Overview: How to form an LLC in Wyoming
Wyoming LLC Costs:
Formation fee: $100
Annual fee: $60 (if LLC has $250k+ in assets located in WY, then it’s higher)
★ Check out Northwest vs LegalZoom
Wyoming LLC name lookup
The first step to forming an LLC in Wyoming is to search your desired LLC name and make sure it’s available for use.
You can browse existing business names in Wyoming using the link below, but we recommend reading this entire lesson first as there are important requirements and restrictions you need to be aware of before naming your LLC.
Wyoming Secretary of State Business Search:
Important Tip: Change “starts with” to “contains” while doing your online searches in the Wyoming database. The reason for this is that Wyoming is very strict about names being truly unique (known as “distinguishability”). Further, online LLC filings are non-refundable. So, if you file online and your LLC name is rejected, you’ll forfeit your $100 filing fee. For this reason, we strongly recommend reading this entire lesson, and in particular, our distinguishability section.
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)
(check out Northwest vs LegalZoom)
How to Search an LLC Name in Wyoming
1. It’s best to search only part of your LLC name to ensure you see everything that is potentially similar. For example, if your desired Wyoming LLC name is “Creek Valley Farms LLC”, it’s best to just search “Creek Valley”.
Why: This way, if there is a “Creek Valley Farm” or “Creek Valley Farmers”, you’ll see both of them; which is important, since they will be confusingly similar to your name and the state will reject your LLC filing.
2. Leave out the designator “LLC”, “L.L.C.”, etc., during your search.
3. Leave out any punctuation like commas, periods, apostrophes, quotes, hyphens, etc.
4. The Wyoming name database ignores capitalization so you can search using uppercase or lowercase letters.
5. Because Wyoming has strict rules regarding distinguishability, it’s best to select “Contains” as your search criteria instead of “Starts With”, so you can see all the names that are potentially similar.
How to Determine the Search Results:
If the results show names that are not too similar to yours, then your desired Wyoming LLC name is likely available for use. Having said that, there is still a chance that your LLC name can be rejected by the state. Please make sure you read the entire section below on distinguishability.
If a “NO RESULTS FOUND” message appears, this means your desired Wyoming LLC name is likely unique and available for use (again, see our distinguishability section below).
If your desired LLC name already appears in the list exactly as you want it, your desired Wyoming LLC name is not available for use. You’ll need to come up with a new name or unique variation that makes your LLC name distinguishable.
If the results show a name that is deceptively similar to yours, your desired Wyoming LLC name will likely be rejected. We recommend coming up with a new name or unique variation that makes your LLC distinguishable.
Active vs Inactive:
During your LLC name search, you’re going to come across existing businesses that are either marked “Active” or “Inactive”.
Inactive actually has 2 sub-categories:
• “Inactive ‐ Administratively Dissolved”
• “Inactive ‐ Revoked”
Filers often wonder if they can use an “Inactive” name.
You can, as long as it’s been 2 years or more since the Inactive Date. To determine an existing company’s Inactive Date, simply click on their record and you’ll find that date towards the top:
Wyoming LLC Name Requirements & Restrictions
Before finalizing your LLC name, it’s important to understand the requirements and restrictions in Wyoming.
Here is a brief overview (scroll down for details on each bullet point):
- You cannot make it sound like your LLC is a Corporation
- You must use a proper designator at the end of your LLC name
- You can use a comma in your LLC name before the designator, or you can leave it out
- Your LLC name cannot be confusingly similar to an existing company in the state
- The use of certain words in your LLC name requires special approval
Your Wyoming LLC must contain one of the following designators at the end of its name:
- Limited Company
- Liability Company
- Ltd. Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Co.
- Limited Liability Company
Example: If your desired name is “John’s Laundry Services”, it must be officially filed as “John’s Laundry Services LLC”, “John’s Laundry Services L.L.C.”, etc.
Tip: If you’re not sure which designator to use, “LLC” is the most common.
Your Wyoming LLC cannot imply that it is a Corporation, Limited Partnership, or any other type of business entity besides an LLC.
You cannot use the following Designators anywhere in your LLC name:
- Limited Partnership
Comma in LLC Name
You can file your LLC name with or without a comma before the designator. Both are acceptable in Wyoming.
For example, you can file as either “JGR Landscaping, LLC” or “JGR Landscaping LLC”. It’s up to your personal preference.
Must be Distinguishable and not Deceptively Similar
Important Reminder: Wyoming is very strict when it comes to LLC names being truly distinguishable. If you rush into things and file your LLC online, and your LLC happens to be rejected because your name is not distinguishable, you will end up forfeiting the $100 filing fee.
For this reason, in addition to reading this entire lesson (twice if it helps), and searching your LLC name on the state’s website, we also highly recommend calling or emailing the Wyoming Secretary of State. Their staff is super friendly and knowledgeable, and they will determine LLC name availability by phone (307-777-7311) or email (email@example.com) for free.
As per Section 17-29-108 of the Wyoming Code, your LLC name must be distinguishable among the Secretary of State’s records and should not be deceptively similar to existing business names, trademarks, or service marks registered in the state.
The following are taken from the state’s How to Choose a Company Name guide. When an LLC examiner at the Secretary of State is reviewing your filing, they are only comparing the “core” of your name to the “core” of existing names.
For example, they are ignoring:
- Singular, plurals, and possessives
- Special characters
- The, A, And, and &
Designators are the endings of business names: Inc., Corporation, Corp., LLC, L.L.C., Ltd., LP, etc.
For example, if your desired LLC name is “XYZ LLC”, this name will not be available if any of the following are found during your search:
- XYZ Inc.
- XYZ Corp.
- XYZ Co.
- XYZ Ltd.
- XYZ L.L.C.
Singular, plurals, and possessives:
As an example, if your desired LLC name is “XYZ Farm LLC”, this name will not be available if any of the following are found during your search:
- XYZ Farms LLC
- XYZ’s Farm LLC
As another example, if your desired LLC name is “Goose Brewery LLC”, this name will not be available if any of the following are found during your search:
- Goose Breweries LLC
- Geese Brewery LLC
- Geese Breweries LLC
Remember: The designator rules (Inc., LLC, etc.) also apply to the above examples (as well as all other examples on this page). Our examples above are just using “LLC” for simplicity.
Punctuation includes (but is not limited to) hyphens, periods, commas, apostrophes, quotes, exclamation points, question marks, etc.
Again, the state ignores all of these and looks at the “core” of the name.
For example, if your desired LLC name is “TTL Remodeling LLC”, this name will not be available if any of the following are found during your search:
- T.T.L. Remodeling LLC
- TTL! Remodeling LLC
- TTL’s Remodeling LLC
- T-T-L Remodeling LLC
The, A, And, &:
The state considers these “filler” words. Again, they are only looking at the core of the names when checking for distinguishability.
For example, if your desired LLC name is “Music Pros Recording LLC”, this name will not be available if any of the following are found during your search:
- A Music Pro Recording LLC
- The Music Pros Recording LLC
- Music Pros & Recording LLC
- Music Pros and Recording LLC
Visual representation of all of the above:
Here is a visual representation of what we mean by the state only looking at the “core” of the names:
|XYZ Inc.||X Y Z Corporation||XYZ LLC|
|XYZ! LLC||X’s YZ LLC||X-Y-Z Limited Liability Company|
|X, Y, Z Ltd.||X, Y + Z Corp.||XY and Z Limited Partnership|
|The XYZ Company Ltd.||X. Y. & Z. LLC||XYZ’s Co.|
|XYZ³ LLC||XYZ$Corp||An XYZ Corp.|
Notice how in all of the names above, the core in each name is really just “X Y Z”. We hope this visualization makes things a little bit easier for you :)
How to make your LLC name distinguishable:
In order to make your Wyoming LLC unique and distinguishable (if you find a potential conflict), just add at least one distinguishable character into the name. A distinguishable character can be a number, a letter, or an additional word:
|XYZ 2 LLC||WXYZ LLC||XYZ Ranch LLC|
|XYZ 3 LLC||XYZ III LLC||XYZ Three LLC|
Helpful Reminder: make sure that when doing your online searches, you are searching your desired LLC name multiple ways (partial words, singular, plural, etc.) and that you are only comparing the distinguishable words and characters. This will help ensure that your desired LLC name is truly distinguishable.
LLC Names that Require Special Approval
Under Wyoming law, certain LLC names cannot be used unless you first get the approval from either the Department of Education or the Division of Banking.
Names which need permission from the Department of Education:
Names which need permission from the Division of Banking:
- Similar words
Reminders & Tips
Do not apply for your Federal Tax ID Number (EIN) until your Wyoming LLC is approved.
Also, do not order business cards, letterhead, signs, marketing materials, etc., until the Wyoming Secretary of State approves your LLC.
Once you find a Wyoming LLC name that is unique and distinguishable, you’re ready to select your LLC’s Registered Agent. We’ll discuss this in the next Lesson: Wyoming Registered Agent.
And check out TRUIC’s business name generator if you need help coming up with an LLC name.
Wyoming Secretary of State Contact Info
If you have any questions, you can contact the Wyoming Secretary of State at 307-777-7311 (Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm).