Submitting mandatory business filings in Alabama is going to be a little bit easier for residents in Montgomery County thanks to Secretary of State John Merrill.
On Tuesday, Merrill announced the continued expansion of online filing tools for citizens and businesses to submit filing documentation to the Secretary of State’s Office and the county Probate Judge’s Office, when the county signed on to provide its citizens the ability to form a Domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC) through an online portal on the website of the Alabama Secretary of State. This latest expansion, was accomplished in collaboration with Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed.
The Alabama Secretary of State’s Office is the repository for all business filings in the state of Alabama. State law requires the state to record these filings and for them to be made available to the public for inspection. It also requires a fee be charged and empowers the Secretary of State to charge an additional $100 to expedite the filings process; however, with Merrill’s increased efficiencies in the administration of these processes, this fee is no longer necessary, providing additional cost savings to the people of the Alabama.
In an effort to further expedite the processing time for new or existing businesses in Alabama, Secretary Merrill implemented an online filing system to allow businesses to complete the registration process without extended time away from their new venture.
In May, Baldwin County’s Probate Judge Tim Russell and Jackson County’s Probate Judge Victor Manning became the first counties to implement the program, which is completely free for any county that agrees to participate. Montgomery is Alabama’s latest county to join the program.
Merrill’s history of cutting burdensome red tape
When Secretary Merrill was campaigning to become Alabama’s 53rd Secretary of State, he learned that state filings were delayed up to periods of between five to nine months from the time of receipt in the Secretary of State’s Office. This length of time did not pay respect to Alabama’s working businesses and families and, with that in mind, Secretary Merrill has worked to process business corporation filings on a “same day, no later than next business day” approach. The need to even provide for an expedite fee has virtually been eliminated.
“It is important for the Alabama Secretary of State’s Office to work with all our counties to enhance online business services to benefit Alabamians who wish to form a business corporation. When business thrives our communities prosper and, with both, the quality of life for all our citizens improves. Government should never make forming a business difficult. Instead, we should be working to make government work at the speed of business,” said Merrill.
This process is currently available for domestic limited liability filings and For-Profit Domestic Business Corporations. As time progresses, additional services will be added such as the ability to form online Domestic Nonprofit Corporations, LPs, LLPs, LLLPs and Professional Associations.
All of the electronic services offered by the Secretary of State’s Office can be found on the website at sos.alabama.gov under the Business Services app icon.