Alaska Business Licenses
Are you thinking of starting a new small business in Alaska? Many industries may require a business license from the State of Alaska in order to operate within the regulations set by the state.
1) Tax Registration
Any business that has employees must have a valid Employer Tax Identification Number (TIN) or Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number is sometimes called a Form SS-4. It does not matter whether the business operates as a partnership or corporation. The TIN or EIN can be obtained from the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) office.
United States IRS Phone Number: 1-800-829-4933
Employer Identification Number Application Guidelines
How to Apply Online
Registering for Taxes in Alaska: Businesses that operate in the state of Alaska are required to apply for an identification number, license, or permits for different tax reasons. Business owners must have a seller’s permit for sales and use tax. They must have unemployment insurance tax and income tax withholding. Business owners must contact the Tax Division of the Alaska Department of Revenue to find out more information about their tax obligations as a business owner and how to register their business.
2) Business Licenses
General Business Licenses: For more information about license permits and registration requirement, contact Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development. An extensive list of online links and contact information is available through the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.
3) Local Permits
Each jurisdiction has its own requirement for business permits and licenses. Business owners should check with the local municipality in their area for the specific requirements of the city or county where they operate. A list of the most common licenses and permits required to operate a business include the following:
Business Tax Permit/ and or Business License
Occupational Permit, and
4) Filing for Incorporation
The types of businesses that are required to register with the State of Alaska are limited liability companies (LLC), partnerships (whether limited or limited liability) corporations, and non-profit organizations. Click below for business license forms and applications
Alaska Division of Corporations, Forms, and Applications for Business and Professional Licensing
5) Doing Business As (DBA)
To operate using a name other than the name of the business owner, a business name must be created by filing for a fictitious name. Operating under a false name is referred to as Doing Business As (DBA). The State of Alaska requires business names to be reserved and registered. These are two separate processes. For some types of businesses, the name is automatically registered. In the State of Alaska, business names must be reserved and registered for the following: Corporations, Nonprofit corporations, professional corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, registered limited liability partnerships, and professional associations.
6) Employer Requirements
Businesses that have employees must complete several registration requirements. A Ten Steps to Hiring Your First Employee is an excellent guide for new employers.
Withholding Income Taxes: Employers are required by the Internal Revenue Service to maintain at least four years of tax records. The employer’s responsibilities regarding withholding federal taxes are located in the Internal Revenue Tax Guide.
Federal Income Tax Withholding (Form W-4): Either on or prior to their first date of employment, employees are required to complete an exemption certificate (Form W-4) for their employer. Afterward, the employer must submit the W-4 form to the IRS for verification.
Federal Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2): Annually, employers are responsible for reporting to the IRS the amount of wages earned and tax information that was withheld for all employees. The information will be reported on a Wage and Tax Statement (Form W-2), which will be completed for each employee. The deadline for the employer to submit the Form W-2 is January 31. Employers will send Copy A of the W-2 Form to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to report the employee’s wages for the previous year. For complete instructions on filing the Employer Form W-2, employer’ should contact the Social Security Administration.
State Taxes: The state where the employee is located will determine the amount of state tax withholding. Employers should contact their state tax agency for additional information. For the State of Alaska, questions about state taxes should be directed to the Alaska Department of Revenue Tax Division. Employers can also check the online website for information about many of the tax services in Alaska.
Employee Eligibility Verification (I-9 Form): For all employees hired after November 6, 1986, employers are required by federal law to verify that the employee is eligible to work in the United States. Within three days of being hired, the employee must provide their employer with documentation showing that they are eligible to work. Form I-9 is required to be completed by all employees, whether they are citizens or non-citizens. A summary of the immigration laws and information on how to complete the Form I-9 for non-U.S. citizens is located in the Small Business Guide to Immigration Regulations.
New Hire Reporting: Within 20 days of hiring a new employee, employers must report them as an employee to the Alaska Child Support Services Division Reporting Program.
Insurance Requirements: Businesses in the State of Alaska must be insured. The types of insurance they are required to have are listed in the Business Insurance Guide. Alaska’s Unemployment Insurance is administered through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development office.
Disability Insurance: When employees become ill, or while off work, or for an incident unrelated to their employment, they can be compensated through temporary disability insurance. It is not a requirement for employers in Alaska to provide this type of insurance.
Unemployment Insurance Tax: Eligible employees have a right to receive unemployment benefits from their employers. Employees can contact the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development for more information about unemployment benefits. Alaska’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development ‘s website contains information regarding unemployment benefits on their Unemployment Insurance page.
Worker’s Compensation Insurance: Employees become injured while working are eligible to file a Worker’s Compensation claim. Employees can contact the Division of Worker’s Compensation of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development for more information about Worker’s Compensation benefits.