How to File Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation in Alaska

Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in Alaska is easy — and the first task is filing your Articles of Incorporation. This guide will walk you through the seven steps required to file the Articles of Incorporation to officially start a nonprofit in Alaska.


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Getting Started

To start a domestic nonprofit corporation in Alaska, you must file the Articles of Incorporation for a Domestic Nonprofit Corporation. This guide covers each step you must take to fill out this document successfully and get on the right track to forming an Alaska nonprofit.

Step 1: List Your Nonprofit’s Name

The first step to filling out the Alaska Articles of Incorporation is to list your organization’s name in article one of the document. If you haven’t gone through the process of establishing a name for your organization, here are the requirements for naming a nonprofit in Alaska:

  • Your nonprofit’s name must include “corporation,” “company,” “incorporated,” “limited,” or an abbreviation of any of these terms.
  • Your nonprofit’s name must be distinguishable from any other name on record within the state of Alaska, including any reserved names.
  • Your nonprofit’s name can’t include any words that may infer it’s related to a government agency.
  • Your nonprofit’s name can’t include words like “university,” “bank,” or “trust” without necessary permissions.
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Recommended: For a step-by-step guide to naming your nonprofit corporation in Alaska, read our guide on How to Name a Nonprofit in Alaska.

Search the Availability of Your Name

After selecting potential names — ideally, at least four or five — it’s important to search for their availability in your state. You can do this by conducting the four recommended searches outlined below.

Alaska Corporations Database Search
To operate in Alaska, a nonprofit corporation must have a unique name. You can easily check if your chosen name is available by performing a search using the Alaska Corporations Database tool.

Domain Name Search
We strongly recommend that you also check to see if your business name is available as a web domain (URL). Even if you don't plan to create a business website today, you may want to buy the web address to prevent others from acquiring that domain name. It’s a free search.

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Federal Trademark Search
You can easily check if someone already trademarked your chosen nonprofit name by using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System. This is important even if you don’t plan to form your nonprofit right away.

Once you confirm that no one else already trademarked your chosen name, you can apply for a trademark for your nonprofit.

Web and Social Media Search
A strong social media presence will play a key role in expanding your reach to potential donors as well as clients that will use your services. That makes it important to search the web and popular social media platforms for your desired name before registering it to ensure it’s available on all the platforms where you plan to promote your organization.

Step 2: Describe Your Nonprofit’s Purpose

In article two of the formation document, describe the purpose for which you formed your nonprofit corporation. This is one of the most important sections of this document because your federal tax exemption depends on the purpose of your organization aligning with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requirements.

Your organization’s purpose must include one or more of the following characteristics to be eligible for 501(c)(3) status:

  • Charitable
  • Religious
  • Educational
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • Testing for public safety
  • Fostering national/international amateur sports competition
  • Preventing cruelty to animals/children

Note: Alaska nonprofits should include any applicable NAICS code(s) in this section. The State of Alaska provides a list of approved NAICS codes.

Step 3: Choose a Registered Agent

A registered agent is required to file the Articles of Incorporation in Alaska. When filling out your Articles of Incorporation, you must list the name and address of your registered agent in the third article of the document.

A registered agent serves as the official contact for your nonprofit by receiving official documents on its behalf, such as compliance notices and tax documents. Your registered agent also is responsible for accepting service of process documents in the event of a lawsuit.

A registered agent for a nonprofit corporation may be an Alaska resident with a physical address in the state or a corporation — except limited liability companies (LLCs), limited liability partnerships (LLPs), or limited partnerships (LPs) — that’s registered or in good standing with the Alaska Secretary of State. Your organization can’t serve as its own registered agent.

While you aren’t required to include proof of consent from your registered agent with this filing, you must list their name as well as their physical and mailing address.

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Recommended: Using an affordable registered agent service offers many benefits. For more information on choosing a registered agent service, read our full guide.

Step 4: Name Your Initial Board of Directors

The state of Alaska requires you to name a minimum of three board directors on your Articles of Incorporation along with a mailing address for each. If you plan to list more than three, you must attach a separate page with that information. When listing your nonprofit’s initial board of directors, follow these requirements:

  • Don’t include any prefixes, such as “Mr.” or “Ms.”
  • If applicable, use titles of lineage.
  • If applicable, use designations like “M.D.” or “Ph.D.”

For a complete guide to forming your nonprofit’s board of directors, read our How to Develop a Board of Directors for a Nonprofit in Alaska article.

Note: Because this is a public document, you may want to list post office box addresses rather than residential addresses to protect your board members’ privacy.

Step 5: Provide Any Additional Attachments

To qualify for 501(c)(3) status, you must include a provision attached to your Articles of Incorporation that specifies exactly how your nonprofit will use its funding and what will happen to its funding if/when the organization dissolves. You can find a sample of such a provision on the IRS website. Specifically, in the event of dissolution, all of the nonprofit’s profits should be used for tax-exempt purposes.

Step 6: List Your Incorporator Information

You must provide at least three incorporator signatures. Incorporators must be natural persons aged 19 or older.

Step 7: File Formation Documents

There are four ways to file your Articles of Incorporation in Alaska: online, by mail, by fax, or in person.

File the Alaska Articles of Incorporation

OPTION 1: File Online With the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development

File Online

- OR -

OPTION 2: File by Mail, by Fax, or in Person

Download Form


Fee: $50

Mailing Address:
State of Alaska Corporations Section
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Office Address:
333 Willoughby Ave., 9th Floor
State Office Building
Juneau, AK 99801-1770

Fax: (907) 465-2974

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the Articles of Incorporation in Alaska?

Depending on how you plan to file, you can either obtain a physical copy or file the document online. You can find both versions of the document on the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website.

How long does it take to process the Articles of Incorporation in Alaska?

The standard processing time for the Articles of Incorporation in Alaska is 10 to 15 days. Immediate processing is available by submitting your documents online.

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