Anonymous LLCs allow an individual or group of individuals to own an LLC without disclosing their personal information on the articles of incorporation. The purpose of the privacy which an anonymous LLC provides is to prevent predatory attorneys and creditors from accessing personal information which is made public through the formation of an LLC. This information has the potential to make an individual an appealing target for unscrupulous and belligerent creditors and attorneys. States which allow the formation of anonymous LLCs allow individuals to reap the benefits of an LLC while also preventing their information from being publicly available.

LLCs are a popular means of owning property as the Rental Housing Finance Survey which is compiled by the US Census Bureau in conjunction with the Department of Housing and Urban Development has reported. Over 16% of all rental properties are owned by a combination of LLCs, LPs and LLPs.

LLC Benefits

An LLC or limited liability company is a business entity which has many benefits for its owners. These benefits include comparably lower maintenance than a corporation as well as the ability to pass through income so only the owner of the LLC is required to file a tax return. The primary benefit of an LLC is the provision of limited liability asset protection to the owner of the LLC. This means that the company’s liabilities are restricted to the company’s assets. As such if the company ever goes into debt or is sued the owner of the LLC cannot be held liable in a personal capacity for these liabilities. Similarly, if the owner of the LLC is in debt or is sued the LLCs assets are protected from any liability which the owner encounters in a personal capacity. This not only mitigates risk but provides peace of mind to an LLCs owner.

Anonymous LLCs

The formation of an LLC is a process which typically requires the owners of the LLC to disclose their personal information when incorporating the LLC. An anonymous LLC differs in this regard as the formation of an anonymous LLC does not require that the owners disclose their personal information. Anonymous LLCs are also referred to as private LLCs and confidential LLCs.

For most states the formation of an LLC requires the submission of documentation to the Secretary of State or another state government entity. This information which is part of the documentation becomes part of the public record and as a result is easily accessible to anyone who would like to look for it. An anonymous LLCs allows for private ownership of assets and business entities. This can be useful for anyone who would like to own a business or a property but would not like their personal information to become a matter of public knowledge.

States That Allow Anonymous LLCs

The law allows an individual to form an LLC in a state in which they are not a resident. This means that individuals from outside the states which allow anonymous LLCs can in fact create anonymous LLCs in the states which do allow for them. The states which allow for anonymous LLCs are Wyoming, Nevada, New Mexico and Delaware. Each of these states have various advantages and disadvantages for forming an anonymous LLC and it is wise to acquire information to find the state which will best suit an individual's needs.

Wyoming

Wyoming is appealing to business owners as it is an extremely business friendly state. It has very favorable tax policies as it does not tax corporate income or personal income. This also means that the owner of the LLC will not be required to file a state tax return for their LLC as there is no tax on a business’s income. This can further increase privacy as the business owner does not need to disclose their personal information on their businesses tax return because they do not have to file one. However, Wyoming’s state filing fee for LLCs is double New Mexico’s. Additionally, Wyoming LLCs will need to file an annual report with a fee that starts at $50 depending on the assets which an LLC owns.

Nevada

Nevada is similar to Wyoming in certain senses as it too has very favorable tax policies for business owners. However, Nevada does have several drawbacks which make it less appealing as a state in which to start an anonymous LLC. Nevada has high fees for incorporating and maintaining an LLC and these fees are amongst the highest fees in the nation for LLC formation. The Secretary of State in Nevada requires LLCs to produce a list of owners and managers for private record. This information is not published but is housed by the state. But, this law has the potential to change which would result in private information being made publicly available. As a result of these drawbacks, Nevada is not the ideal state to form a private LLC.

New Mexico

New Mexico is the only state that allows for anonymous LLCs which does not require that the owners of the LLC be disclosed to the state. This means that a New Mexico LLC can be assured to have strong protection of privacy for individuals and their personal information. Wyoming, Nevada and Delaware require that the owners of an LLC disclose their identity to the state. New Mexico also has the benefit of not requiring an annual report or an annual fee for LLCs. This makes New Mexico a robust choice for an anonymous LLC.It is also suitable for individuals who would like to own a small business while keeping their personal information out of the way of the state government.

Delaware

Delaware is a state with a long history of being business friendly and attracting businesses to form there. It is most well known for the corporations which it houses with many Fortune 500 companies being incorporated in the state. The laws of Delaware provide added protection from personal liability. In addition to this, Delaware is stringent in keeping any business which is in any way fraudulent out of the state, with a particular emphasis on LLCs. Delaware also has favorable tax policies as the state has no corporate income tax. However, the state does have a franchise tax and this comes to $300 every year.

Wyoming LLC Attorney - A best kept little secret?

When incorporating an LLC, especially an anonymous LLC, it is recommended that an aspiring business owner seeks professional advice and assistance. For more information on anonymous LLCs consider view this page.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why an individual would want to own a business anonymously. This is primarily because of the increased privacy which this provides as well as protection against predatory lawyers or creditors. This provides the owner of the LLC all the benefits of an LLC as well as an additional layer of privacy on top of this. Furthermore, assets can also be owned anonymously using a private LLC which can be useful for an individual who would like to own property or other assets without having to make this information available to the public.

There are four states which allow for the creation of anonymous LLCs and each has different pros and cons. Wyoming is a strong contender because of the lack of corporate income tax and the generally business friendly environment which the state facilitates. Nevada does not bring much to the table which the other states do not despite its favorable taxation. New Mexico provides the highest degree of privacy as well as having the lowest maintenance necessary for LLC upkeep. Delaware is another business friendly state which has strong appeal for larger businesses.

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