State Processing Times and Fees
Nearly every state has standard processing times for corporate filings, but not all provide expedited processing. Check the average wait times for both standard and expedited filings, because they change periodically.
Alaska charges a filing fee for incorporating. Visit "compare pricing" in our incorporation center to see all state fees for Alaska.
Deciding Between an Alaska S Corp and a C Corp Tax Designation
There are similarities between an Alaska S Corp and a C Corp regarding personal liability, management, structure and compliance. The differences in Alaska come down to the following:
- Ownership Rules: A C Corp can have an unlimited number of shareholders and stock classes, but it will be doubly taxed if dividends are distributed to shareholders. As an owner, you would need to file tax returns for the profits you receive. An S Corp is taxed like a partnership with a "pass-through" tax structure. It's not doubly taxed because the corporation can pass income, losses, deductions and credits to shareholders for federal tax purposes. Corporate owners do pay taxes individually. An S Corp can have no more than 100 shareholders and one class of stock, and it can include only individuals, certain trusts and estates.
- Documents: If you want to form an S Corp, file IRS Form 2553 to elect this status.
Each state has its own personnel requirements for incorporating. In Alaska, they include the following:
- Age requirement: There are no age requirements for directors.
- Number of directors: Have at least one director.
- Residency: There is no requirement that directors must live in Alaska.
Other Requirements for Your Articles of Incorporation
Along with personnel requirements, you must include the following in your Alaska Articles of Incorporation:
Your corporation must appoint a registered agent. A registered agent is a person or business who receives important tax, government and legal documents for your corporation, including service of process of lawsuits. Your agent must be available during normal business hours, and you must include the name of your registered agent in your Articles of Incorporation in Alaska. Your agent must have a physical address in the state. Your corporation can't act as its own registered agent. We can help you designate your registered agent when you incorporate with us.
You must also include the following in your Article of Incorporation in Alaska:
- The number of shares authorized to be issued.
- If there is more than one class or series of authorized shares, identify them.
- The corporation's purpose, which can be any lawful purpose.
- The name and address of any alien affiliate.
Other Required Paperwork
Alaska requires that you file additional paperwork with your Articles of Incorporation, including biennial reports. The first report is due within six months of incorporating. If you incorporated in an odd-numbered year, your next report would be due by Jan. 2 of the next odd year, and in every odd year thereafter. The same is true if you filed in an even-numbered year. The report would be due by Jan. 2 of each even year. Failure to file your reports can jeopardize your corporate status.
Guidelines for Your Name
Your corporate name must be unique, and it should make a statement about your business. Make sure it complies with the following Alaska requirements:
- Your name should be distinguishable from that of any other registered business in Alaska and end with "Company," "Corporation," "Corp.," "Incorporated," "Limited," or an abbreviation of one of these words.
- Your name cannot be deceptive. If you're selling fish bait, don't name your company "Sal's Alaskan Dry Goods."
- Ensure that your name is distinguishable from all existing corporate names.
Alaska Corporate Taxes & Reports
Your new corporation must pay taxes. Before opening your doors for business, apply to the IRS for an employer identification number, or EIN. All corporations with employees require EINs. An EIN is similar to your Social Security number, but it's for businesses. You'll also need an EIN to open a corporate bank account.
Many business owners choose S Corps because they're generally exempt from federal corporate income tax and there is no double taxation. A C Corp offers more flexibility to owners because they can have several classes of shareholders, but there may be tax implications.
Keeping Corporate Records and Ongoing Filing Requirements
Alaska requires that corporations create records to maintain their corporate status, such as bylaws and corporate minutes. Bylaws set forth your company's operating rules and define your corporation's structure. You don't have to file your bylaws with the state, but you'll need them to demonstrate to banks, lending institutions, creditors, the IRS and the courts that your corporation is valid and legitimate. Bylaws also help to establish rules so you can keep your corporate assets and debts separate from your personal ones.
Keeping minutes of your director and shareholder meetings is also mandated by Alaska. Your minutes should be maintained at your corporate office, along with your other company records. The minutes keep track of all votes on important business decisions and they help secure your limited liability status.
Best of luck with your new Alaska corporation! We have all the legal documents, filing and tax information you'll need to get started.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.