Alaska LLC Formation Options
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How to Start an LLC in Alaska
To start an LLC in Alaska, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Organization with the State of Alaska Corporations Section. You can file the document online or by mail. The articles cost $250 to file. Once filed with the state, this document formally creates your Alaska LLC.
According to AK Stat § 10.50.055 (2019), every Alaska LLC 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 LLC. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/cbp/main/search/entities and search until you find the perfect name for your LLC.
Once you know who your registered agent will be and what your LLC name is, you’re ready to file your Alaska Articles of Organization. Follow along with our filing instructions below:
Filing the Alaska LLC Articles of Organization
Learn more about each Articles of Organization requirement below. Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.
Or skip the form entirely and hire us to form your Alaska LLC. We provide a free business address to list whenever possible throughout the filing to better keep your personal address private.
1. Company Name
You have to include “Limited Liability Company” or an abbreviation like “LLC.” While you can include the name of a specific city, borough, or village, you cannot include the words “city,” “borough,” or “village.” It seems impossible to mistake “Pancake City” for a municipality, but apparently Alaska is not about to take that risk.
While your Alaska LLC’s purpose is probably to make money, don’t write that in your articles. “Purpose” really means “business activities.” You can be specific and put “reupholster furniture,” or you can do what most people do and put a general purpose, like “engage in any lawful activity for which a Limited Liability Company may be organized in Alaska.” Along with the purpose, you’re told to include a NAICS code, which is just a numerical code for a business activity. For example, the code for non-costume jewelry manufacturing is 339911. The list of Alaska-recognized codes is pretty specific, but if you can’t find a perfect fit, go with whatever is closest.
3. Registered Agent
Your Alaska registered agent could be yourself or a friend (as long as you’re Alaska residents), or you could hire a professional service like Northwest. You’ll need to include a physical and mailing address for your registered agent, which will become part of the permanent public record. Hire us and that public address could be ours, not yours.
4. LLC Management
Management style is all about decision-making power. You can either have members make all the decisions for the LLC (like a partnership), or you can have one or more managers run the show (similar to a corporation). Managers don’t have to be members, but they can be if that works better for you.
5. Optional Provisions
You can include additional pages to elaborate on any of the required articles, or to insert additional provisions (these must fall within the scope of Alaska law). For example, AK Stat § 10.50.095 notes that you may add a provision restricting members’ ability to adopt, amend, or repeal the LLC’s operating agreement.
6. Alaska LLC Organizer
Despite the fancy title of “organizer,” an organizer is just the person(s) filing the Articles of Organization. Organizers don’t have to be members or managers of the LLC. Don’t want to include your name? Hire us, and we’ll be your organizer.
Why Have a Registered Agent Form Your Alaska LLC?
Professionals in Alaska hire registered agent services like Northwest Registered Agent to start an LLC—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. We know all the fastest filing methods, which translates to fast, professional service—without extra fees.
As your registered agent, we list our Kenai registered office address on your LLC’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 and Business Address
We already accept your legal mail—so why not take it a step further? In every state, we include limited digital mail forwarding for your regular mail too (5 pieces of regular mail a year; $15 a doc after that). Plus, you can list our address as your business address. That means you can have all business mail routed through our office. With both mail forwarding and a business address included, you get a level of security unmatched in the formation industry.
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 LLC 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 LLC Is Formed?
After your Alaska Articles of Organization are approved, you still have a few more important steps to take, including getting an EIN, drafting an operating agreement, opening a bank account, funding the LLC and learning about state reporting and tax requirements.
Get an EIN
An EIN (“Employer Identification Number”) is a federal tax ID assigned to your business by the IRS. The IRS uses your EIN to easily identify your business on tax filings.
Does an Alaska LLC need an EIN?
Most LLCs will need an EIN. You’re required to get this federal tax ID if you have employees or if you submit special tax filings like Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms returns. And you’ll likely need one to open a bank account or apply for local licenses or permits. Best just to get one, especially because they can be obtained for free from the IRS.
How do I get an EIN for my LLC?
You can apply for an EIN directly from the IRS at no cost. Most businesses are able to apply online, but if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to apply with a paper form. Want one less thing to do? Add on EIN service when you hire us, and we’ll get your EIN for you. Or choose our VIP service—an EIN is included.
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
Operating agreements put into writing how your business actually operates—how much each member invested, how profits and losses will be allocated, how voting works, and what happens if there’s a dispute or if the whole business (knock on wood) falls apart.
Do I need an operating agreement for an Alaska LLC?
Alaska doesn’t legally require an operating agreement. According to state statute AK Stat § 10.50.095, members MAY enter into an operating agreement—but the law doesn’t declare that they must.
That said, an operating agreement isn’t just annoying paperwork. It’s one of your LLC’s most important internal documents, and creating one can help your LLC with everything from opening a bank account to handling major events like mergers and dissolution. In fact, in the instructions for the Articles of Organization, Alaska goes so far as recommending you create an operating agreement even though it isn’t a requirement and the state doesn’t need to see it. Good looking out, Alaska.
What should be in an operating agreement?
An operating agreement should explain how the business will handle “big picture” situations—everything from allocating profits and losses to dissolving the business. Below is a list of common topics that operating agreements should cover.
- Initial investments
- Profits, losses, and distributions
- Voting rights, decision-making powers, and management
- Transfer of membership interest
- Dissolving the business
Your operating agreement can cover pretty much anything as long as it isn’t contrary to Alaska law. If an issue arises that isn’t detailed in an operating agreement, the solution reverts back to whatever the corresponding Alaska statutes dictate. Like how a manager can’t be appointed, removed, or replaced, unless authorized by more than one-half of all LLC members. Or how two-thirds of the LLC’s members must consent before the articles of organization can be amended. If you don’t want the inner workings of your LLC to be decided by the state, an operating agreement is essential.
How do I write an operating agreement?
To write an operating agreement, you need to address how your business will handle money, members, votes, management, and more. Not sure how to get started? At Northwest, we’re here to help your LLC get off on the right foot. When you hire us, we provide your business with a free LLC operating agreement, specific to your management style. We’ve spent years developing these agreements and other free LLC forms—which have been used by over a million LLCs.
Open an LLC Bank Account
Your LLC needs its own bank account. Why? An LLC gets its limited liability from being a distinct entity, separate from its members. If you mix personal and business finances, you could lose your liability protections.
How do I open a bank account for my Alaska LLC?
To open a bank account for your Alaska LLC, you will need to bring the following with you to the bank:
- A copy of the Alaska LLC Articles of Organization
- The LLC operating agreement
- The LLC’s EIN
If there are multiple members in the LLC, you may also want to bring an LLC resolution to open a bank account that states that the person going to the bank is authorized by the members to open the account in the name of the LLC. Northwest can help with this as well—LLC bank resolutions are one of the many free legal forms we provide to ensure you can get your LLC started fast.
Fund the LLC
Time to put some money in that new LLC bank account. What money? For starters, your initial contributions to your LLC’s capital. LLC members are owners, and each owner needs to pay for their membership interest to fund the LLC.
What is membership interest?
Membership interest is your percentage of ownership of the LLC. Membership interest is normally proportionate to your investment. So how does this work?
Imagine your LLC has 5 members. 4 members each invest $1,000 in the business. One member invests $6,000. The total contribution of all members is $10,000. The 4 members each own 10% of the business. The moneybags member who shelled out $6,000 owns 60% of the business.
Typically, this also means that the 4 members would each get 10% of any profits, and moneybags would get 60%. Exactly how profits and losses are allocated, however, can be adjusted in the operating agreement as long as changes are in line with IRS requirements and Alaska laws.
File Alaska Reports & Taxes
Alaska LLCs are required to file biennial reports with the state. An Initial Report is also required. These reports tell the state who currently runs things and how to contact your business. Alaska LLCs are also subject to state tax filing requirements.
How much is the Alaska Initial Report fee?
The Alaska Initial Report is totally free. How’s that for some good news?
When is the Alaska Initial Report due?
The Alaska Initial Report is due within six months of your articles’ approval. We recommend filing it as soon as you can, so that you don’t forget and lose your good standing before you’ve even turned a profit. Better yet, hire Northwest to form your Alaska LLC, and we’ll take care of completing and filing your Alaska Initial Report for you.
How much is the Alaska Biennial Report fee?
When is the Alaska Biennial Report due?
Your Alaska Biennial Report is due on January 2 every two years. If you initially filed your articles during an even-numbered year, then your report will always be due on even-numbered years. If you filed during an odd-numbered year, then odd-numbered years are yours until the end of time. (Or until your LLC dissolves, whichever comes first.)
When you sign up for Northwest, we send you reminders for your biennial report due dates. Want one less thing to worry about? With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your biennial report for you for $100 plus the state fee.
What should I know about Alaska LLC taxes?
Alaska is one of a handful of states that has no personal income tax. Since Alaska LLCs are defaulted to be taxed at the personal level, your business is essentially free from an Alaska tax perspective. However, you’ll need to file an informational tax return for your LLC even if you don’t have state taxes to pay.
Alaska also has no state sales tax. However, cities and boroughs are allowed to collect their own sales tax up to 7% and 6%, respectively. The highest combined sales tax rate in Alaska is 7.85% in Homer. The lowest rate is…drum roll please…0% in Anchorage. Typical sales tax rates in Alaska fall between 2% and 5%.
With some of the highest property tax rates in the country, the majority of Alaska tax revenue comes from property taxes. In a recent year, of the $1.66 billion collected in Alaska taxes, $1.34 billion came from property taxes. Yet even with some high property tax rates, especially in more populated areas, there are some chunks of Alaska that aren’t subject to property tax at all, such as the cities of Delta Junction and Port Alexander.
Do LLCs have to register with the Alaska Department Of Revenue?
Not necessarily. However, signing up for Revenue Online can be of use in many instances, especially when you need to apply for a license or permit, or pay corresponding fees. You can also file returns through Revenue Online—filing tax returns with the state is required even if you don’t have state taxes to pay.
Alaska LLC FAQs
How can I submit the Alaska LLC Articles of Organization?
You can file Alaska articles online or by mail. Mailed filings must be sent to the following address:
State of Alaska
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806
How much does it cost to start an Alaska LLC?
The filing fee for your Alaska LLC Articles of Organization is $250. Hire Northwest for a one-time fee of $475, including state filing fees, a year of registered agent service, limited mail forwarding and loads of useful forms and tools to help get your Alaska LLC up and running. Or, pay just $48 out-the-door with our VIP monthly payment option.
How long does it take to start an Alaska LLC?
Online filings are processed immediately, and you can print out your own Certificate of Organization right away. Mailed filings take 10-15 days if you file in January-March or July-September. In the busier time periods (April-June and October-December), Alaska offices are hit with an increase in other filings, such as biennial reports—as a result, the system slows.
If you hire Northwest to start your LLC, we file online and typically have your expedited Alaska LLC formed within 24 hours.
Does an Alaska LLC need a business license?
Yes. A business license is required by the state for anyone engaging in business in Alaska. The license costs $50 and must be renewed annually. (Alternatively, you can elect to renew biennially, though there is no discount to do so.) Per AK Stat. § 43.70.105, a few industries—mining, fishing, insurance and liquor sales—are exempt from the standard business license from Alaska’s Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing but require specialized licenses from other departments instead.
Cities, municipalities, and boroughs may require additional licensing for certain kinds of businesses. For example, Fairbanks requires all local businesses to obtain licensing with the city. Anchorage, on the other hand, requires licensing for specific business types such as ice cream trucks and private detective agencies, among other equally surprising enterprises. Be sure to research local laws—you never know what the rules will be.
Need an EIN or a certified copy of your formation docs for your license applications? Northwest can help. You can easily add on these items to your LLC formation order.
Can an Alaska LLC help me live more privately?
Yes. While you can’t remove all ownership information from Alaska public filings (like you can in states like New Mexico, Delaware, and Wyoming), an Alaska LLC can still help you reduce your public footprint. For example, you can maintain increased address privacy by listing our address on public docs instead of your own. Check out our page on living privately with an LLC to learn more.
What is a foreign Alaska LLC?
A foreign Alaska LLC is any LLC formed outside of Alaska but registered to do business in the state. For example, if you formed an LLC in Washington but wanted to conduct business in Alaska as well, you would register as a foreign LLC in Alaska by filing a Certificate of Registration with the State of Alaska Corporations Section. Like domestic LLCs, foreign LLCs in the state have to file Alaska biennial reports. Northwest can register your foreign Alaska LLC for you today!
How to Order LLC Formation Service
Our Alaska LLC formation service is designed to be fast and easy—signing up takes just a couple minutes. Here’s how it works:
With Northwest, we give you flexibility on how to pay. You can pay all the fees up front (this includes one full year of registered agent service). Or, pay just $48 out-the-door with our VIP monthly payment option. With our VIP option, we also include an EIN. Just choose one of the buttons below, answer a few easy questions about your business and submit your payment.
We’ll prepare your Alaska Articles of Organization and send them to the State of Alaska Corporations Section for approval. 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 State of Alaska Corporations Section has approved your filing, we notify you that your Alaska LLC has been legally formed. You can now take any necessary next steps, like getting an EIN and opening a bank account.