How to Search Available LLC Names in Alaska
1. Check Alaska LLC Naming Guidelines
Before you do a name availability search, it makes sense to check if your business name meets the basic state guidelines.
Some key guidelines for Alaska LLC names include:
- Your name must include the phrase “limited liability company” or one of its abbreviations (LLC or L.L.C.). “Limited” can be abbreviated "Ltd.,” and “company” can be abbreviated “co.”
- Entity names that mislead regarding corporate purposes are not allowed.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any other business name registered with the state. Learn more about distinguishable business names from the Alaska Department of Commerce website.
Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.
Alaska also has the following restrictions for LLC names:
- A business name may not contain a word with professional licensing restrictions, such as “Engineer,” unless the business has the appropriate professional license.
- The name of a city, borough, or village may be used in an LLC’s name; however, the name may not contain the word “city,” “borough,” or “village” or otherwise imply that the company is a municipality.
For more information, check out the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website.
2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search
Once you know your LLC name meets Alaska guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by searching the Alaska Corporations Database.
It is important that your name be distinguishable from all other business names. In Alaska, a distinguishable name must meet the following criteria:
- The name contains one or more different letters or numerals or has a different sequence of letters or numerals
- One of the key words is different
- The key words are the same, but they are in a different order
- The key words are the same, but the spelling is creative, unusual, or artistic
- The key words have a different meaning in their contexts and the words are not literally identical
- The difference in key words is between how a number is expressed, as a numeral, Roman numeral, or word representing a numeral
- An "s" is added or deleted to make the word plural, singular, or possessive
Different words or abbreviations that indicate the type of company (e.g., Corporation, LLC, Limited), differences in capitalization or punctuation, and the presence of articles (e.g., a, the, an) do NOT make a name distinguishable.
Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.
What if my LLC name is already taken? If your LLC name is unavailable in Alaska, it’s time to come up with some new ideas.
How to Reserve or Register Your Business Name
Reserve Your Name
You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Alaska for up to 120 days before you officially register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you have the opportunity to register it yourself.
Register Your Name
If you want to register a legal entity name for your LLC, you can do so at the time of formation filing. Alaska provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Articles of Organization.
Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, known as a business name in Alaska, is a separate process that requires filing with the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.
Alaska LLC Name Search FAQ
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Alaska?
You can use the Alaska Corporations Database to see if your preferred business name is available.
Should I name my LLC after myself?
While there’s no rule against naming an LLC after yourself, most experts advise against doing this.
One of the benefits of starting an LLC is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.
What words can’t be used in an Alaska LLC name?
Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.
In Alaska, a business name may not contain a word with professional licensing restrictions, such as “Engineer,” unless the business has the appropriate professional license. Additionally, business names may not contain the word “city,” “borough,” or “village” or otherwise imply that the company is a municipality.
Should I use an LLC name generator?
If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your LLC, an LLC name generator can help you come up with some ideas.
What is a brand name?
A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.
Do I have to include LLC in my name?
Yes. Alaska requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.
Do I need to renew my business name in Alaska?
Alaska does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but DBAs (business names) must be renewed every five years with the Department of Commerce.
Can my business name be different from my LLC name in Alaska?
Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or a business name in Alaska.
In Alaska, business names are filed with the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
Does my LLC need a DBA name?
Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about Alaska DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Alaska from the dropdown menu.