How to Find the Best Registered Agent in Alabama

Last updated: March 16th, 2024
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This guide will help you find the best registered agent in Alabama. We’ll explore key factors to consider, evaluate top providers, and equip you with the knowledge to make an informed decision for your business’s registered agent needs.

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What is an Alabama registered agent?

In Alabama, all formal businesses must appoint and maintain a registered agent. The Alabama Secretary of State defines a registered agent as a person or business entity that is reasonable for receiving official notices and legal documents on behalf of an organization.

An agent must be available during normal business hours Monday through Friday to receive important documents that include:

An agent is physically present in Alabama

A registered agent has an Alabama physical address so that they can receive essential documents during normal business hours.

The registered office address is also listed in the public record rather than your home address or your private office.

A registered agent is your contact person

In Alabama, a registered agent is the point of contact who receives service of process and tax notices on behalf of a business.

A business in Alabama has 14 days to respond to a subpoena. Failure to respond to a summons can result in a default judgment and heavy monetary penalties

An agent saves you time and stress

Appointing a registered agent provides an organization with services that help them save time and energy for everyday business.

A registered agent will remind you when the Alabama privilege tax is due and assist you in submitting the correct forms and fees by March 15th.

Cost of a registered agent in Alabama

An Alabama registered agent will cost between $50 and $500 yearly.

As a business owner, you can opt to appoint yourself for no additional costs.

According to the Alabama Secretary of State, a registered agent must be 18 years old and have a street address in the state. You can appoint a friend or family member as the registered agent at no cost as long as they meet Alabama registered agent requirements.

When to appoint a registered agent

When forming a limited liability company (LLC) in Alabama, you will name the registered agent when completing and submitting the Certificate of Formation to the Secretary of State.

The registered agent’s contact information for an Alabama incorporation will be listed on the domestic business corporation Certificate of Formation form.

Section 10A-1-5.31 of Alabama state law states that all businesses must appoint a registered agent during business formation.

Other business structures include:

  • Sole proprietorships
  • Partnerships
  • Nonprofit

How does an Alabama LLC appoint a registered agent?

You will file your LLCs Certificate of Formation with the Alabama Secretary of State to appoint the registered agent.

1
File the Certificate of Formation

To file the Certificate of Formation by mail, you will download and complete the domestic LLC Certificate of Formation form and submit it to the Alabama Secretary of State.

You will use the Alabama Secretary of State website to file the LLC’s certificate of formation. You will pay the $208 filing fee when you submit the form.

Mailing address:
Alabama Secretary of State
Business Services
P.O. Box 5616 M
Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5616

2
Appoint your registered agent

Section 3 of the certificate of Alabama Certificate of Formation form will ask for information regarding the registered agent.

  • Registered agent name
  • Registered agent’s address (street and mailing)
  • County of the registered agent

3
Pay your Alabama filing fees

The cost to file the Certificate of Formation in Alabama is $208.

If you file by mail, you can pay $100 to expedite the process.

The state fees to file a Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation is $208.

How to change your registered agent

If an agent retires or changes their street address, you must officially change your registered agent with the state of Alabama.

Submit the change of registered agent form by email

The fastest way to change your registered agent in Alabama is by email.

  • You will download the change of registered agent or registered office by entity form.
  • The new registered agent must sign the completed form before you submit it.
  • Email the change of registered agent form to [email protected].
  • The filing fee is $25. You will type your credit card information into the form.
  • Alabama does offer expedited services for an additional $100.

Submit the change of registered agent form by mail

The change of registered agent or registered office by entity form will take longer to process and must be sent to the Alabama Secretary of State in the duplicate form.

The new registered agent you appoint must consent to the appointment by signing the form.

It will take the Alabama Secretary of State 3 to 5 days to process the change of registered agent or registered office by entity form.

The cost to change registered agents in Alabama is $25.

How do I withdraw my consent to act as a registered agent in Alabama?

To withdraw consent in Alabama, a registered agent will complete and submit the notice of registered agent resignation form to the Secretary of State for no charge.

Benefits of appointing a registered agent in Alabama

  • You avoid noncompliance

A professional registered agent service will send a business notification when the Alabama privilege tax is due and help you submit the correct document and pay the proper fees.

In Alabama, a business must remain in compliance, or good standing, to maintain liability protection. An agent helps protect a company from fines and penalties due to non-compliance by helping with important business filings.

  • You keep your private addresses private

Entrepreneurs and new small business owners often work from home or in private offices. In Alabama, the address of a business is listed in the Alabama Entity Search.

Anyone can search the database by business name, number, registered agent, and month/year.

The registered agent’s information is listed in the public records rather than your private office or home address.

  • It provides the benefit of peace of mind

A process server can turn up unannounced before you even know a lawsuit has happened or that a law firm is attempting to contact you.

In Alabama, a registered agent is the point of contact and receives subpoenas and other legal notices out of the view of customers or clients.

  • You can keep a flexible work schedule

The Alabama state code Section 10A-1-5.31 requires a registered agent to always be available during regular business hours during every official work day of the year.

Appointing yourself as your own registered agent makes you responsible for that availability.

  • You can access your Certificate of Formation from anywhere

Your Alabama Certificate of Formation and Certificate of Compliance are available online for you to access when and from where you want.

Having fast access to essential documents makes opening a business bank account and applying for business loans more accessible and quicker.

  • You can expand easily into other states

Regardless of where you expand to or from, you must appoint a registered agent to form a foreign LLC in a different state.

FAQs

Does Alabama have an annual report fee?

Alabama does not have an annual report fee or franchise tax for LLCs. A $100 annual privilege tax is due by March 15th of every year.

Can I use a P.O. Box in Alabama for my LLC?

State law states that you can use a P.O. Box in Alabama as your business address if the registered agent you choose has a physical street address.

How long does it take to register an LLC in Alabama?

If filed by mail, it takes the Alabama Secretary of State 1 week to process the Certificate of Formation. LLC formation forms submitted online are processed immediately.

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