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Secretary of State to reduce online business filing fees

Business people discussing with colleagues with entrepreneurs are planning office room.

Beginning January 1, 2020, Alabama business owners will no longer have to pay the additional $100.00 expedited processing fee when filing for a business electronically.

Since taking office in January of 2015, Secretary of State John H. Merrill has prioritized expediting the filing process for businesses in Alabama.

Previously, it had taken up to seven months to file a business with the state. If a filing agent wished for their business to be filed on that same day, the agent would have to pay a $100.00 expedite fee in addition to the standard processing fee.

After a series of assessments, Secretary Merrill recognized that this was completely unacceptable and a burden to the people of Alabama.

After various changes were made, this office has processed business filings on the same day they were submitted for more than three years and 19 weeks. Merrill stated, “This office no longer operates at the speed of government, we operate at the speed of business!”

Now, because every application is processed within 24 hours of being filed, it is no longer necessary for business owners to pay this additional fee when filing electronically. However, those who file by paper will still have the option to pay the $100.00 expedite fee.

Additionally, this law will remove the requirement for domestic for-profit corporations to file with the county in which they are to be formed. Rather, they will file directly with the Office of the Secretary of State.

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Merrill continued, “This law removes the red tape that once consumed the business filings process and provides businesses with the freedom and ability to thrive. In order to best serve the business community, we must reduce the time in which Alabamians wait for approval from the state so that more time can be allotted to business development.”

Further, the Office of the Secretary of State works with counties to introduce online business filings. This process is currently available in Baldwin, Colbert, Elmore, Jackson, Madison, Montgomery, Morgan, and Tuscaloosa counties. This service is offered at no cost to Alabama’s 67 counties by the Secretary of State’s Office, and we look forward to successful implementation in all 67 counties by 2022.

Act 2019-94 takes effect January 1, 2020. All updates will be reflected on the forms provided by the Secretary of State’s website, following January 1, 2020.


Written By

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.



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Alabama currently has 3,625,249 total registered voters, and 2,000,957 of those voters have registered since Jan. 19, 2015.


C.J. is the founder of the Free Thinker Project and a student senator for the University of Alabama’s student government.