An Alabama Registered Agent or Alabama Registered Agent Service is required by law for every business entity in the state of Alabama. A registered agent is an individual or business entity that will accept legal papers (documents) on your behalf if it is sued. The registered agent or registered agent service must have a physical street address in Alabama and be available during regular business hours.
In my Alabama Registered Agent guide, I’ll walk you through the detailed process of when you should get a registered agent or registered agent service for your Alabama business, how to pick one, if they are required and how to change one if needed. Typically you’re getting a registered agent when you setup your Alabama LLC. Check out my guide on how to setup an Alabama LLC so you can make sure you’re following all the right steps in the process. If you are just looking for the professional service to help you – use Northwest Registered Agent or ZenBusiness.
Best Alabama Registered Agent Service
ZenBusiness will be the best option for setting up a registered agent service in Alabama. They can also help you with getting your LLC formed so if you’re looking for the best option, check them out today!
As you embark on your Alabama journey to setup a business you’re going to need to also have the best Alabama Registered Agent service alongside it. I always recommend using ZenBusiness instead of being your own registered agent or using a local Alabama law firm who may have services to help you too.
They are a national provider that has done this for 1000s of businesses and are an expert in the Alabama registered agent category. They have also worked with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office to make sure you’re operating correctly in the state.
I have been using a registered agent service based out of Oregon where my LLC has been formed. I typically look at all the options you have and then make a decision of how you’re going to get a registered agent associated to your domestic LLC, foreign LLC or whatever type of business entity you’re thinking of starting.
What is an Alabama Registered Agent?
An Alabama Registered Agent is not any different than how any other state operates. Alabama requires that you have a registered agent and they do these primary things for you:
- They receive and manage your service of process (SOP) if you are ever sued as a business.
- They keep important documents and correspondence for your company on file, including annual reports and other compliance-related notices.
- They act as a point of contact between your company and the state government, which can be helpful in a number of different situations.
- They also need to operate during normal business hours and be available to accept whatever legal documents come in at that time.
You may think about using a registered agent as some type of a PO Box or going to the UPS Store/FedEx store and getting a ‘real’ address that is actually just a box number inside of a UPS Store. That doesn’t really cut it because you need an agent to accept legal documents on your behalf. It’s not possible to just use a mailing service to act this way so make sure you’re following the Alabama law as you go on this journey.
Why do I need an Alabama Registered Agent?
There are a number of reasons why you need to have a registered agent but the biggest reason is because it’s required by law. The Alabama public record with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office will have a business name portal (found here) where you can search for business information.
Typically you’re going to find the registered agent’s name and registered agent’s address. If you decide to be your own registered agent, it’s going to have implications of seeing whatever your home address info is as public record which isn’t going to be good for you long term.
I highly recommend that you use an Alabama Registered Agent like Northwest Registered Agent or find an Alabama law firm that can offer registered agent services for you.
When should I obtain an Alabama Registered Agent?
The best time to get a registered agent service setup is when you are setting up your Limited Liability Company. Typically that is also when you’re looking for a service to help you form your domestic LLC, foreign LLC or whatever type of business entity you’re thinking about.
It’s required by Alabama law to have a registered agent with your business otherwise it will be dissolved. That is a big deal. If you don’t get a registered agent setup at the beginning of your business journey then you may not have a real business so please make sure you’re following the steps needed to have a valid business with the Alabama Secretary of State’s office.
Can I Be My Own Registered Agent In Alabama?
Yes. You can be your own registered agent in Alabama but also recognize that what we’ve talked about is seeing that doing this in Alabama is not a good idea. You’ll be required to release your registered agent’s name (that’s you) and the registered agent’s address (your home address) so I always recommend NOT doing this. If you continue to think through the long term implications of this, you end up with a successful business where people can search your business and find your home address. There is no reason for that. We have the legal coverage with registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent specifically to help protect us from situations like this.
When you act as your own registered agent in Alabama, you’re not really following the law as it’s intended and you’re not really providing any sort of legal protection for yourself. Please use a registered agent service like Northwest Registered Agent or another Alabama based law firm to help protect your information.
How Much Does a Registered Agent Cost?
The cost ranges quite drastically depending on how you want to do this. The lowest cost would be doing it on your own and that is close to $0 but like we’ve talked about – that’s not the best thing for us to do.
The other end of the spectrum is getting up to $300/year with some of the registered agent services in Alabama.
The best option is using Northwest Registered Agent during your LLC formation process where you typically get the first year included and then they will have a lower annual fee ongoing once you’ve formed your business with them.
How Do I Elect A Registered Agent In Alabama?
The election process in Alabama is not that complicated. You’ll need to follow the Alabama Secretary of State‘s office rules of what you’ll need to do. Typically that means you go through the steps outlined in the link above and you’ll be either submitting the $100 fee for the LLC formation or $150 if it’s a foreign LLC. The registered agent election is part of the business formation process.
How Do I Change My Registered Agent In Alabama?
If you decide to start with one Registered Agent and need to change it to another – you can. The State of Alabama has made it pretty easy for you to do so by providing the Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office by Entity form here.
The instructions you’ll need to follow are pretty straight forward
Mail 2 copies of the completed form along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:
Secretary of State, Business Services
P.O. Box 5616
Montgomery, Alabama 36103.
- Include a check, money order, or credit card payment for the $100.00 processing fee.
- You may email the filing to email@example.com
- Your filing will not be indexed if the credit/debit card does not authorize and will be removed from the index if the check is dishonored ($30 fee).
Alabama Registered Agent FAQ
Does Alabama require a registered agent?
Yes, Alabama requires every LLC to designate a registered agent.
Can I change my Registered Agent in Alabama?
Of course! You can change your Registered Agent by filing the Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office by Entity form with the Secretary of State’s office. There is a $100 filing fee.
Does registered agent mean owner?
No, your Registered Agent is not the same as an owner, or member, of your LLC. They are a third-party designee who agrees to receive and forward any legal correspondence on behalf of your LLC.
What is a registered agent service?
A Registered Agent service is a business that agrees to receive and forward any legal correspondence on behalf of your LLC.
Best Registered Agent
The best option for your registered agent service