Starting a business is an exciting endeavor, but the process can be a bit confusing. To help entrepreneurs launch a business, we’ll talk about how to start an LLC or a corporation in Wyoming and how to select a registered agent, which is one of the principal steps required to get a business up and running.
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How is an LLC formed in Wyoming?
Selecting a registered agent is a step taken while forming a Wyoming LLC. To understand what a registered agent is, we’ll explore the LLC formation process in the state first. Here are the steps to form an LLC in Wyoming:
1. Choose a name
In Wyoming, the first step to forming an LLC is to pick a name. The name selected can’t already be in use. The business owner can go to the Wyoming Secretary of State website to see if the desired business name is available.
It’s possible to reserve a company name up to 120 days before filing the LLC paperwork, but there is a $50 filing fee to do so.
In addition, the name must:
- Include the phrase “Limited Liability Company” or LLC
- Not refer to a government agency like FBI
- Subjected to further approval if any names pertain to education (like Academy, University, or school) or to financial institutions (like Bank or Trust).
2. Select a registered agent
In Wyoming, selecting a registered agent is the second step in the LLC formation process. This person or business entity will serve as a point of contact between the company and the state, and will be declared on the Articles of Organization, which are the official papers filed to form an LLC in the state.
3. File Articles of Organization
To officially form an LLC, Articles of Organization are filed with the Wyoming Secretary of State. A business owner will fill out paperwork, which will include:
- LLC name and its mailing address
- Registered agent’s name and address
- Principle office address of the LLC
- Signature of the owner
- Consent of appointment of the registered agent (the consent form is found on the Secretary of State’s website).
Once complete, the paperwork is all submitted online by creating an online account. There will be a $102 charge to file the Articles of Organization with the state.
Once the paperwork is approved, the information becomes public record.
4. Create an operating agreement
Submitting an operating agreement isn’t required by the state of Wyoming, but many owners create this document at this time. It explains the company structure, lists its members, details contributions or investments made by each person, and explains how profits are distributed. The document should also have a plan to dissolve the company, should it fail.
5. Get an EIN
While not required to form an LLC in the state, business owners can’t do much business without obtaining an EIN, or an employer identification number. For that reason, it’s listed here as an essential step in forming an LLC. The number is issued by the IRS and is simple to get on the IRS website.
The number is needed to:
- Open a business bank account
- Hire employees
- File taxes
What is a Wyoming registered agent?
A Wyoming registered agent serves as a contact person between the company and the state. The agent will receive formal documents issued to the company, like annual reports and paperwork issued during a lawsuit, called service of process paperwork.
Do I really need a registered agent in Wyoming?
If you’re wondering whether or not a registered agent is required, the answer is yes. The state of Wyoming requires a business owner to list a registered agent on its Articles of Organization, which are the official papers used to set up an LLC in the state.
If you don’t list a registered agent on the documentation, your company won’t be in “good standing” with the state. The result can be fines and penalties.
Can I be my own registered agent in Wyoming?
Wyoming state law does allow a business owner to be his or her own registered agent. To do so, the entrepreneur must be an adult (at least 18-years-old), have a physical address in Wyoming, and be available during normal business hours.
Who can be a registered agent in Wyoming?
In Wyoming, the business owner or head of the organization can serve as the company’s registered agent, but other people can be appointed too. An agent can be:
- A friend or coworker with a Wyoming address
- A Wyoming business that’s active in the state
- A registered agent service
There are companies set up with the purpose of being registered agents for others. If a registered agent service is selected, all official and legal documents are sent to them and forwarded to the owner as needed. A registered agent service charges an annual fee.
Why would a company choose to work with a registered agent service?
Businesses can have a registered agent service be their point of contact for official paperwork, which offers several benefits. Here’s a look at why some companies decide to use a service rather than another person:
- Convenience. Using a registered agent service is one less thing for a time-strapped owner to worry about. With another company handling these mailed items, it frees the owner up to do other tasks.
- Multi-state company. A company that has offices or locations in multiple states, may want a registered agent service to handle this task to make sure important documents aren’t missed.
- Privacy. If a lawsuit is filed against the company, the documents discreetly go to the agent company. It saves an owner from hearing, “You’ve been served” in front of their employees or customers.
List of Wyoming registered agent services
Ready to work with one of the best registered agent services in the state of Wyoming? Here’s a list of choices:
- Wyoming Registered Agent Services Inc. – For a small annual fee or $25, this company can serve as your registered agent. The company offers mail forwarding, quick set up, and an online account, making it a good choice for Wyoming businesses.
- Wyoming Trust and LLC Attorney – In addition to acting as your registered agent, this company can also provide legal consultations as an added service. The cost for the registered agent services is $49 a year.
- Northwest Registered Agent – For those willing to pay a little more, this company offers fast service, mail forwarding, legal document notifications, annual report reminders, and asset protection. The cost for this service is $125.
How much does a registered agent service cost in Wyoming?
For any Wyoming corporation or LLC choosing to use a registered agent service, expect to pay between $25-250 a year. The fees vary by company.
Many of the agent companies offer additional services that may be useful to your business. Many of them can file LLC formation paperwork or offer legal advice.
How does an owner select a registered agent in Wyoming?
When a Wyoming company decides to file official paperwork to become an LLC, that’s when the registered agent is selected. The person or company selected is listed on the business entity formation paperwork, known as the Articles of Organization.
The registered agent will have to sign documentation to acknowledge their role. If the registered agent is someone other than the person who is filing the LLC paperwork, be prepared to get an authorization form (found on the Wyoming Secretary of State website) signed before submitting it to the state.
Can a company change its registered agent?
Yes. At any time, a company can change its registered agent. To do so, the company must get a Change of Entity’s Registered Agent form from the Secretary of State’s website. Expect a $50 change fee when submitting the new paperwork.
What’s a statutory agent?
During your research phase, you may have come across the term statutory agent and wondering about its meaning. A statutory agent is another term for a registered agent. Different states use different titles. A registered agent is also referred to as a resident agent or a service of process agent.
What’s a commercial registered agent?
While filing paperwork to form an LLC, you might be asked if a registered agent is commercial or non-commercial. Simply put, if a person is serving as a registered agent, whether it’s the owner or a friend, the company has a non-commercial agent. If a registered agent service is selected, the company has a commercial registered agent.