The authority for incorporating in Alaska falls under the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, the Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licenses. This Division also maintains all corporate filings of record. The main location is in Juneau, with a branch office in Anchorage. The types of business structures available are Domestic Business Corporation, Professional Corporation, Nonprofit Corporation, Cooperative Corporation, Religious Corporation, Limited Liability Company, Limited Liability Partnership, and Limited Partnership.
Five basic steps to incorporate in Alaska
- Incorporation in Alaska starts with reserving an entity or corporate name. This important step prevents name duplication. First, search to make sure your company name is available. You can use the free CorpNet company name search. Alaska corporate names must include an identifier if they are a corporation or a limited liability company (Corp, or LLC). Business entities that are not in these categories may not use these identifiers. Words that are used to identify goods and services, used as slogans in advertising or used to indicate association with an organization are trademarks or service marks and cannot be registered as business names. Words used to identify an internet domain name or internet address cannot be registered as business names. Vulgar names or names that imitate government units are also disallowed. Applications to reserve a name are valid for 120 days. Name registration is automatic with the filing of the appropriate business incorporation or registration documents.
- Register your corporation (or LLC) with the Secretary of State. CorpNet offers filings of the Articles of Incorporation (for corporate structures) and for LLCs, Articles of Organization. You will then be issued an Alaska Entity Number. This is the legal reference number for the business.
- Entity professional licenses are required for corporations, LLCs, LLPs and LPs in certain professional categories. The list can be found at the Alaska Professional License website.
- Hold the first official meeting for the corporation or LLC and adopt the Bylaws (corporations) or Operating Agreement (LLCs). This is a legal meeting and must be recorded as such. (See section below about officers and documentation.)
- Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) under the corporate name. You will also have to arrange for a bank account under this number for accounting purposes. Your financial institution will want a copy of the EIN as well as a certificate of registration from the Secretary of State.
Foreign and Domestic Corporations
A foreign corporation is a corporation registered in another State that does business in Alaska. Foreign corporations are required to register in Alaska and obtain an Alaskan Foreign Entity Number. A business license is also required.
Domestic corporations are those formed in Alaska itself. While there is no residency requirement for directors or officers of Alaskan corporations, a registered agent (who can also be a corporate officer) must have a physical address in Alaska. An agent can be either an individual or a corporation authorized to transact business in Alaska. Law firms can act as registered agents. They have to be available to take phone calls and respond to legal matters. Hiring a Registered Agent will protect your privacy and meet the requirements of incorporation in Alaska.
Officers and documents
Corporations in Alaska must have one or more directors whose names and addresses will appear in the articles of incorporation. Any change (address or ownership) must be filed with the State. This includes changes in 5% or more of stock ownership.
Corporate officer titles are determined by the bylaws or the board of directors. One person can hold multiple titles, except for president and secretary, which have to be different people – unless all stock is held by a single person, who can then hold all offices.
- Domestic Business Corporation Application – This is the articles of incorporation filed with the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licenses. It requests an Alaskan Entity Number. For foreign corporations, the filing is called: Application for Certificate of Authority.
- Application for Name Reservation – This form can be filed online. It results in a name search and reserves a business name for 120 days. There is also a version for foreign corporation name registration.
- Notice of Change for Officers, Directors, Shareholders – This is one of several forms used to amend or change information about the corporation. Others include Articles of Amendment, Certificate of Correction, and Restated Articles of Incorporation.
- Registered Agent or Registered Agent Address Statement of Change – Because the registered agent is the point of contact between the corporate entity and the State of Alaska, any change must be documented with the State.
- Certificate of Election to Dissolve – Used to dissolve a corporation. Foreign registered corporations have an equivalent form called an Application for Certificate to Withdraw. There are other forms required for mergers and consolidation.
Forming a corporation online
Incorporation in Alaska can seem like a daunting task. However, it is quite possible to incorporate online by filing the proper forms in the proper order and this can be handled remotely through our services. We offer complete packages to start your corporation or LLC without missing key steps or documents. Mistakes can be costly.
Incorporating online is as easy as providing some initial information and deciding which type of corporation best fits your needs. CorpNet is available to help you start a corporation in Alaska and one-year Registered Agent Services is standard in our packages. We also include unlimited customer support.