Performing an Alabama business entity search can help you get to know more about a local LLC or find out if a business name you wanted to call your LLC is already taken. The process can be somewhat difficult, but you can make it easier with a few simple steps.

Alabama LLC Name Search and Name Reservation

If you're looking to form an LLC in Alabama, the first thing you need to do is check the availability of your desired name with a name search. Most states actually don't require this to be done first, but Alabama is one of the few exceptions. You can fill out a name reservation form online, which is much easier and typically has a faster approval time. For a $28 fee, you can get instant approval online. If you do it by mail, it will cost $10 for approval in 1 week and $25 for approval in 3 days.

There are a few rules about naming conventions that you must follow when naming an LLC.

  • Your company name must end in LLC or L.L.C.
  • You cannot use any form of incorporated or corporation
  • It must be clearly distinguishable from existing company names (differences in grammar and designators do not qualify)

Name Reservation Online

To get the process started, go to the Alabama Secretary of State website. The site is fairly easy to navigate. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Click Name Reservation Menu
  • Click Name Reservation
  • Click Non-Subscriber
  • Fill out necessary info then click Continue
  • In the New Name Reservation space, make sure you include LLC at the end of your company name
  • Type of Reservation - Domestic
  • Type of Entity - LLC
  • Click Name Reservation Only
  • Requestor is an - individual

After you've completed these steps, you'll have to agree to terms and conditions and pay the required $28 fee. Shortly after submission, you should receive approval. Then, all you have to do is select the LLC's registered agent and file the certificate of formation.

Restricted Industries in Alabama

There are a few industries in Alabama with some specific stipulations you need to consider if you want to open that kind of business. For example, you cannot use any banking related terms in your name without approval from the Alabama State Banking Department. The Alabama Department of Insurance has to approve if you want to use insurance or insurer in your name. Finally, if your company wants to use the word engineer or engineering in their name, you must prove that you are a licensed engineer by the Alabama Board of Engineers & Land Surveyors.

Speaking of licenses, you must also provide proof of a license if you want to hold any professional designation. These include professions such as doctor, veterinarian and attorney, among others.

Alabama Business Entity Search: Corporation, LLC, Partnership

Any member of the public can search the database of the Alabama Secretary of State for a variety of legal entities such as limited liability companies, limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, limited liability limited partnerships, corporations and professional associations.

When you get the results, you have access to more details about each entity if you want to investigate further. There are a few ways you can conduct your search that might make the process easier.

Search by Name

There's a quick link you can follow if you want to search the Alabama database for business by name. The search can be enhanced if you input additional information like entity type, place of formation, status, and city of principal address. When you click on one of the results, you'll have access to a lot more information about the business including the type, ID number, address, formation date, and more.

Search by Entity Number (6 Digits)

Each business registered in Alabama has a 6-digit entity number that's assigned once a business is formed and registered. You have no option to refine the search using this method, as it will only return the single business that holds the corresponding entity number.

Search by Agent, Officer or Incorporator

With this method, you can search for a business by entering the last name and first name of an individual connected to the company. The search can be refined if you know the type of officer the person is as well as the business' place of formation.

If you need help with your Alabama business entity search, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.