Forming your Anonymous LLC with L4SB puts experienced business lawyers on your side. They ensure your business is properly registered in the state that offers the best privacy and anonymity for you and your business. It also means you have licensed attorneys acting as your registered agent, unlike the other guys across the wire. This means your LLC benefits from attorney-client privilege, and you can rely on the advice and counsel of competent business lawyers to advise you in all phases and aspects of your business.
Why is it Critical to Have an Attorney Set Up an Anonymous LLC?
While there are a few Internet companies and individuals offering “Anonymous LLC” services, the problem is anonymity is only as strong as the weakest link. One problem, and anonymity is destroyed.
Therefore, it’s critical to have an attorney setup your Anonymous LLC. Only attorneys can provide attorney-client privilege, attorney-client confidentiality, and make sure things are done correctly. Attorney-client privilege makes it difficult to identify ownership information even through a subpoena. Attorney-client confidentiality means you’re not relying on someone’s promise to maintain your confidence — an attorney has an ethical duty and obligation to maintain your confidence.
You can form an Anonymous LLC if any of these states is your home state, by doing things carefully. Get started now!
If you live in California (CA), then we recommend a slightly different approach from what we outlined above. You still need to own two companies, but one is a Management company instead of a Holding Company:
(1) An Anonymous LLC in New Mexico (NM) as a Management Company. You (and if any partners) will own this Management Company, in New Mexico, which will be the Manager for one or more Operating Companies located in California (CA). We recommend New Mexico, simply because it’s the least expensive to setup, maintain and take down. There are no other legal advantages using an Anonymous LLC from another state in this setup, because the Management company is not handling or processing money, not paying taxes and shouldn’t have any liabilities to worry about, provided you’ve set everything up as we’ve advised. (2) A regular LLC in California (CA) as the Operating Company. This Operating Company will be owned by you (and if any partners), but managed by the Anonymous LLC as a Management Company. There are two reasons why you need things setup this way: First, the State of California (CA) requires disclosure of Members or Managers but not both — so by doing things this way, we have a Manager who is anonymous to protect your personal identity. Second, the Management Company should not be handling any money or revenue, therefore should bypass the California Franchise Tax Board’s requirements on “doing business in the State of California” (See California Franchise Tax Board, Doing Business in California).
If you live in Oregon (OR), then we simply don’t have any good options for you, unless you already own a physical address in Oregon (OR) that doesn’t trace back to you. This is because the State of Oregon (OR) decided to be the only state in the union to prohibit the use of CMRA’s (virtual mailboxes) in state registrations — which makes it impossible to register a parent/child setup as we do in all the other states, without violating Oregon (OR) law. If you know you’re not conducting business in Oregon (OR) or you have a physical address in Oregon (OR) that doesn’t trace back to you, then you can simply form an Anonymous LLC in another state. Get started now!
If you live in another state not mentioned above, then things are tricky — your home state discloses ownership information. Therefore, it’s important to form two companies: (1) An Anonymous LLC as a Holding Company. You (and if any partners) will own this Holding Company, in an Anonymous state, which in turn will own one or more Operating Companies. (2) A regular LLC in your Home State as the Operating Company. This Operating Company will be owned by the Anonymous LLC as a Holding Company, and you will own the Holding Company. In this way, ownership information is disclosed in your Home State as the Anonymous LLC Holding Company, instead of you personally.
What You Need to Start an Anonymous LLC
Starting an Anonymous LLC is easy, provided you hire the right company to help you. You only need three things to get started:
- Consult a local attorney and tax professional, to make sure you are setting things up that best meet your needs.
- A name for your Operating Company.
- Some “physical mailing address” (which cannot be a PO Box). This mailing address can be located anywhere in the world, although we strongly recommend the address not be associated with you. A common mail option is the Virtual Mailbox Service provided by Law 4 Small Business.
States that permit anonymous LLCs include Delaware, New Mexico and Wyoming. Each state has advantages and disadvantages which may influence your state choice depending on your needs.
Delaware is the only state to have the renowned Court of Chancery that is dedicated and streamlined for business. Their laws provide additional protections from personal liability, and they are progressive about keeping fraudulent LLCs out of their state. Delaware also does not require any corporate income tax however a yearly $300 franchise tax is required. Therefore, Delaware may be a good Anonymous LLC choice for those who prefer very business friendly laws and no corporate income tax.
New Mexico is the only state that does not require disclosure of the owners of an Anonymous LLC to the state. The other states do require identification of owners to the state, which means if their laws change, they could potentially publish ownership information without your knowledge or consent. New Mexico does require filing corporate income taxes. Therefore, New Mexico is viewed as the best state for Anonymous LLCs if privacy and confidentiality are your overriding concerns.
Wyoming requires no corporate income tax for LLCs in their state. The only annual fees required by the State of Wyoming for your Anonymous LLC is an Annual Report which is typically $50 but depends on assets within the state. If keeping taxes low is a concern, a Wyoming Anonymous LLC may be a good consideration.
Help Me Decide
We know there are many options and factors to consider. Let our expert system Business Entity Selector Tool find the perfect entity for you.
Not sure which state is the right state to form your Anonymous LLC? Use the following chart to help you decide. The answer depends on where you live, as well as your tax and privacy concerns.
|Delaware||New Mexico||Nevada||Wyoming||Any Other State?|
|If “transacting business”, do you need to register a company in the state?||Yes|
|Great for Asset Protection / Charging Order Protection? (Passed the RULLCA)||Uses Old LLC Act||Uses Old LLC Act||CA, DC, FL, IA, ID, NE, NJ, UT|
|Doesn’t disclose ownership information on the Internet?||Not Anonymous||AL, CO, GA, IA, VA|
|Doesn’t require disclosure of ownership information to the State at all?||Must Disclose||Must Disclose||Must Disclose||IA, GA, CO|
|No Need to File Annual Reports / Pay Annual Fees?||Expensive Annual Fees||Expensive Annual Fees||Annual Reports Required|
|No corporate income tax?||There is Corporate Income Tax||NV, OH, SD, TX, WA|
The Law 4 Small Business Difference
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L4SB is your long-term partner to help you and your business with the inevitable ups-and-downs, and everything in between.
We’re business lawyers, and we understand many small- and medium-sized businesses struggle just to meet payroll, let alone pay for legal services. That’s why we offer a range of flat-rate services, and reasonable hourly rates for everything else.
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