How To Hide Your Identity When Forming LLC (Anonymous LLC)

If you want to hide the details of your business ownership, it’s about time.

Keep your businesses and private life from getting entangled by opening an Anonymous LLC instead of a regular one.

It’s the answer to the problem of harassment by the media and criminals. There are certainly benefits to it as people are increasingly opting for this solution.

There is nothing complicated about opening an Anonymous LLC, but the rules for it change depending on the state.

Anonymous LLC

Why Do You Want An Anonymous LLC?

So, before we go any further, you need to know exactly why you want your details hidden. Making an anonymous LLC makes the operation of the company passive, i.e., the owners won’t be directly running the operation, which may have cost-opportunity for small businesses.

You can expect 3 things from such an LLC contract.

  • Confidentiality about your business deals
  • Keeping your personal life free from all the negatives that come with doing business
  • And, of course, preventing criminals and stalkers from causing troubles

If you’re interested in opening one, get in touch, and let us help you make the right decisions for your new private business.

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What is an Anonymous LLC?

An anonymous LLC is what the name implies. It keeps the owners of the LLC anonymous to the media and the public. The state is obligated to keep everything about these limited liability companies discreet.

But keep in mind that while the name is intuitive, it is not the legal term by which the state identifies the company. It refers to an LLC where the company is registered to keep the company records secret. There are other names for it, such as Confidential or Private.

It is done using what we call a manager-managed LLC, while the regular registration is done under a member-managed LLC.

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So, What Are The Differences Between The Two LLCs?

What makes the manager-managed LLC different is that the state does not legally bind it to disclose the details of its owners to the public.

On the other hand, your regular LLCs are member-managed, where it’s obligated to make the ownership details available in the public record.

The implications of being either manager-managed or member-managed are far greater than just company registration.

In short, we can say that a manager-managed company is a corporation where the owners do not actively control the company’s dealings. And that allows them to keep their names hidden in the company details.

The manager-managed LLCs, aka anonymous LLCs, are usually registered through a third-party registered agent. But you need to keep in mind a few things about these LLCs.

Know that,

  • These business owners will still have to pay taxes
  • Anonymous LLCs can still be sued and may be forced to disclose identities to the public through a subpoena
  • You still need to give your bank access to your details
  • The IRS will track you

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Which Are The Best Anonymous LLC States?

There are a few states in the United States of America that may have policies more conducive for registering anonymous LLCs and benefitting from them.

Legally, there are only 4 states that allow anonymous LLCs, and they are Nevada, Delaware, Wyoming, and New Mexico. But which provides the best opportunity for new businesses?

If you ask me to recommend a solution, I’d suggest you register your LLC in your primary state, where you’ll be doing most of your business.

It’s because you have to pay taxes for both your home state and the state your business is registered in. If it’s the same state, the tax burden will be much less.

However, if a non-US citizen comes up and asks me, there’s no better option than the states of Nevada and Delaware. These two states have a policy in place that allows them to keep their identity anonymous.

This is why I always recommend Delaware to my online international clients.

Anonymous LLC in Delaware State

The state of Delaware facilitates businesses with several types of privacy protections. These will ensure your business’ privacy. As a testament to this statement, you should know that more than 1 million businesses have already registered in the state of Delaware.

Considering the advantages the state gives to its anonymous LLC owners, it might be the best state for anonymous LLCs. Here are some of the advantages from the top of my head:

Well-Designed Justice System – The Judges in the Delaware Court of Chancery is ensured to be experts in the law of business instead of non-expert juries. And this court exists only in this state.

Residency Not Required – Unlike most states, you don’t need to have a residency permit to start a business in Delaware. Do you want to start an online business being a non-US citizen? Well, you have Delaware to depend on.

No Corporate Income Tax – The best part of registering your manager-managed LLC or corporation in Delaware is not having to pay the corporate income tax. You will still be liable for a franchise tax.

More LLC Structures – Delaware recognizes more methods of structuring your LLC than any state in the USA.

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Anonymous LLC in Nevada State

In terms of advantages, the state of Nevada is similar to Delaware. But it doesn’t have the same level of the justice system in its courts since it doesn’t have a judicial system specially developed for businesses. It also has a higher annual fee than other states.

No Income Tax – Yes, indeed, the state of Nevada doesn’t require businesses to pay a corporate tax or a franchise tax. It does not tax income, inheritance, or capital gains.

No-Information-Sharing with IRS – The state of Nevada, by law, does not share the information of any anonymous LLC with the IRS, unlike Delaware, which doesn’t have such policies preventing it.

No Residency Required – this is more or less the same in all 4 states that allow anonymous LLC.

Anonymous LLC in California

California is another popular business state for LLCs. However, I wouldn’t recommend attempting to establish your company in California unless you are doing most of your physical business there.

California does not offer anonymous LLC. California requires filing a Statement of Information, which requires disclosing the name of the Managers of the LLC.

So if you’re looking to stay anonymous, stay away from California LLC.

Anonymous LLC in New Mexico

Small businesses looking to operate in the United States could find New Mexico the easiest to register in. Here’s why:

No Need to Name Anyone – Unlike Nevada, you aren’t required to put the names of owners and their identities on paper. Complete Anonymity can be achieved.

No Annual Fees or Filings – The only requirement is to keep a registered agent in the state. There are no annual fees or filing fees.

No Franchise Taxation – You don’t have to pay any franchise tax for your business here unless you pay a federal income tax. However, unlike the states of Nevada and Delaware, you have to pay the state income tax.

Everything Is Online – The best part about maintaining an anonymous LLC is that you don’t need to visit New Mexico to create one. Scratch that; you don’t even need to visit the US. Just have a registered agent in the state, and it’s all good.

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Anonymous LLC in Wyoming

Wyoming is the only state that can claim itself as the tax haven for corporations and LLCs. While it can’t compete with Delaware’s Court of Chancery, it has other advantages.

No Corporate Income Tax – It’s the only other state besides Nevada which doesn’t tax its registered anonymous LLC business owners. Neither does it have any franchise tax like Delaware.

Complete Anonymity – While 2 of the 4 states disclose the details of ownership and business dealings to the IRS, alongside Nevada, Wyoming also prohibits sharing information with IRS. Only the real estate business information is shared with IRS in Wyoming.

Lowest Annual Fee – Wyoming takes only $50 as the annual report fee, which is the lowest among the 3 states. The 4th state, New Mexico, doesn’t require any fee.

How to Open An Anonymous LLC

Opening an anonymous LLC is quite simple and not so different than a regular one. You find a business name and select a state.

Choose an agent, most preferably an attorney, to bolster your protection. And then file the Articles of Organization.

But in the case of an anonymous LLC, you have to choose the states that allow keeping the company details private, i.e., anonymous.

You also have to take into account the advantages and disadvantages we discussed earlier.

When you’re opening a confidential LLC, here’s a suggestion.

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Keep An Attorney Appointed for Your Anonymous LLC

While the LLCs can remain anonymous to the public, the information is taken by banks and rentals as proof of business. In such cases, you’re open to liabilities and privacy vulnerability.

However, if you appoint an attorney and do a non-disclosure agreement, you are creating a good chance of privacy protection. In cases of violation of such agreements, your appointed attorney will take matters in hand immediately.

Are Anonymous LLC Untraceable?

No, they are not untraceable. That’s a false presumption held by many people. While the average Joe won’t find the details of a private LLC, it’s known to the state. And the state can sue on behalf of the public if there are any complaints or fraudulent claims.

To Conclude

That is how you use the state policies to your advantage and maximize your business potential. While there are culprits who use this business-friendly law to avoid personal liability, by and large, this option allows small business owners, especially non-US citizens, to thrive in a market dominated by corporations.

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