How to Start an LLC in Alaska (2024 Guide)
To get started, you'll need to pick a suitable business name, choose an Alaska registered agent, and file your Articles of Organization with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing ($250 processing fee).
You can do this independently, consult with a business attorney for specialized legal guidance, or join the other 65% of our readers and hire a specialized Alaska LLC formation service (recommended).
Northwest ($29 + State Fees)
LegalZoom ($249 + State Fees)
How to Form an LLC in Alaska in 7 Steps
In order to form your LLC in Alaska, there are certain steps you’ll need to complete:
- Name Your LLC
- Choose an Alaska Registered Agent
- File the Articles of Organization
- Create an Operating Agreement
- Get an EIN
- File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
- Submit an Alaska Initial Report
Step 1: Name Your Alaska LLC
Before you get started, you will need to pick a suitable name for your Alaska LLC.
This will need to comply with all applicable naming requirements under Alaska law and be both succinct and memorable, as this will make it easily searchable by your potential clients.
1. Important Naming Guidelines for Alaska LLCs:
- The name of the limited liability company must contain the words “limited liability company” or the abbreviation “L.L.C.,” or “LLC”. The word “limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.,” and the word “company” may be abbreviated as “Co.”
- Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (e.g., FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
- Your LLC’s name cannot contain words with professional licensing restrictions (e.g., “Engineer,” “Architect,” or “Doctor”) without the corresponding license.
- Your LLC’s name cannot be misleading regarding its corporate purpose (e.g., a tailoring company could not use a name containing the word “construction”).
- Unlike many other states, there are no restrictions on deceptively distinguishable names (e.g., Cups Express vs Cupz Express).
We recommend checking out the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing website for a more complete list of naming rules in this state.
2. Is the name available in Alaska?
To check whether your desired name has already been taken by another business entity in Alaska, you can perform a name search on the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website.
If you’re not going to start your LLC right away, it might be a good idea to consider reserving your name. You can protect a name for 120 days by filing a Business Name Reservation, or obtain exclusive rights to a name for up to five years by filing a Business Name Registration.
For more information, you can have a look at our Alaska LLC Name Search guide.
3. Is the URL available?
You should check online to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don’t plan to make a business website right away, this is an extremely important step as it will prevent others from acquiring it, potentially saving you both time and money in the long term.
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Once you have verified your name is available, you may now select a professional service to complete the LLC formation process for you.
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If you need additional information before getting started, you can have a look at our in-depth comparison of the Best LLC Services in 2024 instead.
FAQ: Naming an Alaska LLC
LLC is short for "limited liability company". It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while still providing legal protection for your personal assets. Read What is a Limited Liability Company for more information.
Watch our video: What is an LLC?
You must follow the Alaska LLC naming guidelines when choosing a name for your LLC:
- Include the phrase "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
- Do not use words that could confuse your business with a government agency (FBI, State Department, CIA, etc.).
- Receive the proper licensing when using the words such as lawyer or doctor.
If you are having trouble coming up with a name for your LLC use our LLC Name Generator. That will not only find a unique name for your business but an available URL to match.
Most LLCs do not need a doing business as (DBA) name. The name of the LLC can serve as your company’s brand name and you can accept checks and other payments under that name as well. However, you may wish to register a DBA if you would like to conduct business under another name.
To learn more about DBAs in your state, read our How to File a DBA guide.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Alaska
After you find the right name for your LLC, you will need to nominate an Alaska registered agent. This is a necessary step in your Articles of Organization (i.e., the document used to file and register your LLC with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website).
What is a registered agent? A registered agent is an individual or business entity responsible for receiving important legal documents on behalf of your business. You can think of your registered agent as your business’s primary point of contact with the state.
Who can be a registered agent? A registered agent must be a resident of Alaska or a corporation that is authorized to operate in the state. Popular choices for LLC owners include LLC members, business attorneys, and registered agent services.
FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent
Yes. When it comes to choosing a registered agent, you have a number of options: you can be your own registered agent, select a member from your LLC for this role, collaborate with a business attorney, or engage a professional registered agent service (recommended).
For more information on this, we recommend checking out our being your own registered agent.
Employing a professional registered agent service can be a budget-friendly approach to handle your LLC's government documentation. Many businesses, particularly those just starting out, find that the benefits of using such a service greatly outweigh the costs they incur each year.
Step 3: File the Alaska LLC Articles of Organization
To register your Alaska LLC, you will need to file Form 08-484 - Articles of Organization with the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. You can do this online, by mail, or by fax.
Before filing, make sure you have completed your Articles of Organization correctly. You will need to have filled in the following sections:
- Your LLC’s Legal Name
- The Purpose For Which Your LLC Is Organized
- The Name and Address of Your LLC
- Your LLC’s NAICS Code
- Your LLC’s Management Structure (i.e., Member-Managed or Manager-Managed)
- The Signatures and Printed Name of the Organizers
File the Articles of Organization
OPTION 1: File Online with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic DevelopmentFile Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: File Form 08-484 by Mail, by Fax, or in PersonDownload PDF
State Filing Cost: $250, payable to the State of Alaska (Nonrefundable)
State of Alaska Corporations Section
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811
333 Willoughby Ave., 9th Floor
State Office Building
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
Fax: (907) 465-2974
For help with completing the form, visit our Alaska Articles of Organization
Note: If you're expanding your existing business to the state of Alaska, you'll need to register as a foreign limited liability company (LLC).
Alaska NAICS Requirement
When filing the Alaska LLC formation documents, you will see that you are required to include your NAICS code. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) consists of six-digit codes given to a business depending on the type of trade it engages in. You can look up the NAICS code for your type of business by using our NAICS Code Lookup Tool.
FAQ: Filing Alaska LLC Documents
The Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing typically processes documents submitted via hard copy in 10 to 15 business days while those submitted online are generally processed immediately.
An LLC is referred to as a "domestic LLC" when it conducts business in the state where it was formed. Normally when we refer to an LLC, we are actually referring to a domestic LLC. A foreign limited liability company must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state.
Read our What Is a Foreign LLC article to learn more.
It costs $250 to file your Articles of Organization, which makes up the main bulk of your LLC’s startup costs. That being said, if you decide to reserve a business name or use a professional registered agent service, the cost of starting your LLC may be higher.
To learn more, read our guide on the cost to form an Alaska LLC.
Step 4: Create an Alaska LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is not required in Alaska, but it's a good practice to have one.
What is an operating agreement? An operating agreement is a legal document outlining the ownership and operating procedures of an LLC.
Why are operating agreements important? A comprehensive operating agreement ensures that all LLC members are on the same page and reduces the risk of future conflict.
For more information on operating agreements, read our Alaska LLC operating agreement guide.
FAQ: Creating an Alaska LLC Operating Agreement
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many other states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.
Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Alaska LLC
You can get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for free. It is used to identify a business entity and keep track of a business’s tax reporting. It is essentially a Social Security number (SSN) for the company.
Why do I need an EIN? An EIN number is required for the following:
- To open a business bank account for the company
- For federal and state tax purposes
- To hire employees for the company
Where do I get an EIN? An EIN is obtained from the IRS (free of charge) by the business owner after forming the company. This can be done online or by mail.
FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: You do not need an SSN to get an EIN. Learn more here.
Get an EIN
Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS
- OR -
Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
FAQ: Getting an EIN
A Social Security number is not required to get an EIN. You can simply fill out IRS Form SS-4 and leave section 7b blank. Then call the IRS at (267) 941-1099 to complete your application. Learn more here about applying as an international applicant.
All LLCs with employees, or any LLC with more than one member, must have an EIN. This is required by the IRS.
Learn why we recommend always getting an EIN and how to get one for free in our Do I Need an EIN for an LLC guide.
When you get an EIN, you will be informed of the different tax classification options that are available. Most LLCs elect the default tax status.
However, some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by choosing the S corporation (S corp) status. To learn more, read our LLC vs. S Corp guide.
Step 6: File a Beneficial Ownership Information Report
Beginning January 2024, LLC owners will need to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Existing LLCs can file their report any time between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will need to file their report within 90 days of formation.
This contains similar information to that of your Articles of Organization, such as your LLC name and member information, and can be filed online for free. Failure to file an accurate report on time can result in a $500 per day fine.
Note: There are certain filing exemptions, such as for large companies (i.e., more than 20 full-time employees), tax-exempt entities, and publicly traded companies.
Step 7: Submit an Alaska Initial Report
After filing their Articles of Organization, all Alaska LLCs are required to file an initial report with the state within six months. This can be done online or by printing a pre-populated form to submit by mail or by fax. There is no filing fee.
In order to complete the initial report, you will need to know the following information:
- LLC name and Alaska Entity Number
- Registered agent address
- LLC member names and ownership percentage
- NAICS code
File Your Alaska LLC Initial Report
File Online, by Mail, or by Fax With the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic DevelopmentFile Report
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
Due Date: Due within six months of LLC formation.
Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?
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Maintain Your Alaska LLC
After you’ve successfully formed your LLC, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to periodically take in order to maintain it, including:
- Applying for an Alaska Business License
- Submitting a biennial report
- Sorting out your taxes
We’ve broken down how to complete each of these steps in greater detail below.
Apply for a Business License
Alaska businesses must obtain an Alaska Business License in order to conduct activity within the state.
Apply for an Alaska Business License
OPTION 1: Apply Online With the Alaska Department of CommerceFile Online
- OR -
OPTION 2: File by Mail, by Fax, or In PersonDownload Form
State of Alaska Corporations Section
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811
333 Willoughby Ave., 9th Floor
State Office Building
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
You can choose whether to renew this license annually (every year) or biennially (every two years). This can also be done online or by submitting a hard copy renewal form by mail, by fax, or in person. The filing fee is $50 annually and $100 biennially.
If your business license has expired for more than two years, you must reapply for a new license.
Submit an Alaska LLC Biennial Report
After filing an initial report, your Alaska LLC will need to file a biennial report every second year after formation by January 2 in order to maintain its good standing with the state. This typically means that LLCs formed in odd-numbered years will need to file a biennial report in odd-numbered years and vice versa.
The purpose of this biennial report is to keep the state’s records updated with current information regarding your business, including its:
- Registered agent and office address;
- Officers and directors;
- Principal place of business; and
- Current members or shareholders
You can file this report online or by printing and submitting a pre-populated form by mail or fax and paying the required $100 filing fee.
Sort Out Your Taxes
Regardless of where your LLC is registered, you will be required to pay certain federal taxes. This includes corporation and employer taxes (for LLCs filing as a C corporation), and federal income tax and self-employment taxes (for LLCs taxed as pass-through entities).
In addition, there are a number of different taxes you’ll be required to pay at a local and state level, which can vary depending on the nature of your business.
Below are some of the most common taxes in Alaska:
LLCs with a default tax structure won’t need to submit state personal tax returns as Alaska is one of the few states that doesn’t charge an individual income tax. However, LLC’s organized as corporations will be subject to a state corporate income tax, which ranges between 2% and 9.4% depending on your business’s total revenue.
LLCs characterized as corporations for federal income tax purposes must file Form 6900 Alaska Partnership Information Return along with a signed federal Form 1065, pages 1–5 within 30 days of filing their federal income tax return.
You can do this by mail, although it is generally recommended to file and pay your income taxes online using the Alaska Department of Revenue’s Revenue Online (ROL) system.
Sales and Use Taxes
Alaska is one of five states that doesn’t impose a statewide sales tax. That being said, many cities and municipalities impose their own local sales tax rates (up to a maximum of 7.50%) that your LLC may be liable to pay.
Businesses operating within these municipalities are responsible for collecting the local sales tax at the point of sale and remitting it to the relevant municipal government. Since these details vary greatly by municipality, you’ll need to get in contact with the appropriate local government in your area for specific information.
Note: To find the local sales and use tax rate in effect in your municipality, you can use the Alaska Taxable Report.
Steps After LLC Formation
After forming your LLC, you will need to get a business bank account and website, sort all required business licensing, and get business insurance, among other things.
Visit our After Forming an LLC guide to learn more.