Most fishing businesses are organized as "sole proprietorships", where the business owner and business activities are the same, and the owner is responsible for all liabilities of the business. There are several other options for organizing your business, however. Read on for more information on various types of business structures.
Below is a 45-minute podcast explaining various business structures you might consider (including proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability partnerships and corporations), as well as an extensive discussion of how liability is defined in maritime law. Speakers are Alaska Sea Grant's former business specialist, Glenn Haight, and Mark Manning, a maritime attorney practicing in Anchorage, Alaska.
Note: Forming a specific business structure is complex, and should be done in consultation with a CPA, an attorney or other professionals.
For a broad discussion of state requirements for various business structures, download "Establishing a Business in Alaska," from the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.