Anyone looking to form an LLC in Alaska is free to do so. An LLC is a Limited Liability Company. It’s a business entity similar to a sole proprietorship or partnership, but the liability is limited much like that of a corporation. Many people choose to form their business in the form of an LLC for the sole reason of protecting their own personal assets and finances in case there are legal issues and/or financial issues with the company. Forming an LLC in Alaska isn’t difficult, but it does involve several steps and a number of challenges. If you’re up for it, these challenges won’t deter you from beginning your own business in Alaska.
The First Steps in Forming an LLC
Before you can do anything else, you must choose a name for your company. Your business name must include “LLC” with it, and it cannot be the same name as any other businesses legally registered in the same state. It is all right to choose a name that’s registered in another state, however. This is the first and often most challenging step for anyone beginning an LLC. Finding out your favorite name is already registered means starting over. The name of your business is important to you, and it can be frustrating when it’s already taken by another company.
You can choose a name as many as 120 days prior to actually becoming an LLC. Alaska offers business owners a chance to do this for only $25 by filing a name reservation application. Your LLC needs to be completely formed before the 120 days are up, or the name goes back into the pool of available names. If you’re not sure whether or not the name you want is available, you can check by visiting the Alaska Department of Commerce website.
Filing Your First Paperwork
The first set of paperwork following the name process is your official articles of organization. This is information you file with the state to share your company’s official name as well as your basic business plan. Your articles must include the following information:
- The name and agent of your registered agent
- The purpose of your company (for example: A plumbing company)
- How long your business has been and will be in business
- Management plan
- $250 fee
Since you’re forming an LLC and will not be in charge of your own legal paperwork, you have to have a legal agent. This can be any person not affiliated with your business. It can be a family member or friend, but it’s recommended your agent is an attorney for a law firm. This is the company or person responsible for handling your legal issues if required.
Following Your Approval
Now that you’ve chosen a name and registered your company, you have to continue to file the appropriate paperwork throughout the life of your business. The first set of paperwork is required filing no longer than six months following the registration of your LLC. It’s called your Initial Report, and it’s free to file. You’ll also file something called a Biennial Report every two years no later than January 2 along with a $100 filing fee. Both forms require the following information:
- Name and address of all people with a 5% stake in the company
- LLC name
- Primary office address
- Name of registered agent
- LLC manager and/or member names
Some of the biggest challenges forming an LLC in Alaska includes knowing what you have to do for the specific type of company you’re forming. There are basic guidelines for all LLC formations, but the detailed work is dependent on the type of business you’re forming. A plumbing company has different tax and regulatory requirements with the state than a daycare service, for instance. Another challenge is understanding whether or not you need an Employer Identification Number. You only need one if your LLC employs anyone other than yourself.
Forming an LLC in Alaska is not difficult, but it does require ample paperwork and time. All of the paperwork required to form an LLC is easily found by visiting the State of Alaska Business website. All required forms, laws, and regulations are available for view for anyone ready to form their LLC.