How to Register a Business Name in Alaska? (2024 Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: June 20, 2024
FACT CHECKED by Lou Viveros, Growth & Transition Advisor
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If you're looking to start a business in Alaska, you'll first need to register a business entity name.

As someone well-versed in the ins and outs of this procedure, I'm here to empower you with the right information.

Thanks to my vast expertise in business formation, I have managed to gather a team of legal experts to join forces and help you easily register your Alaska business.

When it comes to starting a limited liability company in Alaska, you'll first need to decide first your LLC's name. Let's see how to register a business name in Alaska stress-free.

Quick Summary

  • Registering a business name in Alaska involves filing a Business Name Application with the Division of Corporations, requiring details like business entity name and contact information.
  • The process to register a business name in Alaska includes choosing a unique name, obtaining an EIN, preparing an operating agreement, and filing Articles of Organization.
  • The booming growth, as evidenced by 2,514 new businesses between March 2021 and March 2022, demonstrates the thriving entrepreneurial environment in Alaska
  • Based on my experience, Alaska business registration entails a series of steps, including name verification, federal and state paperwork, and ensuring compliance with local licensing and permits.

Steps to Register a Business Name in Alaska

With 71,781 small businesses making up 99.1 percent of Alaska's business landscape as per the US Small Business Administration statistics, the importance of establishing a unique and compliant business name cannot be overstated [1].

There are several steps you need to follow to successfully register a business name in the state.

1. Choose a Name for Your LLC

Choosing a name for your LLC is the first thing you must do to register your company name in Alaska.

We advise making sure that the business organization's legal name is available for use. The name must be unique and cannot include words restricted by the state of Alaska.

You'll also need to ensure that choosing an LLC's name does not infringe on another business's trademark. You can conduct a thorough search on the internet for your proposed name. Check Alaska Business Name Availability when registering the name of your business.

In our case, we checked by doing a business search through the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) website [2].

If the name is available, you can register your business with the state by filing a Business Name Application [3].

Your business mustn't have the same name as any other business to avoid confusion.

2. Obtain an EIN

You will need to obtain an EIN once you register your business name.

EIN is also known as an Employer Identification Number (EIN), and it is used for filing business taxes for an LLC in Alaska.

The EIN process involves filling out forms with federal agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) [4].

In our case, we also applied for an Alaska business license and permit, as well as business certificates.

3. Prepare an Operating Agreement

An LLC requires a business plan, which includes an operating agreement.

Drawing from our experience, this legal document outlines how your business will operate and lays out rules for an ownership interest.

The LLC operating agreement should be prepared before filing Articles of Organization with the State Division of Corporations, Business & Professional Licensing (DCCED).

4. File Articles of Organization

A man holding a piece of paper in front of his laptop while drinking coffee

File Articles of Organization or a Certificate of Formation to register your business name with the state of Alaska.

An attorney usually files these documents, but business owners can also file them themselves.

"Ensuring your business's legal foundation is paramount; hence, filing Articles of Organization or a Certificate of Formation is essential for registering your business name with the state of Alaska, encompassing critical details such as the business name, registered agent information, management structure, and business address," advises a leading industry expert."

-Jon Morgan, Co-Editor & Co-Founder of Venture Smarter

In our case, after approval from DCCED, we submitted our business certificate to the county recorder for filing with local authorities.

5. Appoint a Registered Agent

You'll need to appoint a Registered Agent for your LLC. We recommend getting an agent who's an Alaska resident and registered as an individual or business entity with the state.

The agent will receive any legal documents on behalf of your company and forward them to you on time.

6. Obtain Licenses and Permits

A man signing a piece of paper on a table

Obtain necessary business licenses and permits to conduct business in Alaska. Getting the right permits will allow you to operate confidently and legally.

The type of licenses and permits you'll need will depend on the type of business you're running and the municipality in which it is located.

We recommend researching the licenses and permits required for your business. Missing or incorrect paperwork can result in fines and other penalties.

Make sure you're fully compliant with all licensing and permitting requirements before starting your business.

If you need professional help with multiple business licenses or permits, we advise getting a business attorney.

They can assist you in the process of filing paperwork and obtaining any additional information needed for your Alaska business license application.

7. Get Business Insurance

Get business insurance to safeguard against potential financial losses when running a business structure. Explore various policies that suit your specific needs.

Some types of business insurance include:

  • Product liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Business property insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance

Related Articles:

Trademarking Your Business Name (Optional)

Once you've verified your business name's availability and secured it, you may choose to pursue trademark registration.

Based on our experience, this typically incurs fees ranging from $225 to $400, plus potential attorney fees, along with a renewal fee every 10 years.

While these costs may pose a challenge for startups or emerging businesses, trademarking offers valuable nationwide brand protection enforced by federal law.

This legal safeguard grants you the upper hand if others attempt to operate under a similar name to yours. While not essential for many small businesses, it becomes particularly important when expanding nationally.

How to Start a Business in Alaska

A team working on starting a business in Alaska

To start a business in Alaska you will have to choose from different options. To do so, you will first need to get familiar with different business structures.

The most common business structures are a corporation or limited liability companies (LLC), sole proprietorships, and partnerships.

A business owner must think about its name and continue to register it. The owner can register it through the business name registration form.

Once you've registered your business name and chosen the type of business entity, you'll need to file additional paperwork with the state.

This paperwork will include articles of incorporation (for corporations) or Articles of Organization (for LLCs), as well as bylaws or operating agreements.

But when it comes to starting a limited liability company in Alaska, you'll need to decide first your LLC's name. It's an important consideration even before you make your business bank account.

FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Register a Company Name in Alaska?

The cost of registering a company name in Alaska differs depending on business structure and location. Visit the Division of Corporations website for precise licensing fee details.

Is Business Name Registration Free in Alaska?

No, business name registration in Alaska is not free. A fee is required to obtain a separate business license, with the amount varying based on the type of business structure being registered.

References:

  1. https://advocacy.sba.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/2023-Small-Business-Economic-Profile-AK.pdf
  2. https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/
  3. https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/cbpl/Corporations/ReservingRegisteringBusinessName.aspx
  4. https://www.irs.gov/

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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