LLC Anonymity – Maintain Privacy with an Anonymous LLC!
The only difference between a regular LLC (limited liability company) and an Anonymous LLC is that the ownership details of the company are not published publicly.
Most states require that the ownership of an LLC is disclosed at the time of formation.
This information would include the name of the business owner(s) as well as some sort of contact information and/or address.
Some states publish the ownership information online for anyone to lookup while other states collect the information but don’t necessarily publish it online.
There are several different reasons why someone would want an anonymous LLC with the main one being, privacy.
Here are a few other reasons why someone would want an anonymous LLC:
- Registering as an anonymous LLC helps prevent unwanted individuals like stalkers and criminals, from having access to your information to use against you or to find you.
- Anonymous LLC owners can gain liability protection from any potential fallout that may be generated from the business.
- Landlords often use anonymous LLC’s to prevent tenants from showing up at their personal place of residence or business.
- An employee may start a side business and not want their current employer do a name search online and find they are conducting their own business on the side. This will provide an anonymous company for the employee.
- Business owners may want to own other things that are not linked to their business such as: cars, boats, multiple properties, land, etc.
- Avoid ending up on mass marketing lists.
The solution to these problems is to own or purchase items under an anonymous LLC or have your LLC be anonymous and not linked to you personally.
Anonymous LLC States List
An Anonymous LLC State is where you can form an LLC business entity and are not required to provide the identity of the owners, members or managers.
Other names for anonymous LLCs include “confidential LLC” or “private LLC.”
The most popular states for an anonymous LLC are Delaware, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Nevada.
Delaware LLC Anonymity (Are Members Safe)?
Delaware is the leader amongst the states for an anonymous LLC and has become the go-to state for those looking for anonymity.
They have favorable corporate law, minimal filing fees compared to other states, they offer a flexible corporate structure, and they have the Delaware Court of Chancery which is dedicated to handling disputes involving the internal affairs of Delaware corporations and other business entities.
They offer hundreds of years of well defined corporate case law to act as precedent.
Under Delaware law, business owners and members can form an LLC without having to put their name or other personal information on any public documents.
For this reason, Delaware is said to have more corporations than actual residents.
In fact, it is estimated that the majority of Fortune 500 companies are incorporated in Delaware because of how friendly of a business state it is.
There is no corporate income tax requirement in Delaware but there is a yearly Franchise tax of $300.
An LLCs Articles of Organization require you to name a registered agent and organizer and in order to maintain the complete privacy, you would need to hire a third party or incorporating service to fill these roles.
Delaware Anonymous LLC Highlights:
- Price – $300 Annual Franchise Tax + $50/year for registered agent service.
- Privacy – Full anonymity and nominee officer.
- Asset Protection – Same corporate veil and asset protection as most other states.
- Ideal for – Larger LLCs and Corporations who don’t mind paying more in fees each year.
Because of their dedicated court system for complex matters, forming an Anonymous LLC or Corporation in Delaware is ideal for larger corporations or LLCs.
Smaller LLCs that are just starting out may find their fees a little higher than other states like New Mexico.
Wyoming LLC Anonymity (Are Members Safe)?
Wyoming requires no corporate income tax for LLCs in their state and they are also considered a safe haven for asset protection.
They have several debtor friendly laws in place to protect a Wyoming LLC from personal creditors.
The only annual fees required by the State of Wyoming for your Anonymous LLC is an Annual Report which is typically $50 but depends on assets within the state.
The annual report requires a name and signature from the filer, so in order to remain completely anonymous, you would need to hire a nominee to sign the document for you.
Wyoming also has a less developed banking and financial system which could possibly make opening a bank account a little more challenging.
Wyoming Anonymous LLC Highlights:
- Price – $100 for an LLC formation + $50/year renewal fee and annual report + fee to hire a nominee to sign the annual documents for you.
- Privacy – Wyoming keeps owners, managers and director information private. The annual report however requires the name of the filer, so in order to remain completely anonymous, you would need to hire a nominee to file and sign for you.
- Asset Protection – Safe haven for asset protection.
- Ideal for – Those looking for asset protection and privacy.
You will have to pay the Annual Report fee of $50 plus pay for the nominee each year, which can add up and be a little steep for small businesses that are just starting out.
Nevada LLC Anonymity (Are Members Safe)?
Like Wyoming, Nevada is another safe haven for asset protection.
Assets inside a Nevada LLC are going to be really hard for creditors to have access to.
While at this time you can form an anonymous LLC in Nevada, the Secretary requires a list of members and managers which they do not publish.
The concern is that the information, although not published at the moment, could be published later or is at risk of a hack which could disclose information inadvertently.
Out of the four states for forming and Anonymous LLC, Nevada is probably lowest on the list, but still needs to be mentioned since at this time, you can form an Anonymous LLC there.
Nevada Anonymous LLC Highlights:
- Price – $75 up front for LLC formation + member/managers fees and business license tax adds up to $350/year.
- Privacy – Nevada does provide anonymity, but they submit a list of managers/members to the Secretary of State.
- Asset Protection – Really the main reason to form an LLC is Nevada is for asset protection. They offer the same corporate veil as other states as well as asset protection from creditors.
- Ideal for – Those looking for top notch asset protection from creditors.
Nevada has done a lot of marketing and advertising to raise awareness on their LLC anonymity however, they are pretty expensive and some entrepreneurs and business owners don’t like the idea of submitting a list of managers/members to the Secretary of State.
On the flip side, their asset protection is perhaps one of the stronger we’ve seen along with Wyoming.
New Mexico LLC Anonymity (Are Members Safe)?
New Mexico is the only state that does not require the disclosure of LLC owners to the State, making it the state with the strongest privacy.
The only downside is that New Mexico requires the filing of corporate income taxes.
If privacy and confidentiality is your number one concern, then forming your Anonymous LLC in New Mexico is going to be your most secure option.
New Mexico does not require any additional annual reports which means there aren’t any other documents to sign or submit which could jeopardize your privacy or cost more by hiring a nominee to file and sign for you.
You are only required to maintain an active Registerd Agent in New Mexico and you can hire a registered agent service to handle this for you
New Mexico Anonymous LLC Highlights:
- Price – New Mexico is not only the most secure, but the cheapest Anonymous LLC option with no annual report fees.
- Privacy – Most secure option with no annual fees or paperwork to file that might jeopardize your privacy.
- Asset Protection – They offer the same corporate veil as other states.
- Ideal for – Those looking for the strongest privacy, small businesses or internet businesses, consulting firms, and local real estate, and those on a tighter budget.
New Mexico is a great option for smaller businesses who are looking for privacy and are perhaps on a tighter budget.
New Mexico however, is not recommended for larger corporations and we would suggest Delaware or Wyoming for a larger company.
Which is the Best State for Anonymous LLC?
The answer to this question really depends on what you are looking for and the size of your business.
Delaware is usually our number one choice because of how well they are managed and because they offer hundreds of years of well defined corporate case law to act as precedent.
For medium to larger LLCs and Corporations, Delaware is a no brainier.
However, if you are a smaller businesses, their filing fees, renewals and registered agent fees can really add up and might be too costly.
In this case, New Mexico is going to be your next best option.
They offer low fees, privacy as well as no annual reporting fees that could save you hundreds of dollars over the years.
Lastly, if asset protection is really important to you, Wyoming is going to offer the strongest asset protection of the four states.
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Delaware.gov "How to Form a New Business Entity" Page 1. April 28, 2021
Delaware.gov " Corporate Forms and Certificates for a Limited Liability Company" Page 1 . April 28, 2021
Court of Chancery "Information & Services" Page 1 . April 28, 2021
Nevada Secretary of State "Limites Liability Company" Page 1 . April 28, 2021
Wyoming Secretary of State "Start a Business" Page 1 . April 28, 2021
New Mexico Secretary of State "Domestic NM LLC" Page 1 . April 28, 2021