Everything You Need to Know About Alaska Corporations:
Alaska Incorporation Options
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How to Incorporate in Alaska
To start a corporation in Alaska, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Incorporation with the State of Alaska Corporations Section. You can file this document online or by mail. The articles cost $250 to file. Once processed by the state, this document formally creates your Alaska corporation.
Per AK Stat § 10.06.150 (2019), every Alaska corporation must appoint a registered agent. You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your articles wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.
If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your corporation. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit the Alaska Division of Corporations’ database and search until you find the perfect name for your corporation.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your corporation name is, you’re ready to file your Alaska Articles of Incorporation. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Alaska Articles of Incorporation
Learn more about each Articles of Incorporation requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Better yet, skip the form entirely and hire us to incorporate your Alaska business today. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private.
1. Name of Corporation
Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation for one of these words like “Corp” or “Inc.”
“Purpose” here means the specific business activities your corporation will engage in (like “candy manufacturing”). You also have to select an NAICS code—these are 6-digit codes for nearly every sort of business activity you could think of. Pick the best match for your business (it’s okay if it’s not a perfect match). You can search for your business activity in the list of recognized Alaska NAICS codes.
3. Registered Agent and Address
For your Alaska registered agent, you can list an individual resident of Alaska (like yourself), or you can list a business that provides registered agent service (like Northwest). Personally, we’re fans of Northwest. Agents also need to list the street address where they will be available during business hours. This address will become part of the permanent public record of your corporation. You’ll also need to list a mailing address (but this can be the same as the street address). Don’t want to publicly list your personal home or office address? Hire Northwest and our address will go here.
4. Alien Affiliates
It may sound like something out of a bad sci-fi movie, but an “alien affiliate” is just a person or business from outside the US that’s affiliated with your business. You’re required to list the name and address of each affiliate. Don’t have any alien affiliates? Just write “none.”
5. Authorized Shares
List the number of shares you want to create (you must have at least one share). Some or all of these shares will be distributed later on at your organizational meeting. If you have multiple classes or series of shares, you can include this information as well. You’ll also need to list the par value (initial price) of each share type.
6. Optional Provisions and Additional Articles
You don’t have to add anything to your articles that isn’t specifically requested. AK Stat § 10.06.210 (2019) lists permissible optional provisions, such as limiting the duration of the corporation or adding special qualifications for who can be a shareholder.
7. Alaska Incorporator
Your incorporator is the person who signs and submits your Alaska Articles of Incorporation. Incorporators don’t have to be directors, officers or anyone in the corporation. We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Alaska Corporation?
Professionals in Alaska hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent for incorporation—but why?
Standard filing companies don’t have employees or offices in every state. But as a national registered agent, it’s a requirement for us, which is a benefit for our clients. Our office is in Kenai, AK . We’re on a first name basis with the people who work in the Corporations Section.
As your registered agent, we list our Kenai registered office address on your corporation’s formation documents. Why? If you’re starting a business from your apartment in Anchorage, do you really want your apartment address as your business address? (Hint: the answer is no.) We’ll list our address, so you don’t have to list yours. Plus, we never sell your data. We don’t list your personal information on filings if we don’t have to. It’s all standard and part of our commitment to Privacy by Default®.
Free Mail Forwarding & Business Address
At Northwest, we do everything a registered agent should do and more. You can list our address as your business address on your state filings. We include limited digital mail forwarding with registered agent service (up to 5 pieces of regular mail per year; $15 a doc after that).
We know the in’s and out’s of each state—and we use this knowledge to help you when you need it most. Our team of Corporate Guides® has over 200 local business experts. You can call or email us for answers to all your questions about your corporation in Alaska. Our Corporate Guides are dedicated solely to helping you with your business—not selling you services or meeting quotas.
What Do I Do After My Alaska Corporation Is Formed?
After your Alaska Articles of Incorporation are approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting bylaws, holding your first meeting, opening a bank account, and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
Your federal employer identification number (commonly known as an EIN or FEIN) is similar to a social security number for your business. The IRS assigns these numbers and uses them to easily identify individual corporations on tax filings, including federal corporate income tax returns.
Why does my Alaska corporation need an EIN?
The IRS requires corporations to get an EIN for their federal tax filings. You’ll also need your EIN for state tax filings, and may be asked for your EIN when opening a bank account, securing a loan, or applying for local business permits and licenses.
How do I get an EIN for my corporation?
You can get an EIN directly from the IRS. The application is free, and most businesses can apply online. However, if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to submit a paper application form. Can’t bear to fill out yet another application? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our incorporation service. Or choose our Corporate Guide Service—an EIN is included.
Write Corporate Bylaws
Bylaws are the internal rules you set for your business. They put into writing how decisions will be made and who gets to make those decisions. All the major organizational processes and procedures for your corporation will go in your bylaws.
For more on Alaska Corporate Bylaws (including a free Alaska Corporate Bylaws template), see our Alaska Corporate Bylaws resource.
Do I need bylaws for my Alaska corporation?
Yes. AK Stat § 10.06.233 (2019) requires corporations to keep bylaws at the principal executive office or principal place of business and ensure they are open to inspection by shareholders.
You don’t have to submit bylaws to the state though. Corporate bylaws are internal documents you keep with your other corporate records, such as meeting minutes and resolutions.
What should bylaws include?
Corporate bylaws cover basic policies and procedures for issues such as company finances and management. Bylaws should cover a range of topics, answering key questions like those below:
Meetings: When and where will meetings for shareholders and directors be held? How many attendees are required to transact business? What are the procedures for voting or proxy voting? How do you call a special meeting? What actions can be taken without a meeting?
Stock: How are stock certificates issued and transferred? How is voting affected by issues such as corporate stock owners or fractional shares?
Directors and officers: How many directors must there be? Which officer positions are required? What powers do they have? How do you fill a vacancy or remove a director or officer?
Finances: What are the procedures for retaining profits, issuing dividends, and paying bills? Who can withdraw money from the corporate bank account or sign checks?
Records: Where is the corporate book to be kept? What information will be maintained? How are requests for review or access honored? Can records or copies be kept or distributed digitally?
Amendments and emergencies: Who can amend bylaws and how? Can emergency bylaws be adopted in the case of disaster?
Alaska bylaws can make other provisions as well, assuming additions are in accordance with state law. AK Stat § 10.06.230 (2019) gives examples of provisions bylaws can make, such as requirements regarding annual reports and financial statements to shareholders. According to the same statute, bylaws must also state the number of directors if the number is not listed in the articles.
How do I write bylaws?
Creating bylaws can be overwhelming—where do you start? Northwest can help. We give you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your Alaska corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We offer many other free corporate forms as well, including templates for resolutions and meeting minutes.
Hold an Organizational Meeting
An organizational meeting is the first official meeting of the corporation after the business is legally formed with the state. At this meeting, bylaws are adopted, officers are appointed, and any other initial business is conducted. The first meeting minutes should also be recorded and added to your corporate record book.
Are there any special rules for Alaska organizational meetings?
Per AK Stat § 10.06.223 (2019), you’re required to give a minimum of 20 days notice by mail before holding the meeting. The meeting doesn’t have to be held in Alaska, and the notice should state the meeting’s date and location.
Open a Corporate Bank Account
Businesses that mix personal and business finances together risk losing their liability protections, so your corporation will need its own bank account. In addition, a corporate bank account is essential for easily accepting payments, paying bills and holding funds.
How do I open a bank account for my Alaska corporation?
To open a corporate bank account in Alaska, you’ll need to bring the following with you to the bank:
A copy of the Alaska corporation’s Articles of Incorporation
The corporation’s bylaws
The corporation’s EIN
If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account. The resolution would state that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation. At Northwest, we provide free corporate bank resolutions, along with many other free corporate forms, to help you get started fast.
File Alaska Reports & Taxes
In Alaska, corporations file an initial and biennial report. The reports update the state on key organizational and contact information. Alaska corporations are also s subject to state tax requirements, including corporate net income tax.
How much is the Alaska Biennial Report?
The Alaska Biennial Report costs $100.
When is the Alaska Biennial Report due?
Your Alaska Biennial Report is due January 2nd every other year. If you incorporate in an even-numbered year, your report will always be due in even-numbered years. Likewise, if you incorporate in an odd-numbered year, your report will be due in odd-numbered years going forward.
If you miss your filing deadline (and the one month grace period), there’s a weirdly-priced late fee of $37.50. And if you brush off paying this as well, the state will eventually revoke or dissolve your corporation.
These filings can be easy to forget—which is why we send our clients automatic reminders. Or better yet, let us file for you. With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your biennial report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
Do I have to file an Alaska Initial Report?
Yes, corporations must file an Initial Report within six months of formation. Your Initial Report is a form that informs the State of Alaska of your corporation’s contact and ownership information. There’s no filing fee for this report, and you can submit online. Or, simply hire Northwest Registered Agent to form your Alaska corporation, and we’ll take care of filing your initial report on your business’s behalf.
What should I know about Alaska corporate taxes?
A major perk for Alaska businesses: Alaska has no personal net income tax AND no state-level sales tax. (A few local areas, however, have their own sales taxes. Juneau, for example, has a 5% sales tax).
There is, however, a corporate net income tax. The rates are defined by AK Stat § 43.20.011 (2019) as follows:
$0 to $24,999: zero tax
$25,000 to $48,999: 2% of income in excess of $25K
$49,000 to $73,999: $480 + 3% of income in excess of $49K
$74,000 to $98,999: $1,230 + 4% of income in excess of $74K
$99,000 to $123,999: $2,230 +5% of income in excess of $99K
$124,000 to $147,999: $3,480 + 6% of income in excess of $124K
$148,000 to $172,999: $4,920 + 7% of income in excess of $148K
$173,000 to $197,999: $6,670 + 8% of income in excess of $173K
$198,000 to $221,999: $8,670 +9% of income in excess of $198K
$222,000 +: $10,830 + 9.4% of income in excess of $222K
Alaska Corporation FAQs
How can I submit the Alaska Articles of Incorporation?
You can file Alaska articles online or by mail. Mailed filings must be sent to the following address:
State of Alaska Corporations Section
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
How much does it cost to start an Alaska corporation?
The state filing fee for Alaska Articles of Incorporation is $250.
How long does it take to start an Alaska corporation?
File your Articles of Incorporation online and receive your approval right away. You can print out your certificate on the spot. Have 2-3 weeks to kill? Print and mail your Articles of Incorporation. When they have a chance, the Corporations Sections will enter all your data into the system by hand and process your filing (and when they’re especially busy from October to February, you’ll typically wait more than 3 weeks).
Does an Alaska corporation need a business license?
Yes, all businesses in Alaska need some kind of state-level license before they can engage in business. For most corporations, a standard business license from Alaska’s Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing is sufficient. A few industries (like mining and fishing) require alternative specialty licenses instead.
Some counties and municipalities have their own licensing requirements as well. For example, the City of Fairbanks requires businesses to get an annual city business license.
For some license applications you may need an EIN or a certified copy of your Articles of Incorporation. At Northwest, we can streamline the process and get these for you—simply add on these items during checkout.
What is a foreign Alaska corporation?
A corporation formed outside of Alaska—but which conducts business in the state—is considered a foreign Alaska corporation. For example, if you incorporated in Washington but decide to open a storefront in Alaska, you would be a foreign Alaska corporation. This also means you would need to register with the state by filing an Alaska Foreign Business Corporation Certificate of Authority. Foreign corporations are required to file a $200 biennial report as well.
Can Northwest help me form a nonprofit corporation?
Absolutely! We’re happy to start a nonprofit corporation for you. Note that incorporating an Alaska nonprofit requires a different form. The filing fee is lower as well ($50). Alaska nonprofits have to file the state’s biennial report, but that fee is lower too ($25, due July 2 every other year).
How can I get an Alaska phone number for my corporation?
It’s a conundrum: you need a local number to display on your website and give to customers, but you don’t want to make your personal number quite so…public. We get it. And we’ve got you covered with Northwest Phone Service. We can provide you with a virtual phone number in any state—plus unlimited call forwarding and tons of easy-to-use features. You can try Phone Service free for 60 days when you hire us to form your corporation, and maintaining service is just $9 monthly after that. No contract required.
How to Order Alaska Incorporation Service
Our Alaska incorporation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
We’ll form your Alaska corporation for $475 total and include one year of registered agent service, a secure online account filled with business maintenance tools and all the state forms you’ll need, and the lifetime support of our expert Corporate Guides. Just choose Hire Us below, answer a few easy questions about your business, and submit your payment.
Next, we’ll prepare and submit your Alaska Articles of Incorporation to the Corporations Section. In the meantime, you’ll have immediate access to your online account, where you can find useful state forms, pre-populated with your business information.
Once the Alaska Corporations Section has approved your filing, we notify you that your Alaska corporation has been legally formed. You can now move on to next steps, like holding your organizational meeting and opening a bank account.