Which is better, a Wyoming LLC or a New Mexico LLC?
If you’re looking to decide between forming an LLC in Wyoming and New Mexico. Here is what the Start a Business Hub expert community thinks.
Top answer provided by a business lawyer
I would typically say the “better” state to form a limited liability company (LLC) in would be the state you’re conducting business in.
However, if you are not based in the USA I’ll highlight a few differences between forming an LLC in Wyoming and New Mexico. Please don’t simply rely on internet responses like mine as a substitute for sound legal advice from an attorney though!
- New Mexico: There is no annual corporate tax for New Mexico LLCs. Likewise, there is no state income tax if the LLC receives no income from within New Mexico. New Mexico provides a ton of privacy for members as it will never ask who owns or manages the LLC.So as long as you use a Registered Agent, you can form a New Mexico LLC and there will be no public record of the ownership in the state database. This can be complicated by having to obtain an EIN or opening a company bank account but on the state level, there is no public database of ownership.Finally, the state fee is only $50. No annual reports or fees are required to be filed with New Mexico either.
- Wyoming: Filing fees ($100) are a little more than NM. Annual fees are $50 (compared to 0 for NM). The annual requirements include maintaining a Wyoming Registered Agent and filing your Annual Report.
So the general advice here is that if you are based in the US, you should probably set up your LLC in whichever state you live in. However, if you don’t live in the US or want to compare between these two states specifically, it looks like New Mexico is the cheaper and more private way to form your LLC than in Wyoming.
Let’s look at some more answers from our community of experts here at Start a Business Hub.
New Mexico has a state income tax that would apply to any LLC registered in the state and a franchise tax that applies to an LLC making a corporate election. Wyoming does not have an income tax and only charges a flat annual fee for an LLC registered in the state. Even though you are not residing in a state opening an LLC in any state typically gives you nexus with that state and means that you personally and the business are subject to all state level taxes in that state.
If you don’t have any profit, then New Mexico’s annual minimum fee is slightly less than Wyoming’s, but it you do make a profit, then Wyoming is probably a better choice from a tax perspective.
No matter what the possible tax impact is the “better” state to register an LLC in is the one where you the member actually resides and works.
If you are a foreigner, I would definitely say New Mexico is much better, not because of the income tax exemption both estates give you, but because a New Mexico does not require you file an annual report, and you don’t report who owns the LLC, that gives you an extra layer of privacy. Nonetheless, you would have to disclose the ownership of your LLC to the IRS when you request the EIN.
If you reside in or are national in a country that the United States has no information exchange treaty, then disclosing the ownership of the LLC to the IRS might not be a privacy problem.
The limited liability protections of each state are reasonably similar.
The tax impact of where you form your LLC is not generally relevant. On an operating LLC you are taxed in the state you are doing business in, not the state you formed the entity in. Thus the state of formation is irrelevant for tax purposes.
New Mexico does have a state income and franchise tax, but it is for corporations, not LLCs. An LLC being taxed as a partnership has no state income or franchise tax in New Mexico. These would only apply if you elected to be taxed as a corporation and were doing business in New Mexico. There are no ongoing annual fees applicable to LLCs in New Mexico.
Hopefully, this article has given you the information you need to decide on forming an LLC in either New Mexico or Wyoming.