I researched the 10 leading Alabama LLC services. After my investigation, I picked the top 4 and tested each one. These are my findings and top picks for the best Alabama LLC formation service.
A limited liability company (LLC for short) is the United States-specific form of a private limited company. It is a business structure that can combine the pass-through taxation of a partnership or sole proprietorship with the limited liability of a corporation. An LLC is not a corporation under state law; it is a legal form of a company that provides limited liability to its owners in many jurisdictions. LLCs are well known for the flexibility that they provide to business owners; depending on the situation, an LLC may elect to use corporate tax rules instead of being treated as a partnership, and, under certain circumstances, LLCs may be organized as not-for-profit. In certain U.S. states (for example, Texas), businesses that provide professional services requiring a state professional license, such as legal or medical services, may not be allowed to form an LLC but may be required to form a similar entity called a professional limited liability company (PLLC).
LLC - IRS Website
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a business structure allowed by state statute. Each state may use different regulations, you should check with your state if you are interested in starting a Limited Liability Company.
Owners of an LLC are called members. Most states do not restrict ownership, so members may include individuals, corporations, other LLCs and foreign entities. There is no maximum number of members. Most states also permit “single-member” LLCs, those having only one owner.
Alabama LLC Summary
- LLC Formation Speed: Forming an LLC can take up to 14 days. This is due to the requirement to file with the Secretary of State and the local probate judge. However, expedited filings can be processed in 3 days for an additional $100 fee.
- How much does it cost to file an Alabama LLC? The filing fees for the probate judge vary. There is a $50 minimum; the Secretary of State fee of $150 is required.
- How to file your Certificate of Formation: Mail or drop off a packet at the probate judge’s office, where your LLC’s main offices will be. The packet should include the original certificate, two duplicates, and your name reservation.
- Annual reports: Technically known as the Business Privilege tax, the due date is determined based on your fiscal year. There is a $100 minimum fee (graduated based upon income).
- State General Business License The Business Privilege License is administered through the Alabama Department of Revenue. Other industry licenses may also be available.
- PLLCs There is no separate filing requirement. However, each professional must be licensed separately.
Best Alabama LLC Formation Services
It is difficult to start a business. There is a lot to do, so many people become overwhelmed by the legal processes: filing taxes, obtaining business licenses and permits, and filling out the forms.
Alabama has requirements to ensure compliance, such as hiring an Alabama registered agent or filing annual reports.
LLC services handle most of the work for you. They simply need to know a little bit about you and your company, and they will start your business on your behalf.
This is legal and allows you to concentrate on your business’s “exciting” aspects. Many LLC services offer registered agent services to help you maintain compliance.
#1 Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent has 50 offices in 50 states, and they have more industry experience than their competition.
You also get a year of free registered agent service. This keeps your start-up costs low. Northwest is our top choice, but it’s a service that puts customer service above all else.
- LLC Formation Plan: $39
- Registered agent service: Costs $125 per year, but the first year is free.
- Customer Support: Northwest assigns a US-based account representative to each customer, ensuring they receive prompt and personalized service.
- LLC Services: Northwest keeps the order form simple – no upsells clutter the process.
- User Reviews: Google reviews are great. Reviews on 3rd-party review websites are mostly positive.
Thanks to competitive technology and a dedication to affordability, ZenBusiness has one of the most affordable formation-plus-registered-agent packages available.
You can choose the Pro package ($199 annually) for a flat annual fee to get business formation, registered agent service, and an operating agreement template.
- LLC Formation plan: Starting from $49, plus state fee
- Registered agent service $99 per month, $119 annually
- Customer Support: ZenBusiness provides good customer service due to its smaller customer base and individual attention.
- LLC services: ZenBusiness provides useful tools to track annual reports. However, the ordering process can be confusing.
- User Reviews: Positive reviews on Trustpilot
Incfile can be a great choice if you are concerned about starting costs. They offer a free LLC registration and do not require fees for the first year.
Incfile may not have as many bonus features as its competitors. Still, they offer all the essentials for an additional fee: filing an EIN and registering a DBA, filing annual reports, and others.
- LLC Formation plan: $0, $199, $299 + state fee
- Registered agent service: First Year Free, then $119/year
- Customer Support: Incfile recently increased its customer service team, which improved its response times. This is a significant improvement in their previous performance.
- LLC Service: Everything is straightforward when ordering a package through Incfile. There are not a lot of pricey and confusing add-ons.
LegalZoom is a great way to get involved with a well-known brand.
LegalZoom was founded in 2001 and has grown to offer hundreds of services. LegalZoom is more expensive than other services listed in this guide. LegalZoom is not the only option if you need a complete legal service.
- LLC Formation plan: Starting at $79 plus state fees for a minimum of $229
- Registered agent service $249/year (first year $159 if you add to a formation package).
- Customer Support: LegalZoom is a large company, so its customer service may not be as personal as the other listed companies.
- Easy of use: Many customers have complained that LegalZoom’s ordering process is confusing and lengthy. Numerous upsells are offered before you can choose your package.
- User Reviews: Mixed. Most negative reviews are due to a misunderstanding of the ongoing fees and package offerings.
What is an Alabama LLC?
An Alabama LLC, short for limited liability company, is an entity type that combines the flexibility and protection of a sole proprietorship with corporate assets. That’s not a difficult concept. Let’s find out what this means.
You would operate solely as a proprietorship if you started selling handcrafted apparel out of your home. Sole proprietorships are legal entities.
This means that everything the business owns, from fabrics to sewing machines, is actually owned solely by the proprietor. The proprietor pays all taxes. If the business is sued, or taken to court by a third party, the owner may lose all of his or her personal property to pay the damages.
Registered entities, such as LLCs, have personal asset protection. This is because the business itself is considered an independent legal entity. The business can have assets, have a bank account and be sued. If the business goes under, members of the company cannot lose their assets.
LLCs aren’t subject to a lot of complex requirements, unlike corporations. This makes it an attractive choice for entrepreneurs who want to keep their filings simple and still protect their assets.
There are pros and cons to starting a limited liability company
An LLC is one the most common types of entity in America. However, it’s not the right type of entity for everyone.
Only you know your business best and can choose the entity type that is most appropriate for you. Your vision is clear for the future and your products.
It’s important to understand the pros and cons of LLCs to decide if an LLC is right for your needs.
- It is easier to create and manage than a corporation
- Protection of personal assets
- A flexible tax structure can be paid as a corporation or partnership
- Exclusive use of a business name within a state is prohibited
- No authority can issue stock. Therefore, capital-raising opportunities are limited.
- Some states have higher annual fees and taxes than sole proprietorships or partnerships.
- Some entrepreneurs may not be comfortable with the extra paperwork.
How to set up an Alabama LLC on your own
LegalZoom or Zen Business are not required to form an LLC. While these services can be extremely helpful, you can also save money by doing it yourself.
Our complete guide on how to set up an LLC in Alabama is available here. But, let’s take a look at this:
Choose a company name
Alabama LLCs need a memorable name that can give potential clients an idea of the products or services available. Your business name must be unique for legal purposes and to stand out from the rest.
Appoint a registered agent in Alabama
As we have mentioned, every LLC requires an agent to accept service of process on its behalf. You can be your own registered agent in most states as long as there is a physical address. However, we recommend that you appoint another person (e.g. an online service) as your agent.
Get the Certificate of Formation
Once completed and filed, this document officially forms your Alabama business. Some important information will be required, such as your contact information, business address, signatures of your LLC members, and signatures. You will need to pay $100 for filing with the Alabama Secretary of State. However, you must also pay a county-level fee when filing with the Office of the Judge of the Probate. Each county charges a $50 minimum fee.
It’s easy to set up an LLC. However, it is the maintenance requirements that can be a little more difficult.
Register and pay taxes
You will need an IRS Employer Identification Number if you have employees. There are also state-specific taxes. Alabama LLCs will be taxed at a rate that is comparable to their income tax bracket. LLCs will be taxed in corporations at a fixed rate 6.5%. Sales taxes (4%) as well as other taxes will need to be taken into account. You can find more information at the Alabama Department of Revenue.
Get permits and licenses.
Alabama requires all businesses to have a state-issued business privilege license. But that’s just one requirement. Professional licenses will be required by many businesses. provides guidelines on who should obtain these licenses.
Create an Operating Agreement
Even single-member LLCs need to create a master document that outlines how the business will function in the future.
Get your annual report.
Each year, your LLC must submit an annual report in order to update the state on the status of your business. This report is called the Business Privilege tax in Alabama. A minimum tax of $100 is charged each year.
Get business insurance
All businesses with employees need to have workers’ compensation insurance. A general business liability policy may be an option.
Open a bank account for your business
Sign up for a bank account in your business name so that you can make purchases and write checks.
However, this is only a small part of the entire iceberg. We recommend consulting an attorney for more information or reading the Alabama LLC Form Guide.
My Research for Choosing the Best Alabama LLC Services
This is how I found which Limited Liability Company service (LLC service) is the best in Alabama.
I formed an LLC a few years ago and did a lot of research before doing so. Because I have spent so much time on this subject, I believe I am very capable of finding and recommending the best LLC formation services. I also recommend using a registered agent service rather than being your own.
How did I research and choose the best LLC service in Alabama?
My research approach included these four steps to select the best Alabam LLC formation service.
Step 1: Reviews
I began by analyzing the reviews of online customers for the top 10 LLC services in Alabama.
I spent many nights scrolling through the customer feedback on Trustpilot and Google Business Profiles (among other review websites) to discover which LLC services were new, which seemed questionable, and which were legitimate.
Step 2: Website Analysis
Once I had a good idea of who I could trust, I could go to their websites and see exactly what they offered.
To find out who offered what products or business services, I looked through pricing pages and looked at detailed breakdowns.
Step 3: Talking with real customers
Online customer reviews are only one way to learn. To truly understand the experience of using a service, it is important to talk to the people who use it.
I sought out the opinions of customers who I had recommended to me over the years in order to get a clear understanding of Alabama LLC services. I wanted to know how easy the system was, how helpful and polite their support staff is, and how fast they process applications.
This direct feedback from customers helped me to see which promises were fakes and which were legitimate.
Step 4: Talking with their Sales Team
The last step was to talk to their sales team to find out how difficult they were with upsells.
I asked several questions that a first-timer would. Then I waited to see how many times I was encouraged to get additional services.
My Testing and Rating Criteria
While I was completing my investigative analysis, I was constantly evaluating these LLC formation services on the basis of these four aspects.
1: Features and Services
There are many steps involved in starting an LLC. If you have read at least half of the above, you will know this. Fill out and file your Articles of Organization. You will need an EIN to open bank accounts. Choose a premium registered agent in ALabama to get an address in Alabama. And a lot more.
To ensure you get as many completed projects as possible when you invest your money, I first assessed each LLC formation company on the business and product services they offer.
I checked if they charge extra for a lot of pricey add-ons that are not mentioned at first. I liked the very clear services and upfront with everything. The best value LLC formation services rose to the top.
3: Ease of use
It’s a good idea to sign up for a business formation service that offers a variety of products at a reasonable price without any trouble navigating their system.
I created an account with each Alabama LLC formation service and attempted to register my fictional LLC. This was to ensure that all the systems were easy to use and simple to navigate.
4: Customer service
I was not satisfied with customer service experiences after the recent corporate trend to outsource customer support to unaffiliated phone centers. These representatives know little about the service they are supporting and the laws and regulations that it is subject to.
I did my best to test their customer service teams to determine the quality of their business formation services. I sent them polite questions, called them to inquire about obvious information, and jumped onto their online chat portals. I also complained of inappropriate things. I wanted to know how they dealt with my comments and requests, and how fast it took for them to reply.
My Findings for the Best Alabama LLC Service
My investigative analysis resulted in my picking Northwest Registered Agent as the Best LLC Service for Alabama.