7 Simple Steps
First, make sure that the name you’d like to file isn’t already taken, too similar to another brand name that’s already recognized by the state, or that contains restricted wording. Head on over and conduct a business entity search through the Alaska Corporations, Business & Licensing Database. For Trademark issues, use the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Keep in mind your LLC name should contain the words ‘Limited Liability Company’ or ‘Limited Company’. Abbreviations for these words like ‘L.C.’ or ‘L.L.C’ are also acceptable. If needed, you can file a Business Name Reservation form that comes with a $25 filing fee.
A “Registered Agent” is the official title of the individual or business entity chosen by your company to receive, handle, and deliver all official state filings. This agent must be an Alaska resident/registered company with an Alaska street address that’s available during all regular work hours.
Now, you have three options here – 1) elect yourself or someone within your company if possible, 2) hire a service and pay up to $160/year, or 3) start your LLC with an incorporation service (like IncFile or CorpNet) and get an Alaska Registered Agent free of charge.
For an LLC to be created, filing Articles of Organization with the State of Alaska Corporations is necessary because it lays out the foundational aspects of the company: scope, management, hours of operation, ownership details, etc.
Download the Articles of Organization form then read every word and understand what’s being asked of you before filling it out. Once done, have it notarized then submit/mail it in or File Online through the Division of Corps.
Filing Fee: $250
Next is the EIN, or Employer Identification Number, which is a 9-digit number very similar to a social security number. You’re going to need one to open business bank accounts, legally hire employees, and handle business taxes so it’s hardly optional by any means.
Thankfully the process of getting one is very quick and easy these days. An EIN can be obtained free of charge using a simple Online Application through the IRS.
Although not a legal requirement, an LLC Operating Agreement is an indispensable document detailing how the company operates, ownership details, important financial matters, and management responsibilities. Once signed by you and your team it adds legal protection for all of you and the brand’s LLC status as well.
An Operating Agreement offers tons of advantages for your business. To get started, consider checking out an Operating Agreement Tool which you can customize yourself.
As you start an LLC, it’s critically important to keep your personal and business accounts/assets separate. So after you’ve done some good shopping around at different banks and credit unions to see who has the most to offer new business accounts, set up a unique financial home for your brand.
Recommended Resource: Check out this Business Checking Account breakdown that shows you some of the basics in terms of mainstream banking fee structures to start getting an idea of how important this decision is. Our personal favorite is Capital One, mainly for the flexibility it offers entrepreneurs.
One of the last official (red tape) steps you need to take has to do with state/federal taxes and licensing. After you have your EIN you’re almost set, but depending on the type of business you’re in you may need a variety of licenses. For example, do you sell food, work with the public, or just run an online store?
To get started bookmark the Anchorage district office of the Small Business Administration, and the Dept. of Corporation’s Business Licensing section because they’re likely going to be go-to sources for a variety of things along the way. If you need help, check into professional Business License Research packages that quickly source all the right forms and paperwork for you.