Alabama Foreign Qualification

Foreign qualification is a process that allows a business entity formed in one state to expand its operations into another state, such as Alabama. By registering for foreign qualification with the Secretary of State in Alabama, the business becomes authorized to legally conduct its activities within the state, ensuring compliance with local laws and regulations.

There are 2 different ways to foreign qualify in Alabama depending on your legal entity type and tax classification. Follow the guide below to help you register with the Secretary of State in Alabama or use Mosey to do it.

Use Mosey to register with the Secretary of State in Alabama.

Alabama Foreign Registration for LLC

To transact business in Alabama, you must register with the Secretary of State. “Transacting business” has a broad definition that includes conducting a business, activity, not for profit activity, and any other activity, whether or not for profit.

  1. Obtain a Certificate of Name Reservation

    To file for a name reservation, click on "Continue to application" from the Secretary of State Online Services. Otherwise, log into your subscriber account if you have one.

  2. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must continually maintain a registered agent in Alabama to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in Alabama or a company registered to transact business in Alabama.

  3. Fill the Application for Registration

    Log into the Secretary of State Online Services to file the Application for Registration.

Alabama Foreign Registration for C Corporation

Before a foreign corporation transacts business in Alabama, it must obtain a certificate of authority by filing a Foreign Corporation Application for Registration with the Secretary of State. “Transacting business” has a broad definition that includes conducting a business, activity, not for profit activity, and any other activity, whether or not for profit.

  1. Conduct Name Search

    A name search will verify your business’ name is available for use in Alabama. If your legal name is not available in Alabama, you will be required to choose an assumed identity to transact business in Alabama.

  2. Establish a Registered Agent

    You must continually maintain a registered agent in Alabama to accept service of process. Your registered agent can be an individual who resides in Alabama or a company registered with the Secretary of State that has a business office in Alabama.

  3. Submit your Foreign Corporation Application for Registration

    Submit your Application with an uploaded name reservation certificate through the Secretary of State Online Services and selecting "Continue to application." Alternatively, you may mail your name reservation, two copies of your Application, and filing fee.

  4. File Your Initial Business Privilege Tax Return

    File your Initial Business Privilege Tax Return (Form BPT-IN) online through your My Alabama Taxes account within two and a half months after your date of qualification.

What else do I need to know?

Once you are registered with the Secretary of State, you may have additional requirements to maintain your "good standing" in the state. Failing to do so can result in fines, back taxes, and forfeiting certain priveleges within the state.

Maintaining a Registered Agent

Most states require that you have a registered agent that can receive important mail from the Secretary of State should they need to contact you. There are many commercial options available or you can use Mosey to be your registered agent and keep your information private in Alabama.

Annual Reports and Taxes

In addition to maintaining a registered agent, most states require you to file a report annually. Registration can also trigger state taxes such as a franchise tax or income tax. You can use Mosey to identify these additional requirements to maintain good standing in Alabama.

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