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The Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a popular entity choice for many businesses starting in Alaska.  The LLC provides personal liability protection and has the potential to save money on taxes. With a little research, you can learn how to form an LLC in Alaska without an attorney.

Unlike a sole proprietorship or partnership where the small business owner can be held personally liable for lawsuits against the business, the LLC is a separate legal structure, protecting for the business owner’s personal assets.

Besides the liability protection, the Limited Liability Company provides several other benefits over the sole proprietorship, partnership and corporation because of the multiple tax options, ease of administration and management flexibility.

Forming an LLC in Alaska is something most people can do on their own, but it’s nice to have some support in case you have questions or get stuck.  IncFile and Inc Authority provide LLC formation guidance for only the cost of the state fees!

Related: Should you use a Formation Service, Hire an Attorney or Do it Yourself?

To form a Limited Liability Company in Alaska, the Articles of Organization are filed with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.  The filing fee is $250 whether submitting online or through the mail.

The LLC is approved immediately when filing online versus 10-15 days if mailing.

If you have questions, contact the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

907-456-2550 (phone)
corporations@alaska.gov
https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/Corporations.aspx

HOW TO FILE THE ARTICLES OF ORGANIZATION AND FORM AN ALASKA LLC

The steps for filing online or by mail are largely the same.  The screenshots show filing online.

To get started either register with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development or download the Alaska Articles of Organization Form AS 10.50.075.

Step 1: Name the LLC

There are a few name requirements for an LLC in Alaska.

The legal name of the LLC must include:

  • Limited Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • Ltd.

The LLC name may include the name of a city, borough or village, however, the name cannot include the word “city”, “borough” or “village” or any word that could refer that the business is part of a municipality.

The name of the LLC also has to be unique to other registered entities in the state of Alaska.  Check the availability of LLC names in Alaska through the state’s business entity database.

Before selecting a business name, you may also want to see if the domain name is also available.

How to Form an Alaska LLC - Articles of Organization

Step 2: Purpose of the LLC

In this section, describe the business activities of the LLC.  It is usually better to be a little vague in case the focus of the business ever changes.  To keep the purpose of the business flexible, you can use “Any lawful business for which a limited liability company may be organized under the laws of the State of Alaska.”

Alaska LLC - Purpose Statement

 

Step 3: NAICS Code

NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) is a six-digit number that classifies and categorize the different businesses.  This information is used in reporting statistical data for each of the industries in the U.S.  Remember this number as you will need it when filing annual tax returns.  See how to do a NAICS search here.

If the activities of your business aren’t specifically listed, choose the activity that is closest.

LLC in Alaska - NAICS Code

 

Step 4: Registered Agent

To have an LLC in Alaska, a Registered Agent must be identified.  The Registered Agent is either an Alaska resident (select individual in the type field) or a registered Alaska corporation, (select entity and enter their Entity Number), which is referred to as the Registered Agent.  The agent must have a physical address in the state to act as a point of contact to receive legal documents, tax notices, summons, subpoenas, etc on behalf of the LLC.

Even though the business owner can be the registered agent, their name and address become public record and with that comes a loss of privacy. This is more important for some entrepreneurs, especially when they are doing business from home.

Related: Do I Need a Registered Agent in Alaska?

LLC in Alaska - Registered Agent

 

Step 5: Entity Address

Include the mailing and physical address of the LLC.  The physical street address and the mailing address may be the same and if so, fill out both fields.

Remember the physical address can’t be a PO Box.

Alaska LLC - Entity Address

 

Step 6: Management

This section asks if the LLC is Member-Managed or Manager-Managed.

Member-Managed LLCs have an active involvement in the day-to-day operations of the business.

Manager-Managed LLCs are hired by the members to run the LLC, similar to a CEO of a corporation.

Most LLCs are member-managed.

 

Step 7: Organizers

An LLC Organizer is someone involved with the formation of the Articles of Organization.  The Organizer may or may not become a member, such as a mentor, attorney or accountant, but the initial members will all be listed as organizers.

Alaska LLC Add Organizers

 

Step 8: Optional Provisions and Additional Articles

This is an optional section and not used by most LLCs.  Here you would include additional rules for the operation of the LLC.   Many filers include these items in the Operating Agreement which is easier to change than in the Articles of Organization.

Alaska LLC - Optional Provisions

 

Step 9: Contact Information

The contact information is for the person completing the application and provides a central point of contact should the state have questions regarding the filing of the LLC.

Alaska LLC - How to Form

 

Step 10: Pay and File

If filing online, the application is processed immediately and you will receive the Articles of Organization and LLC Entity Number.

If mailing, send the form and a check for $250 to:

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

In 10 – 15 days, assuming there are no questions on the form from the State, the LLC will be officially filed.  An approved copy of the Alaska Articles of Organization will be mailed back along with the LLC Entity Number.

Tasks after forming your LLC

Once the LLC has been formed, there are a few additional steps to take care of. Below is a list of the most common tasks.

Prepare an Operating Agreement

The operating agreement is a document that governs the framework of an LLC.  This document covers items like ownership rights, member responsibilities, how profits and losses are distributed and more.

Most states do not require an LLC to have an operating agreement but it is still worth considering. Without an operating agreement:

  • The LLC could be subject to generic state rules that may be detrimental in the event of a lawsuit
  • Member’s personal liability protection may be diminished
  • Members may not have a full understanding of their roles and responsibilities which could lead to costly disputes in the future

Learn more about when an LLC needs an operating agreement and download an  Alaska operating agreement template

Obtain an EIN

The EIN or Employer Identification Number is a unique 9-digit number for a business. Similar to a social security number for an individual, the EIN identifies business entities for tax purposes.

The EIN will be needed in order to open a bank account, register for business licenses and permits, file tax returns, pay payroll taxes and more.

Related: How to Apply for an EIN

Open an LLC Bank Account

Opening a bank account for your LLC is important for liability protection as the account separates the business’s funds from the member’s personal funds.

Several documents will be needed to open a business bank account such as:

  • A banking resolution is a document that authorizes the members to open a business bank account on behalf of the LLC.
  • Copies of the original formation paperwork from the state showing the creation of the LLC.
  • Driver’s licenses of the members.
  • Depending on the age of the LLC, an Alaska Certificate of Compliance may be needed to prove the LLC is active and in good standing with the state.

Related: How to Open a Business Bank Account for your LLC 

Apply for Business Licenses and Permits

Depending on what your business does and where it is located, there will likely be a variety of business licenses and permits to register for before starting. Some common registrations include:

  • Business License – Some cities require businesses to obtain licensing before they can start. In some cases, even home-based businesses must have licensing in order to legally operate.
  • Professional License – Certain services such as barbershops, accountants, home inspectors and others must be licensed.

Related: What Business Licenses are Needed in Alaska?

File Annual Reports

LLCs are required to file an biennial report with the Division of Corporation, Business & Licensing.  The annual report updates ownership information and other details.

Related: How to File an Alaska LLC Biennial Report