With careful planning, you can make sure your Wyoming LLC is off to a good start. If this is your first business venture or first time forming an LLC, you might wonder where to begin. In this guide, we’ll help you get your Wyoming LLC off to a successful start by walking you through your next steps. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get your Wyoming LLC formed and be on your way to growing your business most efficiently.
To start an LLC in Wyoming, you’ll need to file your paperwork with the state, appoint a registered agent, and decide on an operating agreement. But before you conquer the more complicated steps and get started on registering, you’ll need to pick a name for your new business.
While some steps are more complex than others, following this step-by-step guide will simplify the process of forming an LLC in the Equality State. As you complete each of the five steps below, your LLC will be closer to running. And, along the way, we’ll show you how our ZenBusiness services can eliminate more of the stress from the process.
Step 1: Name your Wyoming LLC
While brainstorming about your business, you’ve likely thought of what you’d like your business to be called. But an LLC name is more than just a creative way to market your services; it also has to comply with state regulations. Among other things, you’ll need to find a name that’s not in use by any other Wyoming business.
Start by creating a list of possible names, then follow the instructions on our Wyoming Business Entity Search page to see if your desired name is available in the state. Keep in mind that slight changes in spelling, punctuation, and choice of suffix will not be enough to distinguish your business, which is why a thorough name search is crucial. It might be helpful to check a more detailed explanation of the requirements for naming your business in Wyoming so that you don’t run into any trouble while applying.
To comply with Wyoming state law, your company’s name must end with the proper designator. In this case, you have a few options: The entire phrase “Limited Liability Company” or one of these abbreviations: “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “Limited Company,” “LC,” “L.C.,” “Ltd. Liability Company,” “Ltd. Liability Co.,” or “Limited Liability Co.” Regardless of which option you choose, it must appear at the end of your company’s name.
Once you’ve found a name that satisfies your business goals and Wyoming’s requirements, you have the option to lock it in. Wyoming allows you to reserve a business name for 120 days for a fee. This will allow plenty of time for you to finish establishing your LLC. If you’d rather not deal with this process yourself, we have a business name reservation service that can handle it for you. As part of the service, we also run a search to see if your desired name is available.
When you’re coming up with a business name, it’s wise to consider whether you can secure a matching domain name so that your future website can be easily found online. We have a tool to help you do a preliminary domain name search, and our domain name registration service can help you secure the online name that will best serve your company.
Keep in mind that you can also register a trade name or “Doing Business As” (DBA) name, which is simply another name you can use for your business. To get a DBA in Wyoming, visit Wyoming’s Secretary of State website and search for your new DBA name to make sure it isn’t already in use. If the name is available, you can file it via the Application for Registration of Trade Name. It’s important to note that the trade name has to be in use in Wyoming before you can register it, and you’ll need to submit a filing fee.
Finally, to ensure you’re entirely in the clear with your desired business name, visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office website to make sure your business name or logo isn’t already federally trademarked. Trademarks can also happen at the state level. To find out more and/or apply for a state trademark, go to the Wyoming Secretary of State website page for trademarks.
Step 2: Appoint a registered agent in Wyoming
To continue with the registration process, Wyoming requires every LLC to appoint a registered agent. The person or entity appointed will be the point of contact for all legal matters — if your company is subpoenaed or sued, the state will deliver papers to your Wyoming registered agent. The agent must be a resident of the state of Wyoming or a business entity authorized to do business in Wyoming and have a physical street address in the state (not just a P.O. box).
The company owner can be the registered agent, but this is not always the best option. After all, being served in front of customers is a sure way to deter business, and with so many alternatives, it could be in your best interest to hire an outside registered agent.
Some additional benefits of hiring an outside registered agent service like ours include:
- If you serve as your registered agent, you’re required to be available during standard business hours. If you plan to work outside the office or take business trips, this requirement could be problematic.
- If you provide your personal or business address as your registered agent address, you’ll need to update your registered agent paperwork with Texas each time you move. At rapidly growing companies, it’s easy to see how this essential step could get overlooked.
- If you use our registered agent service, we’ll accept your important legal documents and store them in your digital dashboard so you can view, download, or print them anytime online.
Step 3: File Wyoming Articles of Organization
Once you have a name and a registered agent, it’s time to certify your LLC in Wyoming. To start doing business, you’ll need to complete your Articles of Organization and file it with the Wyoming Secretary of State.
Filing official government forms like this can be intimidating for many new entrepreneurs, which is why we’re here. With our business formation plans, our professionals handle the filing for you to make sure it’s done correctly the first time. But, although we can handle this for you, we’ll show you how the process works below.
Before you begin filling in the Articles of Organization form, ensure you have all of the necessary information, including:
- The name of your LLC
- The mailing address of your LLC
- The name and address of your registered agent
- The date when you’d like to begin operations
- Whether you elect to be a Close LLC
A unique aspect to Wyoming is that there’s a box on the form asking whether you want to form a “close limited liability company.” Geared toward small, family businesses, a Close LLC gives you a tighter business structure.
When filing your Wyoming LLC Articles of Organization — whether you prefer to go in person, send your paperwork through the mail, or utilize the online system — you will need to include a nonrefundable fee.
If you have us handle filing your Articles of Organization, once the state approves your LLC, your paperwork will be available from your ZenBusiness dashboard, where you can keep it and other important paperwork digitally organized.
Once you get your physical paperwork back from the state approving your new LLC, you’ll want to keep it in a safe location along with your other important documents, such as your operating agreement, member certificates, contracts, compliance checklists, transfer ledger, etc. We offer a customized business kit to help you keep these important documents organized and looking professional.
By now you’re realizing how often you’ll need to supply an address for your new business. That can be unsettling for some business owners, especially those running their business from home. In instances where you’re not required to give the registered agent address or official principal address for your business, a virtual business address can come in handy.
With our virtual business address service, we supply you with a physical street address where you can have your mail sent without divulging your real address to more people than necessary. Then we can forward that mail to the address of your choice.
Step 4: Create an operating agreement
Operating agreements are not always required — and not mandatory in Wyoming — but help create governance for an LLC. This document outlines your business structure and covers the rules your company will follow, how finances will be handled, lists specific LLC members, how decisions will be made (including member voting structure), and details any additional regulations.
If you’re starting your LLC alone, you may feel an operating agreement is unnecessary, especially since one is not required to proceed in Wyoming. However, LLC operating agreements can also outline what happens to your company if you leave or become incapacitated and can help protect you and your assets in case of dissolution or bankruptcy. If you are starting your LLC with other members, each party will need to agree to the terms and sign the document.
If you’re unsure as to how to begin creating an operating agreement for your new business venture, we offer a customizable template to help get you started.
Step 5: Apply for an EIN
To finalize your LLC, you’ll need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), also known as an EIN. This nine-digit number is required for tax and financial paperwork, including filing taxes, hiring new employees, and opening business bank accounts.
You can get your LLC’s EIN through the IRS website, by mail, or by fax, but if you’re not thrilled about dealing with that particular government agency, we can get it for you. Our FEIN service is quick and eliminates the hassle.
Once you’ve secured an EIN, you’ll be able to open a business bank account. Having separate accounts for your business and your personal banking is critical for sorting out your finances at tax time and helps you avoid commingling funds. Commingling funds can not only make your taxes more difficult, but it could also be used against you if someone takes you to court to challenge whether you and your LLC are truly separate entities (i.e., they want to sue you for not just your business assets, but also your personal assets).
We offer a discounted bank account for your new business. This allows for unlimited transactions, online banking, a debit card, and more. When you want to authorize others in your business to use the account, we offer a banking resolution template to simplify the process.
For further help managing your new business’s finances, try the ZenBusiness Money App. It can help you create invoices, receive payments, transfer money, and manage clients all in one place.
Wyoming LLC FAQs
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Wyoming?
Starting an LLC in Wyoming is relatively affordable. The state fees for forming an LLC can range from $100 to $150, depending on factors such as whether you choose to reserve your business name. Note that fees change over time, so check the Wyoming Secretary of State website for the most recent fee schedule.
Of course, these costs are just the beginning. Add in the cost of fees for licenses, permits, and insurance, and starting a business in Wyoming becomes significantly more expensive.
What are the benefits of an LLC in Wyoming?
When starting a business, there are various forms it can take. Despite the options, 90% of our customers choose to form an LLC. Compared to corporations, limited partnerships, and other forms of entities, LLCs come with important benefits.
Forming a Wyoming LLC means you’ll reap the following benefits:
- Tax incentives: There is no personal income tax in Wyoming.
- Ability to form a Series LLC: Wyoming is one of the few states that permits a Series LLC.
- Additional privacy: Public filings for Wyoming LLCs like annual reports do not require members’ names to be disclosed.
How is a Wyoming LLC taxed?
LLCs are typically considered “pass-through entities,” meaning they are not subject to corporate taxes. Instead, the profits are passed through to the owner’s personal income, and the responsibility to pay LLC taxes falls on the individual. This is unlike most corporations, in which profits are taxed twice, first at the business level and again at the individual shareholder level.
However, Wyoming is one of the very few states with no state income tax, for both corporations and individuals. Therefore, LLCs are not required to pay state income taxes in Wyoming at the business level, and owners are not responsible for personal state income taxes, either.
Nevertheless, your LLC could be subject to other taxes, including:
- State employer taxes, if you have employees
- State unemployment insurance taxes, if you have employees
- Sales and use tax, if you sell goods
- Excise tax, if you sell beverages, fuel, cigarettes, or tobacco
You can find more information on specific taxes in Wyoming by visiting the Wyoming Department of Revenue’s site.
Those who purchase any of our plans get a free accounting consultation and tax assessment from our specialists to receive helpful resources and no-obligation recommendations around your bookkeeping, accounting, and tax needs.
What is the processing time to form my Wyoming LLC?
In just three to five business days, your Articles of Organization will be processed with the Wyoming Secretary of State. If you file online, the turnaround time is immediately after receiving payment.
Do I need to file my operating agreement with the state of Wyoming?
No. The operating agreement is an internal document that you should keep on file for future reference. While a few states legally require LLCs to have an operating agreement, Wyoming does not.
What tax structure should I choose for my Wyoming LLC?
Most LLCs elect the default tax status, which is to be taxed as a sole proprietorship (for a single-member LLC) or a partnership (for a multi-member LLC). For either of these options, the LLC itself does not pay federal income tax, but the LLC members pay taxes on their portion of its profits on their individual tax returns.
Some LLCs (particularly those with very high earnings) may choose to file taxes as corporations. This option has some distinct advantages for certain LLCs. In evaluating these options, it can be extremely helpful to get advice from qualified accounting professionals.
Does Wyoming allow a Series LLC?
Yes. Wyoming is one of the states that permit Series LLCs. A Series LLC is a group of limited liability companies operating under one “parent” entity. While each entity under the parent is considered independent, entrepreneurs are often attracted to the structure if they wish to create numerous companies to explore different avenues but not risk one’s success due to the liabilities of another.
Which licenses and insurance are required for an LLC in Wyoming?
Many LLCs require licensing in Wyoming, so to find out if you’re required to apply for a business license, review the Wyoming Business Council’s Business Permitting and Licensing guide. Keep in mind that your LLC could need licenses or permits on the federal, state, and/or local levels, and many licenses are industry-specific, so you’ll need to do additional research to discover all the licensing your new business needs.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to do all this research, or if you just want the peace of mind to know that your business has all the licenses and permits it’s legally required to have, our business license report service can do the work for you.
When it comes to insurance, you’ll want to visit the Wyoming Department of Insurance’s site to find guidance on your particular industry.