Start Your US Company in Wyoming
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Start Your US Company in Wyoming
A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a very popular structure for businesses in the US and other parts of the world as it offers business owner/s legal protection if the company gets sued.
If you reside in and/or want to operate a business in Wyoming, you will need to set up a Wyoming LLC. Today we will take you through how to start a Wyoming LLC, step by step so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Step 1: Choose Your LLC’s Name
Your first step on the journey to forming your company is to choose a name for your LLC. You need to make sure that your name isn’t already in use in Wyoming, so make sure that you do some research first and have a few name options at the ready. To find out if the name you want to use is available you can use the Wyoming Business Entity Search.
If you aren’t one hundred percent happy with a name you have chosen, you can use it to start your LLC and register a “trading as” name later if you want to.
Wyoming law, section 17-29-108, states that your business name must end with a designator when starting an LLC. The designators you can choose from in Wyoming are:
- LLC or L.L.C. (the most popular designator)
- LC or L.C.
- Ltd. or LTD.
- Limited Company
- Liability Company
- Ltd. Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
You can add a comma before any of these designators if you wish.
Your LLC name cannot have a designator that makes it sound like a different business type, such as Corp., Inc., Limited Partnership, or Trust, and it cannot contain any abbreviations that indicate a link to a government agency, like CIA or IRA.
It should also be noted that Wyoming is particularly strict on business name distinguishability and may reject your LLC if it is too similar to another name, forcing you to lose the $100 LLC filing fee.
At this time, you may also want to check whether a domain name is available so that you can have all of your assets under one name.
(Note that if your chosen LLC name starts with an “A” followed by a space, you will have to file by mail as opposed to online, so it’s a good idea to avoid doing this unless it’s something you feel is absolutely necessary.)
Optional: Reserve Your Business Name
If you don’t plan to form your business immediately, you may want to reserve your chosen business name so no one else can register it between now and when you are ready to complete the steps in this process.
To register your name, mail this application form to the Wyoming Secretary of State for $50 to reserve your name for up to 4 months.
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
You are required by the Wyoming Secretary of State to list a Registered Agent on your Articles of Organization (we will talk about these in the next step).
A registered agent is an individual or company who is relied upon to receive any legal documents, known as “Service of Process”, on behalf of your LLC so that the legal system can “serve” your company if necessary.
The Registered Agent must have a physical address (PO Boxes are not permitted) in Wyoming, who is able to receive mail from Monday to Friday, 9 AM – 5 PM, i.e. normal business hours, and be over the age of 18.
If you live and work in Wyoming, you can be your own Registered Agent. It can also be a family member or friend. Alternatively, you can pay a Commercial Registered Agent to act as your Registered Agent, who will forward your mail to you or scan it to be forwarded electronically. If you form with doola, we provide you with a Registered Agent.
If you are unsure whether you should act as your own Registered Agent, you can check out our guide here.
Step 3: File Your Articles of Organization
Filing your Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State, as well as a “Consent to Appointment by Registered Agent” are the two most important steps when forming your LLC in Wyoming.
You can complete this step by mail using this form, but it is easier to complete online, with instantaneous formation.
It will cost you $100-$102 to file for your articles, paying either online or by mailing a check with your form hard-copy.
Your completed form will contain the following information:
- the name and office address of your LLC
- the name and mailing address of your registered agent
- your contact information
- the purpose of your business as a simple statement
- an “Effective From” date, whether that be the current date or another date you plan to start trading
- whether your LLC is a series LLC (i.e. an “umbrella company), a professional LLC, a non-profit LLC, or not
- whether or not your LLC is member-managed
With an online form, once submitted, you will immediately receive your Articles of Organization for your LLC which are automatically generated and available to download and save. Only once these have been obtained can you move on to the next steps in this guide.
You can get your Articles of Organization for your Wyoming LLC here.
Step 4: Create Your Operating Agreement
Next, draw up your operating agreement. This is not a legal requirement in the state of Wyoming but it is highly recommended that you have one for your business, especially if there is more than one owner (known as a member) of your LLC.
Since an Operating Agreement is an internal document, it will not have to be shared with anyone outside of your company, but it will help to clarify duties, obligations, and rights between members so that there will be no confusion later down the line, potentially leading to legal issues.
Your Operating Agreement should include:
- the name and address of the LLC
- the name and address of the registered agent
- the full names and roles of all members
- how much money was invested by each member
- the distribution of ownership
- how business taxes will be paid
- the way in which profit and loss will be dealt with and divided between members
- how long the LLC will be in business for if you agree to a predetermined end of business
- business purpose
- how any new members will be taken on
- the procedure for if a member wishes to leave the LLC
- meeting schedules (where appropriate)
- voting procedures and rights
- any other information that should be put down in writing to prevent future problems
Step 5: Get Your EIN Number
Once your LLC has been formed, you can register for your Employer Identification Number (EIN). Your EIN acts like a social security number for your business and is necessary for paying taxes, opening a business bank account, applying for permits and licenses, and other financial processes.
To get your EIN number, you can apply here on the IRS website, receiving your EIN instantly on submission of your application.
(Helpful hint: if you are not a resident of the US, you should input “Foreign” when it asks for your SSN/ITIN/EIN on line 7b.)
If you don’t want to apply online, you can mail in Form SS-4, but you may have to wait up to 4 weeks to get your EIN.
Step 6: Annual Report and Annual License Tax
All Wyoming LLCs must file an Annual Report and pay an annual license tax. These are both due by the first day of the month that your LLC was formed. For example, if your LLC was formed on the 23rd of April, your Annual Report and license tax will be due on the 1st of April each year.
This Annual Report can be filed online with the Wyoming Secretary of State, the first of which will be due the year following the formation of your LLC. If you do not file your Annual Report within 60 days of your due date, the Secretary of State has the power to dissolve the LLC.
Step 7: Apply for Necessary Licenses and Permits
One of the last steps you must complete before you will be able to begin trading is obtaining the necessary business licenses and permits.
The licenses and permits you will need to operate in Wyoming are determined by the industry you are in and the business’ location, there is no state-level business license.
For more information on what licenses and/or permits your LLC might need, you can follow this link to the Licensing and Permitting page from the Wyoming Business Council.
If your LLC has employees or collects sales tax, you might need to register with the Wyoming Department of Revenue. For more information, head to the Department of Revenue site.
Step 8: Get Your Business Bank Account
When you have formed your LLC, you will also need to set up a business bank account to make sure that your business and personal finances are kept separate.
This is not a legal requirement, but it will ensure that your personal assets are less vulnerable should your business get into legal trouble, after all, you most likely chose to structure your business as an LLC to protect those assets.
Step 9: Keep Essential Documents On-Site
It is a legal requirement to keep essential documents at the registered address of your LLC. These documents include:
- a list of names and current addresses of all LLC members
- a copy of the Articles of Organization including any amendments
- the latest Operating Agreement
- recent financial statements
After all 10 of these steps have been completed, your Wyoming LLC is formed, and you can start trading!
Let Us Do the Hard Work for You
While this process is easy enough to do on your own, it will take up a lot of your time filling in forms and ticking boxes, and making sure you are getting everything correct. You probably want to be spending your time working on getting your business ready for trade, such as marketing materials and ensuring that your services or products are up to standard and ready to go.
Lucky for you, we can provide you with the time to do just that by taking care of the LLC formation for you. All you need to do is fill in this short form, and we will handle all these steps for you, including getting your LLC name registered, filing for the Articles of Organization, and getting your EIN for you. Let us take care of the admin so you can feel like a CEO from the word go.
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