How to Incorporate in Alaska

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

    Before you officially file to create your Alaska LLC, you will need to decide who your Alaska registered agent will be. A registered agent is a business's legal appointee to receive notice of lawsuit and other legal or government notices.

    State law requires every LLC to have a registered agent. The registered agent is designated when you file Alaska articles of organization with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.

    Our reliable registered agent service fulfills this requirement. You get:

    • Same-day documents from our local office in Kenai
    • Immediate online access to state forms with our address and, where required, our signature
    • Annual fees from $89 to $99 per state with no additional charges

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  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.

    Draft bylaws (potentially using a template) which is the governing document for the corporation. The bylaws of a corporation may contain any provision for managing the business and regulating the affairs of the corporation that is not inconsistent with law or with the articles of incorporation (C.R.S. 7-102-106). You will review and ratify the bylaws at your first board of directors meeting.

    A corporation shall keep as permanent records minutes of all meetings of its shareholders and board of directors, a record of all actions taken by the shareholders or board of directors without a meeting, a record of all actions taken by a committee of the board of directors in place of the board of directors on behalf of the corporation, and a record of all waivers of notices of meetings of shareholders and of the board of directors or any committee of the board of directors (C.R.S. 7-116-101).

    Your filed articles of incorporation and bylaws are the first documents for your corporate records. Your corporation will generate many other official records such as:

    • Meeting minutes
    • Shareholder resolutions
    • EIN verification letter
    • Amendments and other filings made to the corporation over its lifetime

    Organizations need a secure, centralized tool for managing and accessing sensitive records. Our Records Manager software offers a simple, efficient way for corporations to store records, track officers, directors, and shareholders, and customize meeting notifications.

  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

    Fact Checked:9/18/19

    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.

    Many states also require business entities to file an annual report to maintain good standing with the secretary of state. If an annual report is required for corporations formed in Alaska, view the table below.


    Domestic Alaska Corporation Annual Report Requirements:

    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:

    $100

    Due:

    January 2nd. If you initially filed/registered in an even numbered year the Biennial Report will be due in January of every even numbered year. If you initially filed in an odd numbered year the Biennial Report will be due in January of every odd numbered year. You can start filing 3 months prior.

    Law:

    Alaska Stat. § 10.06.811

    Penalties:

    Starting February 1. Late fee for a domestic corporation is $37.50.

    Fact Checked:1/11/21

    For more details, see our Alaska annual report information center page.

    You will need to demonstrate your company’s good standing to banks, customers, and other state agencies. After all the work involved in forming your Alaska corporation, don’t let a missed annual report filing cause your new business to fall out of compliance.

    Tracking and filing annual reports on your own can be time consuming and lead to accidental lapses. Protect your corporation’s good standing with Managed Annual Report Service, which tracks and automatically files reports on time, every time, so you can focus on your business.

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