STEP 1) VERIFY & SECURE CORPORATE BRAND NAME

Choose a Business Name

First, make sure that the name you’d like to file isn’t already taken or too similar to another brand name that’s already recognized by the state, or that contains restricted wording. Or that has words which denote something other than what the business is for. Conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and for trademark issues, use the Tess System through the U.S. Patent Office.

Keep in mind your brand name should contain the words ‘Corporation,’ ‘Company,’ ‘Incorporated,’ or ‘Limited.” Abbreviations for these words are also acceptable. If needed, you can file a Business Name Reservation form that comes with a $25 filing fee.

STEP 2) APPOINT A REGISTERED AGENT

Choose a Registered AgentYour Alaska Registered Agent will be responsible for receiving and helping to process all critical documents, especially state filings. One is needed to operate legally. That said, in Alaska, a corporation isn’t allowed to be its own Registered Agent. Instead, the agent must be a legal/certified individual or a registered Alaska business entity – either must have a physical street address and be available during all regular business hours.

So there’s basically two options here – 1) hire a third-party service and expect to pay up to $160/year, or 2) get an Alaska Registered Agent free of charge when you Incorporate with IncFile.

STEP 3) FILE ARTICLES OF INCORPORATION

Register an LLCOnce you’ve reserved a business name and appointed registered agent, if you’re ready the next step is to file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State. In the link provided, you can download the form, READ it carefully, fill it out completely, have it notarized and sent off.

Your corporate details should be provided accurately so your application won’t be denied. Remember, this is an official declaration for the public record, so don’t file until you’re ready.

Filing Fee: $250

STEP 4) CREATE A CORPORATE RECORDS BOOK

File Annual Reports & Publication RequirementsThink of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder. They’re very common and while not necessary we highly recommend you have one from, well, day one of building your new business entity.

We’re huge fans of Corporate Kits which include gorgeous records books/binders you can brand for as little as $99.

STEP 5) APPOINT DIRECTORS, MEET, AND DISCUSS BYLAWS

Hold a Meeting with Your Board of Directors

Appoint at least 3 directors who among other things will oversee the corp until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting will:

  • Appoint officers & discuss/create Corporate Bylaws.
  • Choose a bank & approve the issuance of stock certificates.
  • Agree on corporate seal and adopt official stock certificate form.
  • Approve s-corp (opt.). Record Minutes of Meeting, have directors sign, then add to records book.

STEP 6) OPEN A BUSINESS BANK ACCOUNT

Best Business Bank AccountHopefully during your foundational stage you and your directors set aside time to really understand how important this decisions is, namely where your corporation will bank. How familiar are you with business banking on the corporate level? Are you already aware of the many business services, varying fee structures, and incentives?

Don’t take this lightly. There are plenty of large and small local, state, and national banks as well as credit unions to choose from. Don’t just assume the mainstream banks are the best because they’re the biggest.

STEP 7) HANDLE TAXES & LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

Business LicensesFour important moves for this step if you don’t have an attorney and aren’t working with a professional filing service:

  1. Obtain an Alaska EIN, or Employer Identification Number, for your corporation for free through the IRS.
  2.  Bookmark the Anchorage district office of the Small Business Administration, and the Dept. of Corporation’s Business Licensing section.
  3. Should the corporation have S-Corp Status, then file a 2553 Election form with the IRS to obtain that status.
  4. Also, consider professional Business License Research packages that take care of the legwork for you.

OPTIONAL) WRITE A BUSINESS PLAN

Write a Business PlanUnlike solopreneurs and fresh new startups that can “wing it” in the planning department for a while, corporations are different. It’s essential to begin refining your game plan as early to conception as possible with the prospects you intend to show the plan to always in mind: VC-types, lending institutions, incubation programs, other types of investors, etc.

Not to mention potential stakeholders and important members of the team like marketing directors, managers, and so forth. These days it’s about hammering down in a streamlined way on the core fundamentals. To learn more, check out the links below.

QUICK LINKS TO BUSINESS PLANNING

  • Our free email-based Business Plan Course is designed to take you smoothly through the process step-by-step.

OPTIONAL) BUILD A COMPANY WEBSITE

Build a Business WebsiteAlso unlike many of the newer startups you see popping up today, corporations often don’t put as much emphasis on digital marketing and typically expand their base through other means. However, that being said, NO business can survive the 21st century marketplace without a company website of some kind – even a simple one-page responsive agency-style site or landing page.

The question is which platform to choose based on your needs and resources to dedicate to the website. Some popular options are Wix, SquareSpace, Shopify (for eCommerce) and of course WordPress. If you’re interested, check out this free WordPress Tutorial that can give you an idea of the open-source potential.

Need Help Forming Your Corporation?

Have a reliable incorporation service like IncFile or LegalZoom do the work for you. Just answer a few questions about your business and they’ll take care of the paperwork.

Although both offer virtually the same service, IncFile is $100 less and our top pick. Enjoy!

Visit IncFile Or Visit LegalZoom

Note that this article on how to form an Alaska corporation isn’t a legal document or legal advice. It’s for informational purposes and the information above is subject to change. For specific legal questions regarding how to form an Alaska corporation or business in general, please consult with a lawyer or other accredited professional.