Alabama requires that you appoint a registered agent for your LLC. A registered agent is a person or company authorized to accept official correspondence for your business, such as legal, tax, or financial documents.
A registered agent ensures that your business complies with state laws and that no important notices or documents are missing.
Registered Agent Requirements in Alabama
In Alabama, an LLC owner, known as a member, can be the registered agent, or you can choose an individual that meets state requirements. In Alabama, registered agents must:
- Be 18 years or older
- Be a resident of Alabama
- Maintain a business office at a registered office address in Alabama
- Be available during regular business hours
- Be registered to operate in the state (if the agent is a business)
Registered Agent Services
Many business owners hire a registered agent service to ensure all important documents are received and addressed promptly. A registered agent service also offers convenience.
If you choose to be your registered agent, you’ll have to be available at your registered agent’s address during regular business hours. However, a registered agent service will allow you the flexibility to run and grow your business wherever you need to be.
An agency also offers privacy. Since they will receive all official correspondence for your business, you would never be served with a summons for your business in front of customers or employees.
Choosing a Registered Agent Service
Some registered agent services operate nationally, allowing you to form LLCs in other states if your business expands. However, if you don’t choose a national agency, you’ll need one with an office in Alabama.
You’ll also want an agency that will:
- Send deadline reminders for things like annual reports to ensure your LLC stays in compliance
- Digitally store your documents so you can access them at any time
- Be available during regular business hours
- Offer great customer service
Prices for registered agent services vary, which may affect your decision. Registered agent services generally run $50 to $300 annually.
Alabama’s Secretary of State has compiled a list of registered agents to help business owners.
How to Appoint a Registered Agent in Alabama
In Alabama, you’ll officially appoint your registered agent when you form your LLC by filling in the registered agent information on your certificate of formation.
Before you form your LLC, you’ll need a name reservation certificate, which you can obtain by filing a Name Reservation Request Form or going to the Secretary of State’s Online Services website. Getting this certificate costs $25.
Once you’ve received your name reservation certificate, file your Certificate of Formation with the Secretary of State. This can be done online at the Online Services website or by file by paper. Read below to see instructions for both options.
To file online, visit the Secretary of State’s Online Services website. Review the fees, and click “Continue to application” at the bottom.
On the next page, fill out your contact information.
Then, request a new name for your LLC or provide your reservation ID if you already requested a name. Your LLC name must contain “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “limited liability company.”
If you’re reserving this name for the first time, select that you’re requesting the name of a domestic LLC.
Proceed to file your formation data.
In this section, go through the following few pages and fill in your information.
At “Formation Page,” enter the county of your registered agent’s office. This is used to determine the distribution of county filing fees and doesn’t affect your fee.
On the Registered Agent page, fill out your registered agent’s name, office address, and mailing address.
Next, you can add more organizers or documents; then, you’ll answer a survey on whether you’re a small, minority-owned, or woman-owned business.
Carefully review all of your information. Once there are no errors, continue to the payment portal.
It costs $200 to file your Certificate of Formation – $100 each for the county and state. If you also reserved your name in the same transaction, an additional $25 will be charged. Finally, your payment is subject to a $2 convenience fee and a 4% surcharge for Alabama’s eGov system.
You can pay via an ACH account or credit card.
Once you file online, your documents will be available to print for 15 days. Unfortunately, the state does not send any confirmation via email or snail mail. So if you’d like confirmation, you might want to act fast.
File by Paper
To file by paper, download, fill out, and print the Certificate of Formation.
Print two copies of your document and mail it in a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Secretary of State, Business Services
PO Box 5616
Montgomery, AL, 36103
The formation filing fee is $200, payable by check or money order to the Alabama Secretary of State, a prepaid Alabama Secretary of State account, or by credit card using the last page of the PDF file.
Once your LLC is approved, your registered agent is officially appointed. You do not need to do anything further in terms of registering your agent.
The state of Alabama requires that you have a registered agent for your LLC. Often, the registered agent is a member of the LLC, but hiring a registered agent service offers many advantages.
Either way, it’s wise to decide before forming your LLC. Of course, you can change your registered agent later, but this requires additional paperwork.
Alabama Registered Agent FAQs
Can I be my registered agent in Alabama?
Yes. Simply write your name and address in the space for the registered agent.
What does a registered agent do for an LLC in Alabama?
A registered agent in Alabama receives all official notices, mailings, and documents for your LLC and must be at their address during business hours. Choosing a service as your registered agent helps you maintain privacy and gives you greater freedom of movement.