Before you can pay employees, make sure you've registered for the applicable work and live in state. This can sometimes take several weeks—the sooner you start the process, the sooner you'll have the tax account information required to pay them.

Note, CertiPay Online can put your account in an applied for status. This may cause additional monthly fees as some states do not accept returns/tax liability deposits for accounts that are in an applied for status. 

Alabama Tax Agencies

  • State Income Tax Withholding - Alabama Department of Revenue 
  • State Unemployment Insurance - Alabama Department of Labor 
  • Local Alabama tax agencies - various

Register with Alabama Department of Revenue

First, you must open a general employer tax account with the state— this is a mandatory prerequisite before any employer can get a withholding-specific tax account number. 

1. Register online with the Alabama Department of Revenue.

2. Scroll to the “Businesses” tile. 

3. Click Register a business/Obtain a New Tax Account Number. 

4. Complete all remaining steps with the agency—if you have questions, contact the agency directly.

Once you have a tax account open, here’s how to get your withholding tax account number.

1. Register for the withholding account tax number with the AL DOR.

2. Read the information on the page and then click Go to MAT.

3. Once registered online, it takes 3-5 days to receive an account number. If you chose to register by mail, you’ll get your account number in several weeks (you can call after 5 business days to receive it sooner).

4. Want more help with registering? Check out this agency resource

5. Sign into your tax account portal.

6. Request to receive a withholding account.

State Unemployment Requirements 

Your company becomes liable for state unemployment insurance tax once the company has:

  • Paid $1500 in wages during a calendar quarter or;
  • Had at least one Alabama-employee working for any part of the week, for 20 or more different weeks during a calendar year.

Register with Alabama Department of Labor

Register online with the Department of Labor to obtain your Alabama Unemployment tax account number and rate. You'll need the information below to get started:

  • Federal Employer ID Number (FEIN)
  • Date Alabama Operations Began
  • Date of FUTA Liability
  • Quarterly Wages Paid in Alabama
  • Number of Employees in Each Week of the Quarter
  • Name, Title, SSN of Owner/Partner/Corporate Officer

Once you've registered, you'll receive your unemployment account number instantly online. You'll also be given your company-specific unemployment tax rate.

Local tax registration

If you owe taxes in one of the following locations, you'll need to register with the Alabama Avenue Insights/Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS):

  • Attalla
  • Beaverton
  • Birmingham
  • Fort Deposit
  • Guin
  • Haleyville
  • Hamilton
  • Macon (county)
  • Midfield
  • Mosses
  • Notasulga
  • Shorter
  • Southside
  • Sulligent
  • Tarrant
  • Tuskegee

To register:

 1. Head to the Alabama Avenu Insights/Revenue Discovery Systems (RDS) to register.

  • If you have any questions, call the Avenu/RDS directly at (800) 556-7274.

Auburn tax account registration

If your business is in Auburn, you're required to get an Auburn tax account number. To do so:

1. Download a Business Registration Form and fill it out.

2. Submit the application by mail.

  • If you have any questions, call the City of Auburn directly at (334) 501-7239.

Birmingham Occupational Tax

If your business is in Birmingham, you're required to get a Birmingham tax account number. To do so:

1. Register here.

All employees who work in Birmingham are subject to the Birmingham Occupational Tax.

Gadsden Customer Number

If your business is in Gadsden, you're required to get a Gadsden Customer Number. To do so:

2. Start the registration here.

3. You'll need to download a Business License Application and fill it out.

4. Submit the application by mail to get the Gadsden tax account number.

  • For additional information, you can call the City of Gadsden Revenue Department at (256) 549-4559.


Do not include the Employment Security Assessment (ESA)* rate on the notice—enter the rate from Box 6 of the "Tax Rate Notice" received from the Alabama Department of Labor.

*ESA—Employment Security Enhancement Assessment (ESA)

  • For new employers, the ESA rate is 0%.
  • For employers who have been in business for a few years the rate is typically 0.06%.

Agency Websites and Contact Information 

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