I'm currently going through the process of establishing my computer programming business here in Alaska, and while many people think it's hard to start a new business, it really isn't, at least not the legal part. Here are the steps I'm following to create my new Alaska computer programming business.
1) File Alaska LLC paperwork
The first thing I did was to file my Alaska LLC business paperwork. You file this paperwork and pay your fees at the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing. This just tells the State of Alaska that you want to create a new business here as an LLC. I believe the cost here was $250.
2) Alaska business license
On a different page on that website you also need to apply for an Alaska business license. After you pay this fee, the State of Alaska will mail you a copy of your business license. I received mine in three days. I believe the cost here was $50.
3) File Palmer, Alaska business license paperwork
Because I'm organizing my business in Palmer, Alaska, I needed to file for what is essentially a city business license. After getting your license, it's very important to know that the City of Palmer collects 3% tax on the first $1,000 of anything you sell. You can file this paperwork at the Palmer City Hall, or online, but you will need your Alaska business license before doing this. The cost of this license was $25.
4) File Mat-Su Borough business license paperwork
The last step in the Alaska business licensing process for me was to get another license to operate a business in the Mat-Su Borough. I've never lived in a "borough" before, but from what I can tell, it's roughly the same as a county. I'm not sure if there is a Mat-Su Borough tax yet; two nice women helped me fill out the paperwork, but the third person I spoke to wasn't very helpful, and I forgot to ask about Mat-Su Borough taxes. The cost of this license was $50.
You may need to follow additional steps for other businesses, especially something like a restaurant or bar, but for a service business like my computer programming business, these are the only steps required to start a business in Alaska.