Limited liability companies are business structures in the United States that offer a separation from personal and business operations. An Anonymous LLC is defined as a limited liability company whose owners are not publicly identified by the state. This can only be formed by being careful about how and where you form an LLC. Although in some states the managers may be listed, you can still use a nominee manager to maintain the anonymity of the owners. Anonymous LLCs are formed by listing the registered agent and Organizer, but you may use a third-party service in order to once again maintain the anonymity of the owners.
How an Anonymous LLC Works
Let’s talk about how an anonymous LLC works.
How does the owner of the LLC remain anonymous?
When deciding to form an Anonymous LLC you will first need to choose to form in a state that allows anonymity. This usually includes Wyoming, Delaware, Nevada, or New Mexico.
Another option is to use an LLC-Holding company set up. This means that if the owner must be listed, you can make the owner an anonymous company from another state. Then the third party will list itself as both an organizer and registered agent. This will then be the only owner information within the Articles of Organization published by the State.
Why would someone create an anonymous LLC?
Forming an Anonymous LLC provides all of the benefits of a regular LLC. This includes liability protection, along with the additional benefit of not disclosing ownership information on the Internet. This keeps your home address private, and also keeps people that you know from knowing what you own. Especially if you work in a controversial line of business, or are a public figure.
Benefits of Anonymous LLCs
When forming an anonymous LLC the ownership information of your company is not made public. It keeps your personal information private.
When you conduct business or business deals under the guise of an Anonymous LLC, it can keep confidentiality among the participants.
Because it is not possible for members of the public to look up the ownership information of Anonymous LLCs, this can prevent the owners from being harassed. Especially when it comes to controversial businesses, subject matter, or other issues.
Corporations can be formed anonymously as well, but anonymous LLCs allow you to bring multiple partners in at different levels and allow a lot more flexibility. You are also able to change the ownership among these assets or functions at any time, sell off assets, and do a variety of other actions not possible in a corporation because of how they are managed.
How to Form an Anonymous LLC
Forming an Anonymous LLC is pretty similar to that of a normal LLC. There are only a few other steps you will need to go through.
Four States to Form a Single-Member LLC in
As you form your single-member LLC using a registered agent service or another third party is a great way to ensure compliance with the law. Your registered agent must live in the state of formation, and will have their address as your business’s address. The LLC is considered the “shell” LLC. Forming an anonymous LLC is only possible in one of four states that allow anonymous LLCs, Delaware, Nevada, New Mexico, or Wyoming.
Open a Business Bank Account By Using an EIN
Obtaining an EIN is similar to a social security number for your business. EINs are obtained for free from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). After you have obtained the EIN you can legally open a business bank account.
Formation in Your Home State
You will then need to once again use an LLC formation service for this step. When registering your LLC, you need to list the out-of-state LLC as the “manager” or “officer”. This person will then be on file with the state. This helps keep your personal information in your home state off of the public record but still establishes a legitimate paper trail. This will be proof that you own both of the businesses.
Obtain EIN and Open Business Bank Account for Home State LLC
Similar to what you did before, you will want to get an EIN for your business. Then you can open a bank account. When doing this step, you will need to bring all of your formation documents with you to the bank. The bank will want to verify your ownership of the new LLC will this information.
Do Business Anonymously
At this point, you should be good to begin operating your LLC anonymously and in compliance.
Is Anonymous LLC Right for YOu?
If you are a public figure or someone who works in a line of business where you do not want it to be displayed to the rest of the world, then an anonymous LLC may be right for you. Overall it is not an overly complicated process, but you will need to pay a bit more to have a company set as your registered agent.
Get Help from a Business Attorney
Hiring a business lawyer when forming an anonymous LLC can ensure that you are in compliance. It can also take the legal burden off of you, and allow you to feel comfortable while forming your business.