How do I form a corporation in Alaska?

Forming a corporation can be exciting, but it also requires following the appropriate steps. While the process can certainly be done on your own, many business owners partner with a trusted resource, like us, to offer guidance and assistance during the corporation setup process.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about forming an Alaska corporation, offering key insights and tips along the way.

How to Start a Corporation in Alaska

To start a corporation in the Last Frontier, you must file the Articles of Incorporation with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing office. To simplify the process of forming a corporation in Alaska, we’ve put together 10 steps for you to form your business.

Step 1: Name your Alaska corporation

Naming your corporation is the first step you’ll take to form your company officially. You might have a name in mind or several ideas swirling around in your head. We recommend writing down any names you or your partners are interested in pursuing, so you can run them through the next step.

Check to see if your name is available

Once you have your list, it’s time to see if your business name options are available. In Alaska, your corporation name should be distinguishable from other corporations. This means you’ll want to perform a quick search to ensure no other Alaska company has already secured your name.

You can do this by searching the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development corporation database. You’ll also want to check to make sure your desired name isn’t already trademarked on the federal or state level. Keep in mind that corporations in Alaska cannot contain certain words such as “city,” “village,” or “borough” and should not contain offensive words according to Alaska Corporation Statutes and Regulations. Also, your corporate name can’t contain a word or phrase that indicates or implies that the corporation is organized for a purpose other than the purpose contained in its Articles of Incorporation.

Add a corporate designator

After you find an available name that you and your partners have agreed upon, it’s time to add a corporation designator to the end of your name. This designator can be “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” or “Limited.” If you’re forming a professional corporation, you can use the phrase “A Professional Corporation” instead. You can also opt for abbreviations of these five phrases.

Considerations for Professional Corporation Names

If you’re forming a professional corporation, Alaska law requires you to include the last name of one (or more) of your PC’s shareholders. There is an exception to this, though: if the board that regulates your profession doesn’t require you to include the name of a shareholder, then you don’t have to. Be sure to contact your profession’s licensing board for the full naming regulations that apply to your industry.

Reserve a Corporation Name in Alaska

Now that you have your official corporation name chosen, you can reserve it if you wish, so no one else takes it before you’re ready to register officially. You’ll visit the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing website to reserve your name. You can reserve your corporation name directly online for a fee. Once reserved, your corporation name will be held for 120 days. If you need to extend this reservation, you can do so twice, for an additional fee per renewal.

Additional Considerations

Here are some other factors to consider once you have your corporation name:

  • DBAs – If you intend to do business under another name, you may want to secure a DBA (“doing business as”) name, often referred to as a trade name or assumed name. You can handle this online with the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing’s website by filing for a new business license for your trade name. We’ll cover business license questions later in this guide, so stay tuned if you have questions.
  • Trademarks – Consider trademarking your name. For broader protection — especially if you plan on doing business outside of Alaska — you can register any trademarks on the federal level, but you’ll need to conduct a quick search using the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database to see if your name is already federally trademarked. It’s often easier and quicker to file for a trademark on the state level. If no trademarks exist for your business name, you can register a state trademark for a fee through the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing.

Step 2: Appoint directors

The next step you’ll take is appointing directors to your corporation. You’ll need to specify at least one director (by Alaska law) to oversee your corporation’s interests. Your director(s) will help manage the corporation and must act in the best interest of the company and the shareholders.

Director Requirements and Considerations

Some states have requirements on who can serve as a director, but Alaska does not have any restrictions for the directors of standard corporations. That said, there are requirements for the directors of professional corporations. Directors of PCs have to be shareholders of the corporation, and shareholders have to be licensed in the corporation’s chosen profession. 

For both standard and professional corporations, you’ll need to have at least one director selected before you can file your Articles of Incorporation, although you do not have to specify your director(s).


You’ll also need to specify an incorporator who will serve as the person to sign the Articles of Incorporation. An incorporator can also be a director in Alaska but doesn’t have to be. An owner in the company will typically serve as the incorporator.

Step 3: Choose an Alaska registered agent

Now that you have a corporation name, an incorporator, and directors, you’re ready to select an Alaska registered agent. Your registered agent will serve as a third party between your corporation and the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing’s office, receiving important paperwork and communications on your behalf. You must designate a registered agent to register your corporation or professional corporation with the state of Alaska.

Registered Agent Requirements

The registered agent must be an individual resident of Alaska or a corporation authorized to transact business in Alaska. To become a registered agent in Alaska, you must have a primary operating address within the state and be available between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to receive sensitive documents in person. You cannot use a P.O. box as your registered agent’s operating address.

Benefits of Using a Registered Agent Service

While you (or a director in your corporation) can act as your company’s registered agent, you might want to work with an outside party. Although it’s legal to serve as your own registered agent, partnering with an outside agent service has its benefits. A few to consider include:

  • Setting your own working hours. By Alaska law, your registered agent will need to be available and at their primary office in Alaska between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Acting as your own agent may leave you tied to a location or specific working hours.
  • Protecting you from public subpoenas. Since legal documents can be delivered to your registered agent, having an outside party ensures these documents will be served to your agent on your behalf. If you act as your own agent, you could be served paperwork in front of clients or prospective investors, which could hurt your business deals and relationships.

Step 4: File the Alaska Articles of Incorporation

Once you’ve selected a registered agent, you’re ready to file your Articles of Incorporation. This document legitimizes your business with the state of Alaska and allows the government to officially recognize you as a corporation, so you can begin handling business.

Domestic vs Foreign

If you’re forming your business in Alaska, you’ll file as a domestic corporation (standard). If you already have a corporation that was formed outside Alaska and now want to register to do business in Alaska, you’ll file as a foreign corporation (less typical). 

How to File

You can file your Articles of Incorporation online through the Alaska Department of Commerce, Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing portal. To file this document, you’ll need:

  • The corporation name. This will include your designator.
  • Your North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. This code designates your corporation’s industry. You can find the correct code for your business by reviewing Alaska’s full list of NAICS codes.
  • Your registered agent’s name and address. You’ll need their full, legal name and operating address (must be in Alaska).
  • Alien affiliates’ names and addresses. If the incorporator or directors are located outside of the U.S., they’re considered alien affiliates. If everyone is located in the U.S., you’ll write “none.”
  • The number of authorized shares. You’ll need to decide on your total number of  authorized shares, which will also be included in your bylaws. There must be more than zero.  If there’s more than one class or series of authorized shares, you need to indicate that on the form. 
  • Optional provisions: These provisions are authorized under AS 10.06.210 and are only necessary in specific situations. An example is the address of the corporation.
  • The incorporator’s name, mailing address, and signature. At least one incorporator must supply this information and sign.
  • Filing fee.

If you’re filing as a professional corporation, then you’ll file a slightly different version of the Articles of Incorporation. This form asks for mostly similar information, but you’ll need to provide the name, address, and shareholder percentage owned for your president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. You’ll also be asked for the professional license number for each of these individuals. 

When you go to file your Articles of Incorporation, please make sure you use the right version of the form. 

Articles of Incorporation Filing Fee

There is a $250 filing fee ($350 for foreign corporations), which can be paid online or via the mail. Filing online will help ensure fast authorization, while filing via mail can take 10 to 15 days (or longer, depending on the time of year you file).

You can mail payments to:

State of Alaska 
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development 
Division of Corporations
Business and Professional Licensing 
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811

Step 5: Create corporate bylaws

Next, you’ll want to hold a meeting with all shareholders, directors, and the incorporator. Here, you should discuss how your company will be run, set up shareholder rules and regulations, and denote any additional operational agreements or clauses. This discussion should be put into writing when finalizing your corporation’s bylaws. 

Bylaw Requirements and Considerations

While Alaska legally requires corporations to have bylaws. This important document can help you secure business bank accounts and loans. You’ll also want to set up a corporate records book to keep all of your corporation’s important papers together, such as the minutes of director or shareholder meetings, stock certificates, and stock certificate stubs.

Step 6: Draft a shareholder agreement

Another contract you’ll want to create is a shareholder agreement.

What a Shareholder Agreement Should Include

This document will contain the rules and regulations that exist between the company and its shareholders. A shareholder agreement helps ensure that shareholders are treated fairly and that their rights are protected. This is a private document that can only be accessed by the parties involved.

Your shareholder agreement should fall in line with your company bylaws and cover additional topics, such as shareholder rights and obligations, voting structures, financial regulations, and terms of adding or removing shareholders. Every shareholder must sign and agree to this document.

Step 7: Issue shares of stock

Next, it’s time to issue shares of stock for your company. This is a requirement and requires company oversight. When filling out your Articles of Incorporation, you noted the number of shares authorized by your company. You’ll want to make sure you issue shares at or below this amount.


To get started with issuing stocks, you’ll need capital (or funding). It’s important to understand how much capital you need to get started. From there, you can divide this amount across the available number of shares you’ll issue.

Public or Private Stock

You can choose to issue your company’s shares privately or publicly. If you opt for private stock, the shares are typically dispersed across the company’s founders, shareholders, or investors, while anyone in the marketplace can purchase public stock.

Shares can only be issued one time and must be indicated on your biennial reporting. Once issued, shares can be sold or traded. 

If you’re forming a professional corporation, you cannot issue publicly traded stock. You must have private stock, and your shareholders must be licensed in your profession’s trade. Unlicensed individuals can’t hold or trade your stock.

Quarterly Statements

If you choose to issue public stocks, you’re required by Alaska law to file quarterly statements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These filings will keep track of how many stocks are being issued and the parties who purchase them. You can file this form online or via the mail.

Step 8: Apply for necessary business permits or licenses

Next, it’s time to apply for a general business license. Just about every corporation in Alaska must apply for a business license or permit before engaging in business activity. You can apply for a business license online or via mail.

How to get a corporation license

To obtain your corporation’s license, you’ll need to fill out the business license application denoting your corporation name, operating address, phone number, license term, and type of company (corporation). You’ll also need to provide the NAICS code you provided in your Articles of Incorporation.

There is a filing fee to obtain your state license each year.

If you choose to mail your application, you’ll send it to the below address:

State of Alaska 
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development 
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing 
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811 

Additional Documentation

Depending on your industry, you may need additional licenses or permits. This is especially true for professional corporations, but even standard corporations could need some. You can learn more on the Alaska corporations licensing page and perform a search to determine if your industry requires additional filings. 

It’s important to note that there are licenses and permits on the federal, state, and local levels, so you’ll have to do some research to determine what licensing your company needs or hire a service to do it for you.

Step 9: File for an EIN and review tax requirements

Now, it’s time to set your corporation up with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This gets your business set up to file taxes and move money around. To get started, you’ll request an Employer Identification Number (EIN) for your corporation. 

This is a mandatory step that will allow the government to identify your corporation. Think of it as your company’s Social Security number — you’ll use this number to open financial accounts, hire new employees, and fill out tax paperwork.

Applying for an EIN can be completed online. Get started by visiting the IRS website and filling out the online form. The entire process takes minutes, and you’ll receive your EIN directly afterward.

Professional corporations in Alaska may have additional tax obligations depending on the services provided. Consult with a tax professional to ensure compliance.

Step 10: Submit your corporation’s first report

To stay compliant with Alaska state laws, you’ll need to file regular reports with the state. Alaska requires corporations to file an Initial Report six months after filing your Articles of Incorporation. After that, you’ll be required to file biennially by Jan. 2. 

Your Initial Report can be filed online (recommended) or via mail. You’ll need to include your corporation’s name; your operating address; directors’ names, addresses, and signatures; your registered agent’s signature; and share information. There is no fee to file this report.

Your Biennial Report can be filed online (recommended) or via mail. You’ll need to include the name of your corporation; your operating address; directors’ names, addresses, and signatures; your registered agent’s signature; and share information. There is a $100 filing fee.

We can help

Whether you’re in Juneau or Fairbanks, our business products and services are here to help you every step of the way. If you’re looking to form an Alaska LLC instead of a corporation, we can help you there too! Reach out to us today.

Alaska Corporation FAQs

  • The administrative cost to form a corporation in Alaska can vary depending on how you file, whether you’re working with a business partner or consultant to process all paperwork, and how quickly you need your paperwork filed.

    Here’s a quick look at the typical costs to create a corporation in Alaska (note that fees are subject to change, so check the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website for updates):

      • Reserve a name (optional): $25

      • Register a trademark (optional): $50

      • File your Articles of Incorporation: $250

      • Apply for a business license: $50

    This means you should expect to pay a minimum of $300 when forming your corporation, just to establish your company. This does not include the $100 biennial report filing fee you’ll need to pay two years after establishing your corporation or business license renewal fees, which vary by industry.

    By partnering with us, you can receive help processing the above paperwork, avoiding headaches and frustrating, costly errors. With our affordable plans, we can file your paperwork with the state, serve as your registered agent, and provide a customizable template for creating your corporate bylaws.

  • The way your corporation is taxed in Alaska varies based on your corporation type. There are three main types of corporations: C corporations, S corporations, and nonprofit corporations. By default, you’ll be registered as a C corporation and can switch to an S corporation.

    A C corporation is taxed as a separate entity, meaning the company is required to fill out a corporate tax return. Typically, this would mean all incorporators and shareholders are also required to file individual tax returns for their corporate profits, essentially being taxed twice.

    An S corporation is also called a “pass-through entity,” which means no corporate taxes are due — profits pass through to incorporators and shareholders, who claim them on their individual tax returns.

    Lastly, if your corporation is a nonprofit and you adhere to nonprofit regulations, you will be exempt from paying corporate taxes. Any individuals who earn a salary from the corporation will report their earnings on their individual taxes.

    Although Alaska has no statewide sales tax, some municipal governments do. You’ll need to check with your local government to see what, if any sales tax exists in your area.

  • Alaska corporations enjoy a lot of benefits, including personal asset protection and the potential to raise a lot of startup capital easily. Personal asset protection means that the corporation’s owners usually won’t be held personally accountable for the business’s debts and obligations. Some other business entities, like partnerships or sole proprietorships, don’t offer that benefit. 

    Standard corporations can also raise capital by selling shares of stock to the public or private investors. It’s also important to note that private investors and venture capitalists are more likely to invest in corporations than other business structures, so a corporation is worth considering if you need a fair amount of money to get up and running.

    This benefit is a little more limited for professional corporations since their shareholders can only be individuals who are licensed in the profession. There’s an additional stipulation that PC shareholders can only hold stock for one professional corporation, so professional corporations won’t have as many options for who can buy their stock.

  • Forming a PLLC in Alaska is not an option for licensed professionals. If you are licensed in Alaska, you can form a conventional LLC.

  • Professional corporations include vocations such as architects, engineers, accountants, and veterinarians. These fields are distinct in their offerings and thus require all directors or shareholders to share the same profession.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.

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Written by Team ZenBusiness

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Form Your Corporation in Alaska