Thinking of starting a business in Wyoming? Or maybe you already have one there, but want to change your business structure to an LLC. Either way, you need the scoop on how to form an LLC in Wyoming, as well as what it’ll cost you.
Why Form an LLC in Wyoming
The LLC — or Limited Liability Company — is a smart choice for your business structure. It protects your personal finances, home, vehicles, and other assets from being seized to cover your business’ expenses. It can also make it easier to position your business to borrow money and sell equity in order to raise capital.
The LLC offers pass-through tax treatment, which means that you report your profit and losses on your personal income tax forms. Many entrepreneurs prefer the LLC because it is a little less formal in its requirements in terms of annual paperwork to be filed, Board meetings, and minutes to be recorded, as compared to the Corporation. Another perk is that there’s no limit to the number of owners you can have, whereas the Corporation is limited to 100 shareholders.
How to Form a Business in Wyoming
While forming a corporation is easier than it’s ever been, using an affordable incorporation service like CorpNet is often a smart choice. The authority for incorporating in Wyoming is the Wyoming Secretary of State. This is the government agency responsible for all forms, filings, and record keeping.
Fictitious business names (DBA – doing business as) are filed at the county level, not with the Secretary of State. Other permits and licenses may be required at the county or even city level in Wyoming. For the determined do-it-yourselfers, here’s how it’s done.
Step 1: Search
Search to make sure your company name is available. You can use the free CorpNet company name search. If you plan to incorporate in the banking, trust, or a professional services industry, realize you may be subject to rules regulating those specific areas. So, for instance, an acupuncturist may have naming requirements based on their license to practice in Wyoming.
Step 2: Register
Register your corporation with the Secretary of State. CorpNet offers filings of the Articles of Incorporation and Articles of Organization. Bylaws are not filed with the Secretary of State, but are kept at corporate offices.
Step 3: Meetings
Hold the first official meeting for the corporation and adopt the Bylaws. This is a legal meeting and must be recorded as such.
Step 4: EINs
Apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) under the corporate name. In Wyoming, you will also have to file with the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. This agency issues employer account numbers and administers Wyoming’s payroll taxes, including Unemployment Insurance, Employment Training Tax, State Disability Insurance, and Wyoming Personal Income Tax withholding.
Step 5: Licenses
Obtain any specific licenses and permits required, either statewide or for the county in which you will do business. Some examples would be: electrician’s license, trucking licenses, and permits, liquor license, etc. These are not handled by the Secretary of State. Get information on what permits you need from the Wyoming Business Council.
Don’t Forget About LLC Maintenance
While the LLC will exist until you formally dissolve it, you will need to renew your LLC by filing an Annual Report every year with the Wyoming Secretary of State. Annual statements are due by the first day of the anniversary month. So if you formed your LLC on March 17, your report would be due March 1 each year.
If you miss the deadline for your Annual Report, you may be subject to late penalty fees or being noncompliant.
Now For Those Wyoming LLC Fees
As of 2017, the Wyoming LLC fees for filing are $103. You are also required to pay an Annual Report License tax of $52 or two-tenths of one mill on the dollar ($.0002), whichever is greater based on your company’s assets in the state of Wyoming.
Still have questions about forming an LLC in Wyoming? Download our free guide: Ultimate Guide to Starting, Protecting, and Operating a Business in Wyoming. It’s got all the answers you need to successfully launch your business in Wyoming.