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How to Start an LLC in Alaska – Step-By-Step Guide for 2024

How to Start an LLC in Alaska

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If you’re launching a new enterprise in Alaska, you might consider forming it as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This is a popular choice among new business proprietors due to its ability to mitigate the personal liability risk for owners. 

In the event of a lawsuit against the LLC, the owner’s personal assets remain protected. Our purpose here is to provide you with a comprehensive guide to initiating an LLC in Alaska. Continue reading to understand the process.

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Before You Create Your Alaska LLC

Prior to initiating the formation of an LLC in Alaska, take some time to contemplate certain key aspects. A well-thought-out approach can enhance your prospects for success.

Create a Business Plan

When launching your LLC, it’s essential to consider both the mandatory and discretionary aspects. In Alaska, the state prioritizes empowering business owners rather than imposing unnecessary burdens, so certain formation requirements are compulsory, while many optional components hold equal significance. Consequently, these optional steps also demand careful attention.

The primary non-obligatory phase within the formation procedure involves crafting a business plan. Notably, Alaska does not mandate its submission alongside your articles of organization, thus allowing you to treat it as an internal document outlining your company’s roadmap. Constructing a business plan doesn’t adhere to a one-size-fits-all model. 

However, if you intend to present it to potential lenders and investors when seeking startup capital, it’s vital to ensure it exudes professionalism. A business plan serves the purpose of delineating an actionable vision for the future, and as such, it’s advisable to contemplate incorporating the subsequent elements into your project:

  • The mission of your company and the core values that underpin its operations
  • Strategies for establishing a strong foothold in the market and fostering customer loyalty
  • Determining the necessary financial resources to sustain your business throughout its startup phase
  • Outline the specific measures you’ll implement to ensure the ultimate success of your enterprise

There are several compelling reasons to contemplate establishing your business as an Alaska LLC, including:

  • Flexible tax options: Your company can be subject to either corporate taxation or personal tax liabilities for its members.
  • Minimal formation and reporting requirements: Unlike corporations, LLCs aren’t burdened with the need to consistently and exhaustively report their activities to the state.
  • Flexible management structure and broad operational control: Unlike corporate shareholders, LLC members are not obliged to defer to a board of governors.
  • Personal liability protection: In contrast to sole proprietorships and partnerships, the LLC framework offers protection for the personal assets of its members in the face of company-related legal disputes, fines, and debts.

It’s imperative to evaluate the three primary alternative business structures thoroughly prior to opting for an Alaska LLC formation. Establishing entities like Alaska Corporations is advisable when founders aspire to undertake extensive, far-reaching, and intricate operations. 

Meanwhile, sole proprietorships and partnerships are best suited for modest, localized ventures owned by individuals who are unlikely to require personal liability protection and are comfortable with disclosing their company’s financial activity on their personal tax returns.

How to Start an LLC in Alaska – Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1 – Alaska LLC Name

Before submitting your Alaska Articles of Organization to the state, it’s imperative to verify the availability of your desired Alaska LLC name. According to Alaska law (section 10.50.025), your chosen LLC name must be distinct and different from the names of other registered businesses within the state.

Alaska LLC Name Search

Check the Alaska Division of Corporations: Explore the Corporations Database.

In accordance with Alaska law (section 10.50.020), your LLC name should conclude with one of the following designators:

  • LLC (most commonly used)
  • L.L.C.
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Limited Liability Company

It’s essential to avoid including a designator that could create confusion with another type of legal entity, such as Corporation, Corp., Inc., Incorporated, Limited Partnership, LP, Trust, and others.

Your Alaska LLC name may incorporate the name of a city, borough, or village within Alaska. Nonetheless, it must not contain the explicit words “city,” “borough,” or “village” or in any way imply that your LLC represents a municipality. For example, “Fairbanks Ski Supply LLC” is an acceptable name, but “Borough of Fairbanks LLC” isn’t permitted.

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Step 2 – Alaska Registered Agent

Per Alaska law (section 10.50.055), every Alaska-based LLC is required to maintain an Alaska Registered Agent within the state.

This Registered Agent, be it an individual or a company, is tasked with receiving Service of Process (legal mail) on behalf of your LLC in the event of litigation or legal actions.

Additionally, your Alaska Registered Agent can also handle other official business mail, such as biennial report reminders and tax documents.

Alaska Registered Agent Requirements: All Alaska Registered Agents must maintain a physical street address within the state for legal document service; PO Box addresses are not acceptable. The agent should be available during normal business hours, Monday through Friday.

Who Can Serve as Your Alaska Registered Agent?

  • Option 1: You can designate yourself as your Registered Agent.
  • Option 2: A friend or family member can fulfill this role for your Alaska LLC.
  • Option 3: Alternatively, you can opt to hire a Commercial Registered Agent, which is suitable if you lack an in-state address or prefer a professional service.

If you, a friend, or a family member decide to be your Alaska LLC’s Registered Agent, they must meet certain criteria: a physical street address in Alaska, residency in the state, and a minimum age of 18.

If you choose not to be your own Registered Agent (or have a friend or family member do it), consider a Commercial Registered Agent. They will scan and upload your mail to your online dashboard, and the sign-up process takes just a few minutes and can be completed online. Upon registration, they will provide your Articles of Organization address.

For your Commercial Registered Agent needs, we recommend ZenBusiness as an excellent choice.

Step 3 – Alaska LLC Articles of Organization

You must submit the Alaska Articles of Organization (Form 08-484) to officially establish your LLC.

Method of Filing: The Alaska Articles of Organization can be submitted either online or via traditional mail.

Our Recommendation: We recommend opting for online submission due to its streamlined process and significantly faster approval time.

Alaska LLC Approval Times:

  • If you choose to submit your documents by mail, your LLC will typically receive approval within 10-15 business days (plus additional time for postal delivery).
  • However, if you decide to file online, your LLC will receive immediate approval.

The filing fee for an Alaska LLC is a one-time cost of $250. Please refer to the “LLC Cost in Alaska” for a complete breakdown of associated fees. We strongly recommend filing your Alaska LLC online.

File Your Alaska LLC by Mail: For those who prefer to file their Alaska LLC via mail, use the Articles of Organization (Form 08-484) and make your payment by check or money order, payable to the “State of Alaska.” Send your Articles of Organization, along with the $250 filing fee, to the State of Alaska, Corporations Section, PO Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811-0806.

Alaska LLC Approval: Approval for mail submissions generally takes 10-15 business days (plus additional time for postal delivery). You will receive the stamped and approved Articles of Organization, as well as a Certificate of Organization, through regular mail.

Online filings secure immediate approval, but you will not receive any physical documents by mail. To access and print a copy of the stamped and approved Articles of Organization, as well as your Certificate of Organization, simply search for your LLC’s record in the state’s online database. You can find these documents under “Filed Documents” on the Alaska Division of Corporations: Search Corporations Database.

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Step 4 – Alaska LLC Operating Agreement

Your Alaska LLC Operating Agreement outlines the ownership structure of the LLC and the respective ownership percentages.

Furthermore, the LLC Operating Agreement also details the management procedures, tax payment methods, and profit allocation strategies.

Possibly, you might be required to provide your Operating Agreement when opening a bank account (although this is infrequent). It may also be requested by various parties, such as a lender when seeking financing, a title company during real estate purchases, your accountant or tax professional, or your attorney.

It’s important to note that your LLC’s Operating Agreement is an “internal document,” meaning it does not need to be submitted to any government agency or the state. The Members of the LLC decide and act upon the affairs of the LLC, and the state’s role is to establish the legal existence of the LLC, while day-to-day operations remain internal matters.

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Step 5 – Federal Tax ID Number (EIN Number)

After the state approves your Alaska LLC, you should secure an Alaska EIN Number from the IRS. This unique identifier, also known as a Federal Tax ID Number, Employer Identification Number, Federal Employer ID Number, FEIN, or Federal Tax Number, all denotes the same crucial identification.

Opening a Bank Account: You will employ your LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number to initiate a corporate bank account. Additionally, this number can be utilized for applying for specific license permits and managing employee payroll taxes if necessary. Acquiring a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) is a cost-free process through the IRS.

You can obtain your LLC’s EIN via the following methods:

  • Submitting Form SS-4 via mail or fax (approval time: 4 weeks by mail, 4 days by fax)

Apply online using your SSN (Social Security Number) or ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number). 

  • If you lack an SSN or ITIN, you should send Form SS-4 to the IRS via mail or fax. Do not worry if you lack an SSN or ITIN; you can still secure an EIN for your Alaska LLC by indicating “Foreign” on line 7b when mailing Form SS-4. 
  • If you opt for mailing, the IRS mailing address for Form SS-4 is as follows: Internal Revenue Service, Attn: EIN Operation, Cincinnati, OH 45999.
  • If faxing Form SS-4, send it to 855-641-6935.

For an LLC owned by another company: In case another entity possesses your Alaska LLC, you won’t be able to obtain your EIN online (an error message will be generated). In such instances, you must send Form SS-4 to the IRS via mail or fax.

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Step 6 – Alaska LLC Initial Report & Biennial Report

Every Alaska LLC, regardless of income or activity, must file an Alaska LLC Initial Report (one-time filing) and then file an Alaska LLC Biennial Report every 2 years thereafter. Your Initial Report is due within 6 months of forming your Alaska LLC, with no associated filing fee.

You can file your Initial Report here: Alaska Division of Corporations: Initial Report Online Filing. Subsequently, every 2 years, you must file a Biennial Report and pay a $100 filing fee, due on January 2nd.

If you filed your Initial Report in an even-numbered year, your Biennial Report will be due annually in January. For example, if you filed your Initial Report in 2023, your first Biennial Report will be due by January 2nd, 2025. Then, it will continue on a biennial schedule (also by January 2nd).

If your Initial Report was filed in an odd-numbered year, your Biennial Report will be due every January. For instance, if you filed your Initial Report in 2024, your first Biennial Report will be due by January 2nd, 2026. Subsequently, it will follow a biennial schedule (also by January 2nd).

To submit your Biennial Report online, visit: Alaska Division of Corporations: Biennial Report Online Filing.

Penalty for Late Filings:

  • Failure to file your Initial Report can result in non-compliance for your Alaska LLC, potentially leading to state-mandated closure.
  • Neglecting to file your Biennial Report will incur a $37 penalty imposed by the state, with continued non-compliance potentially resulting in the state dissolving your Alaska LLC.

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Step 7 – Business License and Permits

Your new company needs to secure an Alaska Business License.

Alaska stands out as one of the few states that mandate a comprehensive business license from the state government. This requirement applies to all Alaska LLCs, regardless of your business’s nature or its income. The cost of this license is $50, and it must be renewed annually for the same fee. This license grants your LLC the authorization to conduct business within the State of Alaska.

How to apply for a business license? You have two options: applying for your Alaska business license online or via mail. We strongly recommend the online route as it provides immediate approval, unlike mail submissions, which typically take 10-15 business days for approval.

Additional licenses and permits: In addition to the state-level general business license, your Alaska LLC may necessitate extra licenses and permits based on the Borough where your LLC is situated and the specific business activities it engages in.

Research: For more details on the particular business licenses and permits your Alaska LLC might require, you can reach out to the Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing.

Regarding location-specific business licenses and permits, consider getting in touch with your local officials for further information. State of Alaska: Alaska Communities is another valuable resource for this purpose.

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Step 8 – Alaska LLC Taxes

Each small business faces a distinct tax scenario in Alaska, though we can furnish an outline of the obligations.

  • Federal: As a default, Alaska LLCs are subject to taxation as either a Sole Proprietorship (for Single-Member LLCs) or a Partnership (for Multi-Member LLCs). In both scenarios, your LLC’s earnings will “pass through” and be reported on your personal tax return. If your LLC generates over $70,000 annually per Member in net income (revenue minus expenses), it’s advisable to consult with your accountant about potentially electing S-Corporation taxation.
  • State Income Tax: The good news is that Alaska does not levy a state-level personal income tax.
  • Sales Tax: Alaska similarly does not impose a state-level sales tax. However, sales tax may occasionally be applied at the local level. We recommend reaching out to your local government to ascertain whether local sales tax is applicable: State of Alaska: Alaska Communities.
  • Additional Taxes in Alaska: Alaska imposes various other taxes, which can be found in our lesson on Alaska LLC taxes.

Recommendation: Computing federal, state, and local taxes can be intricate, and when managed correctly, it can have a favorable impact on your LLC. Hence, we suggest consulting with a few accountants once your Alaska LLC is established.

Step 9 – Alaska LLC Bank Account

The final step to achieve full LLC operational status involves the establishment of an LLC bank account.

You should prepare to present the following documentation at the bank: duly stamped and approved Articles of Organization, Certificate of Organization, Federal Tax ID Number, and your driver’s license. The act of creating an LLC bank account serves to prevent the commingling of personal and business assets.

Moreover, initiating an LLC bank account streamlines the processes of accounting, bookkeeping, and taxation.

We suggest contacting multiple banks to inquire about potential monthly maintenance fees or minimum balance prerequisites. Several banks impose monthly charges on LLCs, although a few local banks in your vicinity may not. Dedicate around 15 minutes to explore and contact various banks in your area. A quick online search for “business bank account + your city/town” should yield results.

  • Debit card: Upon opening the account, the bank will provide you with a debit card.
  • Credit card: You also have the option to obtain a business credit card to accrue points, miles, and other rewards.

>> Set up Alaska LLC Bank Account With ZenBusiness >>

After You Form Your Alaska LLC

Having successfully prepared for your LLC and completed the necessary steps for its formation, congratulations are in order! You’ve officially become a business owner. Now, let’s explore some aspects to ponder as you chart your course forward.

Secure Funding for Your Company’s Startup Period

In your financial planning for your company’s future, bear in mind that securing adequate startup funding is essential until your Alaska LLC attains solvency. Merely financing the launch of your Alaska LLC won’t suffice; you must cover the entire initial period when it’s operational but hasn’t yet achieved self-sustaining profitability.

Despite the advantageous tax environment for business owners in Alaska, grappling with distinctive challenges in the Last Frontier is a reality. While exploring funding options, think outside the box and incorporate a safety net in your financial foundation to prepare for any unforeseen delays in achieving profitability. Be sure to conduct thorough research on the following:

Small business loans in Alaska:

  • Federal small business loans
  • Crowdfunding
  • State incentive programs
  • Microloans
  • Grants

Keep in mind that you or your business might qualify for unconventional funding opportunities under specific circumstances. For instance, you may discover viable options by investigating “rural small business grants” or “financing for Native American small business owners.”

Protect Your Business Interests

In the beginning, you develop a business plan for a successful company formation. To maintain the stability of your newly established Alaska LLC, it’s essential to take protective measures. Seek assistance from attorneys, insurance experts, and accountants experienced in assisting small business owners to safeguard your company’s interests.

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Proactively collaborating with an attorney can assist your company in adhering to evolving regulations, including contract drafting, vendor negotiations, intellectual property protection, and addressing legal issues. Small business owners frequently seek legal help only when problems arise. Establishing a partnership with a lawyer early on can prevent legal issues and enhance your response to any that do arise.

Invest in a Solid Accounting Approach

Whether you opt for trustworthy accounting software or engage an accounting agency, it’s crucial to maintain precise financial records for your business. Keeping tabs on your finances empowers you to make well-informed decisions across all facets of your operations.

Keep in mind that accounting software suits very small businesses, but for more intricate ventures, accounting services are advantageous. An accountant can assist in formulating financial objectives and strategies, reducing tax obligations, and routinely scrutinizing your financial records for trends and discrepancies.

Invest in Business Insurance

Similar to how health insurance shields against financial ruin in case of a severe injury or illness, business insurance safeguards your company during tough times. Consult a small business insurance provider to secure the right coverage for your new venture. Without insurance, your hard work remains exposed to risk.

Attract Consumers and Build Brand Loyalty

Alaska’s distinctiveness necessitates inventive marketing approaches for small businesses. In this state, consumers no longer rely on phonebooks; they seek recommendations from peers or search online for products and services. Thus, innovative local marketing to stimulate word-of-mouth referrals and a distinctive online presence catering to the unique Alaskan market are crucial.

>> Innovate Marketing With ZenBusiness for the Alaskan Market >>

Our Picks of the Best-Registered Agent Services


Zenbusiness logo

You don’t have to worry about the paperwork when you partner with ZenBusiness. They provide a wide range of LLC services dedicated to setting up your business correctly by handling the necessary paperwork and submission to the appropriate state agency. While there is a cost associated with their services, customers find it to be a valuable investment.

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Northwest Registered Agent

Commencing a business involves a significant amount of state-mandated paperwork, which can be overwhelming for new entrepreneurs. Northwest provides business services to assist business owners in locating the necessary documents, completing them accurately, and submitting them to the relevant government agency within the deadlines. 

Beyond aiding in the establishment of an LLC, Northwest offers a range of supplementary services, including registered agent services, which can greatly benefit new business owners.

>> Start Using Northwest Registered Agent >>


Incfile provides a valuable resource library to assist novice entrepreneurs in deciding the type of business they should establish. Additionally, Incfile offers guidance in the paperwork and filing processes, making concepts such as a registered agent, articles of organization, and EIN easier to understand. The company is also well-regarded with positive online reviews.

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How to Start an LLC in Alaska State – FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Start an LLC in Alaska?

The primary expense associated with initiating an Alaska LLC is the filing fee of $250 required to submit the Alaska Articles of Organization to the Division of Corporations. This document is essential for officially establishing your LLC, and it can be submitted through online, mail, or in-person methods.

Why Start an LLC in Alaska?

When launching a new business in Alaska, you might consider structuring it as a Limited Liability Company (LLC). This choice is popular among new business owners due to its ability to minimize the personal liability exposure of the business owner.

Is Alaska a Good Place for Business?

The Tax Foundation has ranked it as the #3 most tax-friendly state in the United States, with a #1 position in individual income tax and #5 in sales tax.

>> Launch Your Alaska LLC With ZenBusiness Now >>

About the author

Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. O'Neill guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Gabriel O'Neill, Esq., is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.