You will need to designate an agent if you are forming a limited liability company or corporation in Alabama.
A registered agent is an individual or business entity that receives legal documents from the State and forwards them to you. Why is this necessary? Who should you designate to be your registered agent in Alabama?
This guide will provide all you need to know about Alabama registered agents.
What is an Alabama registered agent?
We get many questions from entrepreneurs in Alabama about why a registered agent is necessary to form an LLC/corporation. Although it may seem like a redundant role for a registered agent, this is actually a crucial role.
If your company is sued, the registered agent will provide a reliable means for the state of Alabama to reach you. A lawsuit could be filed against you without your knowledge if you don’t have a registered representative.
Although Alabama doesn’t have a recommended list for registered agent services, we reviewed the best options and created a list.
Alabama Registered Agents: Who can be one?
According to the Alabama Secretary Of State, the registered agent may be either an Alabama resident or a local business. However, it is essential to have a physical address — post office boxes do not suffice.
Apart from the legal requirements, it is important to discuss who should act as your registered agent. You can declare yourself to be your registered agent. This has pros and cons.
You can save money by not having to pay anyone to be your agent. However, your home address will likely become a public record. This is not ideal. You will also need to be present during normal operating hours (9-5, M-F).
Entrepreneurs often want a friend or family member to act as their registered agent. However, if they don’t have any experience in this role, they may not be able to know what to expect. Although this option is possible, it can be costly.
We prefer to hire a registered agent service. This provides convenience, affordability, and peace of mind unmatched by any other options.
What is the best way to get served in Alabama?
Serving summonses is the most important aspect of a registered agent’s role.
This is what happens in Alabama when a person or lawyer files a complaint and sends it to the Clerk’s Office by mail or in person. After the Clerk’s Office has received the original complaint along with the filing fee, the case will be assigned a case number. An Affidavit in Substantial Hardship can be filed to request that the judge delay payment in cases where the filing fee can or not be paid.
If all of these steps have been taken correctly, then the state will serve a summons on the registered agent for the defendant.
How to designate an Alabama agent
This question will depend on the type of business that you are starting. However, if you form a corporation or LLC, you will need to name your registered agent.
When you are forming an Alabama corporation you can name your registered agent and address. This information can be found at the link. Section 3 of Alabama’s Domestic Limited Liability Company Certificate of Formation (LLC) is required for LLC formations. This document can be found.
No matter if you are filing for an LLC, corporation or partnership, you will need to fill out the form electronically before you print it. You must then mail one original signed copy and two copies of the completed forms, along with any applicable filing fees to the Office of the Judge of Probate located in the county where the corporation has/will have its registered office.
The applicable fee for both cases is $100. If the county where you are filing is accepting credit cards, this method of payment may be accepted. The LLC or corporation will not be indexable if your credit card has not been authorized.
How can I change my Alabama agent?
It is easy to modify your registered agent.
You will need to fill out the State of Alabama’s change of registered agent form with the Alabama Secretary of State. You can complete this form online via this link and print it for mailing. Two copies of this form must be printed and mailed along with $25.00 to the Alabama Secretary Of State, Business Services Division. PO Box 5616 Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5616.
You can pay the fee by check, money order, or credit card. If you choose to pay by credit card, you may email your filing to email@example.com. If your credit card refuses to authorize it, your change won’t be indexed. You will be charged $30.
This form will require your Alabama Entity ID number, the name, and address of the entity, as well as the name and address of the current registered agent.
What is the process for an Alabama agent to resign?
Sometimes, a registered agent might have to quit their position.
To do this, they will need to complete the state’s Notice of Registered Agent Resentment. This one-page document identifies the registered agent and the business entity from which they are resigning. You should complete it on the computer and print it. Then, mail it to the Alabama Secretary Of State. The document will only be accepted by the postal service and not via email or fax. This form does not require a filing fee.
Why should you hire a professional Alabama agent service?
A professional registered agent can be a great option. They will act as both your agent and can also serve as an accountant or lawyer.
We believe the greatest benefit is privacy protection, which allows you to keep your address private. A registered agent service is almost always cheaper than having an accountant or attorney serve as your agent.
We also like the fact that these companies are specialized in providing high-quality registered agent services. They are well-informed and know what to do.
All over the country
Another benefit to hiring a registered agent is that they operate in all 50 states. This means that you don’t have to hire another registered agent if your business expands into another state. The same registered agent can provide coverage in the new state as well as the same service in Alabama. A lawyer or accountant would not be able help you expand in a new state if there was an existing physical office.
Most professional registered agents in Alabama offer a compliance calendar. This service is an added benefit that allows your registered agent to keep track of the due dates for ongoing LLC maintenance requirements such as annual reports.
Other attractive attributes of top registered agent service providers include access to their vast customer support networks. Many of them offer a year of registered agent services with every business formation package. This can save you a lot of money. A number of registered agent services offer volume discounts for customers who require service in multiple states or prepay for multiple years.
What is the penalty for not designating an Alabama registered agent?
To form a limited liability company in Alabama, you must have a registered agent. However, if your registered agent service is lapsed, you could face serious consequences.
Failure to register an agent can result in your business losing its good standing before the state of Alabama. The state has the right to dissolve your LLC at any time.
The difficulty of getting served when your business is sued would also be a problem. A court could decide to proceed with the lawsuit against you if it cannot reach your registered agent. This could happen if you fail or neglect to name a registered agent. It can also happen if your agent isn’t available during business hours to receive the document delivery.
You can see that designating a registered agent to represent your Alabama company is not as simple as simply writing your name.
We believe there are some serious drawbacks to all options. However, we recommend that you hire a professional registered agent service as they have the least disadvantages. You don’t have to worry about losing good standing, having your LLC/corporation dissolved, or having a suit filed against you.
You can reach the Alabama Secretary Of State if you have further questions.
John H. Merrill
Officer of the Alabama Secretary Of State
P.O. P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, AL 361035616
Business808, a renowned consulting organization that aids startups in scaling and growing, is led by Andy Brooks as Editor-in-Chief.
Andy has over 12 years of consulting experience and is a pro at creating and managing profitable businesses. He has experience working with several LLCs and Registered Agent services and has a degree in business management. Andy enjoys providing useful information for Business808.
In addition to writing for Business808, Andy is a well-known author and speaker, and an active contributor to several online business publications, imparting his knowledge on how to grow an LLC.