Forming an LLC in Alaska is a big decision. Before filing the Articles of Organization, you will need to choose a registered agent. In this article, we’re going to walk through what the role of a registered agent is and what your options are as a business owner.
What is an Alaska Registered Agent & is it Necessary?
Yes, a registered agent is legally required. A registered agent is an individual or service that acts as a go-between with the LLC and the state of Alaska.
In short, the registered agent assumes statutory responsibilities. They must agree to receive and deliver any official communications such as tax or legal documents from the state of Alaska to the LLC. Furthermore, the registered agent must be consistently available to carry out this responsibility without interruption.
Here’s what the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, & Professional Licensing specifically says:
If an LLC does not assign or maintain a resident agent, the LLC risks being named non-compliant. This can lead to dissolution of the LLC by the state. Alaska defines non-compliance as 30 days or more without a registered agent.
What are the Requirements of a Registered Agent?
Aside from carrying out the statutory responsibilities defined above, a registered agent must meet the following requirements:
- The agent must be an individual resident of the state of Alaska or a corporation authorized for business in Alaska.
- The agent must have a physical address in Alaska.
- The agent must have a mailing address in Alaska.
- An LLC cannot act as its own registered agent in Alaska.
For reference, here is a screenshot of what information is required on the Alaska Articles of Organization:
Who can be a Registered Agent in Alaska?
The Alaska registered agent can be either an individual or a professional service. Here are the pros and cons of each option.
As mentioned above, if using an individual as your registered agent, the individual must be a resident of Alaska.
This means that the individual cannot be in the process of establishing residency in another state, territory, or country or receiving benefits while claiming residency in another state, territory, or country.
Otherwise, the individual can be an attorney, accountant, or even a friend or family member. Simply add the person’s name and address to the Articles of Organization.
- Convenience – Using someone you know saves the time of searching for a registered agent service. The individual is probably also someone that you trust.
- Cost – The cost will likely be much lower than using a service, perhaps even free.
- Inconvenience – The individual who acts as registered agent is required to be available without interruption. She/he may not put a hold on mail. This might make vacations a bit tricky.
- Risk that documents are not delivered in timely manner – If using an attorney, for example, you may be risking that she/he is away from the office at the time of delivery. This leaves open the possibility that the document is put in other hands, possibly slowing the process. If using a friend or family member, you run the risk of having documents misplaced or even ignored. Personal and work lives often have many distractions. For example, if quarrelling with Aunt Louise over a late or missing tax document worries you, a registered agent service may be a better option.
Registered Agent Service
If a service is acting as registered agent, it must be a business, professional, or non-profit corporation. It cannot be an LLC, LLP or LP. Registered agent services provide this type of assistance. The service’s name and address must be included on the Articles of Organization.
- Privacy – If documents regarding a sensitive issue such as a lawsuit are being delivered, the service provides a cushion of privacy between your business and the public. In addition, the address of the service, not your business (or family member or friend) is public record. This means that marketing materials or junk mail will be sent to the service, not to the LLC.
- Reliability – The registered agent needs to be available during regular business hours – all business hours. Using a service might provide a measure of comfort knowing that important documents will not slip through the cracks (as long as you use a reputable service). After all, receiving and delivering important and time-sensitive documents is what the service is experienced doing.
- Location – An LLC is not required to maintain a physical presence in the state of Alaska. The LLC may also do business in various states. Many services have you covered by providing that presence in multiple or even 50 states.
- Cost – Using a service is going to cost you more than using an individual. Still, having the peace of mind that important documents are being handled by a professional service may be worth it.
- Unfamiliarity – Using an individual usually means using someone you know and trust. With an unknown entity there is always a risk of unsatisfactory service. Of course, this is what reviews are for!
Finding a registered agent that is the right fit for your LLC may be one of many tasks when setting up your LLC, but one that is essential to running your business efficiently.
How to get a Free Registered Agent
The most cost effective way to get a free registered agent in Alaska is to use a professional LLC service that also offers a free registered agent service.
How it Works
Simply hire a service like IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent to form an Alaska LLC. As part of their package, they’ll include a free registered agent service and list their address on the Articles of Organization instead of yours.
All you pay for is the $250 Alaska state LLC formation fee + $49 or $79 service fee.
This will remove all registered agent responsibilities off your plate, take care of LLC formation paperwork and provide you with an online dashboard to keep track of things that come up in regard to your LLC in Alaska.
How to Change Your Alaska Registered Agent
Later on, if you would like to change the registered agent for your LLC, the process is simple.
In order to change your registered agent in Alaska, navigate to the Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development website, Forms & Fees page. After clicking “Forms by Entity Type,” find the Limited Liability Company dropdown box. Remember that domestic and foreign LLCs have different forms, so make sure to select the correct one. Here’s the domestic one, and you can find the foreign one here.
Both forms require the same information:
- Your entity name and Alaska entity number (forgot your entity number? Find it by searching for your company name on the Alaska “Corporations Database”)
- Your LLC physical address (and mailing address, if different)
- The name of your new registered agent
- If your registered agent is an entity, the corresponding entity number
- The new registered agent’s physical and mailing addresses (these will go on public record)
- A signature from an LLC member, manager on record with the state (or an attorney-in-fact)
- The signer’s name must match a name on record with your LLC. Otherwise your filing will not be processed. To check your LLC information, search for it in the Corporations Database.
- Contact information for your LLC, including a specific contact person and address to return your filed documents
- Payment information (if paying by credit card)
Like several other Alaska business forms, this one comes with a $25 fee, payable via check or credit card. Include your payment/payment info when you mail your completed form.
Unfortunately, there is no online filing option, and you cannot submit this form by email, so you’ll have to go with good ol’ postal mail. Send your filing to:
Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development
Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing
PO Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811
*Checks should be made payable to the “State of Alaska”
You might think that you can change your registered agent by updating your Articles of Organization or annual report with the state. While this is true in some states, in Alaska, the only way to make the change is with the “Statement of Change” form.
If you’re too busy, or if you’d feel more comfortable letting someone else take the reins, you have the option of hiring a company or individual to file your paperwork for you. It’s a great way to save time and stress.
Submit your form? Pay your fee? Then kick back, relax, and wait for your form to go on record. Typically, this takes place 10-15 days after the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development receives it. Be sure to take this processing time into consideration when filing your change.
Have Questions or Concerns?
If you’d like to talk to the state directly about your questions or concerns, it’s easy!
Visit Their Website
Visit the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business, & Professional Licensing for more information about registered agents in the state of Alaska. They have a great FAQ regarding mail forwarding, what happens if your registered agent falls out of good standing and much more you should be aware about.
Give Them a Call
If you’d prefer to call, reach out to their Anchorage office at (907) 269-8160 or Juneau office at (907) 465-2550.