You may have read or heard about anonymous limited liability companies (LLCs), and wondered what they were, or even doubted that they were legal. In fact, anonymous LLCs are legal in Wyoming, Delaware, Colorado, and New Mexico. Anonymous LLCs provide a legal means for individuals and entities with a legitimate interest in maintaining privacy in their business-related dealings to be able to do so. However, there are three common misconceptions about what anonymous LLCs can and cannot legally accomplish.
You may have seen promotions for “nominee services” that promise complete anonymity to individuals hoping to dodge the IRS or duck out on child support payments by forming an anonymous LLC for their business-related activities. However, forming or maintaining an anonymous LLC is not an impenetrable shield that renders you legally invisible. No legitimate company structure, including an anonymous LLC, can shield your identity from the IRS, from attempts to collect child support, or even for a subpoena to appear in court. Run, do not walk, in the opposite direction from any outfit that makes such claims.
An anonymous LLC provides a high level of privacy, but that privacy is not absolute. It is certainly not designed to allow shady operators to operate under the radar. Despite the claims of less than reputable “nominee services,” anonymous LLCs are not designed to provide cover for shady or illegal business dealings. You cannot legally establish an anonymous LLC as a money laundering operation.
Instead, legitimate functions for an LLC are to provide privacy and protection from harassment. For instance, celebrities, abuse victims, or off-site landlords frequently have legitimate reasons for forming anonymous LLCs for their business operations. This is done by registering the LLC through an authorized third party, such as Law 4 Small Business.
While an anonymous LLC can provide a significant amount of privacy, it is not an absolute shield. If your LLC is party to adverse legal action, an opposing attorney can (and likely will) use discovery and subpoena powers to disclose the identities of the persons or entities behind the anonymous mask. As we stated above, you cannot hide your assets from your bank or the IRS with an anonymous LLC.
Relying on questionable “nominee services” located through Internet searches can result in major legal headaches that can put a real dent in your company’s bottom line. Law 4 Small Business provides real legal advice from licensed attorneys, along with attorney-client privilege. Unlike those “nominee services,” we provide genuine, legally-established anonymous LLCs that protect your privacy while operating within the law. If you have a legitimate reason for pursuing an anonymous LLC, give us a call. We can help.