Selecting your business name is like laying the cornerstone of a building. Once in place, the entire foundation of the business (i.e. operations, advertising, banking, taxes, assets, etc.) aligns with that “cornerstone”.
Business License name requirements:
This Division strongly encourages you to conduct a thorough search prior to submitting a business name for consideration in order to avoid legal conflicts and to make certain you are not infringing upon someone else's business name and/or rights.
To see if the name is already on record with this Division, search the corporation, business and professional licensing databases online at License Search.
Additional places to look include, but are not limited to: local, state and federal business license and corporation records; internet; telephone directories; trade magazines; trademark records; catalogs; associations; and so on.
Corporations, Business, and Professional Licensing statutes and regulations contain some name restrictions, just to name a few:
Under Business Licensing statutes and regulations there are no restrictions on distinguishable names.
Under Corporation statutes and regulations there are restrictions on distinguishable names for entities. For more information go to What is a Distinguishable Business Name?
For information on how to obtain exclusive rights to your business name go to Reserve or Register a Business Name.
There are no restrictions in Business Licensing or Corporation statutes or regulations on deceptively similar names. For example: Cups Express vs. Cupz Express.
Under Business License statutes AS 43.70 there are no exclusive rights or restrictions on how many business licenses may exist with the same business name; thus there may be multiple business licenses with the exact same name owned by different people.
Exclusive rights exist under Corporation statutes and regulations. For more information, including how a business owner may obtain exclusive rights, go to Reserve or Register a Business Name.
Exclusive rights give the person the exclusive right to the use of that name. Pursuant to Alaska Statute AS 10.35.040(b), the person with exclusive rights may, through the Alaska Court System, seek a court order to prohibit the use of the name and collect damages.
NOTE: Current Alaska Business License Statutes do not restrict issuing multiple business licenses with the exact same name. The department is required to issue a business license under AS 43.70, even if exclusive rights to a name have been secured under Corporation Alaska Statutes Title 10.
If you need further assistance regarding your business name you are encouraged to seek legal counsel.
For additional resources, which may provide technical, informational or advisory assistance, go to:
It is important to note this Division's role is ministerial, not judicial. Our function is to approve or disapprove a name based upon statutes and regulation. Approval or disapproval of a name is not a determination of legal rights. A determination made by the Division may be appealed to the Superior Court for a trial de novo.
If you have questions you can reach us at either the Juneau or Anchorage phone numbers listed below or email us at:
When contacting this office please direct your questions to the appropriate Section: Corporations, Professional Licensing or Business Licensing. Each Section specializes in its own licensing requirements per Alaska statutes and regulations.