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Home | Business & Tax | Incorporation | Alabama Incorporation


Form an Alabama Corporation



Let LegalZoom walk you through the incorporating process. With our help, creating a corporation is clear, simple, and can be done online in three easy steps. Protect your personal assets, save on your tax bill, and get the fringe benefits of a legally established business entity. Thousands of businesses have used LegalZoom to incorporate. So go ahead: go with experience. Take the next step and incorporate online today.



When incorporating in Alabama with LegalZoom, we not only file your articles of incorporation with the Alabama Secretary of State, but we also prepare customized bylaws and director resolutions. We can also obtain your Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) and provide other customized services for your Alabama corporation.

Alabama Incorporation Information

Incorporating in Alabama

Corporate Names:

The name that you choose for your Alabama corporation must be distinguishable from any other registered Alabama business entity and any reserved names on record, subject to certain exceptions under state law

LegalZoom allows you to choose up to 3 names, in order of preference. We will conduct a name check before filing to see which names are available.

In addition, the name must contain one of the following endings (or an abbreviation of):

  • "Incorporated"
  • "Corporation"
  • "Bank," "Banking," or "Bankers" if a banking corporation
Alabama state law restricts the use of certain words and phrases in business names, including those which imply that the corporation was organized for a different purpose than what was specified in the articles of incorporation. When you form your Alabama corporation with LegalZoom, your business name choices are reviewed for compliance with applicable state laws.

Formation Requirements:

When you incorporate in Alabama, the corporation's existence begins after the articles of incorporation are filed with the county probate judge, which in turn forwards a copy of the Articles to the Alabama Secretary of State. Alabama law requires that certain information be included in your articles of incorporation. The following is a summary of those requirements:

Incorporators:

  • Minimum Number of Incorporators: One or more.
  • Eligibility Requirements: None.
  • Duties: Those incorporating in Alabama must sign and deliver the articles to the probate judge of the county where the corporation's initial registered office will be located.
  • Listing Requirements - The name and address of each incorporator.
Corporate Purpose:

Alabama allows a corporation to be formed for any lawful purpose. A brief statement of the corporate purpose must be listed in the Articles.

Director Information:

  • Minimum Number of Directors: One or more.
  • Eligibility Requirements: A director must be a natural person at least nineteen years of age, but need not be a resident of this state or a shareholder of the corporation unless specified by the articles or bylaws. The articles of incorporation or bylaws may fix a minimum and maximum number of directors.
  • Listing Requirements: Directors are not required to be listed in the Articles.
Stock Information:

  • The articles must list the share classes, and the number shares of each class, that the corporation is authorized to issue.
Other Required Information:

  • The name of the initial registered agent
  • The address of the initial registered office, which may be any of the corporation's places of business
  • The principal office address
  • The name and address of each alien affiliate
Optional Provisions: Alabama also permits additional provisions to be integrated into the articles of corporations who wish to formalize optional criteria, such as:

  • Shareholders' rights to adopt initial bylaws
  • Provisions managing the business and regulating the corporation's affairs
  • Provisions regulating the powers of the corporation, its board of directors, and shareholders
  • A par value for authorized shares or classes of shares
  • A provision eliminating or limiting the liability of a director to the corporation or its shareholders for money damages in certain situations
Bylaws:

A corporation maintains its bylaws at its principal executive office and is not required to file them with the state. LegalZoom will provide customized bylaws for your Alabama corporation based on the operation requirements that you specify.

Director Information:

The initial bylaws must be adopted by the board of directors, unless the articles of incorporation specify that shareholders have this right.

PLEASE NOTE:Alabama law contains certain requirements and prohibitions related to changing the number of directors after Alabama incorporation.

Officer Information:

The bylaws may either describe the officer positions and duties or authorize that the board of directors make these appointments. These duties must include the responsibility for preparing meeting minutes and for authenticating corporate records. Unless the bylaws provide otherwise, one person may simultaneously hold more than one office in a corporation.

Registered Agent:

LegalZoom can also provide your Alabama corporation with registered agent services. Every Alabama corporation must have a registered agent in Alabama -- the person or office designated to receive official state correspondence and notice if the corporation is "served" with a lawsuit.

  • Eligibility Requirements - The registered agent must be either (1) an adult living in the state whose business office is the same as the registered office or (2) a corporation whose business office is the same of the registered office.
Professional Corporations:

LegalZoom can also complete the documents necessary to create your Professional Corporation. Under Alabama law, a professional corporation is formed to render services within a single profession licensed by the state (except that both medical and dental services may be dually offered).

Annual Reports:

A report must be filed with the Alabama Secretary of State every year between January 1 and March 15. The first report must be filed during this period in the year following the calendar year of incorporation. This report must include:

  • The corporation's name and state/country of incorporation,
  • The name and address of its Alabama registered agent and office (and the principal address for foreign corporations),
  • The nature of the corporation's business and
  • The names and addresses of the corporation's president and secretary.
Dissolution:

A corporation may voluntarily elect to wind up and dissolve. The articles of dissolution must be delivered for filing to the probate judge.

Income Tax Rate:

For information on the Alabama state income tax rate, visit: http://www.ador.state.al.us/

S Corporations:

S corporation status is recognized by the Alabama Secretary of State. Alabama does not require a separate annual filing from the S-corporation beyond Information/Tax Return Form 20S, and accepts the filing of composite shareholder returns.