Limited liability companies are businesses that exist in the United States to protect you from liabilities and creditors. An LLC separates both personal and business operations to ensure that owners are not liable for the company’s debts. An anonymous LLC provides further protection by keeping your home address, phone, name and email off the internet.
While Delaware LLCs are anonymous, so too are Wyoming and New Mexico LLCs. DE has a $300 annual state fee, WY is $62 and NM doesn't have a required annual report. We find these are more affordable business privacy options. For that reason consider one of the above states using our Delaware vs Wyoming & New Mexico LLC page here, or read our fuller page on which states allow anonymous LLCs.
What is an Anonymous LLC?
An Anonymous LLC is defined as a limited liability company whose owners are not publicly identified by the state. This can only be formed by being careful about how and where you form an LLC. Although in some states the managers may be listed, you can still use a nominee manager to maintain the anonymity of the owners.
Anonymous LLCs are formed by listing the registered agent as the organizer, but you may use a . third party service in order to once again maintain the anonymity of the owners.
How an Anonymous LLC Works
When deciding to form an Anonymous LLC, it is usually because the owner wishes to remain anonymous. The first step is to choose which state you wish to form in, as there are only four states that allow anonymous LLCs. These states include Wyoming, Delaware, Nevada, or New Mexico.
Another method of forming an anonymous LLC is by setting up an LLC holding company. Rather than have the owner listed, you can choose to have the LLC identify itself as the organizer and registered agent. This is because the only specific information contained within the Articles of Organization is published by the state.
Why Form an Anonymous LLC?
Forming an Anonymous LLC provides liability protection, as well as all the other benefits of a regular LLC. This includes not ownership information on the Internet, keeping your home address private, and keeping your assets hidden. Whether you work in a controversial line of business, or are a public figure, or simply wish to keep your private life private, it is a good option.
What are the Benefits of Anonymous LLCs in Delaware?
Anonymous LLCs have all the great benefits that LLCs typically offer with a few extra advantages. Here are some of the most common benefits of Delaware anonymous LLCs.
- Privacy Protection: Forming an anonymous LLC means that your company information is no longer public. This is important if you wish to keep a low profile.
- Confidentiality: Conducting business under the guise of an Anonymous LLC means that you can keep all information confidential among the participants.
- Harassment Prevention: It is possible for anyone to look up LLC information, and in some cases, this can be malicious. In order to prevent owners from being harassed, forming an anonymous LLC can be an aid.
- Flexibility: Corporations can be formed anonymously, but an anonymous LLC gives you more flexibility in general. Not only can you change the ownership among assets at any time, but you can have unlimited members and elect taxation.
How to Form an Anonymous LLC
Forming an Anonymous LLC is essentially the same as forming a standard LLC, but there are additional steps needed to make it anonymous. Specifically, you will need to form your new anonymous LLC using a registered agent service or another third party.
Establish a Registered Agent
This registered agent must live in the state of formation, which must be one of four states (Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico, or Wyoming). The LLC will then have the registered agent’s address as the business’s address. Then the LLC is considered the “shell” LLC.
Open a Business Bank Account
The next step is to open a business bank account. This can only be done by obtaining an EIN, which is similar to a social security number for your business. EINs are obtained for free from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Only after you have obtained the EIN, can you legally open a business bank account.
Register Your LLC
The final step involves formation in your home state. If you do not live in Delaware, then you will need to take care of this step. If you do live in Delaware, you can skip this step. Registered the LLC in your home state should include the out-of-state LLC as the “manager” or “officer”.
This person will be on file with your home state as well. It will keep your personal information separate from the original LLC but, still, establish a paper trail. It is also proof that you own both of the businesses.
Finally, if you do not live in Delaware, you should obtain an EIN and business bank account within your home state for the LLC. It is the same process you did in the state of Delaware.
Is Anonymous LLC Right for You?
Forming an anonymous LLC is usually best for those who are in the public eye, or who work in a sector that is somewhat controversial. Creating an anonymous LLC is not an incredibly complicated process, but there are a few more steps as compared to forming a standard LLC.
If you aren’t sure if an anonymous LLC is best for you, consider consulting with a business lawyer. Hiring a business lawyer when forming an anonymous LLC will allow you to feel confident that you are forming your business properly. Rather than face rejection, a lawyer will help you make the process go smoothly. Contact us today to learn how we can help you form an anonymous LLC.