How to Start a Business in Alaska


Alaska is a great place to start a business, especially if you’re looking for something different from the traditional corporate setting. With its ruggedly beautiful wilderness and small population spread across more than 600,000 square miles, Alaska has a lot of room for small businesses. But there are some things you should know before starting an Alaska business.

Write a Business Plan

A business plan is a comprehensive and organized document that outlines the goals of your company and describes how you will achieve those goals. It is essentially a road map to success, helping you organize your thoughts and determine what needs to be done to make your business successful. A good plan will help you identify potential problems before they arise, while also helping you understand what resources are needed in order to start and run your business effectively. A well-written business plan should include both short-term and long-term goals.

Determine the Legal Structure of Your Alaska Business

Choosing the right legal structure for your business is an important decision. Legal structures determine how you will be taxed, who has ownership of the business, and what types of taxes you must pay. Many businesses start out with a sole proprietorship or partnership and then later decide to change their legal structure when they start to grow.

There are four different types of business structures:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Corporations

Choose a Name for Your Business

Choosing a name for your Alaska business is one of the most important decisions you will make. A company name has to be memorable, easy to spell and pronounce, unique, not offensive or obscene, and not imply that you’re a nonprofit organization.

Apply For an EIN

When you start a business, you are required to obtain an Employer Identification Number (or EIN). This number will be necessary to open a business bank account, file tax returns, and open up your business credit line.

You can apply for an EIN online through the IRS website or by phone. The fastest way is online since most applications are approved in about 48 hours. If you do not have access to the internet or need help filling out your application online, then contact them by phone instead and speak with someone who can walk you through it step by step.

Get Familiar with Alaska Taxes

Alaska has a flat tax rate, which means you will pay the same percentage of your income to taxes regardless of how much or little money you make. The tax rate is calculated by dividing your total taxable income by $30,000 (the standard deduction). So if your gross annual salary is $50,000 and your taxable income is $45,000:

$45,000 / 30,000 = 1.5333 (1.533)

Multiply this number by 1% to get a rough estimate of your tax rate for that year: 1% x 1.533 = 0.0153

Create a Record Keeping System

The most important thing to do when starting your business is to create a record-keeping system, which will serve as the foundation for all other aspects of your company. You should consider various features of this system such as:

  • The ability to track income and expenses
  • The ability to categorize spending
  • The ability to generate reports regarding budgeting and profitability levels

Check if You Need Any Permits or Licenses

Contact the Alaska Department of Natural Resources for information about permits and licenses. Also check with local authorities, including the health department, fire department, and building and planning departments.

Open Any Necessary Bank Accounts

  • Decide on a bank to open an account for your business.
  • You will need a business checking account and a business savings account. Some banks are better than others for these purposes, so choose wisely. Look for one with low fees, good customer service and convenient locations that are close to your office or home (if you don’t already have one).
  • Open the accounts in person, online, or over the phone (or all three!). Just call them up and ask what they have available.
  • Once you’ve opened your bank accounts, go ahead and deposit some money into both of them so that they’re ready to use when you start spending it on expenses later on down the road


Alaska is an excellent place to start a business, with a healthy economy and many unique opportunities. You should look into the advantages of starting a business in Alaska and meet with professionals before committing to an idea. It’s important to be realistic about your goals when starting a business in Alaska, as it will take time to get established.


Following the steps in this guide will help you to start a business in Alaska. We hope that you were able to get a better understanding of how each step works and why it’s important for your business. If you have any questions about starting your own business or need more information on how we can assist with startup planning please contact us today!

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