Congratulations for making a big leap forward by incorporating your business in Alaska.
Now that you’re done with the question on how to incorporate in Alaska, let’s move on with the question, “What now?” To help you get started, here are the 7 things that you need to do after incorporating in Alaska. Other than writing a solid business plan, make sure you knock these things out.
Once you incorporate your business, it is now considered a separate entity from you, therefore it needs its own EIN which you can obtain from the Internal Revenue Service.
Just like a Social Security Number, the EIN is the means by which the IRS can monitor your business operations and activities. Obtaining an EIN should be your top priority after completing the incorporation process because you will not be allowed to open a bank account or file your business tax returns without it.
Apart from the tedious process of incorporating, you also need to comply with necessary business licenses – which by the way can be a hand-full. Without these licenses, you will not be allowed by the state of Alaska to operate your business.
Every business has their own set of required licenses; to make sure that you obtain the right ones, you can visit your local county office or city hall and find out more. If you fail to comply with this requirement, the state will impose fines and may totally close your business; so you need to be prompt in getting all your business permits and licenses.
First of all, this step is not mandatory or required under the law. However, it would be very helpful for your business if you do this step. A tax advisor is a professional who will discuss with you your options in filing your state taxes.
In your meeting, you can discuss topics like electing an S-Corporation treatment from the IRS and the available tax deductions that you can take advantage of, among other things. Keep an eye on your business taxes.
As I mentioned earlier, after getting your EIN, you can proceed with the next step which is to open a business bank account. Having this will enable you to receive checks and payments under your business name.
Apart from this, you are also required by the state of Alaska to separate your bank and personal accounts. If you operated under sole proprietorship before, you need to officially close the bank account that you used and open a new one with your current business name. It is also a good idea to get a credit card for your business. This will allow you to track your business expenses better and at the same time build your credit history.
Surely, you don’t want your business name to be used by other random businesses. Even though your business name is protected by the state of Alaska once you’re incorporated, it would be best if you took extra precautions by trademarking your company name in all 50 states.
Many businesses use different variations of their official business name. If you want to do this, you need to make sure that you do it legally. It’s easy – you just have to file a Doing Business As (DBA), so the public will know that you’re using such names.
An important thing to remember is to not file a DBA unless you’ve already formed your corporation or LLC, in this way it is under the corporation.
One of the main reasons why you need to incorporate your business is to protect yourself from legal and financial liabilities. However, you need to work hard to maintain your business’s good standing so you can have this privilege.
To be able to do this, you need to create a checklist containing all the requirements that you need to comply each year. Some of these requirements are the annual report, filing of federal and state taxes and ensuring that your business and personal finances are always separate.
You may also have to abide with formalities, for instance an annual shareholder’s meeting. The purpose behind this is to establish your business as a separate entity.
These are just some important obligations that you need to complete after starting your business. But the fact that you’ve already made it to the first and most important step is already a big achievement. Just keep going, don’t forget to finish these requirements and you’re good to go!