A registered agent is the individual or business entity that receives legal documents from the state, and then forwards them to your business address. But why is this a requirement, and who should you designate as your registered agent in Alaska?
In this guide, we will break down all the details you need to know about Alaska registered agents.
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What is an Alaska Registered Agent?
One of the most common questions we receive from entrepreneurs in Alaska is why a registered agent is required to form an LLC or corporation. While it might seem like an unnecessary middle-man type of role, the registered agent fills a vital role.
The registered agent’s job is to provide a reliable way for the state to contact an official representative of your business at any time, which is especially important if your business is ever sued. If you didn’t have a registered agent, a lawsuit could progress through the courts without you even knowing about it, which is obviously far from ideal.While Alaska does not provide a recommended list of registered agent services, we reviewed the top options and compiled a list of the best Alaska registered agent services based on price and overall value.
Who Can Be an Alaska Registered Agent?
The state of Alaska’s Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development dictates that an entity’s registered agent be either an individual resident of Alaska or a corporation that is legally authorized to perform business in the state. In order to qualify as a registered agent, an individual must be a resident of Alaska and only Alaska.
Whether an individual or corporation, the registered agent must have a permanent address in Alaska. This must be a street address; post office boxes do not qualify. Additionally, non-corporation entities cannot serve as a registered agent, and a corporation can never function as its own registered agent. However, attorneys and incorporated law firms do qualify.
Aside from the legal requirements, an important aspect to discuss is who should be your registered agent. You have the right to declare yourself as your own registered agent, which has its pros and cons.
On the positive side, you can save some money by not paying anyone to serve as your agent, but you’ll also likely need to make your home address a matter of public record, which is not ideal. Additionally, you’ll need to be physically present at your business during all standard operating hours (9-5, M-F).
Some entrepreneurs like to have a friend or family member serve as their registered agent, but if that person doesn’t have experience in this position, they might not know what is expected of them. In addition, designating your lawyer or accountant as a registered agent can work, but these options are usually quite expensive.
Our preference is to hire a professional registered agent service, which provides a combination of convenience, affordability, and peace of mind that is unrivaled by any of these other options.
How Do Alaska Residents Get Served?
The most important part of a registered agent’s role is being served a summons.
In order for a summons to be processed in Alaska, the plaintiff must first draft a complaint—a document including all allegations made against the defendant and the request for reparation. Then, the complaint must be filed to the court.
If the claim involves a monetary dispute of less than $10,000, you can file a small claims complaint using form number SC-1 which can be found at this link. The filing fee for small claims of less than $2,500 is $50. For claims exceeding $2,500, the filing fee is $100.
For claims exceeding $10,000, plaintiffs may choose to file a formal civil suit. This is a more complicated process which generally involves lawyers and a jury. The form to file a formal civil suit is provided by the clerk of the court, and must be accompanied by an envelope addressed to the plaintiff with sufficient postage to mail the envelope and summonses. If you’ve chosen to file a formal civil claim, the filing fee will be $150 paid to the district court.
After either the small claim or formal civil claim is completed, it must be filed with the appropriate court along with the appropriate processing fees. In some cases, two copies of the document may be necessary to complete the filing.
If these steps are all taken correctly, the state of Alaska will then serve a summons to the defendant’s registered agent.
How to Designate an Alaska Registered Agent
The answer to this question depends on what type of business you’re starting, but with either a corporation or an LLC, you’ll need to designate your registered agent when you form your company.
In Alaska, you will designate your registered agent when you fill out either the articles of incorporation or articles of organization documents which can be found on the Alaska Department of Commerce’s website.
If you’re forming a corporation, you’ll want to complete form number 08-400 titled articles of incorporation. In order to designate a registered agent for an LLC, you must fill out form number 08-484 titled articles of organization. In either case, the form can be completed online for immediate processing or filed as a hard copy by printing and mailing the completed PDF file.
Once filled out (including the name and information of your designated registered agent) the form must be submitted to the state of Alaska, Corporations Section with the necessary $250.00 filing fee.
How Can I Change My Alaska Registered Agent?
If you would like to change your registered agent for any reason, the process is pretty simple.
You must simply submit a statement of change form. Whether you’re changing the registered agent of a corporation or an LLC, the appropriate documents can be found on the Alaska Department of Commerce’s website under the “Forms & Fees” tab.
Before completing the form for submission, you’ll need to be sure you’ve downloaded the correct one. To change the registered agent of a LLC, complete the statement of change form found at this link. Alternatively, for those changing the registered agent of a corporation, you’ll need to complete the statement of change document found here.
Both documents ask for the entity’s name, Alaska entity number, the name and address of the previous registered agent, and the name and address of the new registered agent. The form must be signed and dated by a member or manager and mailed, with the non-refundable filing fee of $25.00, to the Corporation Section of the state of Alaska. Processing time is approximately 10-15 business days.
How Does an Alaska Registered Agent Resign?
Sometimes, a registered agent may have to resign from their position.
In order to resign from the position, current registered agents must submit a registered agent resignation form, which can be found at this link or on the Alaska Commerce Department’s website under the “Forms & Fees” section. When submitted, the resignation forms must be accompanied with a non-refundable filing fee of $25.00.
The form itself is a four-page document which must be filled out with the entity name, it’s Alaska entity number, the entity’s address along with its most recent officials, and payment information. It can be completed online before being printed and mailed, along with the $25.00 filing fee, to the following address:
State of Alaska
PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 9981100806
Why Should You Hire a Professional Alaska Registered Agent Service?
Hiring a professional registered agent is basically the best of both worlds between serving as your own agent, and designating a lawyer or accountant.
The biggest benefit in our opinion is the privacy protection this allows, as you will be able to keep your personal address private. There’s also a major advantage compared to having an attorney or accountant serve as your agent, namely the fact that registered agent services are almost always much cheaper.
Another reason we like this option is that these companies specialize in providing quality registered agent service. They know exactly what’s expected of them, and there are rarely any issues to speak of.
The other major benefit of hiring a registered agent service is that most of them operate in all 50 states, so that if you ever want to expand your business into another state, you won’t need to hire an additional registered agent. Your same registered agent will be able to provide the coverage you need in your new state, while still providing the same service in Alaska. If you hired a lawyer or accountant, they would only be able to help you expand to a new state if they have another physical office in that state.
You Stay Compliant
Finally, most professional registered agents operating in Alaska offer some sort of compliance calendar. With this service, your registered agent helps you keep track of due dates for ongoing LLC maintenance requirements like annual reports, which is a valuable bonus.
The top registered agent service providers include some other appealing attributes, including access to their extensive customer support networks. Some of them include a full year of registered agent service with any business formation package, which can be a real money-saver. Another welcome attribute is that some registered agent services provide volume discounts if you require service in multiple states, or if you prepay for multiple years.
What Is the Penalty for Not Designating a Registered Agent in Alaska?
You need to have a registered agent to form your limited liability company or corporation in Alaska in the first place, but if you let your registered agent service lapse, there could be some serious consequences.
Failure to maintain a registered agent could lead to your business losing its good standing with the state of Alaska, and the state also has the right to officially dissolve your LLC if they choose to.
Another issue would be the difficulty of being served if your business is sued. If the state cannot get ahold of your registered agent, a court may decide to go ahead with the lawsuit without your knowledge, which could even lead to a judgment against you. This can happen not just if you fail to designate a registered agent, but also if your agent is not present during business hours to accept the document delivery.
As you can see, the task of designating a registered agent for your Alaska business isn’t quite as easy as just writing down your own name.
There are significant downsides to just about every option in our opinion, but we recommend hiring a professional registered agent service because that option has the fewest disadvantages. They charge affordable rates, and you never have to worry about losing your good standing, having your LLC or corporation dissolved, or having a lawsuit proceed in your absence.
If you have any further questions, you can contact the Alaska Secretary of State:
Department of Commerce
550 W 7th Ave, STE 1500
Anchorage, AK 99501-3567
Department of Commerce
P.O. Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811-0806