Alaska is a great place to start a business. There are many advantages to starting an LLC in Alaska, like only needing to file reports every two years. Compared to other states, Alaska is one of the best options when it comes to starting an LLC.
If you want to start an LLC in Alaska, you need a registered agent. In Alaska, having a registered agent is required by law, so there is no way around it. While many LLC owners find it an inconvenience, there are ways to leverage registered agents in a way that gives you more time and money to focus on your LLC.
In this article, we're going to take you through everything you need to know about registered agents and why you should work with reputable registered agent services.
What is an Alaska Resident Agent?
If you want to start an LLC in Alaska, the law states that you need to have someone receive documents and file reports on behalf of the company. In Alaska and most other states, the individual or entity that's responsible for this duty is known as a registered agent. Registered agents will manage paperwork, communicate with the state, and handle other duties.
Here is a look at some of the responsibilities that registered agents in Alaska have:
- Communicate with representatives from the state of Alaska
- Ensure the company remains in good standing with biennial reports
- Manages the Alaska certificate of compliance
- Handles getting lawsuits served and the legal process
Keep in mind that these are only a few things that registered agents do for your business. In fact, when you work with a registered agent service, you get more benefits.
Can the Owner Be a Registered Agent?
If you're wondering if the owner of an LLC can be the registered agent, the short answer is yes. In fact, many owners decide to become the registered agent of their company. This is because it doesn't cost additional money, and you don't have to spend time looking for someone else to be a registered agent.
That said, anyone over the age of 18, and who is a resident of Alaska can be the LLC's registered agent. This means you can choose a family member or even someone else within the company as long as the registered agent maintains residency and has a physical Alaskan address and mailing address.
While you can choose anyone –including yourself– to become an LLC's registered agent, it's not always the best move. Working with registered agent services can take the stress off of filing reports and ensure you're in good standing and avoiding fees.
Why Do Businesses Need an Alaska Registered Agent?
Every business in Alaska needs a registered agent. While it's required by law, there are reasons that the law is in place. Therefore, it's important to understand why companies need registered agents. The obvious example is that the LLC needs someone to communicate with the state and handle the legal process but working with a registered agent service provides additional benefits.
First and foremost, registered agents give the owner and other members of the company privacy and discretion. Registered agents are required to list their name, address, and other public information. This information becomes public record, and people can see where you and your family live if you're the registered agent. While this isn't an issue for most people, unwanted attention can lead to discomfort.
Privacy is also important for discretion. While LLCs reduce the liability of the owner and others, it doesn't mean the LLC can't be sued. Like a regular lawsuit, someone needs to receive the lawsuit, and that person is the registered agent. If you're the registered agent and owner of the company, this can happen during business hours and be a nuisance in front of customers.
Registered agents also provide you with flexibility. This is because Alaska law states that registered agents need to be available every business day during traditional operating hours. If you're the registered agent, this means you don't have time to take vacations, have a sick day, or not be present and ready to answer the phone at any time. While the state rarely calls, this is added stress that you don't need.
Working with registered agent services gives you the flexibility to take time off and not worry about meeting the needs of the state. This is because registered agent services keep staff active five days a week during business hours for the entire year. This gives you the time you need to focus on yourself, your family, and the LLC.
If you want to be compliant in the state of Alaska, you need a registered agent. Aside from having a registered agent, you also need to file your reports on time to avoid fees. Moreover, you need to handle tax forms and store your files so the state can have access if they need them.
While this is challenging to do on your own, working with a registered agent service makes this process easy. This is because they handle filing biennial reports, data storage, and more.
Registered agent services can also offer data storage and handle your data storage needs. As a registered agent, you need to have reports filed securely and on-hand if the state needs them. As an LLC owner, this is another issue you don't need.
Working with reputable registered agent services can ease some of this stress. This is because these services can provide you with data storage software and handle the filing needs the state requires.
Keep in mind these are only a handful of reasons why an LLC in Alaska needs a registered agent. There are other services that registered agents provide, and we'll touch on some in a moment.
What To Look for When Choosing an Alaska Registered Agent
If you're going to work with a registered agent service, you need to choose carefully. Working with a good company versus a bad company can be the difference between remaining compliant and avoiding fees. To help you narrow down your options, we're going to take you through some tips to find registered agents.
First and foremost, you want to work with a professional service. While you can choose to be the registered agent yourself or work with a friend, nothing ruins a friendship like bad business. For example, if your friend or family member fails to file something on time and you have to pay a fee, that leads to issues.
These situations can be avoided by working with a professional registered agent service. Companies like ZenBusiness have staff that's available around the clock and handles all of your company's registered agent needs. These companies can also offer additional benefits like tax services, helping you start the LLC, and more.
Another factor you need to consider is the cost of working with a registered agent. While working with non-formal services will save you money upfront, it can cost you in the long run. This is because Alaska charges fees when you fail to file reports or remain compliant. Unfortunately, working with an individual instead of a company leaves you exposed to these risks.
Another factor to consider about the cost of a registered agent is how high or low it is. While companies will overcharge, you also don't want to pay too little. A good registered agent service will charge between $50 and $300 depending on the package you choose. We don't recommend spending more or less unless you get additional benefits.
National reputation is huge. If you're working with a registered agent service, you want to work with one that's nationwide. While smaller companies exist, their reach and services tend to pale in comparison to these national firms.
National firms also make it easy for your company to move if needed. This is because they have registered agents in all 50 states. Therefore, it's better to work with these firms if you plan to do business in places other than Alaska in the future.
Registered agents are also responsible for handling your data and data storage needs. While this is an undertaking you can accomplish on your own, more often than not, it's far from worth it. This is because you might not be able to locate documents quickly or have the software to store data properly.
Working with a registered agent service can solve the data management problem. This is because these companies offer data storage solutions for your biennial reports and documents.
The final factor you want to consider when looking for registered agent services is their software. This varies depending on the company, and working as your own registered agent or with a colleague will result in no software options. Still, you want to make sure it's not just any software but good software.
Good registered agent services offer unique software options for quick data transferring and file sharing. Some companies even offer options for filing taxes.
How Much Do Registered Agents Cost?
Registered agents vary in price depending on what you do. If you work as your own registered agent or select a friend or family member, you don't have to pay anything. While this is a viable option, it's a less than ideal strategy because you don't get any unique benefits.
If you're interested in working with a registered agent service, the cost varies based on the company and package you choose. That said, most basic registered agent services will cost between $50 and $300. The good news is that most basic options are available at a cheaper cost–the fee also tends to be paid annually.
While working with a registered agent service will cost extra money, there is a good chance it will save you time and money over the long term.
What's the Best Registered Agent Service in Alaska?
Finding the best registered agent service in Alaska doesn't have to be hard. In fact, it's easy if you know where to look. In Alaska, our top choice is ZenBusiness
. While similar to its competitors, ZenBusiness brings refreshing software and data storage options to the table and maintains a nationwide reach.
ZenBusiness is our favorite choice because of how diverse the company is. The pricing is competitive, and ZenBusiness has many packages you can choose from. For example, some options will help with filing tax forms, and others will help with data storage. While ZenBusiness is a newer company than most of its competitors, it brings new features and breathes fresh air into an industry that needs it.
Overall, ZenBusiness is one of the best companies you can work with for all of your LLC needs in Alaska. The company can help you start your company, remain compliant, file taxes, and provide you with a registered agent. There are different pricing options for everyone and a customer service team that's second-to-none. With ZenBusiness, it's hard to go wrong.