How to Start an LLC in Alaska
Starting an Alaska limited liability company (LLC) provides reliable liability protection, a straightforward management structure, and pass-through taxation by default.
To establish an LLC in Alaska, you must select a business name, designate a registered agent, and submit the Articles of Organization form to the Alaska Division of Corporations for a fee of $250. Typically, state approval takes only a few days but could take longer depending on the filing method and timing.
After submission, you must file an initial report and complete additional requirements to prepare your LLC for operation. For further guidance on this process, refer to our comprehensive guide.
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1. Name Your Alaska LLC
The first step in registering your Alaska LLC is to choose a name for your business that complies with the state's naming requirements.
Here are some of the most crucial requirements to keep in mind:
- Your LLC name must include one of the following terms: Limited Liability Company, LLC, L.L.C., Ltd. Liability Co., Ltd. Liability Company, or Limited Liability Co.
- Your business name must be different from any other existing business in the state. You can check name availability by conducting a search on the Secretary of State's website or by using this link.
- Your LLC name cannot contain any words used to name a government agency, such as State Department, CIA, FBI, Treasury, etc.
- In Alaska, your LLC name cannot include the terms city, borough, or village.
- Certain words, such as bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc., are restricted and may require additional documentation and licensure paperwork.
2. Designate a Registered Agent in Alaska
Once you have chosen a name for your Alaska LLC, the next critical step is to designate a registered agent. A registered agent is someone, such as an individual, a company, or even yourself, whom your business appoints to receive state and legal paperwork on its behalf. It's mandatory for LLCs in Alaska to have a registered agent, and you will need to provide the name and address of your registered agent for your Articles of Organization.
But what are the duties of a registered agent in Alaska?
According to AK Stat § 10.06.150, a registered agent in Alaska must:
- Have a physical address located within the state of Alaska (PO boxes or virtual offices are not acceptable).
- Maintain regular business hours.
- Accept legal correspondence from the State of Alaska on behalf of your business and ensure that you receive it promptly.
Can you serve as your own registered agent in Alaska?
Yes, you can. However, if you choose to do so, your name and address will appear on the public record. You must also be available during regular business hours to receive legal mail and correspondence in person.
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3. File Alaska Articles of Organization
To make your LLC official, you must complete and file the Form 08-484 - Articles of Organization with the Alaska Division of Corporations. This document is essential, so ensure that all the information is truthful and accurate. If filling out legal forms is not your forte, consider utilizing our business formation plans to guarantee that everything on your formation documents is correct.
Details Required for Your Articles of Organization
The Articles of Organization mandate specific information to be included for approval.
Here are a few essential details that your State of Alaska LLC application will need:
- The name of your LLC, which must adhere to the rules outlined in Step 1.
- The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code and purpose for forming your company. You can locate your appropriate code on the Division of Corporations "Line of Business/Alaska NAICS Code" website.
- The name, physical address, and mailing address of your registered agent.
- Whether your LLC will be managed by members or managers.
- The signature of the organizer who is forming the LLC.
How to File Your Articles of Organization in Alaska
You have two options for filing the Alaska Articles of Organization. Firstly, you can file online by going to the Division of Corporations "Filing by Entity Type" webpage and choosing the LLC structure. Select the "Articles of Organization online" option and follow the instructions. The good news is that you don't need to create an account to do this.
Alternatively, you can file by mail by selecting the "Articles of Organization (PDF)" option on the same webpage. Print the form, fill it out, and mail it to the Division of Corporations. Both options have a $250 filing fee, and the processing time is around 10-15 business days.
Once you have filed the Articles of Organization, you must submit an Initial Report within six months, for which no fee is required. Check out our Alaska Initial Report guide for further information.
4. Create an Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a crucial document that outlines how your LLC will operate. Even though Alaska does not mandate the creation of an operating agreement, it is advisable to have one readily available.
A written agreement can help resolve disputes that may arise regarding financial agreements and other legal issues. Without an agreement in place, courts will decide based on state laws, which may not be in the best interest of the LLC or its members.
An operating agreement may include, but is not limited to, the following information:
- Name and address of the LLC and its principal office
- LLC's duration
- Name and address of the registered agent
- Information about the Articles of Organization
- Purpose of the LLC
- Members and their contributions
- Profit and loss allocation
- Procedures for admitting and withdrawing members
- LLC management
- Indemnification and liability provisions.
5. Get an Alaska LLC EIN
The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique nine-digit identifier assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to businesses for tax purposes, similar to a Social Security number for individuals. The EIN may also be known as the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or Federal Tax Identification Number (FTIN).
An EIN is essential for businesses to:
- Open a business bank account
- Manage and file federal and state taxes
- Hire employees
6. File Initial and Biennial Reports
Once you have formed your LLC, it is necessary to file an Initial Report with the State of Alaska Division of Corporations within six months of the LLC's organization. You can file online or by postal mail, and there is no fee for filing.
In addition, all Alaska LLCs and foreign LLCs registered in Alaska must file a Biennial Report form every two years. The report must be submitted by January 2 of the filing year and can be filed online or by postal mail.
The filing fee for Alaska LLCs is $100, and for foreign LLCs, it is $200.
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