Alaska Small Business Statistics

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Last updated February 17, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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Alaska is the largest, northernmost, and snowiest state in the US. At the same time, it is one of the five least populous states with the lowest GDP at current prices. It stands at just $64,257 million. By comparison, it is $3,558,512 million for California and $1,024,019 million for Illinois.

Thus, Alaska is considered one of the weakest economies in the country. In 2022, its contribution to the nation's total wealth remains less than 0.5%. With that said, Alaska's GDP per capita is surprisingly high: $87,782. While in prosperous Texas, it is only $79,736.

Fishing and extraction of natural resources in the form of oil and gas all contribute to the economy and help strengthen it. In the last two years, there has been more than a 10 percent growth in GDP at current prices. Also, tourism has been booming here considerably.

Nevertheless, business owners have many stumbling blocks to the growth of their companies. These include the difficulty in finding senior staff, the high cost of maintaining the firms, and more.

Let's take a closer look at the statistics for this region!

Alaska Small Business Stats: Key Info

  • More than 90% of all entities registered in the state are small businesses;
  • There are over 73,000 small firms in this area, the majority of them are Alaska LLCs;
  • Alaska's economy averages 1% quarterly growth, which is lower than in most other states;
  • The number of business owners shows marked growth of 1.5% annually;
  • A quarter of respondents note that high operating costs are an obstacle to rapid business growth in Alaska.

Alaska Small Business Stats: Employees

  • The state has a rather high unemployment rate of 4.5%. Alaska tops the list of states for these indicators, outpacing all others. But these figures are slowly but steadily declining at about 0.2% per year;
  • The average salary of an employee in Alaska is $75,888 per year. But these totals vary considerably from city to city. For example, in Valdez, employees make $90,325/year, and in Anchorage, it's $61,452;
  • The highest-paid employees in the state work in the medical field;
  • More than 171,000 workers are employed by small businesses in Alaska;
  • Roughly 53% of the state's workforce is engaged in small firms;
  • Businesses with teams of fewer than 20 people offer plenty of jobs. That's more than 2,500 positions annually;
  • Companies with more than 20 employees are cutting back on staff and reducing the number of jobs by 400.

Most often, workers are employed by businesses in these industries:

IndustrySmall Business Employment
Health Care and Social Assistance28,051
Accommodation and Food Services21,022
Retail Trade14,552

The least number of employees are hired by companies in these industries:

IndustrySmall Business Employment
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction1,704
Management of Companies and Enterprises1,546
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing and Hunting634

Alaska Small Business Stats: Industry

  • The largest industries in the state are Agriculture, Professional, and Construction;
  • The export business is represented by nearly 600 companies generating almost $5 billion in revenues;
  • The smallest number of companies are registered in fields such as Mining and Information.

Below, you will find the list of the state's most widely represented industries:

Industry Number of Firms
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing and Hunting8,892
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services8,452
Retail Trade6,317
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing5,934

The table shows the least overcrowded fields in Alaska:

IndustryNumber of Firms
Wholesale Trade1,001
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction404

Alaska Small Business Stats: Fees

  • Entrepreneurs point out that part of a company's expenses should necessarily be allocated for the registered agent's services in Alaska because it is a state requirement;
  • The cost of registering an LLC in Alaska is at least $250;
  • When running a business in this state, you'll have to pay corporate income tax. The rate will range from 2.0 to 9.40%;
  • There is no franchise tax for firm owners and no state income tax for residents.


Despite the fact of weak economy in the state, we can see great results in decreasing unemployment rates and increasing wages in Alaska. The authorities strive to help entrepreneurs strengthen the state's indicators: incentives, subsidies, and a convenient tax system.

Nevertheless, it is worth assessing all the challenges of doing business in Alaska (difficulties in recruiting staff and expensive company maintenance) in order not to stumble.

This information will help you decide whether or not to open a business in Alaska. Let this article guide you in making the right choice!