CREATING A DOMESTIC ENTITY
WHAT DOCUMENTS ARE REQUIRED WHEN CREATING A BUSNESS ENTITY?
Effective January 1, 2011, filings of Business Entities became the sole responsibility of the Alabama Secretary of State. In order to create a business entity, you will need a Name Reservation and a Certificate of Formation. Forms can be obtained from the “Business Forms” sections on the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.alabama.gov, or the name reservation and formation can be completed online.
HOW DO I RESERVE THE NAME OF MY BUSINESS ENTITY?
Name reservations can be made through a paper form ($25.00) or online ($28.00). Go to www.sos.alabama.gov, then go to Business Services. The forms are located under the “Business Forms” section, or you may process the certificate and print it out immediately by clicking “Name Reservation Menu” and “Name Reservation”. The paper form should be mailed to the Secretary of State for processing and will be mailed back to you. The name cannot be the same as another entity and must be distinguishable from an existing business entity name.
WHERE DO I FILE TO CREATE A BUSINESS ENTITY?
Mail the formation document, name reservation certificate, and $200.00 filing fee to the Office of Secretary of State, Business Entities, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103. If a copy is requested, include a second copy and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. You can also submit the documents and pay the fee through our online services and www.sos.alabama.gov (Select “Business Services” and then “Domestic Formation.”) Complete the online services prompts, input your credit card information, and print out your formations documents from your printer.
WHAT IS THE FEE REQUIRED BY THE SECRETARY OF STATE WHEN FILING A BUSINESS FORMATION?
The required fee is $200.00.
CAN I USE A CREDIT CARD TO PAY THE NECESSARY FEES?
Yes. There is a credit card slip attached to the form that may be used for the filing fee, or you may use your credit card when filing online.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY ENTITY HAS BEEN FORMED?
One the formation documents have been processed; your entity will be issued an Entity ID number. (This is NOT and EIN number.) Your status will change to “exists” on the Secretary of State’s website. You may check your entity at any time through the website at www.sos.alabama.gov and under “Business Services,” “Business Entity & Name Search,” and then click “entity name.”
WHAT IS AN EMPLOYER IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (EIN)?
An Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit tax identification number issued by the IRS (www.irs.gov). It acts as the social security number for a business. This number should NOT be put on any of your formation documents for the state filing.
AMENDING A BUSINESS
I WANT TO CHANGE MY BUSINESS ENTITY’S NAME. HOW CAN I DO THIS?
In order to change the name of your business entity, you will first need to obtain a Name Reservation Certificate with the new name of the entity. You should then complete an amendment form from the appropriate category pertaining to your entity type by going to the “Business Forms” section on the website: www.sos.alabama.gov. Once complete, mail the amendment form and the name reservation certificate to the Office of the Secretary of State, Business Entities, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103, with a $100.00 filing fee, or you can complete the amendment online by going to “Business Filing Amendments” on the online services page. The existing name reservation ID is the RES# in the bottom left corner of the name certificate.
I WANT TO ADD/REMOVE MEMBERS OR CHANGE OUR ADDRESS. WHAT FORM WOULD I USE?
To make changes to your entity, other than registered agent changes, you should use an amendment form specific to your entity type. All changes will be included on the second page of the form. Then submit the forms to the Office of Secretary of State, Business Entities, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103 with the filing fee of $100.00 and two copies of the form with a self-addressed, stamped envelope, or you can complete the amendment online by going to the “Business Filing Amendments” section on the online services page at www.sos.alabama.gov.
CAN I CHANGE MY REGISTERED AGENT OR REGISTERED OFFICE ADDRESS?
Yes, but this change cannot be made with an amendment form. Agent change information included on an amendment form WILL NOT be changed. You will need to fill our a Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office by Entity Form (to change the agent) or a Change by Current Agent to Alter Agent’s Name and/or Change Registered Office Address form (to be used by the current agent to change their address or their actual name). Then complete the form and submit the filing fee of $100.00 and two copies of the form with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Office of Secretary of State, Business Entities, P.O. Box 5615, Montgomery, AL 36103.
I WANT TO RESIGN MY POSITION AS THE REGISTERED AGENT OF MY ENTITY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Fill out the Notice of Registered Agent Resignation Form located under the “Business Forms” section in the “Registered Agent” category. Mail two copies to the Office of Secretary of State, Business Entities, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103. There is no fee involved with this filing.
DISSOLVING A BUSNIESS
MY BUSINESS ENTITY IS INACTIVE, AND I WANT TO DISSOLVE IT. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Mail the dissolution form for your specific entity type and a $100.00 filing fee to the Office of Secretary of State, Business Entities, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103. If a copy is requested, include a second copy and a self-addressed, stamped envelope. You can also use the online services at www.sos.alabama.gov under the “Business Services” section, and then select “Domestic Dissolution.” You will complete the online services prompts, input your credit card information, and print out your dissolution documents from your printer.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DO NOT DISSOLVE MY ENTITY WHEN I’M NO LONGER CONDUCTING BUSINESS?
Any entity that shows a status of “exists” on the Secretary of State’s website is subject to being taxed. You MAY NOT BACKDATE a dissolution to the date you stopped conducting business. The dissolution is in effect as of the date received by the Secretary of State’s Office.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY ENTITY HAS BEEN OFFICIALLY DISSOLVED?
Once the dissolution documents have been processed, your status will change to “dissolved” on the Secretary of State’s website. You may check your entity at any time through the website at www.sos.alabama.gov under the “Business Services” section, select “Business Entity and Name Search,” and then select “Entity Name.”
- Credit card slips must include the complete card number, expiration date, name and address from the credit card statement, and have a physical signature. DO NOT include the CVV number.
- Rejections will be sent to the address on the return envelope or the “prepared by” name and address. All documents must be returned with corrections made and fees included. If the filing is rejected, no money is charged until the filing is corrected.
- Copies of online filings are not mailed out and must be printed withing 15 days of filing.
Have Additional Questions?
Call Secretary of State at 334-242-5324,
or email at