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Alabama Articles of Organization

When it comes to forming a limited liability company (LLC), the state of Alabama handles things a tad differently. Rather than only using the Secretary of State to file the Certificate of Formation (as with most regions in the U.S), you ideally have to file your LLC’s Certificate of Formation with the Office of the Probate Judge at the county-level. Keep in mind that you need to file with the Probate Judge in the same county as your company.

You are required to submit two money orders or checks. A $100 one to the Secretary of State and another to the Probate Judge. For the latter, the fees tend to vary, but you can get more information here, or by doing a quick search on Google. That being said, let us delve into the process of LLC formation.

LLC Name Reservation

First and foremost, you need to file a limited liability company name reservation with the Secretary of State in Alabama.

The Cover Letter

Next, you will want to download this Cover Letter. Fill in your LLC name, email address, full name, phone number, address of the Probate Judge, and the date. Find the mailing address of your Probate Judge here.

Certificate of Formation

First, download this LLC’s Certificate of Formation PDF. Keep in mind that the state of Alabama requires you to type inside the PDF, print it out, and then sign it.

1. Limited Liability Company Name

In this section, you’ll want to fill in the full name of your company, including the preferred capitalization. You must use the abbreviations LLC at the end of your company’s name.

2. Limited Liability Company Name Reservation

You don’t need to fill anything here. Just ensure you include a copy of the approved Limited Liability Company Name Reservation. In the ‘This Form Was Prepared By’ section, enter your name and mailing address at the bottom of page 1.

3. Alabama Registered Agent and Registered Office

In the first line, fill your LLC’s Registered Agent’s name. If it’s a person, enter their full name and do the same if it’s a company.

In the second line, enter the full address of the Registered Agent. This should include the state, city, and zip code.
Lastly, enter your LLC’s full mailing address if it is not the address of the Registered Agent. If you are going to use your Registered Agent’s address as the primary address, then leave this line blank.

4. At Least One Member

You don’t need to fill anything in this section.

5. Special Type of Limited Liability Company

If you are a licensed professional, e.g dentist, architect, accountant, lawyer, doctor, etc., or your LLC is part of a series LLC, check one of these boxes. For most people, however, the two boxes are left unchecked.

6. The Effective Date

Your limited liability company will become legally effective on the date the probate judge processes it. If you are fine with that, then leave this section blank. However, if you need to postpone the effective date of your LLC use 1:00 pm as the filing time and the date will be forwarded by up to 90 days.


If you have to include any other attachments other than your approved Name Reservation, then check this box and attach those documents when mailing the Certificate of Formation. However, most people tend to leave the attachment box unchecked.

The Signature

Date: The date you’re filling out the Certificate of Formation

Signature: Enter your signature

Typed Name of Above Signature: Enter your full name

Types Title: Enter ‘organizer’

Credit Card Form

Given Probate Judges usually accept money orders or checks, you can discard this page as it is only applicable if you are using a credit card to pay.

Make Two Copies of The Certificate of Formation

You will be submitting the original Certificate of Formation, in addition to two copies.

Prepare Payment

Also, you will need to include two separate money orders or checks. The first one is $100, made payable to the Secretary of State. The second one is made payable to the Probate Judge. You can find the amount required here for the probate judge in your county.

Prepare the Envelope

If you cannot fit everything into a conventional envelope, get a jumbo envelope (bigger than 8.5 by 11 inches). Keep in mind that you’ll be mailing to the Probate Judge in the same county as your Registered Office. Don’t mail to the Secretary of State.

If you are not certain of the county your Registered Office is found, use this simple and free tool. You will find your county’s Probate Judge’s mailing address here.

Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to mail:

-Name Reservation Approval

-Cover Letter

-Money order or check of $100, which is payable to the Secretary of State

-Money order or check payable to Probate Judge

-Certification of Approval ( the original and two copies)
Keep in mind that if you will be Northwest Registered Agent as the Registered Agent, you’ll be filing in Houston County.

LLC Approval and Processing Time in Alabama

Your Certificate of Formation will be processed, recorded, and then forwarded to the Secretary of State within 2 business days. Your filling will then be processed by the Secretary of State between 1 and 2 weeks. Unfortunately, the state of Alabama is a bit of a struggle in regards to getting approval notification and your Certificate of Formation copies. Keep in mind that an approved copy of your Certification of Formation, as well as your EIN, is required to open a bank account.

To Check for LLC Approval:

-Go to the state of Alabama business database.

-Enter the name of your LLC in the ”Entity” section and hit the ”search” button. Leave everything else as is.

-You’ll see your company on the next page and the term ‘Exists’, under the ‘Status’ column. This means that your limited liability company is now officially formed.

If You Want a Copy of Your Approval Documents:

– Go to the Business Entity Record Copies page.

-Click the ‘Non-Subscriber’ link found at the bottom, check ‘certified’ and then ‘continue’.

-You can search either by entity ID or the name of your LLC

-Locate your company in the list and then click on the ‘select’ link on the right.

-Agree to terms and hit the continue button.

-In the Articles of Formation section, check the selection box and click the ‘Add Selected’ button.

-Next, click on the ‘Checkout’ button

-Fill in your email address and hit the ‘Continue to Payment’ button.

-Lastly, fill in your billing information and submit the payment.

When the payment is processed, you will get an email where you can download the Certified copy of your LLC’s Certificate of Formation.

And there you have it, the process of getting an LLC’s Certificate of Formation in Alabama.

If you have any questions or queries, you can reach out to the Alabama Secretary of State through the following:

Phone- 334-242-5324
FAX- 334-240-3138
Email- [email protected]

Additional Resources