Start an LLC in Wyoming

Plan on starting a Wyoming LLC but can’t figure out where to begin? In recent years, more and more entrepreneurs choose to create an LLC in Wyoming thanks to the state’s favorable tax environment and growing domestic markets.

And if you intend to expand into a Wyoming Series LLC, this state is one of the few that support this business structure which contributes to its popularity with business owners. 

This Wyoming Limited Liability Company guide aims to examine the formation process step by step, including helpful resources for financial planning and ongoing requirements.

How To Form An LLC in Wyoming: Important Steps

Choose a Name For Your Wyoming LLC

One of the first steps in this process is to find a fitting name. It’s impossible to start an LLC in Wyoming without a fully compliant name as it is fundamental for developing your brand and attracting potential customers, investors, or new partners.

A good Wyoming LLC name should be memorable and emphasize the company’s line of specialization. It should also meet legal requirements which you can find in Section 17-29-108 of the Wyoming LLC Act. They postulate that an LLC name should:

  • Not be misleading in regards to the company’s purpose and goals;
  • Include its designation in full or abbreviated form:
    • Limited Liability Company;
    • Limited Company;
    • L.L.C.;
    • LLC;
    • L.C.;
    • LC.
  • Only include professional designations like “college”, “trust”, “bank” if the company has obtained the necessary licenses/permits;
  • Avoid using an already existing name or one deceptively similar.

Given hundreds of already existing Wyoming LLCs, it only makes sense to make sure your preferred name is available by using the free Secretary of State’s Business Entity Search.

If it’s free, you can file your Wyoming Articles of Organization under that name. If not, you will have to make it more unique by changing the word order or using synonyms. 

Not all changes are admissible. Some of the common invalid amendments are:

  • Spacing;
  • Punctuation;
  • Special characters;
  • Business type indicator changes like LLC or Ltd;
  • Singular, plural, or possessive forms of the same word.

If your name is both unique and compliant but you aren’t ready to form your company, you can always reserve it. Filing a name reservation costs $50, and the reservation itself is valid for 120 days.

There are two ways to file the Application for Reservation of Name:

Online

As the fastest option, the online application only requires you to download the form, fill it out, and submit it online.

Mail

If you can’t apply online, simply send the printout with your filing fee check to:

Wyoming Secretary of State 
2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700 
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020

Paper applications are processed within 3-5 business days.

If you still have questions and want to learn more about how to choose a company name, be sure to visit the official Secretary of State website.

Designate an LLC Registered Agent

All limited liability companies in Wyoming must assign a registered agent and maintain them throughout the entity’s duration. This is a mandatory requisite for operating in Wyoming since a registered agent is the primary communication channel between the company and the state. Their duties also cover receiving official correspondence and forwarding it to the LLC.

Any individual or legal entity can become an LLC registered agent as long as they meet the requirements.

Individual as Registered Agent

A natural person can carry out the duties of a Wyoming registered agent if they:

  • Are a resident;
  • Have reached the age of majority (18 years);
  • Have a WY physical address;
  • Are able to be present at the registered office during all standard business hours to receive signed correspondence.

The state also allows LLC owners to either act as their own registered agents or designate family members and friends.

Registered Agent Service

Compared to any individual registered agent, hiring a registered agent service comes with a wide range of benefits, the most valuable of all being the absolute guarantee of clerical clarity. All your documents will be kept in check, so you won’t miss a single filing deadline.

A professional registered agent also saves you from the need to make your personal information public as is required of every agent.

If you haven’t decided which service to choose, start with the ones that come highly recommended by other customers, for instance, IncFile or Northwest Registered Agent. Both providers have decades of experience and maintain solid reputations in the industry. 

Get an EIN for a Wyoming LLC

An Employer Identification Number, or EIN for short, is a necessary requirement for any company that plans to open a financial account, pay taxes in Wyoming, or hire employees.

This nine-digit number is assigned to a company by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to monitor its activity. Although you technically don’t need EIN when you’re getting an LLC, it might become necessary in the future.

There are three ways to apply for it:

Online

The fastest way to get this number is to file online. Use your Social Security Number to send the online application form, and the IRS will issue your ID immediately. Their issue process narrows the application window down to between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. EST.

Fax

Download Form SS-4, fill it out, and send it to:

(855) 641-693.

Fax applications are processed within 4 business days.

Mail

If you don’t mind waiting up to 4 weeks, you can apply by mail. Download Form SS-4, fill and print it out, then address it to:

Internal Revenue Service Operation
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

File the Articles of Organization

After selecting your name and assigning a registered agent, it’s time to do the Articles of Organization filing. This procedure requires you to submit your LLC Formation Documents with the state to approve the registration.

Typically, the Articles of Organization contain the following:

  • LLC name;
  • Principal office address and mailing address;
  • Organizer’s name, daytime phone number, email, and dated signature;
  • Registered agent’s name and address;
  • An original signed Consent to Appointment by a Registered Agent etc.

Where the Wyoming LLC Articles of Organization differ is the addition of a “close limited liability company” designation. This business structure works best for small family-owned businesses.

The creation of an LLC officially starts with submitting your Articles of Organization. You can do so online, by mail, or in person. The filing fee is set at $100 regardless of the method.

Online

Online filings are the fastest and easiest way to do this since your application will be processed on the spot, though for an additional $2 fee.

Paper application

For this method, download the application form, complete it, print it out, and send it along with your $100 check to:

Wyoming Secretary of State 
2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700 
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020

Such filings are usually processed within 3-5 business days. An LLC is only considered official after the Secretary of State approves the application.

Write an LLC Operating Agreement

Though it’s not mandatory to create an operating agreement in Wyoming, it’s highly recommended you do it since this document helps establish a more stable operation by outlining an LLC’s goals and procedures as well as allocating membership rights.

A personalized Wyoming LLC Operating Agreement brings many advantages to the table, including:

  • Achieving uniformity of process and procedural standardization which makes the overall operation more regulated;
  • Preventing internal conflicts in regards to leadership;
  • Reinforcing entity’s legitimacy in the eyes of banks, courts, partners, etc;
  • Protecting limited liability status through separation of personal and LLC’s assets;
  • Avoiding state default laws through outlining all relevant procedures.

A typical operating agreement covers:

  • Registered agent information;
  • Duration of company;
  • Member exit/replacement;
  • Process of new member addition;
  • Initial contributions;
  • Allocation of profits and losses; 
  • Managerial structure;
  • Allocation of rights;
  • Indemnification outline;
  • Bookkeeping;
  • Dissolution etc.

Given that an operating agreement is internal in nature, there is no standardized form for it. This means that you can draft it two ways:

  1. On your own; as long as you find a suitable option among many free operating Agreement templates online, you can do it by yourself. Keep in mind that most of these are fairly general and will fail to consider the specifics of your LLC.
  2. Through an attorney; an experienced business attorney is fully capable of creating an operating agreement from scratch and tailoring it to your company. On the downside, such services can be expensive.

A good alternative to both would be using a template from an online formation company. Many providers that set up LLCs in Wyoming include it, for instance, ZenBusiness adds a free operating agreement to every formation package, and their pricing is more than agreeable with the starting point of $49.

Keeping a Wyoming LLC Compliant

Open an LLC Bank Account

Having a bank account for Wyoming LLC comes with the following advantages: 

  • Accounting optimization;
  • Expanding your financing options;
  • Clear separation of business and personal funds;
  • Official payroll for staff;
  • Tax management; 
  • Making it more convenient for customers to write checks in your business name.

Starting an LLC checking account is fairly simple. After finding a suitable bank, locate its nearest branch and apply with the following:

  • Copies of Articles of Organization;
  • A copy of Operating Agreement;
  • LLC’s EIN;
  • A copy of your Initial Resolution;
  • LLC bank resolutions as proof of authorization to open the account on behalf of the company.

File a Wyoming LLC Annual Report

Maintaining a good standing is paramount for your company’s stability and growth. To uphold this status in Wyoming, you must file your annual reports regularly and on time.

The deadline for annual report filing requirements in Wyoming is the first day of your company’s formation anniversary. So if you launched it on May 27th, your LLC annual report deadline is May 1st of the following year.

If you don’t remember your company’s anniversary, simply look it up in your Articles of Organization or look it up on the business entity database.

Wyoming doesn’t have annual report filing fees and instead imposes the annual license tax at the rate of $50 or 0,0002% of your LLC’s assets. Note that if your tax is $500, you can only file the annual report by post. 

Other than that, there are two ways to file an annual report:

Online

The fastest and cheapest way to send the report is to file online. Simply download the form, fill it out, and submit it to the Secretary of State.

Mail

If you prefer the reliability of paper documents, print out your completed form and send it along with the tax payment check to:

Wyoming Secretary of State 
2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700 
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020

Filing annual reports on time is essential for doing business in Wyoming and keeping it in good standing. Failure to do so within 60 days of the deadline might force the state to order an administrative dissolution.

Get Business Permits and Licenses

Although it’s sometimes enough to make an LLC legitimate by getting your Articles of Organization approved by the state, in most cases, the process goes further. For running a Wyoming LLC legally, most owners will need to acquire licenses or permits.

The number and types of required licenses depend on your industry and jurisdiction, but overall they are applied on three levels:

  • Federal: for more information, visit the official U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) website;
  • Local: county and municipal requirements have separate licensing laws, so always contact your local county clerk before conducting any transactions.

If you still have questions about what types of business licenses and permits in Wyoming might apply to your company, feel free to visit the official Wyoming Business Council website.

Pay Wyoming LLC Taxes

Running a compliant business also means meeting the Wyoming LLC tax filing requirements. An LLC can be taxed on three levels:

  1. Federal: as pass-through entities, most LLCs are exempt from federal taxes by default. All taxes go on the owners’ personal 1040 tax returns and/or Schedule C;
  1. State: LLC businesses in Wyoming are luckier than most since the state has no personal or corporate income taxes. But remember that you are subject to the annual license tax starting at $50 or $0,0002 for each $1 of the company’s capital. More information on the Secretary of State’s FAQ page;
  1. Local: city, municipality, or county have the power to set their own tax requirements.

After the registration of LLC in Wyoming, you will likely need to pay other industry-based taxes. For instance, LLCs that employ regular staff must register with the Department of Workforce Service for the Unemployment Insurance Tax, while companies that sell goods and services will need to apply for the Sales Tax and a Use Tax with the Wyoming Department of Revenue (DOR).

Conclusion

Establishing an LLC in Wyoming can be made faster and easier by way of hiring LLC formation services. These companies not only conduct the entire Wyoming LLC formation but also provide other business solutions like designating a registered agent LLC and overseeing Wyoming LLC maintenance such as handling annual reports and other compliance requirements.