How to Start an Alaska LLC as a Non-Resident (Clear Guide)

Alaska LLC non resident

Starting an LLC in Alaska as a non-resident may seem daunting initially, but it can be a great way to take advantage of the state’s business-friendly environment. With its low taxes, strong privacy laws, and ease of formation, Alaska is an attractive option for entrepreneurs looking to start a business.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about starting an Alaska LLC as a non-resident.

Key Highlights: Alaska LLC as a Non-Resident

Starting an Alaska LLC as a non-resident involves appointing a registered agent, obtaining a Certificate of Authority, obtaining a business license, and registering for taxes if necessary. Amongst all the services, I found Northwest registered agent the best for this.

My favorite part about forming an LLC in Alaska is the robust liability protection, privacy, no sales tax, ease of formation, strong asset laws, foreign qualification flexibility, and favorable legal environment.

Alaska LLC Non-resident Requirements

If you’re a non-resident looking to start an LLC in Alaska, you must fulfill a few requirements.

I explained these requirements below:

Registered Agent Appointment

As a non-resident, you must appoint a registered agent in Alaska who will receive legal documents on behalf of your LLC.

Your registered agent must have a physical address in Alaska and be available during business hours. This is a requirement for all LLCs in Alaska, regardless of whether you’re a resident.

You can appoint a registered agent through a registered agent service, which can be found online or through a business formation service.

Certificate of Authority

If your LLC was formed in a state other than Alaska, you must obtain a Certificate of Authority to do business in Alaska. The Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing issues this certificate.

You must provide a copy of your LLC’s formation documents to obtain the certificate and pay a fee. You can apply for a Certificate of Authority online or by mail.

Here’s their mailing address if you wish to do it yourself:

Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Tip

While starting an LLC in Alaska does have its requirements, here’s the cool part: as a non-resident, you don’t need a physical address or a resident member initially. This makes it easy for non-residents to form an LLC and dive into Alaska’s vibrant business scene.

Business License

All LLCs in Alaska are required to obtain a business license from the state. The Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing issues this license. You’ll need to provide information about your LLC, including its name, address, and type of business. You’ll also need to pay a fee to obtain the license. You can apply for a business license online or by mail.

Tax Registration

Your LLC may be required to register for taxes in Alaska, depending on your business type and the revenue you generate. You’ll need to register for a state tax identification number and obtain any necessary permits or licenses for your business. You can register for taxes and obtain permits and licenses through the Alaska Department of Revenue.

Critical Note: Here’s What You Do Not Need Initially as a Non-resident Business Owner

Firstly, you do NOT need to reside in Alaska or have a physical office in the state to establish an LLC. You can form an LLC in Alaska while living in another state or country.

Secondly, unlike some states, Alaska does not require LLC members to be residents. This means you can form an LLC in Alaska even if you are not a resident.

Thirdly, while having a local Alaskan bank account can be helpful for operational purposes, you do NOT initially need one to form an LLC in Alaska. You can use a bank account from your home state or country to conduct business transactions.

Lastly, you do NOT need extensive business experience in Alaska to start and operate an LLC there. This means you can form an LLC in Alaska even if you have never done business.

Steps on How to File an LLC in Alaska as a Non-resident

Step 1. Selecting Your Business Name (new or existing)

First, I would search for the name on the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing website. Choosing a name for your business is one of the most important steps in the LLC formation process. Your business name must be unique and not already in use by another Alaska LLC or restricted by the state.

Alaska Business Name Search

Visit the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing website to check the availability of your desired business name.

Step 2. Appointing Alaska Registered Agent (I use Northwest)

As a non-resident, you must appoint a registered agent in Alaska to receive legal documents and other important notices on your behalf.

I use Northwest Registered Agent because they are a reputable and reliable registered agent service that can help form your LLC.

Click here to read my review of Northwest Agent (plus my experience with them).

Besides the fact that you can get started with them for as little as $39, they handle all my legal documents and notifications, scanning and uploading them to my online account immediately so I can access important documents in real-time.

Northwest registration

They help ensure I stay compliant with all state requirements by sending timely reminders about important filing deadlines and requirements.

Step 3. Sign up For Northwest Registered Agent

To sign up for Northwest Registered Agent’s services, visit their website and click the “LET’S GET YOU STARTED” button. This will guide you through the process of signing up for their services.

Choose your business entity as LLC and select Alaska (of course!) as your preferred state.

Northwest agent Alaska

Step 4. Enter Your New/Existing Company Details

Once you’ve signed up for Northwest Registered Agent’s services, you must enter your new or existing company details. This includes your business name, address, and other essential information. You can choose the physical and mailing addresses you want for the business.

LLC Company details Northwest

If unsure about your business purpose, simply toggle on the “Use Generic Business Purpose.”

Northwest Registered Agents allows you to use their address as your business address, eliminating the hassle of securing a separate US address for your company in Alaska.

Step 5. Enter The Management For Your LLC

You’ll need to enter the management for your LLC. This includes the members or managers who will run your business. If you’re a one-person show in your business, just stick with one member and use your name.

LLC management Northwest

Step 6. Fill in Your Contact Details

Next, you’ll need to fill in your contact details, including your email address, phone number, and other information.

LLC contact details Northwest
Note

To create your Northwest account, you don’t have to scramble for a U.S. contact number. Your local details will work just fine as your point of contact with Northwest.

Step 7. Setup Your Account with Northwest Registered Agent

After entering all your information, you must set up your account with Northwest Registered Agent using your email and preferred password. This will allow you to access their services and complete the following steps to form your Alaska LLC.

account set up Northwest

Step 8. Get Your Business Identity (optional)

Northwest Registered Agent offers an optional business identity service for your LLC.

It includes the following, free for 90 days:

  • Domain name registration – 1 Free Year
  • Website – hosted by us, owned by you
  • Business email address
  • Business phone
Business Identity Northwest

Step 9. Getting Your Tax ID or EIN – optional

If you want your LLC’s tax ID (EIN), you can do so through Northwest Registered Agent. They will help you complete and submit the necessary forms to the IRS. It’s pretty easy to get this on your own, but if you’d like to include it in your order, that’s also great!

Just toggle on the “Tax ID” and select “Do NOT Have Social Security Number“.

Tax ID or EIN Northwest

Step 10. Checkout/Payment (Congratulations!)

Finally, you’ll need to check and make payment to complete the process of forming your Alaska LLC.

Once you’ve done this, congratulations! You can now open a Stripe account and start.

payment information Northwest

Enter your valid card information, then click Done!

Also read: 10 Best Registered Agent Services for Non-US

Alaska LLC Non-Resident Benefits

If you are a non-resident business owner looking to start an LLC, Alaska offers many benefits that make it an attractive option.

Here are some of the benefits that you can enjoy by forming an LLC in Alaska:

No State Income Tax

One of the most significant benefits of forming an LLC in Alaska is that the state does not impose a state income tax on individuals or corporations. Non-resident business owners can maximize profit retention by reducing the overall tax burden. Business earnings are subject to fewer deductions without state income tax, leading to higher net income.

Limited Liability Protection

Forming an LLC in Alaska provides owners with limited liability protection, which means personal assets are protected from business debts and liabilities. This protection is crucial for non-resident business owners as it minimizes personal financial risk, ensuring that personal assets such as homes and savings are not at risk if the business incurs debt or legal issues.

Privacy Protection

Alaska allows nominee services and does not require the disclosure of member names in public records. For non-resident business owners, maintaining privacy can be a significant concern. Alaska’s privacy protection helps keep personal information confidential, reducing the risk of identity theft and unsolicited attention.

No Sales Tax

Alaska has no statewide sales tax, and only a few local jurisdictions impose sales taxes. This absence of sales tax can lower the overall cost of doing business and benefit businesses that sell goods or services, making their offerings more competitively priced without additional tax burdens.

Ease of Formation and Maintenance

Alaska has a straightforward and efficient process for forming and maintaining an LLC, with relatively low filing fees and minimal ongoing compliance requirements. For non-resident business owners, ease of formation and maintenance translates to lower administrative burdens and costs.

Tip

Alaska’s ease of formation and maintenance makes it an attractive option for non-residents to set up and run a business from abroad without the need for extensive local bureaucracy.

Strong Asset Protection Laws

Alaska has strong asset protection laws, including favorable statutes for LLCs that protect the business’s and its members’ assets from creditors. These laws benefit non-resident business owners by providing an additional layer of security against legal claims and creditors, ensuring that business assets are safeguarded.

Foreign Qualification Flexibility

An Alaska LLC can easily register for business in other states or countries through foreign qualifications. This flexibility is important for non-resident business owners expanding their operations beyond Alaska. It allows for smooth entry into new markets without forming a new legal entity in each jurisdiction.

Favorable Legal Environment

Alaska’s legal environment is generally favorable to businesses, with well-defined business laws and a judiciary that understands corporate matters. A supportive legal environment gives non-resident business owners confidence that their business dealings will be conducted fairly and that any legal disputes will be resolved efficiently.

How Much Does it Cost in Total to Form an LLC in Alaska as a Foreigner?

The total cost of forming an LLC in Alaska as a non-resident includes the state filing fee, registered agent fee, and any additional services you choose.

The state filing fee is $250, and the registered agent fee is $125 per year. If you use Northwest Registered Agent, the initial cost to form your non-resident LLC is $289 (excluding an EIN/Tax ID). If you opt for an EIN, the total cost is $489, with the EIN service being a one-time fee.

Alaska LLC Taxation/Taxes for Non-US Residents – How Does it Work?

If you are a non-US resident and starting an LLC in Alaska, it is essential to understand the taxation requirements. By default, Alaska LLCs are taxed as pass-through entities, which means the LLC does not pay federal taxes directly.

Instead, the revenue from the LLC passes through the business to the members/owners, who then pay personal income tax on the revenue.

As a non-US resident, you must pay taxes on any income earned from your Alaska LLC. LLC members’ income is taxed at the 15.3% federal self-employment tax rate (12.4% for Social Security and 2.9% for Medicare).

Alaska is the only state with neither personal income nor sales tax, but your LLC may need to pay taxes to your local municipality or borough. Researching and understanding your specific location’s tax requirements is important.

In addition to federal and local taxes, your LLC may be subject to annual and biennial report filing requirements. These filings help ensure that your LLC is in good standing and up-to-date with the state of Alaska.

It is recommended that a business bank account be opened to keep accurate records and separate personal assets from business assets. This will make it easier to track income and expenses for tax purposes.

It is also important to note that business owners may be at risk for lawsuits. To protect your assets, it is recommended that you form an LLC and keep accurate records. A Certificate of Good Standing may also be required for certain business transactions.

Disadvantages of Forming an LLC as a Non-resident in Alaska

When starting an LLC in Alaska as a non-resident, there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Here are some of the main ones:

Higher Costs

One of the main disadvantages of forming an LLC in Alaska as a non-resident is that it can be more expensive than forming an LLC in your home state. You may need to hire a registered agent in Alaska, which can add to your costs. Additionally, you may need to pay additional fees to register your LLC in Alaska.

Difficulty Obtaining Financing

Obtaining financing for your Alaska LLC may be more difficult as a non-resident. Some lenders may hesitate to work with non-residents, making it challenging to secure the funding you need to get your business up and running.

Tax Implications

Another disadvantage of forming an LLC in Alaska as a non-resident is the tax implications. You must pay federal and state taxes on any income your LLC generates, which can be complicated and time-consuming. Additionally, you may need to file tax returns in both your home state and Alaska, which can add to the complexity of your tax situation.

Limited Liability Protection

While an LLC provides limited liability protection for its owners, this protection may be limited if you are a non-resident. Depending on the laws in your home state, you may not be fully protected against personal liability if you are sued or if your LLC incurs debts.

What’s The Best Bank for Non-US-residents?

When starting an Alaska LLC as a non-resident, one of the most important steps is to choose the right bank. As a non-resident, you may face some challenges when opening a bank account in the US. However, there are several options available for non-US residents.

One of the best banks for non-US residents is Mercury. Mercury is a digital bank that offers business accounts to non-US residents.

Mercury is a favorite among many entrepreneurs because of its user-friendly interface, low fees, and excellent customer service. It also offers a range of features specifically designed for small businesses, such as invoicing and payment processing.

In addition to Mercury, several other banks are worth considering. Wise is a popular choice for non-US residents due to its low fees and ability to hold multiple currencies. Relay and Bluevine are also worth mentioning, offering various services designed specifically for small businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a non-resident open an LLC in Alaska?

Yes, non-residents can open an LLC in Alaska. The process is the same as for residents.

What are the steps for a non-resident to establish an LLC in Alaska?

To establish an LLC in Alaska as a non-resident, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose a name for your LLC that is not already in use.
  2. File Articles of Organization with the Alaska Department of Commerce, Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.
  3. Appoint a registered agent in Alaska.
  4. Obtain any necessary business licenses and permits.
  5. File an initial report with the state.

Can I use a registered agent for my Alaska LLC registration as a non-resident?

Yes, as a non-resident, you must appoint a registered agent in Alaska. This agent will receive legal documents and official correspondence on behalf of your LLC.

What are the annual costs associated with maintaining an Alaska LLC for non-residents?

Alaska’s state fee for forming an LLC is $250. On top of that, you’ll need to pay $100 every other year to file a biennial report. 

Is a physical presence required in Alaska to form an LLC as a non-resident?

No, a physical presence is not required in Alaska to form an LLC as a non-resident.

What’s the best method to open an Alaska LLC non-resident bank account?

Mercury is a great option for opening an Alaska LLC non-resident bank account.

What are the best states to form an LLC as a non-resident?

New Mexico, Wyoming, Delaware, and Nevada are often considered the best states to form an LLC as a foreigner due to their favorable tax laws and business-friendly regulations.

Can a non-resident Alaska LLC owner hire employees in the US?

Yes, a non-resident Alaska LLC owner can hire employees in the US.

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