How to Start an LLC in Wyoming: Cost and Registration Steps

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Last updated February 17, 2023
Written by Dmytro Kondratiev
Editor, lawyer
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how to start an LLC in Wyoming

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:

  • What information do you need to prepare to open an LLC?
  • What Wyoming regulations and rules to follow during the registration process?
  • How much does it cost to form an LLC in Wyoming?
  • What additional costs do you need to consider after WY LLC registration?
  • How long does it take to open an LLC in Wyoming?
  • What additional actions to take after the registration?

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.

How to Form an LLC in Wyoming: Step-by-Step Instructions

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.

1. Name Your LLC

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:

  • Your business name must necessarily include an indication of your type of business. This can be the words "limited liability company" or one of its abbreviations, "LLC" or "L.L.C.";
  • Just like in any other US state, some words and phrases are restricted. First and foremost, these are words that might make people think your LLC has something to do with the government agencies. For example, words like "treasury," "department," "police," "FBI," etc. are prohibited. It's also unacceptable to use a name that would hint at any type of illegal activity;
  • If your business requires obtaining professional licenses and permits, check to see if they are available and obtainable before choosing a name. The fact is that it's forbidden to use words related to such business activities in your LLC name, unless, of course, you have the necessary license. This applies to words like "bank," "financial," "medical," "legal," "doctor," etc.;
  • The name of your LLC should be markedly different from any business names of other existing entities operating within the state of Wyoming. This is to avoid confusion.

How to Check Your LLC Name Availability

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:

  • Don't indicate the "limited liability company" phrase or "LLC" abbreviation (or any other similar abbreviation) at the end of your business name. A corporation, partnership, or non-profit organization may have the same name. Thus, the only difference in the form of entity type will not be considered legit;
  • Conduct your name search several times to make sure there's no other too similar or almost the same name with slightly different word order or a different form of one or two words. There is a high probability that such a similar name will not be approved upon verification as well;
  • If you have words in your name that require a professional license, it's best to check beforehand if your name complies with all the necessary rules. You can do this with a professional lawyer, consultant, or the Secretary of State. In the latter case, you may have to wait for the answer;
  • If for some reason you aren't ready to form an LLC at the moment, you can still prevent others from taking your chosen business name. Simply reserve the name on the Wyoming Secretary of State's website and get back to it when you're ready to start your business. The name reservation fee is $50.

Trade Name or DBA

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:

  • Once you start to delve further into the question of how to get an LLC in Wyoming and choose an LLC name, you may face some problems. Short and catchy names that you like might be already taken. So you might have to search good and make sure your DBA name isn’t already in use. Also, official business names that have the "L.L.C." abbreviation at the end are not always looking appealing in terms of marketing. Thus, you can use a smart DBA name that doesn't have to include your type of business entity;
  • To let people know your company by your DBA name, you can use the latter on your signage and website, as well as in your promotional materials, business cards, brochures, and for any other marketing purpose. Whereas your official business name will only appear in legal and tax documents;
  • If you decide to expand or change your list of products/services, the easiest way to let your customers know about this is to file a DBA name. This is easier and cheaper than registering a new LLC or making changes to your official name. You simply register a new DBA and use it for promotion.

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.

2. Hire a Registered Agent to Get an LLC in Wyoming

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:

  • The RA must have a physical address (office) within the state of Wyoming;
  • The registered agent may be any individual resident of the state or an entity registered in the state of Wyoming as a company that provides registered agent services;
  • The RA must be constantly available during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

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:

  • Money saving. You don't pay anyone for services that you can perform for yourself;
  • Simplicity. You receive and manage all documents and correspondence personally - there is no need for scanning and forwarding anything;
  • Convenience. You need to keep the only address up to date - your home address.

On the other hand, this solution also has its significant disadvantages as follows:

  • Lack of privacy. Your address, name, and phone number will be publicly available on the Secretary of State's website since registered agents' information is always accessible;
  • Junk mail. Any publicly available information of legal entities is actively used for marketing purposes. You will get a lot of calls and junk mail, which you will have to sort out yourself. And this takes time, you know. Plus, if you're not attentive enough, you risk missing important correspondence;
  • Tight work schedule. Since, as an RA, you are required to be available from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during all business days, you'll have to forget about sick leaves, trips, vacations, mid-week days off, and even lunch breaks. If you are not available to receive service of process, the state government may consider that your company is operating without a registered agent. And that leads to loss of reputation, fines, and might even cause dissolution of the LLC;
  • Loss of business reputation. If you are meeting your clients at the home office, an agent for service of process may pay you a visit. In this case, you will be required to stop your business meeting and give priority to the agent. This can negatively affect your business reputation, and your clients will know that someone has filed a lawsuit against you;
  • You are personally responsible for all mistakes/errors in the registration documents. If a mistake is made by a professional RA, he or she is accountable before your and the law. In case there’s a mistake in your business documents, and this costs you financial or other losses, you can get compensation voluntarily or through the court. Whereas, if you are your own RA, any mistake is entirely your fault.

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.

3. File Your LLC Articles of Organization

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:

  • Name of the LLC;
  • Name and address of the registered agent;
  • The mailing address of the company for the Wyoming Secretary of State;
  • Principal office address;
  • Management method (member-managed or manager-managed LLC);
  • The effective date of starting an LLC in Wyoming (if you're not ready to start your business operations at the moment). If you skip this field, your LLC will be considered "active" from the date of formation, i.e. once your Articles of Organization are approved by the Secretary of State);
  • LLC dissolution date. If you plan to run your company for a certain limited period of time, you will need to indicate the date when your LLC will dissolve and no longer exist. If this field is left blank, the LLC is considered "perpetual";
  • Signature and contact information of the organizer.

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.

Mail to:

Wyoming Secretary of State.

2020 Carey Avenue

Suite 700

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.

4. Prepare an Operating Agreement

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:

  • Rights and responsibilities. This section describes who is responsible for general company management, finances, etc. It also describes the rules for the redistribution of rights and obligations. For example, if one of the members leaves the LLC or, on the contrary, if new members join the LLC;
  • Liability. Who and how is responsible for the company's business activities, including in case of possible errors, mistakes, and other potential risks or problems;
  • Governance. Whether the LLC will be run by members or managers. If you are going to hire employees to manage your company, you will need to describe their rights, duties, responsibilities, hiring and firing methods, etc.;
  • Distribution of profits. How, in what time frame, and in what shares will your company profits be distributed, and what methods will be used for payments;
  • Selling shares of the business. If one of the LLC members wants to leave the company and sell his/her part of the assets, you want to describe exactly how this process will go, what options are allowed, how profits will be paid for the period before the sale, and so on;
  • Rules for new members to join the LLC. This section describes how you will add new members to your LLC, as well as how their rights, responsibilities, and profits will be distributed;
  • LLC dissolution methods. Over time, you might want to consider shutting down your LLC (for any reason). Therefore, the mechanism of LLC dissolution needs to be thought through in advance;
  • Making amendments to OA. After some time, you might want to change the rules of the company. This means that you will need to amend your LLC's operating agreement. Determine the procedure for making changes in the OA. You can also add any other points that are important to you.

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.

5. Wyoming LLC Publication Requirement

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:

  • New York,
  • Nebraska,
  • Arizona.

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.

6. Get an EIN for Your Wyoming LLC Registration

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:

  • If your LLC has only one member;
  • You don't plan to hire employees;
  • You are not taxed as a C corporation or an S corporation.

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:

  • You need to go to the IRS website and apply online. The form itself is very simple, and you can fill it out in 5 minutes. After that, it will only require a few more minutes before you can get your own EIN;
  • You can also download Form SS-4 and mail or fax it to the IRS. This method is not fast enough due to the delivery aspect and the workload of the IRS staff who will process your request.

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.

LLC Wyoming Cost: How Much Does It Cost to Form an LLC in WY?

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:

  • LLC name reservation ($50). You will need to pay the fee if you come up with a really good name for your company, but still want to delay registration for one reason or another. Name reservations for LLCs are available for a period of up to 120 days. During this time, your reserved business name will be deemed  unavailable for others at name checks;
  • Registered agent services ($100/year, on average). We recommend hiring professional RA agencies, as they really have something to offer to businesses, including beneficial additional services. The cost of services is also more than affordable - you can find a company that offers registered agent services for less than $100. Most often these are small, local RA companies. Make sure you carefully study the reputation and experience of your potential business partner. However, we'd still recommend you to choose major RA companies, most of which offer their services at $150 per year or so;
  • Operating Agreement. Drafting a document may require the assistance of a lawyer or a template-based document service. Business formation companies will often include the service in their packages.

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.

First Things to Take Care of After Creating an LLC in Wyoming

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.

Commercial Bank Account

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:

  • Your accounting will be easier and more transparent. Thus, you'll be able to easily manage your transactions (received/paid) and control the totals. And you won't have to manually calculate which money transactions are business-related and which are your personal expenses or profits;
  • You will be able to work with large companies. Often corporations that work with businesses refuse to send payments to or accept payments from individuals. A commercial bank account will help you enhance confidence in your LLC and avoid any limitations;
  • You will be able to accept credit card payments. For an individual's personal account, this feature is not usually available;
  • It will be easier and more profitable to get a loan for business development from a bank. Your bank will be able to see and analyze the movement of your LLC's funds through the business account, i.e. see how well your business is growing. And in case of a loan request, it will provide the necessary funds on more favorable terms;
  • Protect your personal assets. Perhaps the most important advantage of a business bank account is that thanks to the separation of your personal and corporate assets, in the event of bankruptcy or foreclosure, your personal savings will remain untouchable.

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.

Business Insurance

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:

  • General liability insurance. This policy will cover your business from lawsuits filed against your company. In the state of Wyoming, all companies are required to have such an insurance policy;
  • Professional liability insurance. This policy can be useful for providers of various services and covers against claims related to the quality of their delivery, malpractice, and other issues that may occur when providing such services;
  • Workers' compensation insurance covers medical and wage benefits that an employee receives in the event of illness or injury at the workplace. Also, in the event of the death of an employee at work, the family members or relatives of the employee will get death benefits. This policy is mandatory in the state of Wyoming.

LLC Compliance

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.

Business Licenses

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.

Wyoming State Tax Requirements

Depending on your business sphere, you will need to register to pay one or more state fees as follows:

  • Sales Tax license. In Wyoming, if you sell physical taxable products, you will usually need a seller's permit. You can get one from the Wyoming Department of Revenue. You will need to complete a Sales and Use Tax License Application and pay a $60 fee to register on the website. To apply, you will need to provide the following basic information about your business: ownership name, business entity type, sales volume estimate, contact details, and product description. After getting your sales tax license, you will pay sales your taxes based on it, depending on your sales volume and type of products;
  • Unemployment tax. If your LLC has employees working in Wyoming, you'll need to pay Wyoming unemployment insurance (UI) tax. The UI tax funds unemployment compensation programs for eligible employees. In Wyoming, the state UI tax is one of the primary taxes that employers must pay.

Federal Taxes

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:

  • IRS Form 1065, Return of Partnership (for LLCs with more than one member) to declare profits/losses, deductions, and credits of an LLC;
  • Schedule C (IRS Form 1040) (for single-member LLCs) to indicate the profits or losses from your business on your tax return.

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.

Annual Report

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:

  • If your total LLC assets are no more than $300,000, you will need to pay the fee of $60. If they are greater, however, you will need to multiply your total value by 0.0002;
  • Payment deadline. Every 1st day of the month, when your LLC was formed, you will need to pay the fee. The same deadline is for filing your annual report;
  • Filing deadline. Wyoming has no penalties for late filing of the report and tax. But if you don't file within 60 days of the due date, your LLC will no longer be considered in good standing with the state.

To avoid such violations and preserve your business reputation, you should keep an eye on reminders from your registered agent.

Start an LLC

A limited liability company is a welcoming legal structure for many businesses. Start an LLC is easy. Select your state to start.

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