The first step in registering a new business in Alabama is to secure the necessary identification numbers, permits, and licenses through various agencies. The state government requires all individuals, firms, or corporations to pay a license fee in order to engage in commerce, trade, or any other forms of business. This requirement will also differ from the specific licenses and permits you must obtain from the government of the city you are operating in.
Go to the Alabama Business Tax Online Registration System to process your business tax application. This should be processed alongside your business permit and license. The license fees in Alabama will vary according to the type or nature of business you want to set up. This is detailed in the Code of Alabama Section 40-12 Article 12. In here, you will learn more about the different types of licenses and the corresponding fees.
Certain types of businesses like HVAC contractors, food establishments, and auto services will secure additional state regulatory permit on top of their business license and permit. There may be other local permits that must be secured, depending on the city you wish to operate your business in. These include health permit, occupational permit, building permit, zoning permit, signage permit, and more.
The next step is to register your business as any of the following: corporation, non-profit organization, LLC, or partnerships. The final step is to secure the necessary insurances, which you can learn more of through the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations .
Since 2002, the state of Alabama has a total of 67 counties with 451 municipalities. There are also 128 public school districts and 525 special districts. Each county is governed by county commissions, which consists of 3 to 7 elected commissioners in each district. Other county officials include a tax assessor and collector, sheriff, probate clerk, a judge(s), and an education superintendent. Municipal officers' election is held every four years.
As of today, the most common form of municipal government in Alabama is the mayor-council. In the late '70s, however, the commission was the predominant form of municipal government, particularly in larger cities. This is partly due to the court order that required district elections to allow the election of more black officials. After 1970, the trend shifted to mayor-council form.
Aside from the use of the mayor-council format for the state's local government, some municipalities in Alabama also designated city managers.See the main Alabama Page for county links.