This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the Alaska Department of Revenue and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.
Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county. It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.
Business Name Registration
A sole proprietor or general partnership business name that includes the owner’s full legal name(s), does not have to register their business name with the state of Alaska. Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris’ and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) need to find out whether the name they want to use is available in the state of Alaska. Start with a statewide corporate business name search to avoid legal problems and customer confusion.
Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Alaska” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.
Sole proprietors and general partners who choose to operate under a business name other than their full legal names must first have a current business license, then register for a DBA (“doing business as” or trade name) with the state.
In Alaska, there are no restrictions on how many business licenses may have the same name. There may be other business licenses with the exact same name owned by different people. However, Alaska businesses may obtain exclusive rights to a business name by filing for a Business Name Registration which gives exclusive name rights for 5 years. While registering a business name provides some legal protection of the name, registered businesses are expected to legally defend their trade names in court.
Business License Registration
All businesses in Alaska must register for a state business license. In the state of Alaska, a sole proprietor is one individual. A husband and wife team are considered general partners.
You can order a business license online, pay and print out a copy immediately or download a license application.
In Alaska, a business license owner must use the business name exactly as it appears on the business license in advertising and daily operations.
In Alaska, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. While general partners are not required to file any documents with the Department of Commerce, it is advisable to file for a DBA (“doing business as” or trade name) and have a written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.
Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft. You can apply for an EIN online. In addition, some business registration forms will require a a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.
Business Tax Registration
Alaska has no personal income tax. There are no state business taxes such as sales, use, excise, or privilege taxes for sole proprietors or general partnerships in the state of Alaska. Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to file or pay estimated self-employment income taxes in Alaska similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government.
Alaska general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, may need to file state income tax Form 6900. If both (or all) of the partners are natural persons or are effectively treated as natural persons, the partnership is not required to file Form 6900. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.
Selected Alaska City Licenses
Anchorage business license: The city of Anchorage does not require a business license for housecleaning services.
Fairbanks business license: https://www.fairbanksalaska.us/clerk/page/city-business-license-information
Juneau business license: The city of Juneau does not require a business license for housecleaning services.
Nome business license: https://www.nomealaska.org/city-clerk/page/business
Utqiagvik (pronounced Oot’-kee-ahg’-vick) is Barrow’s traditional Iñupiaq name, business license: http://www.utqiagvik.us/index.php/business