Alaska Business Facts
The economy in the State of the Last Frontier has been identified primarily by two major industries, petroleum and gas, and the federal government. These two sectors are flanked by all the other services and industries. 2004-2006 reports state that jobs within the federal government amounted to 135,000 in Alaska. 110,000 jobs in the gas and petroleum sector were combined with jobs for all other industries and services to boast a total of 122,000 Alaskan jobs.
After natural gas, seafood is a staple industry in Alaska. Salmon, cod, pollock, and crab are fished in mass quantities. Just the 2013 fishing season alone brought fishermen a total of 5.8 billion pounds of seafood! The fishing industry in Alaska generates almost 2 billion dollars annually.
In comparison to natural gas and seafood, a much smaller amount of revenues are generated through agriculture. Most farmed goods and livestock product stays within Alaska and serves those living there. Most food and general goods are imported and the Last Frontier depends on areas outside its boundaries for manufactured goods.
Major Companies Headquartered in Alaska
Alaska is home to several large businesses, including Bristol Bay Native, Chugach Alaska, Afognak Native, Yukon-Kuskokwim Health, Ukpeagvik IOoOupiat, NANA Dev, and Lynden.
Alaska has the potential for a sustainable and strong future. The need to support the growth and development of new and emerging businesses is imperative. The use of promotional activities, business assistance, and research can sustain and accelerate business growth. Such an approach has helped strengthen the seafood and visitor industries in Alaska.
There are 3 basic options: a DBA, a Corporation, or an LLC. Click here to learn more about business entities.
Choosing a business name is easier said than done – many legal and business problems can arise from picking the wrong name. It’s possible to change your business name in the future, but best practice is to choose a name you can keep. In Step 3 we’ll show you how to search for the name in Alaska, but we highly recommend you do the following before searching Alaska state databases:
TIP: search misspellings, plurals, variations of spelling, sound-alikes, and other versions of your chosen name to be sure it’s not already registered.
NOTE: Familiarize yourself with the Alaska naming guidelines. LLC entity names need to contain the words Limited Liability Company or the abbreviation LLC, and certain words are restricted or prohibited.
Restrictions on Alaska Business Name & Business Purpose
Each state has its own requirements for registering a business. Now that you’ve chosen a business structure and picked your business name, here are the requirements to register your business in Alaska.
How to form an LLC in Alaska
TIP: Speak to your tax advisor about this important issue because it adds complexity to your LLC most people would rather avoid.
How to Incorporate in Alaska
Considerations when incorporating or forming an LLC in Alaska
The Alaska Secretary of State could take anywhere from 10 to 15 days for mail filings to process the paperwork. This may increase during peak periods.
TIP: Check our order form to see how long Alaska is currently taking to process regular and expedited orders.
How to File a DBA in Alaska
Sure, you could do all the steps above or you could spend 5-10 minutes on our order form and let us take care of it while you work on more important things.
Your EIN is like your Social Security Number for your company. It’s required for Corporations and LLCs and optional for DBA’s (if you don’t have any employees, then it’s required). However, if you are a DBA and don’t obtain an EIN you will be forced to use your Social Security Number on many documents so it’s typically recommended you obtain the EIN to prevent identity theft.
TIP: We will obtain your EIN for you if we form your company.
To keep business and personal expenses separate, you should open a separate account for your business. In addition, getting business credit cards is how you begin to build a company credit profile (corporation or LLC required) and can later qualify for larger loans and lines of credit. To open the account simply call your chosen bank and inquire about the steps to open a business bank account. Typically you’ll need a) your filed paperwork, b) your EIN, and c) a company resolution authorizing your company to open the account (signed by the owners, members, officers or directors, etc.).
Top 5 Major Banks in Alaska
Click here to view a list of our recommended banks in our Vendor Network.
TIP: Our business formation service includes a free banking resolution for your use.
Setup your Accounting and Record-keeping system and learn about the taxes your new company is responsible for paying.
Company documents generally are required to be kept for 3 years, including a list of all owners and addresses, copies of all formation documents, financial statements, annual reports, amendments, or changes to the company. All Tax and Corporate Filings should be kept for at least 3 years. View our “Accounting & Financial Management” section for help with setting up an accounting system and purchasing accounting software.
Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).
TIP: We work with a company that can obtain and prepare business licenses and permits for you. Click here to learn more.
If you intend to hire yourself or others as a full or part-time employee of your company, then you may have to register with the appropriate State Agencies or obtain Workers Compensation Insurance or Unemployment Insurance (or both). View our “Employees & Payroll” section for help with hiring employees and processing payroll.
Review our list of recommended Payroll Providers in our Vendor Network.
There are many types of insurance for businesses but they are usually packaged as “General Business Insurance” or a “Business Owner’s Policy”. This can cover everything from product liability to company vehicles. A decent policy can run as little as $300/year and offers a great extra level of protection.
Click here to view our list of insurance providers in our Vendor Network.
Prepare the business as if someone needed to take it over and run it for you. Your company should have a method to process orders, pay bills, pay employees, pay taxes, maintain your permits, etc. Basically, try to make the operational aspect of the business as automated and efficient as possible so you can concentrate on growing your business. View our “Manage Your Company” section for help with systemizing and automating your business.
Now that you’ve set up the company for success, you need to get the word out. Create a marketing plan for your products and services that targets your ideal customer. View our “Marketing & Sales” section for help for more information.
DBA: Your Fictitious Business Name should be valid for 5 years (unless you change the company name or other information listed on the FBN) at which point you’ll need to renew it with the county.
LLC: Alaska corporations are required to file a Periodic Report with the Alaska Secretary of State every year on or before January 1, in addition to general taxation. Information on your business’ taxes can be found here.
Corporation: Businesses in Alaska should file a report once every two years on or before January 1 with the Secretary of State of Alaska. LLCs and Corporations will pay a filing cost of $100.
Click here to view our MyCompanyWorks Premium™ service which can automate most of your ongoing compliance tasks.
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing (for Corporation and LLC filings)
333 Willoughby AVE, 9th FL
State Office Building
Juneau, AK 99801-1770
Phone: (907) 465-2550
Alaska Taxation Departments
Alaska Labor and Employment Departments
Alaska Startup Resources
1. Small Business Administration (SBA) Alaska District Offices
2. SCORE Alaska
3. Alaska Legal Statutes
5. Alaska PTAC
6. Alaska Angel Investors
7. Alaska Business News
9. Alaska Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
10. Adventure Green Alaska
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