary of State’s website.
The fee is $25 by mail and $28 online. You should be able to access a certificate online immediately if your LLC is fully compliant. However, it will only be available online for 15 days after you apply.
The Department of Revenue issues certificates of compliance to verify that you have paid all required state taxes.
To obtain a certificate of compliance, visit the Department of Revenue’s website to apply. The fee is $14, and requests are generally processed within three to five business days. Once the form is available online, you’ll have 15 days to retrieve it.