Alaska LLC Requirements
An Alaska limited liability company (LLC) is a business entity with sound liability protection, straightforward management structure, and—by default—pass-through taxation. To start an LLC in Alaska, you’ll need to choose a business name, appoint a registered agent, and file a form called Articles of Organization with the Alaska Division of Corporations for $250. Approval usually takes just a few days, but could take a few weeks depending on how and when you file. After filing, you’ll need to file an initial report and take several further steps to get your LLC ready to do business. Here’s our guide to getting it done.
Ready to Start an LLC in Alaska?Get Started
Name Your LLC
Designate a Registered Agent
Submit LLC Articles of Organization
File Initial Report
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
Get an EIN
Open a Bank Account
Fund the LLC
1. Name Your LLC
The first step of the LLC formation process is coming up with a business name. The state of Alaska provides guidelines when choosing your LLC’s name in AK Stat § 10.50.020. Specifically, your LLC’s name must:
- Include either “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.,” or “LLC.” You can abbreviate “Limited” as “Ltd.” and “Company” as “Co.”
- Not include language that suggests your LLC is another kind of entity, like “corp” or or “limited partnership.”
- Not include words that imply that the company is a municipality (like “city” or “village”).
- Be unique among registered businesses in Alaska.
Already have a business name? Check to see if it’s available.
Can I reserve a business name in Alaska?
Yes. Before you form your LLC, you can reserve your business name for up to 120 business days by filing a Business Name Reservation and $25 fee with the Division of Corporations.
What’s the difference between my LLC’s name and an assumed business name?
Your LLC’s legal name is the exact name stated on your Articles of Organization. An assumed business name, also called a fictitious business name (FBN) or doing business as name (DBA), is any name you conduct business under other than your LLC’s legal name or your personal name. Assumed business names must be registered with the Division of Corporations.
Thinking about using an assumed business name? Learn How To Get a DBA.
2. Designate a Registered Agent
The next big decision to make is who to appoint as your Alaska registered agent. A registered agent is someone (individual, company, or yourself) your business designates to accept state and legal paperwork on its behalf. LLCs in Alaska are required to have a registered agent. Be ready to list the name and address of your registered agent for your Articles of Organization.
Learn why the pros use a registered agent service.
What does a registered agent do?
- Have a physical address (no PO boxes or virtual offices) in the state of Alaska.
- Keep regular business hours.
- Accept legal mail and correspondence from the State of Alaska on behalf of your business and get them to you fast.
Can you be your own registered agent in Alaska?
Yes. Your name and address will go on the public record, however, if you choose to be your own registered agent in Alaska. You’ll have to be available to receive state and legal mail in person by keeping regular business hours.
Can I change my registered agent after I start an LLC?
Yes. For a $25 fee, you may change your registered agent in Alaska by filing a Statement of Change with the state.
3. Submit LLC Articles of Organization
It’s finally time to complete and submit the Articles of Organization. Submit it with the Division of Corporations either online, by mail, or in person with the $250 filing fee. Once approved, your LLC is officially formed.
Note: All of the information on this form will become part of the public record.
The following information about your LLC must be provided on the form:
- Company name. Include an indicator like “LLC.”
- Purpose. Briefly describe activities of the company.
- NAICS code. This code classifies your type of business. Find out your code using the Alaska NAICS Code page.
- Registered agent. This is a person or company designated to accept service of process on behalf of your LLC.
- Management structure. Indicate whether your LLC will be managed by members or managers.
- Optional provisions. Additional arrangements or restrictions you’d like to add go here. For example: LLC duration or restrictions on authority of management.
- Organizer. The name of the person or entity preparing and signing the document.
- Contact name and phone number. If the state has a question about your filing, they will reach out to this person.
Ready to start your Alaska LLC Articles of Organization? File for free with Northwest.
How can I keep my personal information off the public record?
It’s important to understand that all the personal information listed on this form will be easily accessed by anyone—including marketers. It’s likely your address will be collected and sold, leading to annoyances like junk mail.
The best way to keep your private information, well, private, is to keep it off this form altogether. And the only way to do that is to find a registered agent who will let you use their address in place of your own on this form. We’re that registered agent!
What’s the difference between a member-managed and manager-managed LLC?
With a member-managed LLC, the members (owners) are the ones in charge of the daily business operations. With a manager-managed LLC, only elected managers run the LLC and have the power to regulate the bank accounts, hire and fire employees, and enter into legally-binding contracts.
For help with deciding which management structure will work for you, see our page on LLC Member Vs Manager.
How do I file the Alaska Articles of Organization?
You can submit your articles online, by mail, or in person.
Mail and in person:
State of Alaska
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
Alaska Online Filing
4. File an Initial Report
Alaska requires new LLCs to file an initial report within six months of formation. It’s best to take care of it right away so that you don’t forget. In fact, when we form Alaska LLCs, we file this report at the same time we file Articles of Organization. Filing your initial report is free.
Beyond filing an initial report, Alaska LLCs must file a biennial report every two years with the Division of Corporations, Business & Licensing. Filing the biennial report costs $100. If your report is more than a month late, a penalty of $37.50 is added on.
The purpose of the initial and biennial reports is to provide the state with the latest on your LLC—information like member names and your registered agent address.
When is the Alaska Annual Report due?
Alaska biennial reports for LLCs are due by January 2 every other year, starting from when you filed your company’s initial report.
So if your initial report was filed in an even numbered year, the biennial report will be due in January of every even numbered year for the life of your company.
Learn more about the Alaska Biennial Report.
How are Alaska LLCs taxed?
You can expect your Alaska LLC to be taxed as a pass-through entity. Profits will simply “pass through” the LLC itself and disperse onto the owners to disclose on their personal tax returns. LLCs in Alaska are subject to the federal self-employment tax rate of 15.3% on their profits. If you’d rather reap the benefits of S-corp or C-corp taxation instead, forms can be filed to the IRS to change your tax status.
Learn more about S-Corp Vs LLC tax designation.
5. Write an LLC Operating Agreement
An operating agreement is a document describing the framework for your LLC’s management. It covers all the details of your LLC’s operation—membership duties, powers, responsibilities, and the strategies in place for dealing with things like conflict or business dissolution.
Check out our attorney-drafted Alaska LLC Operating Agreement.
Does Alaska require an LLC to have an operating agreement?
The state of Alaska doesn’t require LLCs to keep an operating agreement. As stated in AK Stat § 10.50.095, an LLC “may adopt an operating agreement” for the company, but it doesn’t have to.
Regardless of this statute, an operating agreement is critical for the good of your company. It’s perhaps one of the most important documents an LLC keeps. That said, it should be in writing and updated regularly. You won’t need to worry about filing it with the state since it’s an internal document.
What should be included in an operating agreement?
A sound operating agreement will define how your business handles the big picture situations. Things like profit allocation and business dissolution are sorted out here to prevent disagreement later.
Here is a list of common topics covered by operating agreements:
- initial investments
- profits, losses, and distributions
- voting rights, decision-making powers, and management
- transfer of membership interest
- dissolving the business
State statutes in Alaska allow LLC owners to create custom operating agreements, as long as you’re not violating any laws or contradicting the Articles of Organization.
Does a single-member LLC need an operating agreement?
Yes. Even though you can handle conflict resolution with yourself, an operating agreement does far more than that. It helps you prove your LLC is yours, and guards your limited liability.
6. Get an EIN
An EIN, also known as an employer identification number, is comparable to a social security number for your business. It helps the IRS identify you on tax filings and reporting. Applying through the IRS is free, and you can do so online as long as you have a social security number (use a paper form if you don’t).
Do I need an EIN for my Alaska LLC?
Yes. The IRS legally requires you to get an EIN if you have employees or are taxed as a corporation. But even if those statements don’t apply to you, you’ll need an EIN to perform the most basic business tasks, like opening a bank account or applying for a business license. You won’t need to disclose your social security number to anyone either if you can provide an EIN instead.
Lost? We can take it from here.
What To Do After Forming Your Alaska LLC
7. Open a Bank Account
Start a separate bank account for your LLC. Separate personal and business bank accounts prove your LLC is its own entity, allowing you to maintain liability protection. When you commingle your personal and business financial matters, you risk losing that protection in court.
You’ll need to prepare a few things to bring to the bank when you go to open a bank account in Alaska:
- Alaska LLC Articles of Organization (a copy is fine)
- the LLC’s operating agreement
- the LLC’s EIN
- an LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account (if your LLC has more than one member).
If your LLC has more than one member, use our LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account.
8. Fund the LLC
It’s time to decide on some funding options for your new LLC. Now that you’ve established a business account, each member should contribute the initial funds to cover their membership interest. These initial contributions are usually made in the form of a check written to the LLC, but a contribution of property or services is an option. Keep in mind, if any member does contribute assets, it will mostly likely prompt a tax event.
What is LLC membership interest?
LLC membership interest is your ownership percentage (sometimes called “units”) in the company. When you invest more, your ownership percentage grows proportionately. As an example, let’s say you find four members to invest $1,000 each, while you invest $6,000. You’ll end up owning 60% of the company, and the other members will each own 10%. The amount of interest will translate into voting authority.