Starting an LLC in Alaska is not for the faint of heart. Maintaining one isn’t, either. There’s a bunch of annual requirements: annual taxes, business licenses to renew, and of course, annual reports. A lot of the annual requirements can be pretty complicated, too.
Annual reports can be pretty complicated…but only if you don’t know what to expect. That’s what we’re here for. In this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reports in Alaska: LLC filing fees, where to file, due dates, and if you want, where to go to get help filing. By the end, the annual report won’t feel so daunting anymore.
What is an annual report?
An annual report is a lot like an annual newsletter for your LLC—except you only send it to one place: the state government. Each year, the state needs updated information about your business. And this isn’t a requirement that’s unique to Alaska. In fact, nearly every state requires some form of annual (or similar timeline) update.
That said, the newsletter analogy falls short because you don’t need to tell the state what you did each month. You don’t even have to tell them the highs and lows of your year. And thankfully, you don’t have to write it out as a letter. All you’ll have to do is fill out the requested information.
Here’s a quick glance at the information Alaska will require from you:
- Legal name of your LLC
- Address for your LLC
- Name and address of your registered agent
- Name(s) and address(es) for your member(s)/manager(s)
Sound overwhelming? Don’t panic. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think! In the rest of this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reporting—including a DIY approach and how to get help if you’d rather not file on your own.
Where do I start?
If you head to Google and search “Alaska Annual Report,” you might be surprised to find “Biennial Report” instead of “annual report.” But don’t panic. You’re in the right place. Those links will direct you to the state’s Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.
There, you’ll be directed to two filing methods: online or hardcopy. You can do whichever best suits your needs and preferences, but Alaska recommends filing online. That way, you won’t have to worry about mail processing speeds. They do, however, caution you against filing both ways. We doubt that will be much of an issue, though; who wants to pay two filing fees?
Quick note: if you haven’t yet, you should also file the Initial Report. Thankfully, it’s a free filing, and you can complete the process entirely online. As long as you get it filed, you’re set to go.
The biennial report (and the initial report) isn’t extremely difficult to fill out, honestly. But if you’re extremely busy (and who isn’t these days?), the report can seem overwhelming—it’s yet another thing you have to do. That said, you can hire an Alaska LLC Service to handle the work for you. Not only will these services actually form your business for you (if you need it), but they’ll also help you handle annual requirements like the annual report.
How much does Alaska’s Biennial Report cost?
Some states have a pretty hefty price tag of several hundred dollars for their annual report. Other states charge more reasonable fees of less than $100. Alaska fits that description: they charge just $100. If you think about it from an annual standpoint, that’s just $50 per year. The only exception to this is if you’re a foreign LLC; then your biennial report will cost you $200.
If you pay online, you must pay using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover Card. Mail-order filings can pay by check or money order. Please note that mail-in filings usually take 10-15 business days to process.
When is the Biennial Report due?
In most states, the annual report is due, well, annually. In other states, entrepreneurs often refer to it as an annual report even though it’s due every other year. And like we’ve mentioned, Alaska’s “annual report” is technically a biennial report; you’ll file it every other year.
More specifically, you’ll file your biennial report every other year by January 2 (including postmarks for mail filings). If you don’t file by February 1, you’ll incur a $37.50 late fee.
What happens if you don’t file your biennial report?
Sometimes annual check-ins are a pain, right? And we get it: with some things, like annual physicals, dental cleanings, and eye appointments are tempting to skip. Usually, there isn’t a big penalty if you skip them for a year or two (aside from a minor scolding from your doctor).
However, that isn’t the case with biennial reports. You should never skip filing your biennial report, and you should always do it on time. For one thing, filing on time ensures that you don’t spend any more than you have to.
More importantly, though, failing to file your biennial report can cost you your good standing in the state, also called being “out of compliance.” If you stay out of compliance for too long, the state can dissolve your LLC. Long story short, they’ll shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. But it’s a hassle to do so, so we highly recommend filing it on time each year. You’ll save yourself a lot of time and money.
Maintaining an Alaska LLC is no laughing matter, and the annual report is without a doubt one of the most important annual filings. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Hopefully this guide has helped take out some of the guesswork. And don’t forget: an LLC Service can make things even easier.