To start a successful business in Alaska, some of the most important steps are preparing a business plan, applying for a license and permits, and take advantage of all the resources that you have.
However, it is normal to feel overwhelmed when you come face to face with starting a new project. Any transaction that involves completing government forms or documents can be time-consuming and confusing.
But there is always a simple way to do it! If you are an entrepreneur and you live in Alaska, in this article we will explain the process to apply for a business license.
Getting your business ready in Alaska
Before we start with the business application, here are some tips:
- Once you decide to start your business, find out if you really need a license. Keep in mind that some of the regulations for starting a business in Alaska are different from those in other states, so make sure you know all the relevant rules.
- Also, before you formally ‘open’, get done things like getting adequate insurance, selecting the right location, and completing all legal and tax requisites.
- Develop a comprehensive business plan for the start-up, marketing strategies, and financial goals. Alaska Business Portal is a good resource for those who are starting a business.
Also, some websites that you will find helpful during the process of establishing your business include the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing (DCBPL), and the U.S. Business Administration (SBA).
As seen in the picture, the first thing to enter is the name of your business.
Note that even if the company is owned by one individual (a sole proprietor), you do not need to add an entity indicator in this section.
Before applying make sure the following:
- Select your business structure.
- Determine your line of business and the NAICS code.
- Do your research and select your company name.
- If an entity (i.e. corporation, LLC, LLP, LP, etc.) select its registered agent.
We recommend that you seek the services of an attorney or other qualified professional. Having extra assistance always makes work easier.
If applicable, apply to the Alaska State Professional Licensing Section for an entity professional license for corporations, LLC, LLP, LP, or apply for an individual professional license.
If applicable, register your corporation or entity with the Alaska State Corporations Section to receive an Alaska entity number.
Before engaging in business activity, per AS 43.70.020, you must apply for a business license from the Alaska State Business License Section.
Note: The business license application will ask for the Alaska entity number (from Step 2, if applicable) and professional license number (from Step 1, if applicable).
IMPORTANT: Check with other agencies you will need to work with to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local government requirements.
Get a tax ID
The Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) is like a social security number for a business and allows the owner to open bank accounts, handle payroll, and file taxes.
The EIN has two different clauses:
- For sole proprietorships it is optional
- For corporations and LLC, it is mandatory.
You can apply for your EIN online through the IRS website, or fill out and submit this form by mail.
Find start-up financing
If it’s your first business, funding is available in various types, including loans, grants, and community programs.
Debt financing, equity financing, and ARDOR local Alaska and Small Business Association (SBA) revolving loan funds are additional sources for financing.
Take full advantage of all the free training programs in your area, as well as free services and resources.
Choosing a business name
Select a name and location for your business, and register your name with the Alaska Department of Revenue (Division of Taxation).
The business name is available for 120 days after registration following the laws of the State of Alaska.
Your business name is valid for five years after your business begins operations, and must then be renewed.