Asset Protection Strategy
First of all, why would you want to form an anonymous LLC? There are many reasons people want the privacy and protection of keeping their names out of public view that has nothing to do with doing anything shady. A recent example is a family who won 30 million dollars in the lottery and started receiving death threats and solicitations. So they formed an anonymous LLC to receive their winnings. There are also people who search out companies with large assets then find a way to sue them. Doctors find themselves targets of malpractice lawsuits and internet postings which could damage their personal reputations, whether inaccurate or unfair; it is to their benefit to use anonymous LLCs for protection so they won't be named in the multitude of lawsuits that are rampant in the health care industry.
Asset Protection is a pretty broad term and can be overcomplicated. What we are going to talk about is "Simple Asset Protection." Asset protection could be VERY strategic and complicated to the point where it costs you a ton of money each year to maintain, you don't have any idea how your plan actually works, and you don't truly know if it holds up in court.
Now, you could put everything into one LLC or split it up for each thing if you're more concerned.
The point of our simple asset protection strategy is to keep your personal name off public records. We're not talking about avoiding taxes or really any other benefits. When someone is thinking about suing you, they will do an asset search. It's readily available and costs about 75 to 100 bucks through a credit reporting company. They'll pull your credit and see what you own. The County assessor and County DMV are all public records and easily found. If someone can't find things you own personally, you do not look like you're worth the pursuit. Investments in public companies stocks and mutual funds are also all public information. The Wyoming LLC can be formed and maintained in an anonymous method. One of the real benefits we can provide is forming and maintaining an anonymous Private LLC for you in Wyoming AND providing you mail forwarding through an entirely different state. We operate in all 50 states, so if you're registering your cars at your local DMV, they could be owned through an anonymous business sounding LLC name from Wyoming and you use our mail forwarding from Idaho, Montana, or Washington State. Nothing pulls it back to you and your personal residence. Same thing with owning your home in an LLC. The LLC is listed with the County assessor. The LLC has a business sounding name like: Texas Nice Homes Rentals, LLC or whatever name you want, with an Idaho mail forwarding address, and you're personally renting your home from your LLC that owns the home.
Now we don't specialize in complicated asset protection strategies. There are many lawyers and firms that specialize in this. You can take asset protection as far as you really want to. One of the things we see though is someone doing a complicated strategy for 5 years or so, and one day they wake up 5 years later and they can't really even figure out what they have going on. We deal with this, because many asset protection firms use us as the registered agent to keep the entities active with the state. A LLC or any business entity has to have a registered agent and that is how we make a living. We bill the LLC 125 a year to act as the registered agent. Then you basically have 50 to Wyoming each year for an annual report. Other states can cost more. But most people put the LLCs in Wyoming. We get calls all the time from people getting set up on complicated strategies that 5 years later they don't understand. Having a simple strategy is cheaper and a better long term situation.
In its simplest form, ONE or maybe a couple Wyoming LLCs can help you to keep your personal name out of the public records. The owners are members of the LLC, which is not on the public records of Wyoming. You (The members,) control the LLC, but the public does not know that.
Is this a bullet proof asset protection plan? Is there such a thing? Those type of plans are theories. Simply put, keeping your personal name off of as many things as possible, and controlling business entities can create a great situation to keep your life more private, and a simple LLC is very simple to maintain. It virtually requires nothing on your part.
What are my options?