Are you an Alaska business owner who wants to be able to operate your company under an assumed name? If so, consider acquiring a doing business as (DBA) name.
How do you obtain a DBA name for your Alaska company, and how are you allowed to use your new name? In this guide, we’ll walk through every detail of the DBA acquisition process in this state.
What is an Alaska DBA?
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, a DBA enables you to use a name other than the owner’s personal name. For limited liability companies and corporations, DBAs allow you to use multiple names to officially refer to your business activities.
There are many different reasons for Alaska companies to acquire ‘doing business as’ names.
- For sole proprietorships and partnerships, they can make your company sound more professional than simply using your own name. You can also open a bank account using your DBA, which can not only help you keep your business and personal assets separate, but customers often have a higher comfort level writing out a check to a business name rather than to an individual’s personal name.
- For corporations and LLCs, DBAs are frequently used to give the company the option of using different names for separate product lines. Another common usage of a DBA is to distinguish satellite businesses from your main company. Restaurant owners love to do this, as for example it can help a fine-dining establishment open a fast-casual spin-off restaurant without affecting customers’ perceptions of the original location. Whether you want to create this separation for marketing or accounting purposes (or both), a doing business as name gives companies options that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
In short, a DBA in Alaska allows businesses to communicate their image and express themselves in different ways without having to actually form a new business to do so.
How Do I File an Alaska DBA?
In Alaska, the process for getting a DBA is pretty simple. The first step is to run a business name availability search with Alaska’s Corporation Section Database, which you can do using this convenient tool on their website.
This ensures that your desired business name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business in the state.
Any Alaska business wishing to use a name that differs from the name listed in their formation document must register a DBA. If you are a sole proprietor in need of a DBA, you typically do not have formation documentation, meaning that you will need to register a new business name. The application for new business names and DBAs can be found here. This form must include the following information: PO Box 110806
Juneau, AK 99811
Alaska does have a few special requirements for DBAs containing certain terms. No DBA can include the terms, “city,” “village,” or “borough.” Additionally, DBAs cannot include any kind of obscenity or term implying an affiliation with the state government. Once you finish filling out this form, you’ll need to include a check for $25 made payable to the “State of Alaska” Then, you can mail the form and the check to the Alaska Department of Commerce, which is located at:
PO Box 110806 Juneau, AK 99811
How Long Does an Alaska DBA Last?
All Alaska DBAs have an initial lifespan of 5 years, after which time they must be renewed. If you would like to continue using your DBA beyond the five-year point, you will need to file a Renew Business Name Registration form with the Corporations Section of the Alaska state government within three months of the expiration date. Each time you file a renewal, the state of Alaska will renew your DBA for an additional five-year period.
Should I Hire a Professional DBA Filing Service?
If you’d rather not fill out the paperwork and register for a DBA yourself, there are plenty of reputable companies offering a service. For a fee, these services will assemble the relevant paperwork and submit it to your state, and all you have to do is supply them with some basic information.
In Alaska, filing for a DBA is relatively fast and inexpensive. It usually takes about two weeks from the date of filing to complete your registration. While hiring a DBA service can save you some time, there are probably better ways to use your budget. In other states, the process can be more complicated, but the requirements for obtaining an Alaska DBA are so simple that by the time you finish giving your info to a DBA service, you could probably just file the forms yourself. That said, if you’re just too busy to handle any more tasks, most service providers (Ex: LegalZoom) charge a fair rate for this service.
The doing business as name, or DBA for short, is one of the most simple business filings for Alaska entrepreneurs. The process to acquire one is quite straightforward, and you can begin using your new assumed name as soon as the state completes your filing.
We hope this article answered your questions about how to file an Alaska; DBA!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a DBA provide any legal protections?
A: No, registering a DBA does not legally protect you or your business. If you’re seeking personal asset protection, you might want to look into forming a corporation or a limited liability company rather than just acquiring a DBA name.
Q: Does a DBA need a registered agent?
A: A registered agent is not a legal requirement for sole proprietorships or general partnerships that acquire DBA names. However, limited liability companies and corporations do require a registered agent whether they have a DBA or not.
Q: Can someone else register a business using the same name as my DBA?
A: Filing a DBA does not give your business exclusive rights to your assumed name. If someone wants to use the same name, and they form an LLC or corporation with it, they are legally allowed to take your name for themselves.
Q: Does the state of Alaska require publication of a DBA name?
A: While some states do require business owners to publish proof of their DBA in a local newspaper, Alaska does not.