How to Start a Alabama Corporation


Steve Goldstein
Steve Goldstein
Business Formation Expert
Steve Goldstein runs LLCBuddy, helping entrepreneurs set up their LLCs easily. He offers clear guides, articles, and FAQs to simplify the process. His team keeps everything accurate and current, focusing on state rules, registered agents, and compliance. Steve’s passion for helping businesses grow makes LLCBuddy a go-to resource for starting and managing an LLC.

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Start a Alabama Corporation

When you plan to start a business in Alabama, you must decide on the appropriate structure. Starting a corporation may be more complicated than creating an LLC in Alabama or a sole proprietorship. However, it is not that difficult as well. There are a few guidelines that you should be aware of when it comes to creating Alabama corporation. Starting a corporation involves a legal process, that is, the process of incorporation.

In this article, I will share a step-by-step guide to start a corporation in Alabama. I will also enlighten you on the advantages and disadvantages of having a corporation. Some people consider starting a corporation in Alabama more than other business structures since it has many advantages over other forms.

What is a Corporation in Alabama

In definition, a corporation is a formal organization established by stockholders, shareholders, or other people to make a profit. Like individuals, corporations can undertake contracts, own assets, sue and be sued, pay taxes, limit state and federal taxes, and loan funds from banking institutions.

Common Types of Corporations

Before you start with the process of forming a corporation, you should know what type of corporation you will form. There are several different forms of corporations you can take into consideration, depending on your corporation’s objectives and ownership structure.

  • C-Corporation: C-Corporation is the most known type of incorporation. They have almost all corporate distinguishing characteristics. Profits are distributed to corporate owners who are taxed at an individual level. The corporation is taxed similarly to a business unit.
  • S-Corporation: An S-Corporation is set up similarly to a C-corporation but has different tax implications and owner limits. S-corps have no more than 100 stockholders and are not taxed separately. These business units must also file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain their status.
  • Non-profit Corporation: Nonprofit businesses are frequently used by religious, educational, and charity institutions to run their operations without making a profit. Thus, a nonprofit corporation is exempt from paying taxes. The nonprofit organization’s gifts, contributions, or cash are reinvested in the company to fund its growth, future endeavors, or operations. Read how to start a nonprofit corp in Alabama to learn about nonprofit corporations.

If you have a small business, it is recommended that you form an LLC instead of a corporation in Alabama. LLCs have more tax benefits than other structures. Besides, LLCs protect your personal assets. However, it is wise to consult a legal expert before you start setting up your business in Alabama.

LLCBuddy Editorial Team

How to Start a Corporation in Alabama

To start a corporation in Alabama, you must follow the below steps that, include forming a corporation name, appointing a board of directors, filing for Certificate of Incorporation, drafting corporate bylaws, meeting with the board of directors, issuing stocks, creating a shareholders agreement, requesting for an EIN, and getting a license and permit. All these steps are basic ones. It can be changed depending on the type of corporation you form and the nature of your business.

Step 1: Choose a Corporation Name in Alabama

Naming your business is one of the most crucial activities during the startup phase. Your corporation name serves as the foundation for your brand. Legal procedures should be taken into account when choosing your corporation name. Choose a corporation name that will enable you to develop a strong brand identity without being hampered by irrelevant factors.

If you are forming an LLC, there is a complete guide on Alabama LLC name guidelines for a proper LLC name. Here are some guidelines you must follow while naming your corporation in Alabama-

  • Your business name must contain entity identifiers, such as “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” or “Company,” or an abbreviation, such as “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”
  • Exclude any words in your business name, such as “Trust,” “Bank,” “Credit Union,” or “Trustee,” or words related to a government agency, such as “FBI,” “State Department,” or “Treasury.”

Step 2: Board of Directors Initial Appointment

To form a corporation in Alabama, you must appoint an initial board of directors before making them permanent once the corporation is formed. In Alabama, you may appoint at least Three board of directors. The initial board of directors is in charge of guiding the overall strategy of your business. The structure, responsibilities, and powers given to a board of directors are determined by the bylaws of a company or organization. So, appointing your corporation’s initial board of directors in Alabama is a big step in forming a corporation.

Step 3: Filing the Certificate of Incorporation in Alabama

After you appoint the initial board of directors in your Alabama corporation, the next step is to write and file a Certificate of Incorporation. In writing, the Alabama Certificate of Incorporation, the corporation name, principal place of business, the purpose of business, Alabama Resident Agent contact information, and the names and addresses of incorporators and/or initial board members, should be written.

Filing a Certificate of Incorporation in Alabama may be done with one method that is filing by mail. The Certificate of Incorporation fee may vary from different states. However, in Alabama, it costs $200 for filing by mail..

  • Online Filing: There’s no online filing available.
  • Offline filing: Send the form to the Secretary of State, P.O. Box 5616, Montgomery, AL 36103

Step 4: Draft Corporate Bylaws

Now you are done filing a Certificate of Incorporation in Alabama, the next step is to draft corporate bylaws. Corporate bylaws are the basic rules that control a corporation. It includes the organization’s structure, processes, laws, and rules. As a result, all personnel, managers, and corporation members must obey the firm’s rules.

In creating corporate bylaws, you should include the following on how the decisions will be made-

  • The responsibilities are given to each officer.
  • How will judgments in business be made?
  • Where and when are the annual shareholder meetings?
  • The minimum number of shareholders required for decision-making.
  • Location and timing of dividend payments.

Step 5: Hold the First Board of Directors’ Meeting

After drafting the corporate bylaws, gather all the board of directors for the first meeting. This meeting will be finalized by appointing directors to manage the company’s daily operations, approve the bylaws, choose the corporation’s accounting year, and approve the stock issue. All board meetings should have minutes taken and stored with the company’s records.

Step 6: Issuing Stock in a Corporation

After starting your Alabama corporation, one of the first official corporate actions is issuing stock to the shareholders. Keep track of the number of shares issued to each shareholder and the purchase price. A corporation in Alabama is managed by its shareholders, who contribute to the business in exchange for ownership shares.

Step 7: Draft and Finalize a Shareholders Agreement

Even though drafting and finalizing a shareholders agreement is unnecessary, I suggest you still comply since it will benefit your corporation and its shareholders. A small business’s shareholders enter into a shareholder agreement contract. It establishes how ownership will be handled in unexpected situations, like a shareholder passes away, retires, becomes disabled, or quits the corporation. Early on in the life of your Alabama corporation, signing a shareholders’ agreement can help maintain corporate continuity and prevent future disputes.

Step 8: Request an EIN in Alabama

After everything is in place, you should get or request an Employer Identification Number (EIN). An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your Alabama corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

The application of an EIN in Alabama can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The EIN online application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is 4 weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

After you have your EIN number, you can benefit in a number of ways. It will give your corporation the final advantage necessary to operate at full capacity without encountering legal or judicial issues.

Step 9: Get Licenses and Permits for your Corporation in Alabama

Before your corporation operates in Alabama, you must have a business license. A business license is a document issued by a government agency that permits you to operate your business in the geographic region that that agency governs. To legally operate your corporation, you’ll need a business license. Numerous corporate licenses need to be filed and renewed regularly. Check out how to get business licenses and permits in Alabama to know more.

You must also register a DBA name if you intend to conduct business using a name other than your corporation’s legal name. The DBA name is sometimes known as “doing business as” or a “fictitious business name.” Depending on your location, you may need to register the DBA with your state, city, and county. You can skip this step if your business solely uses your legal company name.

Important Information

Paying your Taxes in Alabama

Even if you have established your corporation in Alabama, pay your taxes and keep everything up to date so you won’t pay any penalty. Unlike an LLC, there is a corporate tax that every corporation in Alabama has to pay. On the other hand, they must pay income taxes based on their business income. Some other types of taxes in Alabama are sales tax, franchise tax (not applicable to all the states), and other state taxes.

Cost of Forming a Corporation in Alabama

A filing and annual fee must be paid to form a corporation in Alabama. Without it, your corporation won’t operate. The initial filing fee for a corporation may vary depending on the state. However, in Alabama, it costs $200 for filing by mail.. The corporation in Alabama also has to file an annual report (though it might not be mandatory, it is recommended to file one). Ensure you comply with all the necessary fees and costs so your corporation will run successfully and smoothly. If, in the future, you make any changes to your corporation, you must file the Alabama Amendment. It costs $100 to file an amendment in Alabama.

Advantages of Starting a Corporation in Alabama

  1. Limited Liability: The biggest advantage of setting up a Alabama corporation is that the shareholders are not personally responsible for the debts of the company. As a result, when you incorporate as a corporation, personal assets like homes, vehicles, and other possessions are prohibited. One of the main benefits of setting up a corporation over a general partnership or sole proprietorship business structure is that neither the business nor the owners are held legally responsible for the obligations of the business, even if it means giving up their personal assets.
  1. Limitless Corporation: The fact that a corporation’s existence is independent of its owners is another significant benefit of incorporation. In other words, a corporation has an endless life and will continue operating normally even if the owner dies or decides to sell their ownership.
  1. Advantages in Tax: The deduction of health insurance premium payments made on behalf of an owner-employee is one of the many financial benefits to which corporations are entitled. Corporations also save on self-employment taxes since their revenue is not subject to workers’ compensation, Social Security, or medical taxes. Tax rates on corporate profits are lower than those on individual income.

FAQs

What type of corporation can I form in Alabama?
In Alabama, you can form a C Corporation, an S Corporation, a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or a Nonprofit Corporation.
How do I form a corporation in Alabama?
To form a corporation in Alabama, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Alabama Secretary of State, pay the filing fee, and complete other paperwork.
How much does it cost to form a corporation in Alabama?
The filing fee for Articles of Incorporation in Alabama is $100.
Do I need to register my corporation in Alabama?
Yes. In order to do business in Alabama, you need to register your corporation with the Alabama Secretary of State.
What are the legal requirements for corporations in Alabama?
Corporations in Alabama need to comply with the laws and regulations set forth in the Alabama Business Corporation Act.
Who can serve as an officer of a corporation in Alabama?
Any individual or business entity can serve as an officer of a corporation in Alabama.
Can I form a corporation in Alabama without an attorney?
Yes, you can form a corporation in Alabama without an attorney. However, you should consult with an attorney to ensure that you are in compliance with all state and federal laws.
What is the minimum number of shareholders for an Alabama corporation?
The minimum number of shareholders for an Alabama corporation is one.
What is the minimum number of directors for an Alabama corporation?
The minimum number of directors for an Alabama corporation is one.
What is the annual filing requirement for corporations in Alabama?
Corporations in Alabama are required to file an Annual Report with the Alabama Secretary of State by April 15 of each year.
Are corporations in Alabama required to hold annual meetings?
Yes, corporations in Alabama are required to hold annual meetings of shareholders and directors.
Are corporations in Alabama required to have a board of directors?
Yes, corporations in Alabama are required to have a board of directors.
What taxes do corporations in Alabama need to pay?
Corporations in Alabama are subject to federal income tax and Alabama state income tax.
What information do I need to provide when forming a corporation in Alabama?
When forming a corporation in Alabama, you need to provide information on the incorporator, the corporation’s name, the number of authorized shares of stock, and the mailing address of the corporation.
Is there any special paperwork or documents that I need to file in order to form a corporation in Alabama?
Yes, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Alabama Secretary of State.
Can I form a corporation in Alabama online?
Yes, you can form a corporation in Alabama online through the Alabama Secretary of State’s website.
What happens if I do not file my annual report with the Alabama Secretary of State?
If you do not file your annual report with the Alabama Secretary of State, your corporation may be dissolved.
How long does it take to form a corporation in Alabama?
It typically takes 2-3 weeks to form a corporation in Alabama.
Is there a fee to transfer shares of stock in an Alabama corporation?
Yes, there is a $50 filing fee to transfer shares of stock in an Alabama corporation.
Does an Alabama corporation need to have a registered agent?
Yes, an Alabama corporation needs to have a registered agent to receive service of process.
What is the minimum amount of capital that I need to form a corporation in Alabama?
There is no minimum amount of capital required to form a corporation in Alabama.
What are the advantages of forming a corporation in Alabama?
The advantages of forming a corporation in Alabama include limited liability protection, perpetual existence, and tax savings.
Are there any special rules or regulations in Alabama that apply to corporations?
Yes, corporations in Alabama are subject to the laws and regulations set forth in the Alabama Business Corporation Act.
Can I form a corporation in Alabama without having a physical location in the state?
Yes, you can form a corporation in Alabama without having a physical location in the state.
Do I need to publish a notice of formation of my Alabama corporation?
Yes, you need to publish a notice of formation of your Alabama corporation in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which your corporation is located.
Does an Alabama corporation need to have bylaws?
Yes, an Alabama corporation needs to have bylaws in order to operate legally.
Can I form a corporation in Alabama without a business plan?
Yes, you can form a corporation in Alabama without a business plan. However, it is strongly recommended that you have a business plan in place before forming a corporation.
How can I find out more information about forming a corporation in Alabama?
You can find out more information about forming a corporation in Alabama by visiting the Alabama Secretary of State website or consulting with a business attorney.
What are the requirements to start a corporation in Alabama?
In order to form a corporation in Alabama, you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Alabama Secretary of State. The Articles must include the corporation’s name, the address of the registered office, the incorporator’s name, and other information regarding the corporation’s business activities.
Are there any fees associated with incorporating in Alabama?
Yes, there are fees associated with incorporating in Alabama. The filing fee is $100, and the certificate of authority fee is $50.
What is the process for registering a corporation in Alabama?
The process for registering a corporation in Alabama involves filing the Articles of Incorporation with the Alabama Secretary of State. Once the articles are filed, the corporation must obtain a certificate of authority and pay the applicable fees.
What is the timeframe for forming a corporation in Alabama?
The timeframe for forming a corporation in Alabama is approximately 2-3 weeks.
What are the taxation requirements for a corporation in Alabama?
Corporations in Alabama are subject to the state’s income tax and franchise tax. The income tax rate is 6.5%, and the franchise tax rate is 0.33% of the corporation’s total net worth.

Also Read

Why Alabama Corporation is So Important

One of the primary reasons why Alabama Corporation is so important is its significant contribution to our economy. The corporation’s activities generate revenue, stimulate economic activity, and enhance the livelihoods of countless individuals in the state. By investing in various industries, expanding their operations, and developing new business opportunities, Alabama Corporation fuels economic growth, strengthens our local communities, and ensures a vibrant and sustainable economy for everyone.

Moreover, Alabama Corporation plays a vital role in creating job opportunities for residents of the state. By employing a diverse workforce, providing training and development programs, and offering competitive compensation packages, the corporation not only supports individuals and their families but also helps reduce unemployment rates, alleviate poverty, and enhance the overall quality of life for countless individuals in our society.

In addition to driving economic growth and creating job opportunities, Alabama Corporation also fosters innovation and creativity within our state. Through research and development initiatives, partnerships with educational institutions, and investment in new technologies, the corporation pushes the boundaries of what is possible, introduces new products and services to the market, and inspires others to think outside the box. This culture of innovation not only benefits the corporation but also enriches our society as a whole, propelling us forward into a brighter and more prosperous future.

Furthermore, Alabama Corporation contributes to the overall prosperity of our state by supporting various community development projects, charitable organizations, and philanthropic initiatives. By giving back to the community, supporting those in need, and making a positive impact on society, the corporation helps build stronger, more resilient communities, promotes social responsibility, and ensures that everyone has the opportunity to thrive and succeed.

It is clear that Alabama Corporation is an indispensable part of our society, providing countless benefits and opportunities for individuals, businesses, and communities in the state. From driving economic growth and creating job opportunities to fostering innovation and supporting community development, the corporation plays a pivotal role in shaping our future and ensuring a prosperous and thriving society for generations to come. Without Alabama Corporation, our state would not be as vibrant, prosperous, or resilient as it is today, underscoring the importance and significance of this essential entity in our society.

Conclusion

When determining which corporate form is best for you, be selective. You must know which business structure is bet-fitted for your product/service in Alabama. Consult a legal professional before you take the first step while setting up your business. Finding the ideal ratio of corporate advantages and legal protection that meets your unique needs is very important. In forming a corporation in Alabama, you need to ensure that every detail is well-formed so that your corporation will be successful. And if you have any questions, share them in the comment section below.

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