Asset Protection Planning
Mark Pierce, Esq
If having health, home and car insurance seems obvious, then you should insure your other assets too. Forming a Wyoming LLC or Wyoming Asset Protection Trust insures against overly zealous creditors, bad luck, poor decisions, bankruptcy and divorce. Creditors will be forced into a better settlement or to dismiss the case altogether. Not planning throws your financial affairs to the wind in the hope "things just work out."
Allow our Wyoming Trust and LLC Attorney to be your guide during this process. Our Wyoming law firm was founded in 2003 with a focus on estate planning and trust law. Since then, we have expanded to online corporate services, such as LLC formations in all 50 states, online bank account opening and registered agent services. Join thousands of other clients and allow us to be of service today.
See What Our Wyoming Law Firm Can Do For You
Wyoming maintains the most desirable jurisdiction for small businesses and asset protection. Anonymous companies are allowed, plus there are no state income taxes and low fees. These qualities have made Wyoming a leader in the incorporation community.
These advantages are no reason to overpay when setting up an LLC or switching registered agents, however. We know that for so long as we combine quality services with reasonable prices we will be successful. Why fix something that's not broken? View our corporate services for Wyoming companies below.
Form a Wyoming LLC
Most of these benefits are unavailable to sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Forming a Wyoming LLC provides the following advantages:
- Limited liability protection: Owners are not responsible for business debts and liabilities. This is referred to as a corporate veil or shield.
- Different membership classes. LLCs may create different share classes allowing for a custom distribution of economic and voting rights, e.g. through the creation of so-called preferred shares.
- Fewer formalities. LLCs require less annual paperwork than, and do not face the meeting requirements imposed on C corporations and S corporations.
- No ownership restrictions. No or very few ownership restrictions, e.g. share owners may be other LLC’s, the number of owners or shares isn’t limited either. Compare this to Nevada!
Wyoming LLC Holding Company
Wyoming is a popular location for setting up a holding company. Holding companies are generally location independent since they engage in no operations of their own. This provides flexibility in establishing their domicile, and thus drives many to use Wyoming LLCs, or Corporations, for their parent company. Subsidiaries may then be established either in Wyoming or the state you are operating.
E-commerce and real estate companies are not considered to be transacting business in most states, California being a notable exception, and so the children companies are often set up here as well. Please contact us if you would like more information, or read how to start a holding company.
One common purpose for forming a corporation is that it’s a separate legal entity, formed under state law, which protects owners from creditor claims. It can be viewed as a basic form of asset protection. Incorporating a business automatically makes a “C” or “regular” corporation. A Corporation is considered a separate taxpayer, with taxation occurring at the corporate level, independently of the owners.
Corporate profits may then be distributed to owners as dividends. Many small businesses do not opt for C Corporations because of this tax feature. This feature, along with limited privacy compared to a Wyoming LLC, make C-Corps significantly less popular. Nonetheless, we will cover them here in the interest of being thorough.
- Raise capital easily. Capital can be raised through selling stock.
- Earnings remain inside the business. Earnings may be retained for reasonable business needs, in accordance with tax provisions on accumulated earning, rather than distributing them to owners.
- Unlimited life. When a C corporation’s owner incurs a disabling illness or dies, the corporation does not cease to exist.
- Salaries are deductible. Salaries paid to owners, though taxed at the individual level, are deducted from C Corp profits for income tax purposes. S-Corps don’t receive this benefit.
Wyoming's Close Corp & LLC
Wyoming's Close LLC and Close Corporation were created specifically for small companies which have few owners, generally with ties to another, such as family, friends or business partners. Close companies are otherwise regular corporations and limited liability companies which have elected to operate in an informal manner similar to partnerships. They are not required to hold meetings or provide disclosures in the same manner their traditional counterparts are. This is good for family, or single-owner companies, but can be a drawback if you do not know your business partners as well. You should consult with Wyoming Counsel to see whether this entity type is a good fit.
- Fewer Owners — no more than 35 shareholders or members.
- Wyoming Statutory Close Corporation Supplement to the Wyoming Business Corporation Act, W.S. 17-17-101 et seq.
A “Close Corporation” is a highly advantageous and flexible structure for small to medium businesses. Though, possible disadvantages are:
- Ownership transfers/sales are prohibited except in explicitly stated circumstances.
- Those who do not know each other as well as family often benefit from required meetings and disclosures.
- Limited liability — same as traditional Corporation or Limited Liability Company.
- Simple operations — none of the pomp and circumstance required from regular companies.
- Reduced costs — relaxed governance means reduced accounting, legal and administrative fees.
- Ownership Transfer Restrictions — existing owners are provided right of first refusal.
- Close companies are considered the same as regular companies for tax purposes.
Traditional companies must hold regular member, shareholder and director meetings, elect directors, and provide proposals for significant undertakings. A strict management hierarchy is also not required for closely held companies. Family businesses do not generally hold annual meetings, however, given a family often makes decisions around a dinner table etc. Removing these formalities simplifies a companies operational overhead. In short, Wyoming Close LLCs and Corporations allows small companies to bypass onerous formalities. You may use us, or find a lawyer via the Wyoming Bar Attorney Search to find suitable counsel in Wyoming.
Corporate Services Conclusion
Others market cheap corporations and registered agent services... and you get what you pay for. Our Wyoming LLC attorney helps secure your future through providing follow-up services, such as establishing Asset Protection Trusts, and assisting with estate planning. Our relationship doesn't end when create your company, that's when it begins.
Business Asset Protection Strategies
Why opt for unnecessary risks when we can take care of them for you? Asset protection planning reduces the risk of catastrophic losses stemming from life events. Our Wyoming Trust Attorney believes there are as many strategies as there are people and their situations.
Generally, an asset protection trust is combined with a holding company and subsidiaries to enhance their respective benefits. Each trust we form includes two complimentary companies, EINs and a virtual office the first year. Fortunately, the laws we help you utilize have been upheld by Wyoming's Supreme Court.
Wyoming Asset Protection Trust
Alaska was the first state to allow anti-creditor trusts. Numerous states have since followed, including Nevada, South Dakota and Wyoming. Each allow self-settled trusts and have shortened windows for challenging transfers. They are often brought up in discussions with high net worth clients. Domestic Asset Protection Trusts are seen as being more palatable than their offshore counterparts.
Such trusts take many forms and names. Each trust is tailored to your family's specifications. Examples of trusts we specialize in are Dynasty Trusts, Self-Settled Trusts, Generation Skipping Trusts, Grantor and Non-Grantor Trusts, Qualified Spendthrift Trusts and other Irrevocable Trusts more generally. They may hold stock, cash, property or any other type of asset(s). The maximum duration is 1,000 years. We are happy to counsel you on additional asset protection strategies as well, but also encourage you to only choose a member of the Wyoming State Bar if you decide a domestic asset protection trust is for you.
Unregulated Private Trust Company
A Single Family Wyoming Private Trust Company may be trustee for a single trust or a family of related trusts. It may manage one or more trusts so long as they are related. They are favored due to lower fees versus public trust companies. They simultaneously enhance control and privacy while providing an opportunity to mentor younger family members on important financial planning principals. Our Wyoming counsel is happy to assist you through this transition.
Self-Directed 401(K) LLC
Our setup enables you to bypass a custodian and invest in a wider variety of opportunities. Bitcoin, real estate and alternative investments are ok. You will save on fees and have full control over how your fund is managed. We handle everything for you, from the Limited Liability Company to the operating agreement. You then control the LLC and invest as you wish.
Business Attorney Blog
The above asset protection strategies complement our estate planning and corporate services. Properly domiciling your assets and taking advantage of Wyoming's Trust Law and LLC Act may benefit you enormously. Our Wyoming trust attorney would be happy to craft a solution particular to your situation. The benefits we provide come as a result of our state making a coordinated effort to assist small business owners, this effort spans from the legislature to Wyoming's Attorney General.
Our blog focuses on various case studies and applying our knowledge to business formations across the 50 states. There we focus on topics such as what is a holding company, can an llc own another llc, what is a dynasty trust, how to start an llc, and the best state to form an llc.
Estate taxes trap the unwary. Yet, many avoid the discomfort of estate planning because it relates to death and dying. One's choice amounts to getting ahead of the issue, or leaving things to the cruelty of chance and forcing survivors to face difficult decisions during an even more difficult time.
It's thus imperative to begin the estate planning process early and not to be discouraged if you have yet to make arrangements. This section encompasses everything you want to know about Revocable Living Trusts (RLT), HIPAA Release Forms, Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney (DPOA), Advanced Health Care Directives (AHCD), asset protection, living wills and nursing home poverty... but didn't have an estate planning attorney to ask. Given Wyoming's unique laws, we strongly encourage you to seek the counsel of an attorney who's a member of the Wyoming Bar Association, rather than a different state.
Our articles cover how to prevent your savings from being wiped out by nursing home costs, seven costly mistakes families make during estate planning, what probate is, why you want to avoid it, how to minimize estate taxes and more. Passing away without making proper arrangements can lead to unnecessary tax burdens, bickering among relatives, undo stress and needless expenses for all involved. We can help you avoid the above without paying the excessive fees of attorneys in Jackson Hole.
Properly planning can save a lot of grief. Unfortunately, asset protection is too often taken seriously only AFTER an accident has occurred. You should contact a trust attorney in Wyoming BEFORE then to properly protect your assets. You should consider forming a Wyoming Trust or Wyoming Limited Liability Company to be foundational for future financial success. Why risk your assets when you can live off them? Contact our Wyoming Trust and LLC Attorney today.