Business owners have a number of choices when deciding how they want to legally establish their business. One of these choices is by making their company a limited liability company (LLC). Many businesses prefer to become LLCs because of the limited liability that this business structure offers to members.
To form a LLC in Alaska, you will first have to decide on a name that is distinguishable from any other name that is already registered with the state. Then, you will be required to register your company with the State of Alaska Corporations Section so that you can get an Alaska entity number. Your company also needs to have a registered agent that either lives in the state or is authorized to conduct business in the state. The LLC must have at least one member, and that member can serve as the manager or someone who is not a member can also serve as a manager. Lastly, any business that wants to file in Alaska must also have a business license.
In Alaska, the easiest way to file is to fill out online forms on the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development (DCCED) Division of Corporation, Business, and Professional Licensing’s (DCBPL) website. There is also an option to fill out hardcopy versions for domestic Alaska based limited liability corporations and foreign-based limited liability corporations.
For domestic LLCs, the required information you have to include is the company name, disclosure of corporate purposes, the registered agent, and the names of any members or managers. If you are filing as a foreign-based LLC, you need to include the name of the company or assumed name, the state of incorporation, the date of incorporation and duration of incorporation, disclosure of corporate purposes, the registered agent, the office address, and a list of members or management.
LLCs enjoy a lot of protections under Alaska’s Revised Limited Liability Company Act. For example, Alaska has some of the strictest rules against creditors trying to get money from members of a LLC. A creditor going after a member of an LLC for a personal debt can only access that member’s portion of the LLC to pay off the debt as an assignee. This means that the creditor can only passively receive the financial benefits of the member’s involvement in the LLC and cannot touch an LLC’s assets for the personal debt, even though they can do so in many other states.
Also, in Alaska, a member’s liability is limited to only the amount of money they contributed, even if they are the only member of the LLC. Since Alaska does not increase a member’s personal liability just for being the only person in the LLC, this means that because most states do increase a person’s liability for being a sole member.
Although Alaska has taken many steps to mirror Delaware’s laws in terms of providing LLCs advantages not found in many states, there are still some disadvantages to filing in Alaska. One disadvantage is that Alaska’s court system does not handle equity matters, which mostly revolve around corporate law and are favorable to companies, separate from regular civil law matters. Also, Alaska requires LLCs to renew their business licenses annually and file a report every other year. If you do not do either of these in a timely fashion, you will be charged a late fee.
You can locate an Alaska business lawyer to help you setup your business as an LLC. Since Alaska has requirements a business must meet in order to become an LLC, meeting with a lawyer could be essential in protecting both yourself and your business.