State v. ABC Towing

In State v. ABC Towing, 954 P.2d 575, 577-78 (Alaska Ct. App. 1998), the Alaska Court of Appeals held: At common law, sole proprietorships are not "legal entities". Neither are partnerships . . . . Rather, sole proprietorships and partnerships are deemed to be merely the alter egos of the proprietor or the partners (as individuals). In a sole proprietorship, all of the proprietor's assets are completely at risk, and the sole proprietorship ceases to exist upon the proprietor's death. . . . With regard to a sole proprietorship, Alaska law deems the "company" to be simply an alter ego of the proprietor, who is engaged in commerce under a nom d'affaires--an assumed name adopted for business purposes. See Roeckl v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., 885 P.2d 1067 (Alaska 1994), which contains a lengthy discussion of an individual's legal ability to conduct business or business transactions under an assumed name. Roeckl notes that, unless a person uses a fictitious business name in order to facilitate a fraud, it has always been legal for a person to transact business in the name of a fictitious entity that has no legal existence apart from the individual(s) running the business.