Anyone who wishes to launch a new business in Alabama must obtain the proper licensing before opening their doors. This can be a tedious process, but it’s important to do it correctly so as to avoid future legal challenges. If you are a budding entrepreneur, it’s best to consult an attorney with extensive knowledge of local business laws. They will provide valuable guidance and advice on getting your company set up in the quickest and most cost-effective manner. In the meantime, here’s an overview of how to go about securing the business licenses you need.
What Is the Process of Getting an Alabama Business License?
Choose a Business Structure
First, you must decide how you want your business to be structured. There are a few options to choose from, including sole proprietor, partnership, corporation, and limited liability company — LLC. Each one has their advantages and disadvantages and comes with different tax obligations you should be aware of. A business law attorney can help you determine which is right for your operations. If you select a corporation or LLC, you must file a Certificate of Formation with the Alabama Secretary of State.
Obtain a Federal Tax ID Number
Next, you will need to secure a federal tax ID number from the IRS. All businesses are required to have one, and the application can be done by phone, mail, fax, or online. As long as you can show you’ve filed the Certificate of Formation and been approved as a business, your tax ID number should be issued immediately.
Register Trade Names & Trademarks
If you will be operating under a business name that is different from your own, you will likely need to register it with the Secretary of State. In the event you plan to offer unique products or services, you must also register the associated trademark or service mark.
Determine Which Business Licenses You Need
Finally, it’s time to figure out which business licenses you need and apply. Depending on the nature of your company, you may be required to have multiple licenses. Your business law attorney will help you research all the general, state, and local trade licenses you may need to legally operate. You can apply for these from the probate judge or license commissioner in the county where you intend to do business, and they will need to be renewed annually.
If you are in the beginning stages of a new career, you can benefit greatly from having a business law attorney by your side. The legal team at Lee, Livingston, Lee, Nichols & Barron, P.C. will help you navigate the complexities of starting a company and make sure you’re headed in the direction of success. For over 70 years, this law firm has been entrusted to protect the interests of Dothan, AL, entrepreneurs from all types of industries. Call (334) 792-4156 to request a consultation, or visit their website to learn more about the corporate services they offer.