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, detailing the associated costs, and providing you with all of the necessary paperwork. Follow these step-by-step instructions to get your Wyoming LLC formed and be on your way to growing your business most efficiently.
The 5 steps to form an LLC in Wyoming:
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 and costlier than others, following this step-by-step guide will simplify the process of forming an LLC in Wyoming. As you complete each of the five steps below, your LLC will be closer to running.
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. In this case, you’ll need to register your business name within the state of Wyoming.
Start by creating a list of possible names, then run each through the Wyoming Secretary of State business entity search page to find one that is not in use. 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.
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.
To be in good standing with Wyoming’s state law, your company’s name must end with the proper suffix. In this case, you have a few options: The entire phrase “Limited Liability Company,” or its 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’ll need to lock it in. To reserve the name before someone else, you’ll need to submit an Application for Reservation of Name and a $50 filing fee to the Wyoming Secretary of State. If the name you’ve chosen is approved, it will be put on hold for 120 days. This will allow plenty of time for you to finish establishing your LLC.
Keep in mind that you can also register a trade name or “Doing Business As” (DBA), 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 $100 filing fee.
Another thing to consider is whether you want to trademark anything with your business. You can visit the United States Patent and Trademark Office‘s site to see whether or not your business name or logo is trademarked on a federal level. You can check and register your trademark on the state level which can be much easier and quicker. You’ll just want to submit an Application for Registration of Trademark or Service Mark with the Wyoming Secretary of State with a $100 filing fee.
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 of Wyoming will deliver papers to your registered agent.
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 include:
- Privacy: By hiring an outside registered agent, you can use their address on any public records, which is particularly useful if your business is based from your home.
- Ensure compliance: Time-sensitive documents need attention immediately. A registered agent will be able to receive all legal documents in real time and make sure you meet any deadlines that the documents might require.
- Maintain an address in every state you do business: If you plan on operating as a foreign LLC in another state, hiring a registered agent is an easy way to maintain a Wyoming-based address.
As long as they are 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, hiring an outside registered agent service is an affordable way to save you possible troubles later on.
Step 3: File Wyoming Articles of Organization
Once you’ve reserved a name and have appointed 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. Before you begin filling in the form, ensure you have all of the necessary information.
You’ll need the following information to fill out the form accurately:
- 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 of $100.
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 partner 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 partners or other managers, each party will need to agree to the terms and sign the document.
To ensure your Wyoming LLC Operating Agreement is filled out and filed properly, you may want to consider getting the help of a trusted source. ZenBusiness offers an easy-to-follow Operating Agreement template for just $35, so you can rest assured your assets and company are adequately protected.
Step 5: Apply for an EIN
To finalize your LLC, you’ll need a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), also known as an EIN. Unless you are a single-member LLC with no employees, this nine-digit number is required for all tax and financial paperwork, including filing taxes, hiring new employees, and opening business bank accounts. Fortunately, obtaining one through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is instant and straightforward. To apply, you can call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax Line at (800) 829-4933 or visit the IRS FEIN application page online. Once you submit the short application, you’ll immediately receive your EIN — at no cost to you.
How much does it cost to start an LLC in Wyoming?
Starting an LLC in Wyoming is relatively affordable. Filing your Articles of Organization will only cost you $100.
However, if you choose to reserve your desired name ($50) and partner with ZenBusiness to file an Operating Agreement ($35), forming an LLC in Wyoming will cost you a total of $185.
Of course, these costs are just the beginning. Add in the cost of hiring a registered agent and 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 ZenBusiness customers, along with the majority of entrepreneurs, choose to form an LLC. Compared to corporations, limited partnerships, and other forms of entities, LLCs come with enticing benefits.
Forming a Wyoming LLC means you’ll reap the following benefits:
- Opportunity to form a Close LLC: Wyoming is unique in that it offers the option of a Close LLC. One of the biggest advantages to a Close LLC is that it makes it easier to pass a business down to the next generation.
- Tax incentives: There is no personal income tax for Wyoming LLCs.
- 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 and losses are passed through to the owner’s personal income, and the responsibility to pay LLC taxes falls on the individual. 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 corporate income taxes in Wyoming, and owners are not responsible for personal 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.
Wyoming LLC FAQs
- 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 many 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 is not taxed, but the LLC members pay taxes on their portion of its profits on their individual tax returns. Wyoming doesn’t have a personal income tax, so you and the other owners of your LLC will not file a state-level return.rnrnSome LLCs (particularly those with very high earnings) may choose to file taxes as corporations. This option has some distinct advantages, which you can learn more about here. 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.rnrnWhen it comes to insurance, you’ll want to visit the Wyoming Department of Insurance’s site to find guidance on your particular industry.rnrnIn both instances, we recommend hiring a professional service like ZenBusiness who will provide you with a comprehensive package of all the licenses and insurance required for your Wyoming LLC.