Are you a new business owner? Want to protect your business from future lawsuits? You should form an LLC. Moreover, you can form an LLC and keep your identity protected as well. In this guide, we’ll help you learn how to form an LLC anonymously.
You can run your company and your address and name will not become part of the public record. Want to know more? In this comprehensive guide, we will tell you all you need to know about forming an LLC anonymously!
It is very easy to set up an anonymous LLC. However, there are some rules and regulations that you need to keep an eye on while running this type of company.
Are you in a hurry and don’t have time to go through the comprehensive review?
Northwest Registered Agent offers the best privacy features for forming your LLC. Here’s why that is important:
Northwest is more expensive than other LLC formation services, but if you want to protect your privacy, they are the best in the business!
Why should you form an anonymous LLC? What are its benefits and drawbacks? Before we dive into this discussion, let’s see what an LLC is and we will go on from there.
Owning an anonymous LLC doesn’t mean that you are going to work from the shadows and do something illegal. It is simply about keeping your personal information off the public records to maintain your privacy. Your ownership will be known to your bank and the IRS as well.
For instance, when you are going to open your business bank account, you have to provide your home address. You can’t give a fake address, the address to a private mailbox, or someone else’s address. However, this information never becomes part of public records so you don’t have to worry about your privacy getting breached!
To protect your company from potential lawsuits, you can form an LLC. An LLC is a business structure that provides liability protection and keeps your business and personal assets separate. An LLC combines the elements of general partnerships, corporations, and sole proprietorships to give you the best of all of them.
The owners or members of the LLC are not responsible and personally accountable for the business’s financial status. LLCs are low-cost, easy to maintain, and flexible when it comes to tax options. The regulations for LLC formation vary from state to state.
However, a few rules are common and universal such as filing Articles of Organization, designate registered agents, etc.
Now that we understand what an LLC is, comes the question that matters the most: What is an anonymous LLC? Well, an anonymous LLC is an LLC with the potential to keep your identity protected. Instead of being a member-managed LLC, it is more of a “manager-managed” LLC.
What is the difference between the two? Well, the main difference is that a manager-managed LLC is not legally obligated to disclose the name of its owners and make them a part of the public records. Contrary to this, the names of a member-managed LLC need to be public.
There is no legal difference between the two, though and there is no difference in the way they are formed as well, which we will discuss later. anonymous LLCs are also referred to as confidential LLCs or private LLCs.
There are plenty of good reasons for forming an anonymous LLC. Let’s quickly look at a few of them.
Here are a few misconceptions regarding anonymous LLCs that we would like to debunk.
No state prohibits the formation of an anonymous LLC. However, some are simply better at this than others and it is very likely if you call your state office, they will not be of much help. However, there are a couple of states that are very famous for providing the anonymous LLC option such as Delaware, New Mexico, and Wyoming.
Four states in the US allow you to form completely anonymous LLCs– Delaware, New Mexico, Nevada, and Wyoming. In other states, you will have to provide a little information and some of it will become part of public records. Instead of hiring a business attorney, you should get help from professional LLC incorporation services such as IncFile or ZenBusiness.
For US residents, we recommend that your state of LLC formation should be the state you are doing business in. If you form your LLC in a separate state, that will be difficult and expensive considering foreign qualification fees, licenses, permits, etc.
For non-US residents, states such as Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico, etc. are great options because they give you the automatic option of forming an anonymous LLC.
In Delaware, the ownership information is not published but is certainly disclosed to the state. Any changes in the law in the future can cause this information to become public. Moreover, you have to pay annual franchise fees as well as annual report fees.
The state of Delaware is aware of the importance of privacy and offers various privacy protections that ensure you enjoy doing business in the state without the added tension and worry about unwanted solicitors.
In Delaware, there are various advantages when it comes to LLC formation. Let’s see what they are:
In New Mexico, you don’t have to submit the ownership information or the management info to the state. However, you have to pay corporate income tax. However, sole-member LLCs and pass-through entities don’t have to worry about this anyways.
Now is the time for the most important question: How to form an anonymous LLC. The process for forming a regular LLC and an anonymous LLC is the same. The only difference is that when you file the articles of organization, the personal details that you provide are kept off the public records.
The basic steps for forming an anonymous LLC are:
As we mentioned above, a few states are very helpful when it comes to forming an anonymous LLC. Get in touch with an expert LLC incorporation service such as Northwest registered agent and they will give you all the information that you need.
An LLC’s name is very important. It is the first thing that your customers see or hear and it leaves an ever-lasting impact on them. A catchy, unique LLC name is something that will help you catch the attention of more people.
Once you have brainstormed and selected a name, check the database of the state of formation to see if that name is available. If it is available, and you don’t want to file your LLC as yet, simply pay name reservation fees and keep other people from getting their hands on it!
Every state has a few guidelines regarding which terms you can use in your LLC’s name which are forbidden. Go through those guidelines as well to prevent any issues with your paperwork later.
To ensure that your state has a reliable and credible way of contacting you, you have to hire a registered agent. You can become your own registered agent, choose a professional LLC incorporation company as your registered agent, or ask your friend or family member to become your registered agent.
If you become your own registered agent, your name and address will become part of the public records which will nullify the whole purpose of forming an anonymous LLC in the first place, Moreover, you will be vigilant about meeting all the deadlines as well as stay available during working hours.
Your friend and family member will have the same concerns regarding privacy. Moreover, they are humans as well and can very likely forget to send over important documents to you. Therefore, we recommend that you choose a professional registered agent.
With a service provider like Northwest Registered Agent, you will not have zero privacy concerns but you will get your legal documents right on time. Moreover, you will also get your hands on their highly-valued features such as one-on-one customer support, local scanning of documents, annual compliance, etc.
Once you choose the name and the registered agent for your anonymous LLC, you need to draft the articles of organization. These papers will contain the information necessary to form your LLC.
This information will be part of the state records but will not be on display to the public if you opt for an anonymous LLC. You can fill out the details on your state’s website or mail in a physical form.
We recommend that you don’t draft the papers yourself as you are not a lawyer or someone proficient in legal jargon. The whole filing process takes a few weeks, and if you have made a mistake in the documents, you will have wasted a lot of your precious time.
It is always a safe bet to go with a professional incorporation company such as ZenBusiness.
An Employer ID number is synonymous with a social security number. Individuals pay their taxes, etc. with the social security number. Similarly, for businesses, there are EINs that they use to hire employees, pay their taxes, open LLC bank accounts, etc.
You can get an EIN by filling out the required details on the IRS website. However, again, we ask you to take professional help since filing for an EIN is a technical job, especially if you are a layman and prone to errors.
A business operating agreement is the document that outlines the ownership and hierarchy of your company, the rules for day-to-day operations, along with regulations about profits division, voting powers, company dissolution, etc.
You don’t have to submit this document to your state of formation. However, it is very necessary that you draft one to ensure the smooth running and working of your company. If you have selected an LLC incorporation company to help you form your anonymous LLC, you can ask them to draft a customized business operating agreement for you.
Professional service providers usually offer business operating agreements as part of their LLC incorporation packages or offer this as a separate service as well. You can select the option that is easier for you and your business.
Depending on the type of business you are going to run, you will need permits or licenses. Are you going to open a health clinic? Are you going to open a catering service? No matter what kind of business you do, you will need a license or permit to run it successfully.
Every state has different licensure requirements and so does every county, city, etc. You should check your state’s website as well as visit your local town hall to know what kind of permits do you need.
It is very likely that you will not know how to file for a particular license. In such a case, instead of making errors and landing yourself in potential lawsuits, you should hire a professional LLC incorporation service.
Not only will they ensure that you fulfill all the requirements but they will also make sure that you do so in a timely fashion. The sooner you get a license, the quicker it will be for you to get your business up and running!
These are the basic steps that you need to follow to form your LLC. However, there are various other requirements such as business bank account, business web domain, etc. that will help you run your business. Choose the best LLC incorporation service and you will not have to worry about anything at all!
Who doesn’t value their privacy, right? If you want to keep your private life away from the scrutiny of the public eye, you should form an anonymous LLC. A few states allow more flexibility while forming an anonymous LLC as we have discussed above.
To know more and make sure that you are choosing the best possible option, you should get the help of expert LLC incorporation services such as ZenBusiness or Northwest Registered Agent instead of making errors on your own.