If you want to understand how to form an LLC in Wyoming, we offer a step-by-step guide. The reason why we decided to create our own guide is that such publications are often incomplete and complicated to understand on different sites. As a result, people assume that it's not easy to open an LLC in Wyoming. In fact, it's not that hard at all.
With our tips, you will know the answers to the following questions:
Even if you plan to hire a professional agency to help you form an LLC in Wyoming, this guide will help you choose the right package and pay for services you really need, as well as avoid any upsells.
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We analyzed all the stages of Wyoming LLC registration, including actions that aren't always required but are, however, often necessary. Some of them, e.g. filing a DBA, you can do later or skip altogether. Nevertheless, we'd still recommend you consider all tips provided in this guide to build your own sequence of actions and make your LLC work in full force.
The first thing you need to do is choose a name for your company. This is a very important step, without which, further instructions on how to start an LLC in Wyoming are virtually senseless. Of course, your LLC name has to be unique and to your liking. But that's not all - there are certain rules that you must follow:
Make sure in advance that your chosen LLC name is available for registration. Otherwise, your setting up an LLC in Wyoming may take much longer than expected. That said, you will need to resubmit the paperwork with a new LLC name.
Once you know the name doesn't violate Wyoming state law, check if there's an existing company with the same business name (or a very similar name).
You can check the availability of your chosen name for free on this page on the Wyoming Secretary of State's website.
Things to look out for when checking your business name:
In Wyoming, a trade name or DBA (doing business as) is a fictitious name that you can use for marketing and branding purposes instead of your official LLC name. Before your file a DBA, make sure you will then be able to legally use it in commerce, i.e. it doesn't violate any other company's trademark. Note that a WY DBA doesn't offer any protection.
DBAs are popular due to the following reasons:
In the state of Wyoming, LLCs are not required to file a DBA. However, if you want to save your catchy LLC name from competitors, it's best to file an Application for Registration of Trade Name in advance. The filing fee in Wyoming is $100. The application can be sent by mail.
Note that it's mandatory that your business has to be physically located in the state of Wyoming. If you want to use the trade name outside of the state, you need to research the business name requirements of the relevant state. Wyoming DBA is only valid in the state.
Another important step to take before starting an LLC in Wyoming is choosing a registered agent.
A registered agent (RA) is the official representative of your LLC who will receive important legal and tax documents on behalf of your company from the state, as well as receive service of process (in case of any lawsuits filed against your LLC).
Under Wyoming law, any state resident or business owner can be an RA for an LLC, as long as they are over the age of 18 and have a street address in Wyoming (not just a P.O. box). This can also be a business entity.
The main requirements for RAs in Wyoming are as follows:
You may choose to act as your own RA for a for-profit company or for yourself (either personally or by choosing a representative from your LLC members).
Often, inexperienced entrepreneurs find that creating an LLC in Wyoming is too much of a challenge. Therefore, they prefer to act as their own registered agent for the LLC.
The advantages of being your own RA are quite obvious:
On the other hand, this solution also has its significant disadvantages as follows:
That's why experienced entrepreneurs often choose a professional RA service. Such companies usually charge from $50 to $300 per year, however, most often the yearly cost is around $100. In addition to handling your business correspondence, reputable RA services will also offer their support in your business operations, e.g. send you timely reminders about your annual reports or deadlines and make sure your LLC is compliant with the state.
If you plan to run your business in more than one state simultaneously, consider cooperation with national RA services. These are large companies that have their offices across the USA. Hiring such a company can be really beneficial and convenient as you will be working with a single business entity. Plus, such companies can offer great discounts for bulk orders.
Now let's get to the main step of the entire registration process - filling out and filing your Articles of Organization with the Wyoming Secretary of State.
Articles of Organization are part of the official document used to create a limited liability company at the state level. Articles of Organization are required by law in each US state.
You can apply in two ways:
LLC Articles of Organization must include the following information:
The state filing fee to register an LLC in Wyoming is $100 (by mail). If you apply online, you will have to add $2, which is not refundable if your application is not registered due to any mistakes or errors.
If you are mailing the statement of information (initial report), in addition to the application, you will also need to include the fee in the envelope to confirm the payment.
Wyoming Secretary of State.
2020 Carey Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82002
In Wyoming, the processing time for applications by mail is usually around 15 business days, following the date of Articles of Organization receipt at the Secretary of State’s office.
An operating agreement (OA) is not an obligatory document for an LLC in Wyoming. Moreover, you don't need to register it and pay any filing fees. However, most LLCs prefer to create an OA. Experienced business owners will prepare this document in advance during the LLC registration so that by the time you start your business operations, you already have this useful document.
An OA is more of a contract between all members of the LLC, which describes the main rules, regulations, and provisions of the company. These include the distribution of duties, responsibilities, profits/losses, and rights between all members of the LLC. The document also describes actions in case of any disputes or when any of the members leaves the LLC (or passes away), methods of solving other controversial issues, and much more.
An experienced lawyer can help you prepare an OA; in addition, many companies that help form a business offer customizable templates of this document as part of their service packages or as a separate service.
Here's what you should include in the OA:
An OA is usually prepared with the help of an attorney. Once you have it, it should be approved and signed by each member of the LLC. Then your OA should store the document with the main business documents of the company in the principal office.
So if your company will have more than one member, it makes sense to work on the OA. Such an internal contract will help avoid lawsuits in case a dispute arises between the members of the LLC. If the problematic situation is described in the OA in advance, lawsuits become meaningless since there is a clear and unambiguous rule to follow.
If you don't have an OA and disputes arise within the company, most often they will be resolved in court and decided according to state law and precedent.
This step is optional. In fact, publishing a notice of new company formation (press release) is already waived in most states, as the information is automatically sent to the Secretary of State's website for the list of legal entities. This helps notify all concerned that the company exists and also helps to avoid fraudulent actions.
There are only three states that still require publication in local newspapers:
However, at the LLC formation Wyoming stage, many companies still create and publish press releases on various websites and social networks. This helps advertise the company among potential clients and business partners, get links from reputable online portals, and improve your website's SEO.
You can consult professional marketers and SEO experts that will help you place publications about your company on the right websites.
An EIN is a unique 9-digit tax identification number for businesses, similar in nature to the SSN code for individuals in the United States. In most cases, you need to get an EIN from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) after your LLC registration Wyoming to pay federal taxes, hire employees for your LLC, open a separate bank account, and apply for business licenses or permits.
But there are some exceptions when you don't have to get an EIN:
In such cases, as a one-member LLC, you can use your own Social Security number (SSN) for IRS purposes.
But even in these cases, we recommend getting an EIN for your LLC. Without a tax code, it will be difficult for your company to open a commercial bank account or get a loan. Most banks require an EIN, and if you don't have one, they may refuse to cooperate. In addition, interaction with the government and the IRS through the EIN will help you avoid unnecessary publicity and related fraud against you.
As mentioned earlier, if you don't have an EIN, you can use the SSN to file tax reports and other documents. However, such documents often end up in the public domain. Also, you shouldn't mix your personal and business finances, because in case of any business problems or lawsuits, you will lose the protection of your life savings.
A big advantage is that getting an EIN is very easy. Most guides dedicated to answering the question of how to set up an LLC in Wyoming don't even bother addressing this point in detail:
Regardless of your application method, getting your EIN is completely free of charge. That's why we don't recommend paying for the service with various companies that help you with forming an LLC in Wyoming. The only exception is if this service is included in the default package. In that case, you can decide for yourself how you want to proceed.
So how much is an LLC in Wyoming? The easiest way to answer this question is to consider the Wyoming LLC filing fee. In this case, it’s $100.
Apart from the filing fee, additional costs may also include:
If you can't figure out how to register an LLC in Wyoming or you don't have time to prepare all the documents independently, you can hire a professional business formation service to help you with the registration process. There are quite a few reputable companies to choose from. Study their online ratings and customer feedback on review sites so that you can choose the most suitable option for your business.
Another interesting point is that when addressing professional LLC formation services, their cheapest package will most probably cost you less than $100 (excluding the state filing fee). In addition to the filing service, such a package also often includes a year of free registered agent services.
This may seem like a smart decision since, in the end, the overall Wyoming LLC cost is somewhat lower than registering on your own. Plus, you can save yourself a lot of time.
Once you've officially established an LLC in Wyoming, you can get to work. However, we recommend two other optional but very important steps to consider: opening a separate bank account and getting appropriate insurance policies for your business.
Basically, under Wyoming law, you have every right to receive payment and pay your LLC bills from your personal bank account. However, having a business account allows for a whole list of benefits as follows:
That said, let's talk a little more about the last point. The fact is that in the U.S., there's such a thing as a "corporate veil" for LLCs. Often, LLCs with a single owner is formed specifically for this. The essence of the "corporate veil" is that only the LLC is responsible for the debts of the company. The assets of the LLC members remain untouched. But this only works if your business and personal funds are segregated.
Therefore, to take advantage of the corporate veil, never receive payments from clients to your personal bank account and, vice versa, never pay personal bills from your business account. Any violation of this rule will help your adversary's lawyers or creditors pierce your LLC's corporate veil in court. If this happens, chances are you'll have to use your personal assets to pay your company's debts.
Getting the right insurance policy for your business makes sense. You can choose the policies that are most relevant to your line of business. The following ones are the most popular:
Now that your business is fully up and running, you need to remember that your LLC must remain compliant with federal and Wyoming state laws and regulations.
Keep in mind that such laws and regulations may change occasionally. That's why you want to keep an eye on any changes on the Secretary of State's website and in the laws that govern your line of business.
Depending on your business sphere, some businesses require general or professional business licenses and permits at different levels - federal, state, and local (city, county). Thankfully, Wyoming doesn't require LLCs to get a general business license.
However, to be 100% sure, doing your own research still makes sense. If your business is engaged in general contracting, food products, construction, public land, real estate, healthcare, consumer credit, education, large-scale projects, fire prevention, agriculture, transportation, environmental protection, wildlife, pollution control, insurance, etc., you should reach out to an appropriate department in your city and ask if you need a special permit of license.
To avoid hefty fines (or else), simply address your local government to check if your business needs specific documentation to operate. You can also visit the Wyoming Secretary of State's website to read more about this.
Depending on your business sphere, you will need to register to pay one or more state fees as follows:
In terms of federal law, LLCs are treated as pass-through entities, which means no double taxation, corporate income tax, or any other entity-level tax for the company. Instead, each member of the LLC contributes the profits or losses made to his or her own tax return.
To do this, the following forms are filled out:
You'll also need to pay social security taxes, whether or not you have hired employees on the staff. If you do though, don't forget to collect taxes from their wages.
In the state of Wyoming, all LLCs are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State and pay the license tax considering the following requirements:
To avoid such violations and preserve your business reputation, you should keep an eye on reminders from your registered agent.
A limited liability company is a welcoming legal structure for many businesses. Start an LLC is easy. Select your state to start.