Wyoming Secretary of State
Every state has its own Secretary of State and in Wyoming, you can find the Secretary in the state’s capitol, Cheyenne. The main responsibility of WY Secretary of State is to maintain a long list of records.
There are many actions and documents that are not legal in Wyoming unless the official Secretary of State receives a report of them. Additionally, you must file a long list of documents, submitting them to the Secretary of State. These include elections, businesses, and even stocks.
The Secretary is also responsible for keeping the Wyoming Great Seal. Within the Secretary’s office, you will find five divisions, each of which has a unique set of responsibilities and interactions with the public.
Companies are most likely to interact with the WY Secretary’s business division. This is where you will file all business documents, including those for LLCs and corporations. This is also where you would file documents for WY nonprofit corps, partnerships, trusts, and more. The Secretary’s business division additionally handles trade names and trademarks. They also maintain a list of commercial registered agents in Wyoming.
For convenience, the WY Secretary of State has offered online filing of many documents since 2016. Although it was the final state to begin offering online filing to create a Corporation or LLC, it is now possible to do online in a matter of minutes. This process simply involves filling out a form and making a payment with a credit or debit card.
The business division also offers a range of free business forms online via PDFs. These include WY LLC Articles, LLC Amendment, LLC Dissolution, Corporation Articles, Corporation Dissolution, Corporation Amendment, DBA / Trade Name Filings and Annual Reports. There is also a free form online to change your WY registered agent as well as a general Update Form. Note, most Wyoming companies do not require a business licenses to begin doing business.
Business Name Search
Yet another tool that the Secretary of State offers for free is a name search to find corporations or LLCs. This is done via the Wyoming Secretary’s website with a convenient database. You can utilize this search to check whether a name you wish to use is already in use, or you can look up a specific company to learn more about it.
If you cannot find a name in the online database, then it typically is available for use. To be sure you do not miss a name you hope to use, use the search again after selecting the “contains” search option and another time using “starts with.” The search also has some words that are not distinguishable, including plurals, punctuation, “a,” “and,” “&,” “the,” and company designators (like “LLC”). We cover more details on our Wyoming business search page here.
As mentioned, the Secretary of State has five divisions. In addition to the Business Division, it includes:
- Administrative Services: This division tracks money and takes care of document authentication, notaries public, and registrar services for state regulations.
- Compliance: This division has the responsibility of overseeing the state’s securities industry, investigating securities law violations, and giving public financial education.
- Elections: This division administers any elections, including recording the voting results as well as ensuring compliance.
- Technology: This division has responsibility for the Secretary of State’s website and the employees’ computer programs and equipment.
Beginning in 1869, there were WY Secretaries of the Territory. In 1890, Amos W. Barber was the first WY Secretary of State. The current officeholder is Edward Buchanan, a Republic who entered office in 2018.
To ensure all interactions with the Wyoming Secretary of State go smoothly, it is worth hiring experts to assist you with all document filings.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wyoming does have a Secretary of State. Many states call this office different things, but they all function similarly in that they assist with forming companies and maintaining corporate records.
Wyoming's Secretary of State has a business search feature which shows the company's Articles, other filed forms, address and registered agent. Keep in mind most LLCs are anonymous and not much information is publicly available.
Wyoming requires an annual report for LLCs to be filed on the first day of the month in which the company is formed. The minimum fee due is $60 (with a $2 processing fee if paid online).
You cannot easily find out who owns a business in Wyoming. Most LLCs are anonymous and thus require a court order to unveil the members. This is done to protect owners and managers privacy from aggressive creditors and online predators.