Starting a Wyoming LLC
A Wyoming LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a business entity created to protect your personal assets in the event your business is sued. Your personal assets include anything you own in your name, like your home, vehicles, and any bank or retirement accounts.
You can form a Wyoming LLC to operate a business, or you can form an LLC to purchase and hold assets, such as real estate, vehicles, boats, or aircraft.
Important: If you don’t live in Wyoming, or do business in Wyoming, please read why you shouldn’t form an LLC in Wyoming.
1. Wyoming LLC Name
Before filing a Wyoming LLC with the Secretary of State, you need to make sure that your desired Wyoming LLC name is available to use by searching the state’s database.
Your Wyoming LLC’s name must be unique and distinguishable when compared to all the existing businesses registered in the state.
Wyoming is very strict about name distinguishability. If you file your LLC online and your name is not distinguishable, the state will reject your LLC and you’ll forfeit your $100 filing fee. For this reason, we strongly recommend you read our complete Wyoming LLC Name Lesson.
Use the Wyoming Business Entity Search tool to check whether your Wyoming LLC name is already taken by another business.
Names that start with an “A” and are followed by a space: If your desired Wyoming LLC name starts with an “A” and is followed by a space, you cannot file your LLC online. It must be filed by mail.
Wyoming Limited Liability Company Designator
As per Wyoming law Section 17-29-108, your LLC name must end with a proper designator. Wyoming allows for the following designators:
- LLC or L.L.C.
- LC or L.C.
- Ltd. or LTD.
- Limited Company
- Liability Company
- Ltd. Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
Tip: If you’re not sure which designator to use, “LLC” is the most common.
Your Wyoming LLC name cannot include a designator that makes it sounds like a different type of legal entity: Corporation, Corp., Inc., Incorporated, Limited Partnership, LP, L.P., or Trust.
Decentralized Autonomous Organization: If you are forming a Wyoming DAO LLC, there are different naming rules and filing requirements.
2. Wyoming Registered Agent
The Wyoming Secretary of State requires you to list a Wyoming Registered Agent on your LLC’s Articles of Organization.
A Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to receive legal mail and court documents (called Service of Process) in the event your Wyoming Limited Liability Company is sued.
Your LLC’s Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Wyoming. PO Boxes are not allowed. This ensures that the courts and legal system can “serve” someone if needed.
Your LLC’s Registered Agent needs to maintain normal office hours and be available from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday.
Who can be your LLC’s Registered Agent in Wyoming?
- You can be your own Registered Agent in Wyoming
- You can ask a friend or family member to be your LLC’s Registered Agent. They must agree to do so, and you’ll need their consent on a form filed with the Secretary of State.
- You can hire a Wyoming Registered Agent Service. This is your only option if you don’t have an address in Wyoming (or a friend who does).
Note: If your Wyoming Registered Agent is going to be an individual (you, a friend, or a family member), that individual needs to have a street address in the state, be a resident of Wyoming, be available during business hours, and be at least 18 years of age.
Commercial Registered Agent Recommendation in Wyoming: If you need to hire a Wyoming Commercial Registered Agent, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Northwest has been in the business for over 20 years and they have great customer support. Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned and uploaded to your online account.
3. Articles of Organization
The Wyoming Articles of Organization is the form you’ll file to create your LLC. And you must include a “Consent to Appointment by Registered Agent” form as well.
Wyoming LLC filing fee: $100
Check out LLC cost in Wyoming for more info on LLC fees.
- Your LLC will be approved in 3-5 business days if you file by mail.
- Your LLC will be approved immediately if you file online.
File LLC online (recommended method):
Form or Register a New Wyoming Business
Note: Filing times may take longer due to the current global situation and government delays. Please see how long does it take to get an LLC in Wyoming.
File LLC by mail: Articles of Organization Form (PDF)
- Pay by check or money order and make payable to the “Wyoming Secretary of State”.
- Mail completed and signed Articles of Organization, Consent to Appointment by Registered Agent, and $100 filing fee to:
Wyoming Secretary of State,
Herschler Building East, Suite 101
122 W 25th Street,
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
What your LLC approval will look like: Whether you file online or file by mail, the state will email you back the following documents, serving as your LLC’s official approval:
- Wyoming LLC Articles of Organization (stamped and approved)
- Certificate of Organization
- Filing receipt
Certificate of Good Standing: After your Wyoming LLC is approved, you can also download a Certificate of Good Standing.
4. LLC Operating Agreement
If the Wyoming LLC Articles of Organization is the document that forms your Limited Liability Company, then the Operating Agreement is the document that governs it.
A Wyoming LLC Operating Agreement is where you will list the LLC owners (called LLC Members), as well as how much of the business they own. Our free Operating Agreement template can be downloaded and customized for your LLC, and is available in PDF, Google Doc or Microsoft Word format.
The LLC’s Operating Agreement will also spell out how the LLC is taxed, how the business is managed, and how profits are split.
Internal Document: Your Operating Agreement does not need to be mailed to the Wyoming Secretary of State, to the IRS, or to any other agency. Your Operating Agreement is an “internal document”, meaning you just keep a copy amongst the members and with your business records.
Single-Member Wyoming LLC
Even if your LLC has 1 member, it is best practice to have an Operating Agreement on file. This helps keep your personal assets protected in the event of a lawsuit. It helps show that you are running the LLC properly.
Multi-Member Wyoming LLC
There are no default rules as to how you split ownership in a multi-member Wyoming LLC. You’ll just decide that amongst yourselves and then place your ownership percentages inside the Operating Agreement and then have the Members sign.
Wyoming LLC Operating Agreement template: We provide free Wyoming Operating Agreement templates that you can download here: Wyoming LLC Operating Agreement.
5. Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
A Wyoming EIN Number for your LLC is obtained from the IRS after your Wyoming LLC is approved by the Secretary of State. This number is used to identify your LLC with the IRS, mostly for tax purposes (similar to how a social security number works for individuals).
Opening a bank account: You’ll use your LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number to open a business bank account.
If applicable, you’ll also use your LLC’s Federal Tax ID Number to apply for certain licenses and permits and for handling employee payroll taxes.
Common names: A Federal Tax ID Number has many different names, but they all mean the same thing. For example, EIN, Employer Identification Number, FEIN, Federal Tax Number, or Federal Employer ID Number.
Wait for your LLC to be approved: Wait until the Wyoming Secretary of State approves your LLC before applying for your Federal Tax ID Number (EIN). Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of getting an EIN before the LLC is approved in Wyoming.
Free ($0): The IRS provides Federal Tax ID Numbers at no charge. Be careful about what you read online if someone is claiming you have to pay to get one.
How to apply: There are 3 ways to obtain a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS.
- Apply online (recommended method) – approved immediately
- Mail Form SS-4 – approved in 4 weeks
- Fax Form SS-4 – approved in 4 business days
Important: You can only use the online EIN application if you have an SSN or ITIN.
Non-US Resident: Don’t worry if you don’t have an SSN or ITIN. You can still get an EIN from the IRS. You just can’t apply online. Instead, you’ll need to fax Form SS-4 to the IRS. And we have instructions on this page: EIN without SSN.
6. Wyoming LLC Annual Report
All LLCs in Wyoming (regardless of income or activity) must file a Wyoming LLC Annual Report each year. For most LLCs, the Annual Report fee is $60.
Again, all LLCs in Wyoming must file this Annual Report , even if you have no business activity or make $0.
Due date: The Wyoming Annual Report for LLCs is due every year. It’s due by the first day of the LLC’s formation month (the month your LLC was approved). Also, your first Annual Report is not due until the year following the year of LLC formation.
For example: If your LLC was approved on April 18th 2023, then your first Annual Report will be due before April 1st 2024. Then it is due before April 1st every year after that.
Annual Report fee details
If your LLC has no assets, or assets less than $250,000 located in Wyoming:
Your Annual Report fee is $60.
If your LLC has assets located in Wyoming valued at $250,000 or more:
Your Annual Report fee is calculated by taking $0.0002 and multiplying that by the value of your LLC’s assets located in Wyoming. For example, if your LLC has $550,000 in assets located in Wyoming, then your fee will be $110 (550,000 x 0.0002).
Also known as License Tax: FYI, the Annual Report fee is sometimes referred to as the “License Tax”. They are the same thing.
How to file: File online (recommended) or file by mail.
Whether you file online or by mail, you’ll still have to complete the form on the state’s website: Wyoming Secretary of State: Annual Report. Then from there, you’ll either submit it electronically, or print it out and then mail it to the state.
Mailing address (not needed for online filers):
Wyoming Secretary of State
Herschler Building East, Suite 101
122 W 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
Penalty for late filings: If your Annual Report is not filed within 60 days of the due date, the Wyoming Secretary of State has the power to, and may administratively dissolve (shut down) your LLC.
7. Business Licenses and/or Permits
Wyoming does not have a state-level business license (unlike a few other states). But your LLC might need other Wyoming Business Licenses.
Instead, business licenses and permits in Wyoming are determined by the location of your business and what type of industry you are in.
You can research things yourself, or you can contact the Wyoming Economic Development Agent at 307-234-6685.
You may also want to contact your county, city, or town to see if they enforce any local license or permit requirements.
Need to save time?
If you don’t want to make phone calls and determine your licensing requirements yourself, we recommend using IncFile.
8. Wyoming State Taxes
Every LLC has a different Wyoming LLC Taxes situation, but we can provide a general overview of your LLC tax requirements.
Federal income taxes
Wyoming LLCs, in their default tax status, are pass-through entities, meaning the profits and losses from the LLC will flow through to your personal tax return with the IRS. The profit or loss is usually listed on a Schedule C and becomes a part of your personal 1040 return.
State income taxes
Wyoming does not impose a state income tax.
If your LLC will collect and remit sales tax, you’ll need to register with the Wyoming Department of Revenue.
Depending on the city and/or county where your LLC is located, you may have to file a local return.
Additional Taxes in Wyoming
Wyoming imposes taxes on gasoline, cigarettes, alcohol, real property, personal property, and inheritance and estate tax.
LLCU Recommendation: Determining your federal, state, and local taxes can be a bit complicated and if done improperly can negatively affect your LLC. For that reason, we recommend speaking with a few accountants after your Wyoming LLC is formed. Check out our guide on how to find an accountant, or you can do a search using Thumbtack.
9. LLC Bank Account
After getting a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) from the IRS, you can now open a separate business bank account for your LLC.
Two main reasons why you should open a separate bank account for your LLC:
- It makes accounting and bookkeeping a lot easier
- It helps maintain your personal liability protection (by keeping personal assets and business assets separate)
Items needed to open a bank account for your LLC:
- Stamped and approved copy of your Articles of Organization
- Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
- 2 forms of ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
Banks may require other documents (such as your LLC’s Operating Agreement) before you can open an account, but usually the items listed above are enough. Just to be safe though, we recommend calling the bank ahead of time to double-check.
What else you should know:
Members who want to be signers on the LLC bank account must be physically present during the opening of the account.
Many banks charge monthly maintenance fees for business bank accounts, but if you call a few banks in your area, it’s likely you’ll find a free business checking account.
Don’t be confused if the bank representative asks you for your LLC’s Trade Name (aka “DBA”). If your LLC is operating under its own name, a DBA is not required. Often, a lot of bankers don’t really know a lot about how LLCs and DBAs work.
On the other hand, if you filed a Trade Name, in addition to your LLC, then bring your Registration of Trade Name approval as well. Having said all that, most LLC’s just operate under their own name and don’t have a Trade Name.
Debit card: The bank will give you a debit card when you open the account.
Credit card: You can also get a business credit card to earn points, miles, and other rewards.
10. Business Phone Number
Instead of using your home telephone number or your cell phone, you can purchase an affordable “virtual business number” specifically for your Wyoming LLC. You can set this virtual business phone up to forward to your cell phone, go through voice prompts, or configure it any way you’d like.
We recommend using Phone.com as they have the cheapest plans and their customer service is excellent.
They offer local phone numbers as well as 1-800 toll-free numbers. You can easily set up call forwarding, pre-recorded prompts, and get voicemail messages forwarded to your email.
Getting a separate business phone number for your Wyoming LLC is also a good idea in order to keep your actual number private from those pesky “public record” websites.
Wyoming State Agencies
Wyoming Secretary of State
8:00am – 5:00pm (Monday – Friday, Mountain Time)
Wyoming Department of Revenue
8:00am – 5:00pm (Monday – Friday, Mountain Time)
How to Form a Wyoming LLC FAQs
That said, you may also need to pay for municipal or industry-specific licenses and permits, or get a state-level sales tax permit. The costs of business licenses vary widely by municipality. Reach out to your local municipality if you have any questions about your LLC’s unique needs.
Other items you’ll need – like an EIN for your LLC – are free.
LLC Ongoing Costs
LLCs also have ongoing costs, like the Annual Report. Starting the year after you form your LLC, you must submit annual paperwork keeping your LLC information up-to-date with the state. It costs $60 for most LLCs to file their Annual Report.
Depending on your LLC’s specific business industry, location, and activities, you may also need to pay annual fees for licenses or permits. Your local municipality should be able to answer questions about any renewal fees when you request any initial licenses.
We also recommend hiring an accountant to handle your LLC’s taxes and bookkeeping. You should pick someone who is also familiar with your area’s business tax laws at the state and local levels. And who can help with your LLC’s unique tax situation.
Tip: You can write off the cost of an accountant for business tax preparation on your taxes.
If you have an LLC formed in another state, but you want to conduct business in Wyoming, you’ll need to register that out-of-state LLC in Wyoming and pay the associated filing fee. This is known as a Foreign Limited Liability Company registration.
You can find Foreign LLC fees on this page: Foreign LLC fees by state.
If you’re looking for a professional Registered Agent Service that offers excellent customer service at a great price, we recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent. They can also form your LLC for you.
If you’d rather save money and have a physical address in Wyoming, you can be your own Registered Agent for free.
We’ll help you weigh the pros and cons in our Wyoming Registered Agent lesson.
With that in mind, you can:
- Be your own Registered Agent
- Ask a friend or family member to be your Registered Agent
- Hire a Registered Agent Service
If you hire a Registered Agent Service in Wyoming, we recommend reading our Northwest Registered Agent Review.
You can use an address in any state.
That said, whomever you’ve chosen as your Registered Agent must have a physical street address in Wyoming. If you or someone you know don’t have a street address you can use, you can use a Registered Agent Service in Wyoming.
We recommend using Northwest Registered Agent.
However, the most important factors in deciding where to start a business are where you live and where you’re doing business.
Meaning, if you are a Wyoming resident, then you should start your business there. While many websites talk about tax rates and advantages of certain states, none of that applies if it’s not the state where you live and do business.
For example, if you form an LLC in Wyoming, but live in and conduct business in California, you’ll also need to register your Wyoming LLC in California (and pay extra fees). And you’ll end up paying California taxes anyway. This ends up leading to more costs and more headaches with little advantages.
In summary, if you live in and conduct business in Wyoming, then yes, Wyoming is the best state to start a business. If you don’t live in and do business in Wyoming, then no, Wyoming isn’t the best state to start a business.