How To Start A Business in Alaska: Step-by-Step Process

Every vast company started off as a business. We can draw examples from Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Airbnb, and Oracle. However, starting and building a successful business depends on your business model, and sometimes your location.

For example, the same requirements you need to start a business in Alaska differ from the requirements you need to start a similar business in Michigan. Although the differences might not be colossal, they still exist and you have to put every little detail into consideration as a business professional.

So, a lot of our conversations will deal with the steps you need to take when you want to start a business in Alaska. But we will also consider the city of Alaska, its people, and cultural heritage.

About Alaska

Alaska is by arguably the largest U.S. state by area, controlling more total area than the next three largest states Texas, California, and Montana combined, and the seventh-largest subnational division in the world.

Although it is the third-least populous and the most sparsely populated state, it remains the continent’s most populous territory located mostly north of the 60th parallel, with an estimated population of 738,432 as of 2015. This amount is more than quadruple the total populations of Northern Canada and Greenland.

Over half of Alaska’s residents live within the Anchorage metropolitan area. The state capital of Juneau is the second-largest city in the United States by area, holding more territory than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware.

Although it has one of the smallest state economies in the country, Alaska’s per capita income ranks among the highest, owing to a diversified economy dominated by fishing, natural gas, and oil, all of which it has in abundance.

Are there Opportunities in Alaska?

In 2016, there were about 266,072 employees and 21,077 establishments in Alaska. Research connotes that their gross state product was $55 billion, 48th in the nation in 2018. Its per capita personal income for 2018 was $73,000, ranking 7th in the nation.

According to a 2013 study by Phoenix Marketing International, Alaska had the fifth-largest number of millionaires per capita in the United States, with a ratio of 6.75 percent. And the dominating industry remains the oil and gas industry, which sponsors over 80% of the state’s revenues derived from petroleum extraction.

Apart from natural gas, this country exports seafood, primarily salmon, cod, Pollock, and crab. So, this is a place to pay attention to when you want to start a business in Alaska.

With these available opportunities, agriculture holds a tiny fraction of the Alaskan economy. Agricultural production is primarily for consumption within the state and some of its produces are nursery stock, dairy products, vegetables, and livestock. The state imports a lot of its foodstuff with manufacturing posing a huge limitation.

Government and private industries such as natural resource extraction, shipping, and transportation are the biggest employers in Alaska. However, there is also a growing service and tourism sector boosting in this city. Tourists have contributed so heavily to the economy of this growing state.

What Type of Business Should I Start in Alaska?

The average person has about 48.6 thoughts per minute, according to the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at the University of Southern California. That adds up to a total of 70,000 thoughts per day.

With many thoughts circulating through your mind, especially when you’re thinking of a business to start, be careful not to dabble in any type of business that won’t stand the test of time.

A great business opportunity would be a business that you can do over the internet while maintaining a physical location. Perhaps you could trump the physical location and run your business online.

As one of the biggest agricultural produce exporters, agriculture is another viable business you can start in Alaska. When you plant and produce corn, millets and some other agriculture produce, you can export them easily.

How to Start a Business in Alaska 2022: Step-by-Step Process

When you want to start up a business in Alaska, there are a few key steps you must follow to start and run a profitable business. These steps include:

Step 1. Choose an Idea

When you think of owning a business, you must start by deciding with all the ideas in your head. In seeking an idea, you must find one that suits your interests, your personal goals, creates good income and strengthens your natural abilities. With such an ability, you remain motivated when the going gets tough and this will improve your odds of success.

Some businesses you can model and start up easily include:

  • Car Repair Shop
  • Laundry Service
  • E-commerce store
  • Farm
  • Drive-In Movie Theater
  • Supermart
  • Hookah Lounge
  • Bike Rental Business

Step 2. Plan Your Business

When you carefully plan your business journey, you increase your chances of success to a great height. Before you commit your resources towards building your business, critically analyze your idea and create a game plan. At a minimum, have appropriate answers to the following questions.

Business Name

Getting a good name for your business is usually an enormous challenge. You’ll want to choose a brand name that follows Alaska naming rules, resonates with your customers, and is available as a URL.

Product Development

You would need to solve a serious problem with your new product in a buzzing market. And therefore your product development must be strong.

Sales & Marketing

You would need to find a plan that will help you market your goods and services expertly.

People and Partnerships

For every journey your business takes, it needs partnerships and individuals to aid it in the process.

Financial Planning

At this point, you would determine how much funding you would need to keep your business afloat.

Step 3. Form Your Business

A lot of businesses grow to a tremendous level and then get hit with heavy taxes. These taxes can cripple the company’s finances and even get them a ban when they are not careful. However, these issues can be avoided when there is increased credibility or powerful protection from legal issues. And this will happen when you form your business.

For most small businesses, registering an LLC is a great option. Compared to other businesses, LLCs are easier to set up and manage, and they have favorable tax treatment. You can set up an LLC in Alaska for as little as $250.

Another important aspect of forming your business would be to secure your domain. When you secure your domain, you can own your business on the online space while you battle with the offline registration.

Step 4. Register for Taxes

Taxes are vital for citizens and employees in the U.S. With serious limited exceptions, most businesses demand an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. With an EIN, you can identify a business in its federal tax filings. However, without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

Register for Alaska State Taxes

Unemployment Insurance Tax

Step 5. Set Up Accounting

According to eCareers, 75% of companies fail within the first 18 months, showing just how hard a task it is to build an enterprise from the ground up and manage the finances to a level that is sustainable. While poor management or the lack of market penetration causes many failed startups, a good number of them fail because of poor financial planning.

A cure for poor financial planning would be the use of an accounting system. An accounting system aids you to track the performance of your business and simplifies annual tax filings. Quality accounting software allows you to download your bank and credit card transactions, making accounting fast. With these strategies in place, you’ll be on top of your accounts every time.

Step 6. Obtain Permits & Licenses

Without a license, you cannot successfully operate a business. You will consistently fall out with the government and regulatory agencies. To operate your new business legally, you will need to comply with federal, state, and local government regulations.

In many cases, this involves getting one or more business permits and/or licenses. For example, a restaurant will probably need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.

Learn how to obtain the necessary licenses and permits for your business

Step 7. Get Insurance

Business insurance helps you manage risks and focus on growing your business. All small businesses including home based businesses must purchase a general liability policy. Businesses selling professional advice or services, such as consulting and accounting firms, should also consider a professional liability policy.

In Alaska, the law pushes businesses with one or more employees, excluding LLC members and company officers to have workers’ compensation insurance.

Step 8. Define Your Brand

A brand separates you from your direct and indirect competitors in the business world. When you create a brand, you build a customer loyalty bond which will continue to draw more people to your business.

In creating your brand, you must ensure you have a unique selling position and great advertising channels. A popular advertising channel is Facebook which can help you create great brand awareness to your target market.

Step 9. Establish a Web Presence

A professional website is instrumental to the long-term success of your business, regardless of what industry you are stay, you . A website gives potential customers to find your business online and discover the products or services you offer, and it also enhances your business’s credibility.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

  • Setting up social media profiles (Facebook, Twitter, etc)
  • Creating accounts on review sites (Yelp, Google Reviews, etc)
  • Registering for a local Google profile


Before you start a business in Alaska, there’s so much you have to consider. However, with the number of outstanding guidelines you’ve seen in this article, you’ll do better when you start your business in this state or another.


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