How to Start an LLC in Alaska

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Last updated:

An Alaska LLC is one of the most simple, cost-effective, and quick business structures to form. Even so, navigating the formation process can seem daunting without clear guidance and an actionable plan.

In this How to Start an LLC in Alaska guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know to form your LLC, from the steps you’ll need to take to get started to maintaining your structure.

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LLC in Alaska

In order to form an LLC in Alaska, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Name Your Alaska LLC
  2. Pick an Alaska Registered Agent
  3. Submit Your LLC’s Articles of Organization
  4. Create an Alaska LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an EIN
  6. Obtain an Alaska Business License
  7. File Your BOI Report

In the sections below, we’ve broken down each of these steps in more detail.

Step 1: Name Your Alaska LLC

The first thing you’ll need to do before getting started is picking the right name for your LLC. This is important because your business’s name will need to represent your brand accurately, as well as be as memorable as possible.

In Alaska, all LLC names need to abide by the following statutory guidelines in order to be accepted by the Corporation Division of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development:

  • Entity Indicators: Your LLC’s name must include an entity indicator such as “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, or “Limited Liability Company”.
  • Distinguishability: Your LLC’s name must be distinguishable from the names of other entities already on file with the Corporations Division
  • No Governmental Implication: Your LLC’s name should not imply that the LLC is a part of or affiliated with any governmental agency (e.g., using terms like “City”, “Borough”, “State”, etc)
  • Restrictions: Your LLC’s name should not contain words that could mislead the public about the nature of your business (e.g., an LLC that does not engage in construction services should not use the word “Construction” in its name, etc)
  • Prohibited Terms: Your LLC’s name cannot include words that indicate a corporate structure different from an LLC, such as “Inc.”, “Corporation”, or “Incorporated”
  • Vulgar Language Restrictions: Your LLC’s name cannot contain any vulgar or offensive terms, or language that others may find offensive

To determine if your chosen business name is available, you can conduct a quick name availability search via the License Search tool provided by the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing.

Keep in mind that even though picking an LLC name in itself has no cost, there are certain fees that can be associated with the overall process.

Reserve an LLC Name

If you’re not yet ready to launch your business and still need a little more time, you can choose to reserve your desired LLC name for later by submitting a Name Reservation form with the Corporations Section of the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development ($25 fee). This will keep anyone from being able to take the name you plan to use for 120 days.

If you need additional time beyond the initial 120 days, you will have the option to renew the reservation twice; each renewal must include a statement of intent to start a business.

Register a DBA Name

Another potential cost associated with naming your LLC is a “doing business as” (or DBA) name. This is essentially a nickname that you can choose to register for your business to operate under — particularly if you’re not content with your LLC’s legal name.

Registering a DBA name can be done by filing Form 08-557 through the Department of Commerce website and paying a $25 fee.

Note: DBA names in Alaska remain valid for a period of 5 years following their registration.

Buy a Domain Name

Finally, you’ll want to focus on securing a good domain name (which is your URL website’s address) for your business. For this, try to focus on choosing one that’s easy for customers to remember, relevant to your business, and accurately reflects your brand.

After confirming the domain name you want to use is actually available, you can purchase it through a trusted registrar.

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Step 2: Pick a Registered Agent

The next step you’ll need to take toward forming your LLC is to pick a registered agent.

This is an individual or business entity that accepts legal correspondence on behalf of your business, such as service of process, notice of lawsuits, and official government communications; you’re required to continuously maintain one as long as your LLC is active.

Your registered agent can be an individual or corporation, but will need to satisfy the following requirements:

  • If an individual, your registered agent must be a resident of Alaska. According to AS 01.10.055(a), this is defined as someone who is physically present in the state with the intent to remain indefinitely and make a home in Alaska, without claiming residency or obtaining benefits under a claim of residency outside the state of Alaska
  • If a corporation, your registered agent must be specifically structured as a business corporation, professional corporation, or non-profit corporation that is authorized to conduct business in Alaska
  • Your LLC’s registered agent must have a physical address in Alaska (not merely a P.O. Box) and an Alaska mailing address to ensure they are able to receive legal documents and official communications from the state

Keep in mind that the registered agent cannot be the same entity as the LLC itself, and must not be a non-corporation entity — such as an LLC, LLP, or LP or any other type that does not have a corporate structure.

You can actually choose to act as your own registered agent if you’re looking to save money, though we don’t typically recommend this as you’re much more likely to suffer fines and penalties due to non-compliance than if you just hire a professional service.

On top of this, you’ll lose any anonymity your LLC would have given you since your name, address, and contact information will be publicly available.

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Note: To have a look at some of our other top recommendations, you can also check out our Best Registered Agent Service of 2024 guide.

Step 3: Submit Your LLC’s Articles of Organization

In Alaska, the Articles of Organization is the filing document that you’ll need to submit with the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing  in order to officially register your LLC.

Here’s what you need to include when filing your LLC’s Articles of Organization:

  • Name: You will need to state your LLC’s name according to the guidelines previously discussed
  • Purpose: You will need to describe the primary activities of your company, which may be stated as “any lawful” purpose. You will also need to include the appropriate NAICS code that matches your business’s primary activity
  • Registered Agent: You will need to provide the name, physical, and mailing address of your registered agent
  • Governance: You will need to specify whether your LLC is managed by members or by managers, and list the names and roles of the individuals involved in management
  • Optional Provisions: You will have the option to attach additional pages to include any optional provisions or additional articles as authorized by Alaska statutes

You will have two options when it comes to submitting your LLC’s Articles of Organization:

State of Alaska Corporations 
PO Box 110806
Juneau AK 99811-0806

Regardless of which method you choose to submit your LLC’s Articles of Organization, you will be required to pay a filing fee of $250.

In case you make a mistake (such as a spelling error) in your submission, you can contact the Corporations Division directly via email.

Step 4: Create an Alaska LLC Operating Agreement

Once this is completed, the next step you’ll need to take is to create an operating agreement.

This is an internal document that clearly outlines the ownership and management structure of your company in order to reduce potential future conflict.

While this document isn’t legally mandated in Alaska, all LLCs are recommended to have one as it can help maintain both: smooth operations and your LLC’s corporate veil.

A number of companies provide drafting services for operating agreements online, typically for a fee of around a few hundred dollars. However, it’s quite easy to sort this out by yourself if you want to save money, and you can even find a number of free templates online to help with this.

Step 5: Get an EIN

Even though it’s not a legal requirement (unless your LLC has employees or multiple members), all Alaska LLCs should apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN).

This is a free, nine-digit number used by the IRS to identify your business and keep track of its tax reporting — much like a Social Security Number (SSN) for individuals.

You’ll need an EIN to be able to:

  • Hire employees
  • Open a business bank account
  • Apply for some business licenses/permits
  • Establish a line of credit

On top of this, using an EIN instead of a Social Security Number (SSN) helps to protect your personal information and safeguard your anonymity as the business owner of your LLC.

You can quickly apply for an EIN for your LLC online through the IRS website. You’re also able to submit a paper application using Form SS-4 either via fax to (855) 641-6935, or by mailing it to the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

Note: Don’t worry if you don’t already have an SSN, it’s not necessary to have one in order to apply for an EIN — instead, you can just leave Section 7b of the application blank and call the IRS on (267) 941-1099.

Step 6:Obtain a Business License

After submitting your LLC’s Articles of Organization, you will need to obtain an Alaska business license; this is required for the privilege of engaging in business activities within the state of Alaska.

You can do this either by mail or online through the Department of Commerce’s website.

The cost for your Alaska LLC business license is $50 per calendar year, and you have the option to purchase up to two years in advance.

Keep in mind that business licenses normally expire on December 31 of each year.

Having said that, if you obtained your license after October 1, it will remain valid until December 31 of the following year.

Step 7: File a BOI Report

Starting January 2024, the vast majority of LLC owners will be required to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

This is part of an initiative by the U.S. government to stop individuals and entities engaging in illegal or unethical activities from being able to conceal this using “opaque ownership structures”, like shell companies, to hide their true identities.

Existing LLCs will be able to file this report anytime between January 1, 2024, and January 1, 2025, while new LLCs will have up to 90 days after the date they were initially formed to do so (30 days for LLCs formed after the start of 2025).

Keep in mind that failure to file your LLC’s BOI report on time can result in exorbitantly high fines (i.e., $591 per day) or even jail time (up to two years).

Note: Not every LLC owner is required to file a BOI report. For example, companies with more than 20 full-time employees, accounting firms, and banks are exempt. For a full list of filing exemptions, you can have a look at FinCEN’s website.

How to Maintain Your Alaska LLC

In order to keep operating legally in the state of Alaska, your LLC will need to keep up with its biennial obligations — which we’ve discussed in greater detail below.

File a Biennial Report

All LLCs in Alaska are required to file a Biennial Report every two years in order to maintain their standing with the state.

This report keeps the state updated on your business’s current status, including any changes to the company’s management, address, or business activities.

You can file this report online through the Alaska Department of Commerce’s Corporations Section website; this filing incurs a $100 processing fee.

The filing period for these reports begins three months prior to their due date, which is January 2nd of every second year.

Keep in mind that if you do not file your LLC’s Biennial Report by January 2nd, you will incur late fees — which will bring the new total to $137.50.

Alaska vs Other States

Alaska stands out for its supportive business environment, making it an appealing choice for entrepreneurs nationwide.

However, it’s important to note that both the formation and maintenance costs for LLCs in Alaska are on the higher end when compared to most other states.

Regardless, keep in mind that the best state to form your LLC is almost always the state that you will be operating in; this is because otherwise you’ll likely be required to register as a foreign LLC in your home state, meaning that you’ll need to pay registration and maintenance fees twice.

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Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Physical Address:

State Office Building
333 Willoughby AVE, 9th FL
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Contact Information:

Phone: (907) 465-2550

How to Start an LLC in Alaska FAQ

How much does it cost to start an LLC in Alaska?

Starting an LLC in Alaska requires a filing fee of $250 for submitting your LLC’s Articles of Organization.

Additionally, you may need to pay for a professional registered agent if you choose not to serve as your own.

Keep in mind that you may also need to obtain an Alaska business license, depending on the sector that your LLC will operate in.

What are the benefits of an LLC in Alaska?

An LLC in Alaska provides personal liability protection, meaning that your personal assets are distinct from your LLC’s business debts and liabilities.

This setup protects your personal and business finances, as your LLC’s business income and losses remain separated from your personal assets.

Interested in getting started? You can have a look at our state-specific How to Start an LLC guide.

Do LLCs pay taxes in Alaska?

LLCs in Alaska are typically taxed as pass-through entities, meaning that the profits and losses of the business pass through to the personal tax returns of the owners.

That said, we always recommend consulting with a tax professional when it comes to understanding specific tax obligations.

For a more detailed breakdown, you can check out our Alaska LLC Cost guide.

How long does it take to form an LLC in Alaska?

The time it takes to form an LLC in Alaska depends on your filing method.

Online filings are usually processed within 5 business days, whereas applications submitted by mail can take up to 15 business days to be processed.

For more information on how to file your Alaska LLC articles, you can check out our guide on How to Start an LLC in Alaska.

What is a Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC)?

A Professional Limited Liability Company (PLLC) is a special type of LLC formed for the purpose of providing professional services in fields that require a license, such as for doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants.

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