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.
Filing Fee: $25
Your 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.
Once you’ve reserved a business name and appointed registered agent, 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
Think 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.
Appoint at least 3 directors who among other things will oversee the Alaska corporation 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:
Hopefully 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.
To ensure that you will not face penalties, fines, and fees when operating a business, you need to completely fulfill your Alaska business taxes and licenses obligations to the state. To get started, see the resources below:
Unlike 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.
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, very few businesses 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.
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.