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How to Get a Certificate of Existence in Alabama

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Edited by:

Reviewed by: Daniel Javor

Published on June 26, 2022

Updated on November 17, 2022

How to Get a Certificate of Existence in Alabama

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How to Get a Certificate of Existence in Alabama

In Alabama, potential creditors or investors might request a certificate of existence for your LLC, and you’ll need to be able to provide one or risk the loss of key business financing. Thankfully, this guide provides all the information you need to get this certificate in Alabama. 

What is a Certificate of Existence for Alabama? 

In Alabama, a certificate of existence, known as a certificate of good standing in other states, verifies that you’re a legally registered business entity that is up to date on all filings and fees and permitted to do business in the state. You do not have to obtain this certificate to do business in Alabama, or in any state. It is simply used to verify your strong status to third parties such as banks.

skyline view of downtown alabama

Why Do I Need a Certificate of Existence?

Your LLC only needs a certificate of existence if another party requests one. For instance, a bank might request one if you’re opening a bank account or applying for a loan. The credit firm might request one if you apply for a business credit card, or if you set up credit card processing for customer payments.

If you’re registering as a foreign LLC in another state, you will probably be asked for a certificate of existence. 

A foreign entity is simply a business entity doing business in a state other than the one in which it’s registered. For example, if your business is registered in Alabama, but you also do business in Georgia, you’ll need to register a foreign entity in Georgia.

Where to get a Certificate of Existence in Alabama?

In Alabama, the secretary of state issues certificates of existence. Just go to the secretary of state’s website to fill out the required form. The cost is $25 and you should receive your certificate via email in 3 to 4 days. 

Requirements for a Certificate of Existence

You must be registered as a business entity in that state. Operating as a sole proprietorship or a partnership does not require registration in Alabama, so those entities are not able to obtain a certificate of existence. 

Corporations and LLCs, like your business, must be registered with the state, so they are able to obtain the certificate. 

How Much Does an Alabama Certificate of Existence Cost? 

In Alabama, a certificate of existence costs just $25 and it’s well worth it because it officially proves your business’ financial accountability and could open the door to greater investment and expansion.