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Learn How to Form an Alaska Nonprofit Corporation

Here are the steps you need to follow to form a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation in Alaska.

While we don’t support nonprofit corporation formations at this time, we can create your Alaska LLCs and other corporation types. Get started below.

Form an Alaska Nonprofit Corporation. Learn how to form an Alaska nonprofit corporation through this clear, step-by-step guide.

Follow these steps on how to form a nonprofit corporation in Alaska to get your new company up and running quickly.

Step 1: Select the initial directors

Alaska nonprofit corporations must have at least three directors and three incorporators. An incorporator is someone who files your nonprofit’s Articles of Incorporation. The three directors may also be the incorporators.

All directors must be at least 19 years old. They don’t have to live in Alaska, but the IRS requires that your directors aren’t related to each other.

Step 2: Choose a name

Your Alaska nonprofit corporation’s name must meet several rules for approval by the state, including:

Make sure the name you’ve chosen is unique by doing a name search with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

Once you conduct a thorough search, you can reserve the name before you file your Articles of Incorporation to make sure no other business entity snaps it up.

It’s also smart to make sure you can lock down the right domain name in advance. At ZenBusiness, we can help with domain registration to get your company up and building an online presence.

Step 3: Choose an Alaska registered agent

Alaska requires all corporations to list a registered agent. A registered agent receives legal notices, including subpoenas. The registered agent can be a person or a business who is available during standard business hours and maintains a physical address in the state.

Many small businesses opt to use a registered agent service. There are several reasons that might be a good idea for your nonprofit:

If you’re interested in a registered agent service, we can help, giving you the freedom to focus on your nonprofit corporation.

Step 4: File your Articles of Incorporation with Alaska

Your nonprofit corporation becomes official when the state approves your Articles of Incorporation. You can file online with an immediate turnaround. Filing by mail has a turnaround time of 10 to 15 business days. It costs $50 to file Articles of Incorporation or to request a Certificate of Authority for a non-Alaskan nonprofit.

Your Articles of Incorporation must include:

Do you plan to file for tax-exempt status with the IRS? Then you must include a statement that you’ll only use the nonprofit for its stated purposes. They’ll also want to see your statement of purpose and the statement regarding dissolution.

Step 5: File initial report within six months of filing

You must file an initial report containing the contact information of your registered agent and your board members. This report is required within six months of the approval of your Articles of Incorporation.

Step 6: Create corporate bylaws

Your corporate bylaws outline how you expect to run your corporation. Your bylaws should cover:

You don’t have to file your bylaws with the state.

Step 7: Hold the organizational meeting for your board of directors

The first meeting of your board of directors is known as the organizational meeting. At this meeting you should formally elect your officers and directors and approve the bylaws. You should also establish how you plan to handle financial operations, including opening bank accounts.

Step 8: Set up a corporate records binder or other means of keeping records

This binder holds all of your nonprofit’s official records, including the bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, minutes of any official meetings. You can also use the cloud to store your records electronically.

Step 9: Get tax ID numbers

Even if your nonprofit doesn’t plan on hiring employees, it needs an Employer Identification Number (EIN). The IRS assigns you an EIN for free. You should also register for any other applicable state tax ID numbers if required although you’ll use your federal EIN to identify your organization in most state-required filings.

You also need an EIN to apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS, as well as opening a bank account. Speed up the process by using Zenbusiness’s EIN service.

Step 10: Apply for licenses and permits

To operate, your nonprofit corporation needs a business license. Obtain it from the state Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing. Depending on where your nonprofit is located and what kind of business you conduct, you may also need additional federal, state, and/or local licenses or permits.

Unfortunately, there’s no central location to help you determine what permits or licenses you need. Take advantage of our business license report service to make sure you’ve met all the requirements.

Step 11: Apply for tax-exempt status

The IRS determines whether your nonprofit is eligible for tax-exempt status. In most cases, this means applying for 501(c)(3) status, which covers most charitable organizations.

Once the IRS has qualified you as tax-exempt, Alaska automatically exempts you from state income tax. Nonprofits in the service of charitable, religious, educational purposes are exempt from property tax.

Step 12: Register as a charity with the state

If your nonprofit plans to raise funds within Alaska, you have to register as an Alaska charitable organization.

Step 13: Acquire insurance for your nonprofit

Your nonprofit’s insurance needs depend on the type of business you plan to conduct. If you’ll hire employees, you need unemployment insurance and worker’s compensation. A qualified insurance agent can help you make smart choices about which policies to get.

Step 14: Open a bank account

To open your nonprofit’s bank account, you will likely need your Articles of Incorporation, your EIN, and your bylaws. Your bank may have additional requirements.

Ready to Kickstart Your Business?

At ZenBusiness, we are proud to support small businesses through a variety of different tools and services. Whether you need a registered agent service or are looking to register a domain, our goal is to help you stay on the road to success. Check out our services, and contact us today to see how we can help you grow your company.

Alaska Nonprofit Corporation FAQs

  • Can the founder of a nonprofit receive a salary?

    Directors and officers of an Alaska nonprofit corporation may be paid reasonable compensation for their services. They must be an employee and registered as such with both the business and the IRS.

  • How much does it cost to start a nonprofit corporation in Alaska?

    The filing fee for your Articles of Incorporation is $50. Applying for your 501(c)(3) tax exemption from the IRS costs $600, but organizations that have less than $50,000 in gross receipts and meet certain other requirements may file Form 1023-EZ, which costs $275.

  • What happens if a nonprofit makes money?

    A nonprofit can make money. However, profits must be used for expenses or reinvested in your organization. Any other profits not reinvested in the nonprofit may be taxed.

  • What kinds of businesses can be a nonprofit?

    Alaska allows the following types of nonprofits: Charitable Religious Benevolent Eleemosynary (general charity), Educational, Civic Cemetery, Patriotic, Political, Social Fraternal, Literary, Cultural, Athletic Scientific, Agricultural Horticultural Animal husbandry Professional and trade associations.

  • Can nonprofits sell products?

    An Alaska nonprofit corporation may sell products and is generally exempt from sales tax. There’s no state sales tax, but several cities, including Ketchian, Juneau, and Sitka, have a local sales tax.

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