Foreign Qualify a Delaware Company in Alabama

By Devin Scott Monday, July 23, 2018

alabama foreeign qualificationWhen incorporating a business, Delaware is often the popular choice of founders because it is known for having the strongest corporate law structure.

Business owners from all over the world choose to form a Delaware LLC or corporation even though, in most cases, their business will not operate in Delaware.

Business owners choose Delaware in order to take advantage of the best corporate legal protection in the world.

When incorporating in Delaware but operating in another state, your business will be considered domestic to Delaware and foreign to every other state. The process in which your home state gives you the authority to operate there, but under Delaware’s law structure, is called Foreign Qualification.

The state of Alabama, like many other states, requires an application process and a state fee to register your Delaware LLC or corporation to do business as a foreign entity.

Delaware corporations are also required to submit a Certified Copy of your Articles of Incorporation. You’ll need to specifically request a Certified Copy from the state of Delaware. A Certified Copy comes with an additional page attached to your Articles, which proves that you have a true and correct copy.

Delaware LLCs do not have this additional requirement.

Alabama also requires your company to retain a Registered Agent with a physical address in Alabama for the purpose of receiving annual notices and any future service of process.

Typically, business owners reach out to their Delaware Registered Agent for assistance with the Foreign Qualification process as well as the Alabama Registered Agent Service. We can assist you with the entire process.

We can prepare the documents, obtain the Certified Copy from Delaware (only corporations need to do so) and file everything with the state of Alabama. We can also act as your Registered Agent in Alabama for $99 per year.

Generally, the turnaround time for Foreign Qualification approval is about 10 business days. The document that Alabama sends back to prove this process has taken place is called a Certificate of Authority. This is often a prerequisite for any additional licenses, permits or bank accounts that you may need in Alabama.

For more questions about Alabama’s Foreign Qualification process, or if you would like our assistance, please call 1-800-345-2677, Ext. 6130 or email

*Disclaimer*: Harvard Business Services, Inc. is neither a law firm nor an accounting firm and, even in cases where the author is an attorney, or a tax professional, nothing in this article constitutes legal or tax advice. This article provides general commentary on, and analysis of, the subject addressed. We strongly advise that you consult an attorney or tax professional to receive legal or tax guidance tailored to your specific circumstances. Any action taken or not taken based on this article is at your own risk. If an article cites or provides a link to third-party sources or websites, Harvard Business Services, Inc. is not responsible for and makes no representations regarding such source’s content or accuracy. Opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Harvard Business Services, Inc.

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