An anonymous LLC is a limited liability company where the ownership details are not publicly disclosed in the state’s official records.
This provides an added layer of privacy to the LLC’s members.
Benefits of an Anonymous LLC:
- Privacy Protection: The key advantage is the protection of personal information, reducing the risk of unsolicited communications, potential threats, unnecessary litigation, and keeping leverage in negotiations.
- Asset Protection: An anonymous LLC can deter potential litigants who might be looking for targets with deep pockets.
- Business Strategy Privacy: Competitors will not know the individuals who are behind the LLC.
States that Allow Anonymous LLCs:
- Delaware: While the members’ names are not public, an annual franchise tax report is required, which does list the names but remains private.
- Nevada: Requires the names of the managers and not the members. If a member-manager structure is chosen, anonymity can be achieved.
- Wyoming: Similar to Nevada but with additional protections. Managers are listed, but if a trust or another LLC (formed in an anonymous state) is used as a manager, anonymity can be further solidified.
- New Mexico: Does not require the listing of members or managers on formation documents or annual reports.
Can You Form an Anonymous LLC if You Live in Another State?
Yes. Regardless of your home state, you can form an anonymous LLC in any of the 4 states that allow anonymous LLCs.
Do You Need an Attorney to Form an Anonymous LLC?
If you choose to form your anonymous LLC without an attorney, you are missing out on a key legal protection: attorney-client privilege.
Attorney-client privilege is a legal principle that maintains the confidentiality of communications between attorneys and their clients. This means any information exchanged cannot be disclosed, even in court!
When forming an anonymous LLC, you’re aiming for discretion. Working with an attorney ensures your LLC is formed correctly and wraps your information in a layer of confidentiality due to attorney-client privilege.
If a situation arises where ownership details are sought, having this privilege can protect against unwanted disclosures.
Key Steps in Forming an Anonymous LLC:
- Hire an Attorney: To ensure attorney-client privilege, start your anonymous LLC formation journey with a law firm like Ana Law.
- Choose an Appropriate State: Start by selecting a state that allows for anonymous LLCs and meets your business needs.
- Name Selection: Ensure your desired LLC name is available in the chosen state.
- Registered Agent Appointment: Appoint a registered agent with a physical address in the formation state. If you work with Ana Law, we will provide you with a Registered Agent and address.
- Filing Formation Documents: Submit the required formation documents to the state agency, often the Secretary of State. Be sure to follow the state’s specific requirements to ensure anonymity.
- Operating Agreement: Create an operating agreement. While this may not be submitted to the state, it is crucial for laying out the operating procedures of the LLC and its members.
- Stay Compliant: Keep track of annual or periodic reporting requirements. In anonymous states, these reports are typically designed to maintain member anonymity.
What To Remember When Considering an Anonymous LLC:
- No Absolute Privacy: While state records may protect your identity, you’re still required to provide true ownership details to banks, lenders, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- Legal Obligations: Anonymity doesn’t exempt an LLC from legal obligations. You must still operate within the law and fulfill all state-required filings and fees.
- Potential for Future Changes: Laws and regulations are subject to change. What is private today may be made public tomorrow due to the government.
Forming an anonymous LLC provides privacy and protection advantages.
But remember, anonymity at the state level doesn’t mean you are invisible to federal entities or private litigation.
Contact Ana Law today if you would like to work with an attorney to form an anonymous LLC.