Are you planning on expanding your business out of Alaska? Are you considering applying for government funding? Do you need a new bank account for your growing corporation or your limited liability company (LLC)? You’ll need to order an Alaska Certificate of Compliance (COC), also known as a Certificate of Good Standing or Certificate of Existence.
A COC is the best way to demonstrate your company exists and is in compliance with state law, along with showing your business is allowed to operate in Alaska. It’s also required for a lot of business processes. In this guide, we’ll explain why and how to get an Alaska Certificate of Compliance (COC), hassle-free.
What is an Alaska Certificate of Compliance?
A COC is a legal document that proves that your business entity exists and is in compliance with state law. There’s no better way to prove that you’re running a lawful business. Different states have different requirements, policies, and application procedures regarding these certificates.
Which Alaska office issues Certificates of Compliance?
In Alaska, a Certificate of Compliance is issued by the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing, under the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.
If you’re unsure about your standing with the Alaska state government or where you stand with your taxes and registration fees, we’re here to help. ZenBusiness has an excellent compliance service that can help keep you updated about state requirements.
What does a Certificate of Compliance confirm?
It’s essential to know what info you’ll find in the COC you’re about to request. A Certificate of Compliance confirms that you’ve:
- Paid the necessary fees to the Office of the Commissioner of Commerce, Community, and Economy.
- Submitted your biennial report.
- Paid franchise taxes.
- Qualified to transact business in Alaska.
The actual certificate reads:
“The undersigned, as Commissioner of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development of the State of Alaska, and custodian of corporation records for said state, hereby issues a Certificate of Compliance for: [your company name]
This entity was formed on [your company’s formation date] and is in good standing. This entity has filed all biennial reports and fees due at this time.
No information is available in this office on the financial condition, business activity or practices of this corporation.”
Why do you need an Alaska Certificate of Compliance?
Though it’s not always mandatory, you could be asked to provide an Alaskan COC for many reasons. It will most likely happen if you’re looking:
- To do business outside of Alaska. An entity looking to expand outside the state needs to provide an Alaska COC to the state in which they want to operate. This is usually a requirement across the U.S.
- To secure funding (public or private). A funding agency or investor might need confirmation that your business entity is in compliance before investing in your business.
- To open a business bank account. Not every bank requests one but be prepared for the possibility.
- To purchase insurance for your business. Like a bank, an insurance company might want official documentation that confirms it’s dealing with a lawful business.
- To sign a contract with another business or with the state. An entity considering doing business with your company might request a Certificate of Compliance.
- To renew certain permits and licenses. These situations are state- and business-specific, so check with the relevant authorities to see which applies to you.
What Alaska business entities can obtain a COC?
Only entities registered with the state of Alaska can request a Certificate of Compliance.
LLCs and corporations can get a COC since they require state registration to operate in Alaska. This includes professional LLCs, for-profit corporations, professional corporations (PCs), and nonprofit corporations. You’ll register with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing, under the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.
Limited partnerships need to file for registration and can ask for an Alaska COC. Sole proprietorships don’t require registration and won’t be asked to submit a Certificate of Compliance.
How do you get an Alaska Certificate of Compliance?
To comply with state laws to receive a COC, be sure to keep your licenses, taxes, and biennial reports updated. Let’s have a look at them before we discuss the actual process of requesting the certificate.
Every business has to acquire the relevant licenses to operate, such as building permits or commercial authorizations, on federal, state, and local levels. To request an Alaska COC, your company needs to operate with the correct licenses and permits.
Taxes and State Fees
Make sure you’re in compliance with Alaska taxes. This includes sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and any other fee that Alaska requires you to pay to transact business in the state. You’ll want to make sure they’ve all been paid on time.
Alaska LLCs and Alaska corporations (of any type) have to file a biennial report, so make sure you know when it is and file it on time. This report confirms the entity’s basic information, such as address, registered agent, members, directors, etc.
Managing all the above can be overwhelming even for the most organized person or streamlined business structure. Making sure you’re in compliance can be complicated and time-consuming. ZenBusiness offers a worry free compliance service that can help keep your company’s affairs are in order.
Requesting your Alaska Certificate of Compliance
As of March 2021, Alaska-based businesses can only request a COC online.
Before you do, double-check if the COC you’re about to request is indeed valid for your intended purpose.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to request the COC online.
- Start by accessing the portal of the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Licensing.
- Enter your business ID, your company’s full name, or a word contained in its name.
- Find your business and click on the Submit Request button. You’ll find it on the right-hand side of the page.
- Verify that the record is correct. If it is, click on the Proceed button.
- Now the payment page will open. You can pay by credit card (Mastercard or Visa). The fee is $10.
- Once you’re done with the payment, you can immediately download and print out the Certificate of Compliance in PDF format.
Once you’ve received your Alaska COC, send it to the party that requested it. Keep in mind that some entities may require the Certificate of Compliance to have been issued within the last 60 or 90 days.
Compliance may not be simple to keep up with, especially when considering all the other aspects that make a business go round. At ZenBusiness, we understand that your business needs don’t stop after the business has been registered. ZenBusiness can keep you in good standing with our worry-free compliance service. With this service, we not only help keep your business in compliance, but we can also secure an Alaska Certificate of Compliance for you if you need one; you just pay the state fees. And, if you don’t have worry free compliance but still need a COC, our Certificate of Good Standing service can help.
How much does an Alaska Certificate of Compliance cost?
An Alaska COC costs $10.
How long will it take to get my Alaska Certificate of Compliance?
Since you can only file online, you’ll be able to download your Certificate of Compliance immediately (provided you’re in compliance in the eyes of the state).
Can I expedite an Alaska COC request?
No. When you request it online, you receive it immediately.
Is a COC required to stay compliant in Alaska?
No. A Certificate of Compliance isn’t required to stay compliant in Alaska. However, if you want to request a COC you need to stay compliant. This means paying taxes and fees on time, filling out your biennial reports, and having the appropriate licenses and permits.