Of the few states that allow Anonymous LLCs, California is not one of them. Wyoming, Delaware and New Mexico are the most recommended - with one million businesses incorporated in Delaware already, the state is the go-to business state and said to have more corporations than actual residents. And New Mexico is known as the least expensive to set up and maintain, while Wyoming has the best asset protection.
While these states don't require businesses to list the names of LLC members and managers, the Articles still mandate that you name a registered agent and an organizer/incorporator. This means in order to have the privacy you desire, a third-party is needed to fill-in those roles.
It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Keep reading and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about forming an Anonymous LLC in California.
What is an Anonymous LLC?
An Anonymous LLC is defined as a limited liability company whose owners are not publicly identifiable by the state. An Anonymous LLC is created by being careful where and how an LLC is formed.
Anonymous LLCs are a great option for business leaders who want to keep their work life and private life separate, property managers and/or landlords who have multiple tenants, or anyone who wants to conduct business privately.
How an Anonymous LLC Works
Anytime you form an LLC and file the articles of organization with a state, you must disclose legal information such as:
- Name of the officers
- Name of the directors
- LLC manager names
However, if you form an LLC in a state that allows Anonymous LLCs, you can provide a law firm in place of the organizer’s information or fill in a temporary owner or nominee. Once the company is formed, you don’t have to update that information once the organizer or temporary owner changes.
The LLC nominee’s name appears as the contact’s name and contact information on the public records although the true LLC owner is not the same person.
Many people ask, “How does the owner of the LLC remain anonymous?” The answer is by identifying itself as the organizer and registered agent, the only specific information contained within the Articles of Organization that is published by the State.
Why Would Someone Create an Anonymous LLC?
An Anonymous LLC provides all of the benefits of a regular LLC, with the additional benefit of not disclosing ownership information on the Internet.
In simple terms, it’s a quick, simple way to privately own items like a business, a car, or a piece of land. Some people want to create Anonymous LLC’s because they don’t want other people in their business. Others don’t want to be on a mass marketing mailing list.
There are a variety of professions that benefit from this commodity – landlords, judges, celebrities, law enforcement, even start-up business owners who work other jobs.
Benefits of Anonymous LLCs in California
When you form an anonymous LLC in a state where Anonymous LLCs are permitted (like New Mexico), your company’s owners are not publicly listed in state records, as they would be with a regular LLC. Keeping anonymous offers a variety of benefits to you and your company – here are some of the most valuable benefits:
Forming an Anonymous LLC allows you to protect your privacy by keeping your name and address off the internet.
If you keep your identity and address anonymous, you can avoid mass marketing harassment from not only emails but salespeople and competitors.
Starting an anonymous LLC helps you keep your properties and financial status out of the public.
Like a regular LLC, an Anonymous LLC helps prevent frivolous lawsuits. However, the beauty of anonymity is that your name remains private.
How to Form an Anonymous LLC in California
If you want to form an Anonymous LLC in California, hire an attorney or use an LLC formation service. While formations services will save you more money, if privacy is your goal, contacting a lawyer is the way to ensure that goal. Plus, you’ll need to start by forming an Anonymous LLC in a different state - and you’ll want legal help with that!
What is the difference between a “regular LLC” and an “anonymous LLC”? There is no legal difference between a “regular LLC” and an “anonymous LLC”.
An Anonymous LLC is actually a regular LLC that does not require you to disclose personal information like the managers of the LLC.
In states like New Mexico and Delaware that allow Anonymous LLCs, it’s not that difficult to obtain this level of privacy for your business. Is it more difficult than a regular LLC? Yes, because you’re wanting to take extra precaution to remain anonymous.
The worthiness of an Anonymous LLC depends on how much privacy means to you. There are still forms (bank and IRS forms) that will have your legal name attached to the business. An Anonymous LLC just makes it harder for the everyday man to find out your real identity. Which is definitely worth it for someone who owns properties and doesn’t want to deal with angry tenants.
How a Business Attorney Can Help You Form an Anonymous LLC
A business lawyer can be your Registered Agent when you form an Anonymous LLC. This means communications to the company flow through the law firm and, in turn, are forward to you – the client. If there is a legitimate concern, a business lawyer will deal with it in a timely and professional manner.
If the interest is to pry, solicit or harass, the issue is also handled without an uproar. Those who have no legitimate need to inquire tend to move along, leaving you and your business undisturbed.