Steps to Pay Your Alaska Filing Fees
- Pay your Alaska business’s initial filing fees
- Reserve your Alaska business’s name
- Reserve a “doing business as” name in Alaska
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number
- Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Alaska business
- Apply for your Alaska business’s necessary licenses and permits
- Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
- Check Alaska’s biennial report requirements & fees
- Keep your Alaska business legally compliant
What Are Businesses Filing Fees in Alaska?
If you have a business in Alaska, you’re probably going to have to pay several different fees to run it. While some statutory business structures require you to pay filing fees to form them and other common law business structures don’t, most businesses have to pay some kind of fee to engage in commercial activity. There could be fees for periodic reports, licensing, permits, and renewals.
This isn’t the most exciting part of entrepreneurship, but it can be easy if you have the right help. This article can prepare you for the kinds of Alaska business filing fees you might have to pay to legally start and run a business.
Step 1: Pay your Alaska business’s initial filing fees
As stated above, you have to file formation documents and pay Alaska filing fees to start certain kinds of business entities. If you want to start a limited liability company, corporation, or a certain kind of partnership, you have to file paperwork and pay Alaska formation fees before you can start your business. There are many different kinds of business entities that require you to file a business formation document and pay a corresponding fee. Generally, they are:
- Domestic business corporations
- Foreign business corporations
- Domestic cooperative corporations
- Foreign cooperative corporations
- Domestic professional corporations
- Domestic religious corporations
- Domestic nonprofit corporations
- Foreign nonprofit corporations
- Domestic limited liability companies
- Foreign limited liability companies
- Domestic limited liability partnerships
- Foreign limited liability partnerships
- Domestic limited partnerships
- Foreign limited partnerships
You send your formation documents and pay your fees to the State of Alaska, Corporations Section. The amount of the fee varies by entity type and can be subject to change. Check the Corporations Section of the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing for business formation forms and their corresponding fees.
You probably already know that time equals money in most business situations, and you want to have a healthy estimate of how much time it can take to process your business formation documents. The time it takes for the state to process your business formation filings depends on the time of year you file and your filing method. If you file a paper copy of your formation document between March and September, processing normally takes 10 to 15 business days. If you file your document between October and February, processing time might take more than 15 business days. To expedite this process, you can file your business formation documents online (if available). Online filings are posted immediately, and you must pay using a credit card.
If you need help submitting state filings faster, we can help you get your filing done as quickly as possible with our expedited filing service.
Step 2: Reserve your Alaska business’s name
Coming up with a good business name is crucial, because your name is your calling card. In general, the name of your business needs to be distinguishable from the names of other organized entities in Alaska. But what happens if you come up with a good business name well before you’re ready to file the formation paperwork? Sounds like a tricky game of timing, right? One way to avoid the juggling act of keeping your unique business name while forming your business is to reserve or register your business name. Filing a Business Name Reservation protects your business name for 120 days, and filing a Business Name Registration protects your name for five years. With either one of these filings, you can maintain the exclusive right to use your business name over other entities, but you might have to go to court to enforce it. You have to pay a small fee to reserve or register your business name or to renew an existing reservation or registration.
If you’re starting an LLC, you’re probably going to be busy getting your business together before you can officially open. Let us help you protect your business’s name with our business name reservation service. We check the availability of the name you want and reserve it so you can focus on other business matters.
Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Alaska
DBA stands for “doing business as,” and it’s any name a business uses that’s different from the business’s legal/official name. AKAs (“also known as”) and trade names function the same way. A business might want to use one of these if the official business name is a personal name or if the business wants to distinguish between the different services it provides. A DBA can also be useful when the domain name you want for your website isn’t available.
Alaska is a state that requires you to have a business license before you can run your business. You have to have a business license for every name or DBA your business uses. You can reserve your DBA for five years by filing a Business Name Registration and paying the filing fee.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is what you use to pay your business’s federal taxes. Most statutory business entities and many common law business entities need an EIN, including businesses that have employees, businesses that run as corporations, and businesses that run as partnerships. Filing an EIN application is free, but as you can see, the business documents you have to file can stack up quickly. For a fee, our EIN service can take care of your EIN application and reduce your stress.
Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Alaska business
Operating agreements, corporate bylaws, and partnership agreements are binding documents that can dictate how a business entity is run, who has (or can have) ownership rights, and what events will trigger the end of a business. LLCs have operating agreements, corporations have bylaws, and partnerships have partnership agreements. You’re not required to have these documents for an LLC or a partnership, but you must adopt bylaws in a corporation. Even if the law doesn’t require you to have these documents, they’re crucial to your business. They can give you power to customize the way you run your business.
Partnership agreements, bylaws, and operating agreements don’t cost anything if you do them on your own, but this isn’t the best plan. The terms in any one of these documents can have serious implications for your business. You can hire an attorney to draft these documents for you, but that can be very expensive.
If you have an LLC and you want to write an operating agreement, you can get great guidance on how to do so with our operating agreement template. Our template gives you the structure of an operating agreement, so you can put more time and energy into the details of your agreement and make sure they fit your business’s needs.
Step 6: Apply for your Alaska business’s necessary licenses and permits
Almost every business in Alaska must have a business license to operate. In addition to a business license, your business will likely need other licensing, permits, or registrations from the federal, state, and local governments. Your business license needs depend on your industry, your business characteristics, and your location. These needs vary from business to business, and frustratingly enough, there isn’t a central place you can look to figure out what all your obligations are.
Our partnership with Business Licenses, LLC, can eliminate your frustrations with a Business License Report. Through the Business License Report service, Business Licenses, LLC, looks at your industry, location, and activities to research and compile a single, easy report that outlines your licensing, tax, and registration needs at every level of government.
Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
A “foreign” business is a business that was formed outside of Alaska. If a foreign business wants permission to do business within the State of Alaska, they will need to file some kind of Certificate of Authority or Certificate of Registration and pay a fee to operate in Alaska (see above).
If you’re looking to expand your business outside of Alaska, be aware that most states require a foreign business to get a Certificate of Good Standing to operate there. A Certificate of Good Standing in Alaska is Called a Certificate of Compliance. A Certificate of Compliance lets others know that your business has complied with the relevant business laws in Alaska. You can request one for a small fee or use our Alaska Certificate of Compliance service.
Step 8: Check Alaska’s biennial report requirements & fees
For compliance purposes, many Alaska businesses have to file Biennial Reports with the state. Fees for filing Biennial Reports vary by business entity type.
Biennial Reports need to be filed every other year. If you formed or registered your business on an even-numbered year, you have to file your Biennial Report on each even-numbered year. If you formed or registered your business on an odd-numbered year, you have to file your Biennial Report on each odd-numbered year.
Staying in compliance with your Biennial Report obligations is vital to your business, but keeping up with the filing deadlines that occur every other year is difficult. If you have an LLC or corporation, our annual report service can help you easily keep track of and fulfill your Biennial Report obligations.
Step 9: Keep your Alaska business legally compliant
Watching your business change and grow can be wonderful. It can also mean more paperwork to file with the state. Many businesses need to report certain changes to the state to remain compliant. You might have to file paperwork with the state if your business undergoes the following changes:
- Change of registered agent information
- Change of address
- Change of officers
- Name change
- Change in shares
- Change of business purpose
- Change of business duration
- Changes to information in your business formation documents
You can also report corrections to information in business documents you filed.
There are many ways you can report changes and corrections to the government, most with corresponding filing fees. Forms you may need include are:
- Entity Address Change
- Notice of Change of Officials
- Statement of Change
- Registered Agent Resignation
- Articles of Amendment
- Restated Articles of Incorporation
- Amended and Restated Articles of Incorporation
- Certificate of Correction
- Amended Certificate of Authority
- Restated Articles of Organization
- Amended Certificate of Registration
- Amended Statement of Foreign Qualification
- Notice of Change
- Amended Certificate of Limited Partnership
- Restated Certificate of Limited Partnership
- Correction of Statement of Registration
- Notice of Change of Sole Official
Many of these forms are applicable to multiple kinds of businesses, while others are specific to a certain type of entity. The Alaska Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations forms page groups forms you can file by entity type.
You could fill up a lot of valuable business time tracking changes and filling out forms to report them. Fortunately, we can help you cut down the time you spend updating business information. With our Worry-Free Compliance service, we keep track of your compliance obligations and we handle two amendments for you per year. With our amendment filing service, we file amendments to your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation for you.
Count on us to help your business run smoothly
If you feel exhausted just thinking about the amount of paperwork you have to file to keep your business running, you’re not alone. You also don’t have to fret. Our many business formation and compliance services can make staying on top of your obligations easy. We can reduce your stress and help you avoid mistakes that can hurt your business.
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.
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Alaska?
Yes. If you file late, your filing will be subject to late fees.
- What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Alaska government?
If you can’t pay your fees, you might have to pay penalties, or your business could be closed or involuntarily dissolved.
- Who receives the fees for forming my Alaska business?
You pay your business formation fees to the State of Alaska, Corporations Section.
- What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Alaska business?
It depends. The fees you need to pay depend on the nature and location of your business. But your largest fee is likely to be your business formation (or registration) fee.
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Alaska government?
The state accepts cash, checks, and credit cards.