How to Start an LLC in Wyoming
An LLC (limited liability company) is a type of business entity that provides its owners with limited liability protection. In addition, LLCs offer tax benefits and a flexible management structure. To form a Wyoming LLC, you’ll need to submit Articles of Organization with the Wyoming Secretary of State and pay a $100 filing fee. However, first you’ll need to choose a business name and appoint a registered agent. Once the Secretary of State has received your articles, it will take up to 15 business days to process, regardless of how you file. Below, we provide step-by-step instructions on how to form your Wyoming LLC and get it ready for business.
Ready to Start an LLC in Wyoming?Get Started
Name Your LLC
Designate a Registered Agent
Submit LLC Articles of Organization
Write an LLC Operating Agreement
Get an EIN
Open a Bank Account
Fund the LLC
File reports + taxes
1. Name Your LLC
The first step in forming a Wyoming LLC is choosing a business name. You can find specific rules for naming your LLC in Wyo. Stat. § 17-29-108. Basically, your LLC’s name must:
- Contain “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.”
- Be “distinguishable” (unique) from other Wyoming businesses.
- Not include “corporation,” “limited partnership,” or any words or abbreviations that suggest your LLC is a different business type.
Note: Words that suggest your LLC is an educational institution (like “college” or “school”) require approval from the Department of Education, while words that suggest your LLC is a financial institution (like “bank”) require approval from the Division of Banking.
Already have a business name? Check to see if it’s available.
Can I reserve a business name in Wyoming?
Yes, you can reserve your business name before filing Articles of Organization. To reserve your LLC’s name, you’ll submit the Application for Reservation of Name with the Wyoming Secretary of State. The application costs $60 and will reserve your company’s name for up to 120 days.
What’s the difference between my LLC’s name and a trade name?
The legal name of your LLC is the one listed on your Articles of Organization. Your trade name (also called an assumed business name) is any name you choose to do business under other than your LLC’s legal name or your personal name. In Wyoming, you are not required to register your trade name with the Secretary of State. However, if you want to register your trade name, you can file an Application for Registration of Trade Name ($100).
Learn more about trade names and how to get a DBA.
Do I need to renew my LLC’s trade name?
No, because you aren’t legally required to register a trade name in Wyoming in the first place. If you do opt to register your trade name, your registration will only be active for ten years. After that, if you’d like to keep your trade name active, you can file an Application for Renewal Trade Name Registration ($50).
2. Designate a Registered Agent
Wyoming requires all LLCs to have a registered agent—someone who accepts legal and state mail on behalf of your business. Your registered agent can be you, someone within your business, or a third party such as a registered agent company.
You’ll need to list your registered agent’s name and address on your Articles of Organization. So it’s essential to choose a registered agent before forming your LLC.
See why savvy business owners use a registered agent service.
What does a registered agent do?
Can you be your own registered agent in Wyoming?
Yes. However, keep in mind that you will be required to list your name and address on the Articles of Organization, which is a public record. You’ll also need to maintain regular business hours at this address and be available to accept legal documents in person.
Can I change my registered agent after I start an LLC?
Yes. To change your Wyoming registered agent, you’ll need to file an Appointment of New Registered Agent and Office form with the Secretary of State and pay the $5 filing fee.
3. Submit LLC Articles of Organization
To form your LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization with the Wyoming Secretary of State. You can submit your form online, by mail, or in person. If you choose to file online, you will need to pay an additional $2 convenience fee.
Note: All of the information included on this form will become public record.
You’ll need to include the following information in your Articles of Organization:
- Your full business name. Include an indicator like “LLC.”
- Close LLC. Check the box if you want to form a Wyoming Close LLC (a type of LLC with stricter rules for transferring membership interest). For more information, see our page on Wyoming Close LLCs.
- Registered agent information. Include your registered agent’s name and physical address. PO boxes can only be listed in addition to a physical address.
- Mailing address. This can be a PO Box.
- Principal address. This must be a Wyoming street address.
- Consent to receive service of process by email. If your registered agent can’t be reached, the Secretary of State will email legal notices to this address.
- Signature of your LLC’s organizer. Whoever prepares and files this document.
- Contact person. If there’s an issue with your Articles of Organization, the Secretary of State will notify this person. You’ll need to include a name, phone number, and email.
- Registered agent consent form. This form is attached to the Articles of Organization and must be signed by your registered agent.
The filing fee is $100 ($102 for online filings). The state will process your documents in the order they are received—typically within 15 business days.
Ready to start your Wyoming LLC? File for free with Northwest.
How can I keep my personal information off public record?
The information listed on this form becomes part of the public record, so the best way to keep your personal information off the public record is to keep it off of this form.
Wyoming is an awesome state for privacy protection, but only if you hire a registered agent who will list their information on this form in place of your own. If you don’t, you’ll miss out on the privacy perks of forming an LLC in Wyoming.
What’s the difference between a member-managed and a manager-managed LLC?
Owners of an LLC are called members. In a member-managed LLC, members handle the business’s day-to-day operations. In a manager-managed LLC, members hire or choose one or more managers to run the company. Whoever manages your LLC will have the ability to hire and fire employees, sign documents on behalf of the LLC, open bank accounts, and more.
Need help deciding which management structure works best for you? See our page on LLC Member Vs Manager.
How do I file the Wyoming Articles of Organization?
Wyoming Articles of Organization can be filed online, by mail, or in person.
Mail and in person:
Wyoming Secretary of State
Herschler Building East, Suite 101
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
PH: (307) 777-7311
Wyoming Business Center
4. Write an LLC Operating Agreement
An LLC’s operating agreement provides all the details for how your Wyoming LLC will function. It’s a legally binding document that includes all the rules, regulations, and provisions for voting, navigating potential mergers, transferring membership interest, handling internal disputes, and much more.
Check out our attorney-drafted Wyoming LLC Operating Agreement Template.
Does Wyoming require an LLC to have an operating agreement?
The state of Wyoming doesn’t require your operating agreement to be in written form. Per Wyo. Stat. § 17-29-102, your LLC’s operating agreement can be oral or implied. However, it’s in your best interest to draft a written agreement. Without an operating agreement, Wyoming’s default LLC statutes will determine how your business handles major events.
What should be included in an operating agreement?
An operating agreement should outline how your LLC will navigate major events such as converting your LLC, merging with another company, or dissolving your company. It should also cover how your LLC will make decisions.
Here’s a list of topics you may include in your operating agreement:
- Distribution of profits
- Voting rights
- Management structure and member/manager roles
- Transferring membership interest
- Dissolving the LLC
Your LLC operating agreement can cover a range of topics. Wyoming pretty much allows for anything that’s not explicitly prohibited by law or the Articles of Organization.
Does a single-member LLC need an operating agreement?
Yes. Although you may not need to resolve a dispute with yourself or establish rules for voting, an operating agreement will be necessary for opening bank accounts and supporting your LLC’s limited liability.
5. Get an EIN
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a unique, nine-digit number that the IRS assigns for tax filing purposes. It acts as a social security number for your Wyoming LLC. You can apply for an EIN through the IRS website or file a paper form. There is no filing fee.
Do I need an EIN for my Wyoming LLC?
Yes. Legally, you’re only required to obtain an EIN if your LLC is taxed as a corporation, you have employees, or your LLC has multiple members. However, having an EIN spares you from handing over your own social security number to banks and potential vendors, so we’d say it’s a must.
What To Do After Forming Your Wyoming LLC
6. Open a Bank Account
Opening a separate business account is essential for maintaining your liability protection. Why? LLCs are considered separate entities from their owners, which provides you with limited liability protection. Mixing business and personal finances erodes that separation and could put your protection at risk.
To open a bank account for your LLC, bring the following to the bank:
- a copy of your Articles of Organization
- your LLC Operating Agreement
- your LLC’s EIN
- an LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account (if your LLC has more than one member).
If your LLC has more than one member, use our free LLC Resolution to Open a Bank Account.
7. Fund the LLC
Once you’ve formed your LLC and opened a bank account, then it’s time to fund it. Traditionally, members fund an LLCs with good old fashioned money—each writing a check or depositing cash into the LLC’s bank account. However, members could also contribute valuable property or services. It’s important to note that these types of contributions can trigger tax events, so it’s generally a good idea to seek advice from a tax expert.
What is LLC membership interest?
Your percentage of ownership in the Wyoming LLC is referred to as membership interest. A member’s total interest is usually determined by how much they initially invest. For example, suppose one member invests $2,000 into the LLC, and the other two invest $4,000. In that case, the first member will own 20% of the business, while the other two will own 40% each. Traditionally, voting rights are also determined by membership interest.
8. File State Reports & Taxes
Wyoming LLCs are required to file annual reports each year with the Secretary of State. The total value of your LLC’s assets will determine your filing fee. For example, if your total assets are less than $300,000, then you’ll pay the minimum fee of $60. If your assets are over $300,000, then you’ll pay $0.0002 for every dollar. So, if your total assets are $400,000, then you’ll pay $80 ($400,000 multiplied by .0002) to file your annual report.
Rather not worry about missing your deadline? Let us file your annual report for you.
When is the Wyoming Annual Report due?
Your Wyoming annual report will be due on the first day of your anniversary month. Say what? Well, let’s say you formed your Wyoming LLC on April 25th—your annual report will be due by April 1st each year.
How are Wyoming LLCs taxed?
By default, a Wyoming LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity—meaning annual profits are distributed to members, who report their profits on their personal tax filings. Members will have to pay the federal self-employment tax (15.3%). LLCs can also elect to be taxed as an S-Corporation or C-Corporation.
Learn more about S-Corp Vs LLC tax designation.