How to Get a Registered Agent in Alabama

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Swyft Filings is committed to providing accurate, reliable information to help you make informed decisions for your business. That's why our content is written and edited by professional editors, writers, and subject matter experts. Learn more about how Swyft Filings works, our editorial team and standards, what our customers think of us, and more on our trust page.

Alexis Konovodoff
Written by Alexis Konovodoff
Written byAlexis Konovodoff
Updated September 11, 2023
Edited by Zachary Ace Aiuppa
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How to Get a Registered Agent in Alabama

The Alabama government can overwhelm a business with compliance red tape, but some of the mandates can also be useful. For instance, the authorities require your business to have a registered agent to remain in good standing with the Secretary of State.

This article examines the roles and responsibilities of a registered agent, the numerous benefits of working with a third-party service, and how to choose one for your business. 

Key Takeaways 

  • An Alabama registered agent receives legal paperwork on behalf of an LLC or corporation.

  • The registered agent can be an adult Alabama resident or business entity with a physical office address.

  • Hiring a third-party LLC registered agent has many advantages over being a self-designated agent.

Ensure Compliance With a Top Registered Agent in Alabama

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What Is a Registered Agent? 

A registered agent can be a business entity or individual appointed to receive official documents on your behalf. Every limited liability company (LLC) or corporation must have a registered agent to accept legal documents.

Failure to designate a registered agent can be a significant problem for small businesses. Here are the risks one might face without an Alabama registered agent:

  • Receive a rejection from the state over your articles of formation for your Alabama LLC 

  • Be unaware of service of process notifications, which prevents you from taking advantage of your right to due process

  • Incur penalties and fines for not complying with state requirements

  • Lose your certificate of good standing with the Alabama Secretary of State

  • Incur personal court liability for business-related problems

  • Face business dissolution for failure to submit official correspondence

Registered Agent Responsibilities 

The main job of a registered agent is to accept service of process and compliance paperwork. The state can deliver your business correspondence more efficiently as the agent’s name, contact information, and business address are on the public record. 

Besides receiving paperwork related to a potential lawsuit, your Alabama registered agent also accepts the following legal documents:

  • Legal notices

  • Employee notifications

  • Government correspondence

  • Litigation paperwork, such as requests or motions to provide certain documents

  • Compliance-related papers

  • Corporate filings and official mail, like biannual or annual report reminders

  • Tax filings

To receive and forward this paperwork promptly, your registered agent must be available during regular business hours. They are the point of contact for the Secretary of State to ensure fast receipt and compliance.

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Choosing Your Alabama Registered Agent 

An Alabama registered agent is required by law, but you can’t appoint just about any person or company to fill the role. There are specific requirements you need to meet.

Alabama Registered Agent Requirements 

Here are the state mandates to keep in mind when appointing an Alabama registered agent:[1]

  • Be at least 18, if an individual

  • Be a resident of Alabama

  • Be authorized by the Secretary of State to do business in Alabama

  • Maintain a physical street address in the state, generally known as a registered office

  • Be available during standard business hours to receive service of process and other vital documents

You should include information about your registered agent in your corporation or LLC formation documents. You must also provide it when changing your registered agent by completing and submitting the appropriate form.

You can name practically anyone to act as your registered agent if they fulfill the above requirements. However, you can’t designate your business as its own registered agent. Failure to comply with the mandates may incur significant penalties.

Can I Be My Own Registered Agent in Alabama? 

After reviewing the registered agent requirements in Alabama, you might choose to designate yourself as your registered agent. However, looking at the pros and cons of being your registered agent is essential to determine if that’s a good idea.

Becoming your own agent may seem like a win-win proposition at first glance, and it could be for some business owners. Here are a few advantages of being your own registered agent in Alabama:

  • No costs associated with third-party providers, which can save you around $100-300/year

  • Highly convenient if you are already present at your office during regular business hours 

  • Additional discretion since nobody gains insight into your documents and paperwork

While there are some advantages, many business owners decide that going with a third party is simply more convenient than taking on the responsibility independently. These are some disadvantages of becoming your own registered agent:

  • Taking on the challenge of receiving legal correspondence

  • Losing your privacy by listing your name, address, and a few other details in the public record

  • Receiving service of process at work and potentially in front of your customers or employees

  • Risking default judgments if someone sues you, but you don’t receive your service of process paperwork because you weren’t at your office

  • Needing a physical address in the state of Alabama

  • Adding piles of paperwork and filing deadlines to your already busy plate

Benefits of a Third-Party Registered Agent 

Since working as your own registered agent can be a recipe for disaster, many business owners seek out a different way to fill this role. Hiring a professional registered agent provider is your best choice for several reasons:

Unmatched Privacy

The most significant advantage of setting up an Alabama registered agent service is avoiding mentioning your home or business address on public records.[2] Instead, Alabama providers allow you to designate your registered agent using their address.

This way, you can preserve your good standing with the government without jeopardizing your privacy.

Flexible Business Hours

Most business owners travel frequently and don’t like having regular office hours. You could use a registered agent provider if you belong to this category or your worksite isn’t permanent.

For instance, our registered agent service ensures all crucial documents reach you wherever you are. We serve as the point of contact for government authorities on behalf of your business, meaning no critical paperwork arrives unnoticed. With third-party professionals receiving for you, you can focus on the essential aspects of your business.

Same-Day Delivery 

Time-sensitive paperwork needs attention as soon as possible. However, you might not be able to go through it immediately if you have an urgent sales meeting or another business obligation. That’s where registered agent providers come into play.

They offer real-time document receipt and notify you about any deadlines you need to meet to avoid fines and penalties. This enables you to stay on top of time-sensitive paperwork without being at your office all day.

Another great thing about having a registered agent provider managing your paperwork is that they keep it organized. For example, some companies may offer an online account that lets you track your reports and notices. More importantly, internet platforms can inform you of any service of process notifications on time, allowing you to prepare for the proceedings and avoid a default judgment.  

Seamless address changes

The Alabama Secretary of State mandates you to update your registered agent information whenever it changes. To do so, you must file some paperwork and pay a fee to your state.

You won’t need to worry about this if you use a registered agent provider. Besides receiving essential documents during regular business hours, they can notify the state about address changes on your behalf.

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How to Set Up Your Alabama Registered Agent 

Now that you know the requirements for an Alabama registered agent, let’s see how to set one up for your Alabama LLC or corporation.

Electing an Alabama Registered Agent 

You will elect your Alabama registered agent on your formation documents, specifically in your articles of incorporation. 

We'll fulfill your registered agent requirements and take care of all the paperwork on your behalf, so you don’t have to lift a finger. If you prefer a DIY approach, you can submit your form online on the Alabama Secretary of State web page. You must provide details in the “Registered agent” section. The state fees are $100, which you can pay by check, credit card, or money order.[3]

Alternatively, you can set up your agent by mail by following the steps below:

  1. Download your Certificate of Formation with a $100 filing fee.[4]

  2. Provide the registered agent information on page two, line three.

  3. Print a copy and submit it to your county’s office of the Judge of Probate.

Changing an Alabama Registered Agent 

You’ve set up your Alabama registered agent, but their performance is subpar. Fortunately, you can switch to Swyft Filings or another high-quality provider whenever you want.

Often, your new registered agent provider will handle the change for you. We’ll file the relevant form, cover any associated fees, and fulfill your registered agent requirements in one order. Alternatively, you can complete the process below:

  1. Download your Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office by Entity form[5]

  2. Provide the details about your new registered agent

  3. Submit the copy to the Alabama Secretary of State and pay a $25 fee

If you want to appoint a new agent for your Alabama LLC by mail, complete the above form and send it to this address:

Secretary of State

Business Services Division

P.O. Box 5616

Montgomery, AL 36103-5616

Why Choose Swyft Filings as Your Alabama Registered Agent
  • Avoid Penalties: Every business is legally required to have a registered agent in any state where it operates.

  • Prioritize Your Privacy: We go on record with the government so you don’t have to, meaning any legal actions come to us, not your home or office.

  • Stay Flexible: We are always available at a physical address during business hours, so you’ll never miss an official notice.

Secure My Registered Agent


Who can be an Alabama registered agent?

An Alabama registered agent must be at least 18, have a physical address in Alabama, and be a state resident. The registered agent can also be a domestic or foreign entity authorized to conduct business in the state.

How much does a registered agent in Alabama cost?

Most registered agent providers charge between $100 and $300 per year.

How can I change my registered agent in Alabama?

You can change your registered agent by completing and submitting the Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office by Entity form to the Secretary of State.[5]

How can I find a registered agent in Alabama?

This Secretary of State website has a list of Alabama registered agents you can access.[6] You can also search online for reputable companies or ask for recommendations from local business owners.

What is an Alabama registered office?

The registered office is where your registered agent receives paperwork on your behalf. This address can not be a P.O. box or mail forwarding service.

What’s the difference between a registered agent and a resident agent or statutory agent?

The terms “resident,” “statutory,” and “registered” denote the same role. The only difference is that they emphasize specific aspects. For instance, businesses use “statutory” to highlight that a statute mandates the function. In contrast, some use “resident” to emphasize that the agent must be a state resident.

What is a registered agent service?

A registered agent service is a third party that fulfills the registered agent requirements on behalf of the business. Swyft Filings offers a reliable registered agent service that maintains your privacy, provides immediate access to vital documents, and gives you more time to focus on your business.


  1. Alabama Legislature. “Section 10A-1-5.31 — Designation and Maintenance of Registered Agent and Registered Office.” Accessed December 26, 2022.

  2. Alabama Secretary of State. “Business Entity Records.” Accessed December 28, 2022.

  3. Alabama Secretary of State. “Secretary of State Online Services Online Application.” Accessed December 26, 2022.

  4. Alabama Secretary of State. “Certificate of Formation.” Accessed December 28, 2022.

  5. Alabama Secretary of State. “Change of Registered Agent or Registered Office.” Accessed December 28, 2022.

  6. Alabama Secretary of State. “List of Registered Agents.” Accessed December 28, 2022.

Originally published on May 05, 2023, and last edited on September 11, 2023.
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