Form an LLC in Alaska

How to Start an LLC in Alaska

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Starting an LLC in Alaska is easy, just follow these simple steps:

STEP 1: Name your Alaska LLC


Choosing a company name is the first and most important step in starting your LLC. Be sure to choose a name that complies with Alaska naming requirements and is easily searchable by potential clients.

1. Follow the naming guidelines:

  • Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.).
  • Your name cannot include words that could confuse your LLC with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) may require additional paperwork and a licensed individual, such as a doctor or lawyer, to be part of your LLC.

2. Is the name available in Alaska? Make sure the name you want isn't already taken by doing a name search on the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

3. Is the URL available? We recommend that you check to see if your business name is available as a web domain. Even if you don't plan to make a business website today, you may want to buy the URL in order to prevent others from acquiring it.

Find a Domain Now

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After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

FAQ: Naming an LLC

What is an LLC?

LLC is short for Limited Liability Company. It is a simple business structure that offers more flexibility than a traditional corporation while providing many of the same benefits. Learn more here.

Watch our 2 minute video: What is an LLC?

Do I need to get a DBA or Trade Name for my business?

Most LLCs do not need a DBA. 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. Learn more here.

STEP 2: Choose a Registered Agent in Alaska


You are required to nominate an Alaska Registered Agent for your LLC.

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. Think of your registered agent as your business' point of contact with the state.

Who can be a Registered Agent? a Registered Agent must be a resident of Alaska or a corporation, such as a registered agent service, authorized to transact business in Alaska. You may elect an individual within the company including yourself.

TIP

Recommended: Incfile provides the first year of registered agent service free with LLC formation ($49 + State Fees)

FAQ: Nominating a Registered Agent

Can I be my own Registered Agent?

Yes. You or anyone else in your company can serve as the registered agent for your LLC. Learn more here.

Is a Registered Agent service worth it?

Using a professional Registered Agent service is an affordable way to manage government filings for your LLC. For most businesses, the advantages of using a professional service significantly outweigh the annual costs. Learn more about registered agents in Alaska.

STEP 3: File the Alaska Articles of Organization


To register your LLC, you will need to file the Articles of Organization with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. This can be done online or by mail.

When filing, you will need to state whether your LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. We recommend learning more about these two options before you file.

File the Articles of Organization

OPTION 1: File Online with the State of Alaska

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail

Download PDF


State Filing Cost: $250, Payable to the State of Alaska (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:
State of Alaska Corporations Section
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811

NAICS Code Required when filing in Alaska

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is a 6 digit code that is 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 here by keyword search.

If you’re expanding your existing LLC to the State of Alaska, you will need to form a Foreign LLC.

FAQ: Filing LLC Documents

What is the processing time to form my Alaska LLC?

10 to 15 business days online or by mail

What’s the difference between a domestic Alaska LLC and foreign LLC?

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 LLC must be formed when an existing LLC wishes to expand its business to another state. Learn more here.

STEP 4: Create an 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 business owners 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.

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Recommended: Download a template or create a Free Operating Agreement using our tool.

FAQ: Creating an Operating Agreement

Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state?

No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. However, many states do legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement in place.

STEP 5: Get an EIN


What is an EIN? The Employer Identification Number (EIN), or Federal Tax Identification Number, is used to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company.

Why do I need an EIN? An EIN 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.

NOTE

FOR INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS: you do not need an SSN to obtain an EIN. Learn more here.

Get an EIN

Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS

Apply Online

- OR -

Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax

Download Form

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Fax: (855) 641-6935

Fee: Free

FAQ: Getting an EIN

How do I get an EIN if I don’t have a social security number?

An SSN 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.

What tax structure should I choose for my LLC?

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 S corporation status. We recommend consulting with a local accountant to find out which option is best for you.

Considering Using an LLC Formation Service?

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Find out which is best for you.

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Protect Your Business & Personal Assets

Business Banking for Personal Asset Protection


Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your LLC is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

You can protect your business with these two steps:

1. Opening a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
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Recommended: Get $200 when you open a business checking account with Chase. Learn more.

2. Getting a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Get Insurance


Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. The most common types of business insurance are:

  • General Liability Insurance: A broad insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses get general liability insurance.
  • Professional Liability Insurance: A business insurance for professional service providers (consultants, accountants, etc.) that covers against claims of malpractice and other business errors.
  • Workers' Compensation Insurance: A type of insurance that provides coverage for employees’ job-related illnesses, injuries, or deaths.In Alabama, businesses with five or more employees are required by law to have workers' compensation insurance. Note that officers and LLC members are counted as employees. Get a free quote with ADP.
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How much will the right insurance cost you? Click here to find out.

Properly Sign Legal Documents


Improperly signing a document as yourself and not as a representative of the business can leave you open to personal liability. When signing legal documents on behalf of your company, you could follow this formula to avoid problems:

  1. Formal name of your business
  2. Your signature
  3. Your name
  4. Your position in the business as its authorized representative

See the image below for an example.

This ensures that you are signing on behalf of your LLC and not as yourself.

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Learn more on how to protect your business & personal assets by reading our article - How to Maintain your LLC Corporate Veil.

Keep Your Company Compliant

Alaska Business Permits and Licenses


To operate your LLC you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

The details of business licenses and permits vary from state to state. Make sure you read carefully. Don't be surprised if there are short classes required as well.

Fees for business licenses and permits will vary depending on what sort of license you are seeking to obtain.

Find out how to obtain necessary licenses and permits for your business or have a professional service do it for you:

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Recommended: If you are a first-time entrepreneur, consider having a professional service research your business’ licensing requirements. Our friends at Startup Savant have reviewed and ranked the top five license research services.

Alaska LLC Tax Requirements


Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for Alaska State Tax.

Sales Tax

Alaska is one of five states that does not impose a sales tax on taxable goods or services. Businesses without employees will not be responsible for any state tax in Alaska.

Employer Tax

If you have employees in Alaska, you will need to register for Unemployment Insurance Tax through the State of Alaska Website.

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Register for Alaska State Taxes

Unemployment Insurance Tax

Federal LLC Tax Requirements


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Read our LLC Tax Guide to learn more about federal income taxes for LLCs.

File Your LLC Biennial Report


Alaska requires LLCs to file a biennial report with the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development. A biennial report typically includes basic information about your business and involves a filing fee.

File your Biennial Report

File Online with the State of Alaska

File Online

Fee: $100

Avoid Automatic Dissolution

LLCs may face fines and even automatic dissolution when they miss one or more state filings. When this happens, LLC owners risk loss of limited liability protection. A quality registered agent service can help prevent this outcome by notifying you of upcoming filing deadlines and by submitting reports on your behalf.

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Recommended: Incfile offers a reliable registered agent service and excellent customer support.

Get Help Starting a Business in Alaska

We understand that creating an LLC and getting your business up and running comes with many challenges. To help you succeed, we compiled the best local resources in every major metro area in Alaska. You can get free assistance in the following areas:

Anchorage | Fairbanks | Juneau

Make Running Your Business Easier

After starting a business, two of the most important things you can do are get professional accounting and hire the right employees. Streamlining these processes can save you time and money as your business grows.

Hiring Employees


If you plan to hire employees, stay compliant with the law by following these steps:

For more information check out Alaska Child Support Services Division's Frequently Asked Questions for new employee hires. 

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Recommended: Check out our Hiring for your Small Business Guide for resources like sample job descriptions, payroll service reviews, and more.

FAQ: Hiring Employees

What is the minimum wage in Alaska?

The minimum wage in Alaska is $9.89 per hour

How often do I need to pay employees?

Alaska requires employees to be paid on a monthly or semi-monthly basis.

Accounting For Your LLC


It’s critical to get your books in order-- even if you haven’t officially opened for business. A well managed accounting system will help you:

  • Track your business finances, including bills, expenses, and income.
  • Simplify your annual tax filings.

The right software makes accounting easy. Look for software that:

  • Syncs with your bank automatically.
  • Matches transactions to invoices, bills and purchase orders.
  • Can be accessed from your phone.
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Recommended: QuickBooks has all the accounting features your small business will need.
Try QuickBooks for free

More Information

Register as a Foreign LLC in Alaska


Forming a foreign LLC allows your company to operate as one entity in multiple states. If you have an existing LLC and want to do business in Alaska, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. This can be done online or by mail.

Register as a Foreign LLC in Alaska

OPTION 1: File Online with the State of Alaska

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail

Download Form


Fee: $350 (Nonrefundable)

Mail to:

State of Alaska, Corporations Section
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811

Fax: (907) 465-2974

How to Obtain a Certificate of Good Standing


A Certificate of Good Standing, known in Alaska as a Certificate of Compliance, verifies that your LLC was legally formed and has been properly maintained. Several instances where you might need to get one include:

  • Seeking funding from banks or other lenders
  • Forming your business as a foreign LLC in another state
  • Obtaining or renewing specific business licenses or permits

You can order an Alaska Certificate of Compliance online.

Order a Certificate of Good Standing

Request a Certificate Online from the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development

Order Online

Fee: $10 (Nonrefundable)

Dissolve Your Alaska LLC


If at any point in the future you no longer wish to conduct business with your LLC, it is important to officially dissolve it. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities and penalties, or even legal trouble. To dissolve your LLC, there are two broad steps:

  • Close your business tax accounts
  • File the Articles of Dissolution

When you are ready to dissolve your LLC, follow the steps in our Alaska LLC Dissolution Guide.

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