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Alaska Nonprofit Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Nonprofit in Alaska

To incorporate a nonprofit in Alaska, file nonprofit Articles of Incorporation with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing. This filing officially creates your corporation, but it’s really just one step toward pursuing your nonprofit’s goals. The main steps to starting an Alaska nonprofit corporation are as follows:

  1. File nonprofit Articles of Incorporation
  2. Get a federal EIN Tax ID from the IRS
  3. Apply for state tax accounts with the Department of Revenue
  4. Hold your organizational meeting and adopt bylaws
  5. Apply for federal and/or state tax exemptions
  6. Register as a charity
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Alaska nonprofit Articles of Incorporation free download. When you’re done filling out the form, submit it to your state.

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How to File Alaska Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation

To form an Alaska nonprofit, file your Articles of Incorporation using the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your nonprofit
Step 2 Describe your nonprofit’s purpose and find the NAICS code that best describes your nonprofit’s activities
Step 3 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 4 Include the names and address of your nonprofit’s initial board of directors (at least three)
Step 5 File online and pay $50 with a credit card, or mail to the State of Alaska Corporations Section, PO Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811-0806 with a check or money order for $50

How Long Does it Take to Start an Alaska Nonprofit?

12

Standard: 12 business days

Alaska will process your nonprofit’s articles of incorporation in about 12 business days. The state does not offer expedited service, but filing your articles online might speed up the process just a little.

How Much Does It Cost To Start An Alaska Nonprofit?

You’ll pay a $50 state filing fee to register your Alaska nonprofit (the fee is the same for articles filed online or on paper). If you hire Northwest to form your nonprofit, the total cost, which includes a full year of registered agent service, is $275.

How Much Does An Alaska Nonprofit Cost Each Year?

The costs of maintaining your Alaska nonprofit will vary year by year, and the costs may be higher or lower depending on your nonprofit’s activities. All nonprofits that solicit and collect charitable donations, for instance, must pay $40 each year to maintain their status as charities, but of course not all nonprofits are charities.

Additionally, instead of filing annual reports, as in most states, you’ll pay $25 to file the Alaska biennial report by July 2nd every other year. You’ll also need to pay $50 to get an Alaska Business License in your first year of operation, and you can select to renew that license annually or biennially.

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What Is An Alaska Nonprofit Initial Report?

Your initial report provides your nonprofit’s contact and membership information to the State of Alaska, and it’s due no later than 6 months after the state approves your articles of incorporation. You can submit the form online at the Alaska Division of Corporations website, and there is no filing fee.

What Is An Alaska Nonprofit Biennial Report?

You’ll submit your Alaska biennial report every two years to update your contact and organizational information with the state. You can mail the report to the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing, or you can submit online at the division’s website. The filing fee is $25, and the report is due by July 2nd on either odd years (if you registered your nonprofit in an odd year) or even years (if you registered in an even year).

Northwest also offers a convenient Alaska Biennial Report Service for $200.

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Will My Alaska Nonprofit Be Tax-Exempt?

Not right away. To obtain federal tax-exempt status, you’ll need to apply to the IRS, and that means forming your nonprofit in the right way and for the right reasons (where “right” means “right in the eyes of the IRS”!). Currently the IRS recognizes more than two dozen types of exempt nonprofits, each described in section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, but most nonprofits apply for 501(c)(3) status for public and private charities. If your nonprofit intends to become a 501(c)(3) organization, your Articles need to include specific language required by the IRS limiting your nonprofit’s activities to the exclusive pursuit of one or more recognized exempt purposes.

If you qualify for federal tax-exempt status, Alaska will then exempt your nonprofit from paying the state income tax. Additionally, if your nonprofit’s property gets used exclusively for religious, charitable, cemetery, hospital, or educational purposes, you will qualify for the Alaska property tax exemption. Alaska already has no state sales tax. Visit our Alaska tax exemption page to learn more.

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Is An Alaska Nonprofit Registered Agent Required?

Yes, you’re required to appoint an Alaska registered agent for your nonprofit. Your registered agent can be an individual (such as yourself or a willing friend), or you can hire an organization that provides a registered agent service.

Doing the job yourself will save a little money, of course, but it also comes with a lot of headaches. You’ll have to list a physical address to receive legal notices, which becomes part of the public record, and you’ll have to be available at that address during normal business hours. Furthermore, your nonprofit’s articles of incorporation and other maintenance documents (such as your biennial reports) will list your address publicly, so unwanted solicitors might come knocking at your door.

Northwest’s registered agent service can help. If you hire Northwest, our name and address will appear on your articles of incorporation, so we’ll be the ones tied to our desks, not you. You’ll have more privacy, receive less junk mail, and have the freedom to manage and grow your nonprofit on your own terms.

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Do I Have To Register My Nonprofit As A Charity In Alaska?

If you intend to solicit and collect donations in Alaska, you’ll need to register as a charity with the Alaska Attorney General’s Office (the Department of Law). Do so before raising funds. The registration fee and the annual renewal fee are each $40, with a September 1 renewal deadline each year.

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Do I Need A Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) For My Alaska nonprofit?

Your nonprofit will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you want to apply for federal and state tax exemptions, but you’ll also need an EIN simply to manage your nonprofit’s finances (even to open a bank account in your nonprofit’s name). Once you register your nonprofit with the State of Alaska, you can apply for an EIN through the IRS website or by phone. Or you can skip this step and add our convenient EIN service for an additional fee when you hire Northwest.

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Will My Nonprofit Need an Alaska Business License?

Yes, your nonprofit will need to obtain a business license from the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing. You can get your license online at the Alaska Division of Corporations website. There is a $50 fee.

Can I Register An Out Of State Nonprofit In Alaska?

Yes. To register an Alaska out of state nonprofit (also called a “foreign nonprofit”), you’ll file a Certificate of Authority with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing. Visit our Alaska foreign nonprofit page to learn more.

Does An Alaska Nonprofit Need Bylaws?

Definitely. Even though you won’t publish your Alaska nonprofit’s bylaws and don’t have to submit them to the state, they remain your nonprofit’s most important internal document. Your bylaws define how your nonprofit operates, including how directors get appointed (and how long they stay in office), who has power over what, and how your nonprofit will maintain its records and ensure its ongoing compliance with state and federal laws. You should adopt your nonprofit’s bylaws at its organizational meeting—its first official meeting—at the same time that you appoint directors, elect officers, and ratify your articles of incorporation. You can hold this meeting before or shortly after filing your Articles of Incorporation, but you should definitely do so before applying for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS.

Hire Northwest, and we’ll provide a free template for writing nonprofit bylaws that you can easily adapt to your nonprofit’s circumstances and purpose. We also provide other free forms to help guide your nonprofit as it develops and grows.

Alaska Nonprofit Articles of Incorporation Requirements

Name

Your nonprofit’s name must contain “corporation,” “company,” “incorporation,” or “limited” (or the corresponding abbreviations). The name also can’t suggest that your nonprofit is part of the government, can’t be misleading regarding your nonprofit’s purpose, can’t use words reserved for identifying goods and services, and can’t include words used to identify an internet address. You can do a name search at the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development’s website.

Purpose

Alaska doesn’t require a detailed description of your nonprofit’s purpose, and you could get away with writing a general statement of purpose like “engage in any lawful activity for which a nonprofit corporation may be organized in Alaska.” But if your nonprofit is a charitable organization, and if you’re planning to apply to the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, you need to attach a lengthier statement of purpose that includes the special language recommended by the IRS.

NAICS Code

The application also asks for an NAICS code, which is just a numerical code that identifies the purpose of your organization’s activities. You can search for the code that most closely matches your nonprofit’s activities on the NAICS website.

Registered Agent

You can list the name and address of an individual resident of Alaska (yourself, for example, or a willing friend), or you can hire and list the name and Alaska address of a registered agent service like Northwest.

Initial Board of Directors

Alaska requires your Articles to list the names and addresses of at least three initial directors (include an attachment if you’ll have more than three).

Optional/Additional Provisions

If you have special provisions and/or articles you’d like to apply to your Alaska nonprofit, so long as those provisions are consistent with Alaska law, attach them to your nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation and indicate if any of these provisions are continuations of existing articles on the form. For instance, if you’re planning to apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS, you will need to attach an expanded statement of purpose using the language recommended by the IRS, and the IRS will also want to see explanations for how your nonprofit’s income and assets will be permanently dedicated to pursuing a tax-exempt purpose.

Signatures of Incorporators

Alaska requires at least three incorporators, all natural persons 19 years of age or older, to sign and date your nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation. Add an attachment if your nonprofit will have more than three incorporators.

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by Local Corporate Guides®