How to Incorporate in Alaska

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If you’re looking to incorporate in Alaska, you’re in the right place. This guide will help you file formation documents, get tax identification numbers, and set up your company records.

Paperwork Cost Time
  • Form 08-400: Articles of Incorporation Domestic Business Corporation
  • CBPL Initial Report
  • Bylaws
  • IRS Form SS-4: Obtain an EIN
  • Form 2553: S-Corp Election, if desired
  • Form 08-4181: New Alaska Business License Application
  • Incorporation: $250
  • Alaska Business License: $50
  • Incorporation: Immediately online. ~10-15 business days by paper.
  • Alaska Business License: Immediately online. ~10-15 business days by mail.
  1. Choose a corporate structure

    Incorporating means starting a corporation. If you want to form an LLC, please see "How to Form an LLC in Alaska".

    Is your corporation for-profit or not-for-profit? If you are starting a nonprofit, please see "How to Start a Non-Profit Organization in Alaska".

    C-Corp and S-Corp refer to taxation with the IRS, not to legal structures. Your corporation is taxed as a C-Corp unless you file an election to be taxed as an S-Corp (explained below).

  2. Check Name Availability

    The legal name of your corporation may not conflict with any other registered name. Check availability of your desired name by conducting a name search.

    Name Search: Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
    Name Reservation: Optional
    Suffix Requirements:

    A corporate name must contain the word "corporation", "company", "incorporated", or "limited", or an abbreviation of one of these words. 
    AS §10.06.105

  3. Appoint a Registered Agent

    Identify the corporation’s Alaska registered agent. This individual or company receives notice of lawsuit and other legal service for the corporation.

  4. File Alaska Articles of Incorporation

    File the articles of incorporation to create your corporation.

    Agency:Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
    Form:

    Articles of Incorporation

    Filing Method:

    Mail or online

    Agency Fee:

    $150 filing fee + $100 biennial license fee = $250 total

    Turnaround:

    Immediately online. ~10-15 business days by paper.

    Law:

    Alaska Statutes - Chapter 10.06: Alaska Corporations Code

    Notes:
    Fact Checked:6/16/17
  5. File Initial Report

    Agency:Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
    Form:

    Enter your entity number then click 'Print Form'

    Filing Method:

    Mail or Online

    Agency Fee:

    $0

    Due:

    Within 6 months of incorporation.

    Law:

    Alaska Stat. § 10.06.811

    Fact Checked:11/2/18
  6. Establish Bylaws & Corporate Records

    Your corporation must keep correct and complete books and records of account in compliance with AS §10.06.430. Your filed articles of incorporation are the first document for your corporate records. Your corporation will generate many other official records such as bylaws, meeting minutes, and your EIN.

    Office supplies intended for a corporation will help you stay organized and save time. Optionally, get a corporate record book, seal, and document templates.

    Draft bylaws (potentially using a template) which is the governing document for the corporation. The bylaws contain provisions for managing the business and regulating the affairs of the corporation and must be consistent with AS §10.06.230. You will review and ratify the bylaws at your first board of directors meeting. A copy of the bylaws must be kept at the principal executive office and open to inspection by shareholders during office hours in compliance with AS §10.06.233.

  7. Appoint Initial Directors

    The initial directors serve on the board until the annual meeting of shareholders (when directors are elected to the board). If the initial directors are not named in the articles of incorporation, they are appointed by the incorporator. The incorporator documents and signs this action for the corporate records.

  8. Hold Organizational Meeting

    Hold the first meeting of the board of directors.

    After the commencement of corporate existence by the issuance of a certificate of incorporation, an organizational meeting of either the incorporators or the board of directors named in the articles of incorporation shall be held, either inside or outside the state, at the call of a majority of the incorporators or directors named in the articles of incorporation, for the purpose of adopting bylaws, electing directors if none have been named in the articles, electing officers, and transacting such other business as may come before the meeting. Those calling the meeting shall give at least 20 days notice of the meeting by mail to each incorporator or director named. The notice shall state the time and place of the meeting.
    AS §10.06.223

    The following state laws apply unless overridden by the organizational documents, where permissible.

    Directors Officers
    • Number: One or more required.
    • Qualifications: None.
    • Quorum: Majority, unless a greater number is fixed in bylaws.
    • President, Secretary, Treasurer required. President and Secretary may not be the same person. One person may be all three if that person owns 100% of outstanding shares.
  9. Issue Stock Certificates

    The owners may be issued stock certificates to serve as proof of ownership in the corporation. Remember to hold the first annual meeting of the shareholders (the owners of the corporation) according to bylaws and keep minutes of this meeting.

    The following state laws apply unless overridden by the organizational documents, where permissible.

    Shareholders Annual Shareholder Meeting
    • Qualifications: N/A
    • Stock Certificate: Optional, but shareholder must receive a writing with the same information.
    • Voting Trusts Allowed: Yes.
    • Required: Yes, and can be court-ordered if not held.
    • Action by written consent: Allowed if by all shareholders entitled to vote on the action.
  10. Get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)

    Your corporation must obtain an EIN regardless of whether it will hire employees.

    Submit to: Internal Revenue Service
    http://www.irs.gov/
    Form: IRS Form SS-4
    Guidance: IRS Pub 1635: Understanding Your EIN
    Filing Method: Mail, phone, fax, or apply online with the IRS
    Fee: $0
    Turnaround: Immediately online
    Notes: The IRS website is only available during certain hours. Print your EIN before closing your session.
  11. Get Alaska State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

    Alaska does NOT offer a consolidated state tax registration application. Apply for each individual tax account that is needed.


    Agency:Alaska Department of Revenue
    Form:Alaska Tax Types
    Fact Checked:5/12/20
  12. Consider Electing S-Corp Taxation

    By default, your corporation is taxed as a C-Corporation. Some corporations, especially smaller ones, benefit from electing S-Corp tax treatment:

    • C-Corps suffer from double taxation: the corporation pays taxes on profits then members pay taxes on their distributions. If profits exceed $250,000 per owner, you provide employee benefits, or you will re-invest most of your profit in the business, you may benefit from the low tax rates on retained earnings under C-Corp treatment.
    • S-Corp treatment avoids double-taxation. It is generally the best choice for small businesses. To accomplish this, file Form 2553: S-Corp Election with the IRS.
  13. Obtain Business Licenses & Permits

    To run your business legally, you must obtain applicable licenses and permits. The easiest way to navigate the wide range of federal, state, and local requirements is to search by your business type and locality using the Small Business Administration Business License & Permit look-up tool.


    Alaska Business License

    Agency:Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
    Law:

    AS § 43.70.020

    Initial Registration

    Form:

    Alaska Business License Application

    Filing Method:

    Mail or Online.

    Agency Fee:

    $50 for annual or $100 for biennial.

    Turnaround:

    Immediate for online or 10-15 business days for mail.

    Fact Checked:8/4/17

    Registration Renewal

    Form:

    Alaska Business License Renewal

    Filing Method:

    Mail or Online.

    Agency Fee:

    $50 for annual or $100 for biennial.

    Turnaround:

    Immediate for online or 10-15 business days for mail.

    Due:

    Annually or Biennially by December 31 depending on if you paid for one year or two.

    Penalties:

    After 2 years of non-renewal, your license will lapse and you will need to apply for a new one.

    Fact Checked:8/4/17
  14. Ongoing Filings to Maintain Your Corporation

    You must file federal and state tax returns. You must also file:

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