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Even as a self-employed person, starting a business is a multistep process that requires you to invest your time, resources, and finances. And the financial part can limit your options on where to run a business.
Even in states like Wyoming, you might still be confused with a lot of fees and start wondering if some of them are mandatory at all.
So, what is the actual cost of a Wyoming LLC, and which steps are necessary to register it with the state and start your business? Read below to learn more!
What Are Steps for Business Formation In Wyoming?
To determine the real cost of Wyoming LLC, we’ll break it down to a step-by-step process and see which steps are essential and how much they will cost you.
So, to start an LLC in Wyoming, you’ll need:
- Register a business name and a domain for your future website. If you plan on owning a small convenience store in the suburbs, the website isn’t necessary. Still, most small businesses will gain reputation points if they have a web page anywhere aside from social media.
- Appoint a registered agent. An LLC is a separate legal entity, so it should have a separate physical address and ways to reach out if the state needs to send you annual paperwork or legal correspondence. You can appoint a person or a company as a registered agent; the main requirement is having a physical address in the same state or county where you operate.
- File the Articles of Organization and pay the state filing fee. Each state has its own non-refundable fee, which is needed to process and register your business. This fee is the only required payment: the state won’t give you a permit to run a business if you don’t pay it.
- Obtain the needed licenses. If you’re a general contractor, food manufacturer, or if you’re planning to operate a company that uses restricted words (i.e., “education,” “academy,” “institute,” or “trust”), you need a business license issued either by a local jurisdiction or by Wyoming Department of State.
- Pay the annual license fee. To keep your business in good standing with the state and prevent its administrative dissolution, you must pay the annual fee within 60 days of the due date.
Breaking Down the Costs of Wyoming LLC
#1 Business Name and DBA
Your business should have a distinguishable name, so it won’t be confused with other already on file companies. You can check the name availability in the Wyoming Secretary of State business name database. Also, be sure to look up general guidelines for choosing a business name, so you don’t put any words that can require additional review from different departments.
Also, note that a limited liability company’s name should have a designator, such as “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” “Ltd. Liability Company,” or others. You can check the list of allowed designators on the Wyoming Secretary of State website.
If you picked a good business name but aren’t ready to fill in the Articles of Organization yet, you can choose to reserve your business name for 120 days. This will add $50 to the cost of the Wyoming LLC you’re planning to open.
Note that the name reservation isn’t a necessary step:
If you’re going to fill in the paperwork, you can skip this feature and proceed with filing the documents — your name will be automatically registered in the database.
Note that you don’t have to use your LLC legal name when doing business in the real world. Instead, you can choose a trade name, also known as “Doing Business As (DBA).” To start using the DBA, fill it in your Articles of Organization, and the state will identify your business with its name. However, if you want additional protection, you can also file an Application for Registration of Trade Name with the state and pay a $100 fee. The application will secure your DBA and let other LLC owners know that it’s taken.
#2 Registered Agent Service
A registered agent (RA) is a person or company that accepts legal and business documentation on behalf of your business. All states require business entities to have a registered agent to maintain contact, so you cannot skip this step.
Regardless if you choose a person or appoint a specialized registered agent, this is a paid feature. Here are some cheaper options to choose from:
- Zenbusiness — includes a RA in their package plans: the first year is free, and you can choose between $99/year for standard coverage and $149/year for compliance management.
- Incfile — their RA service costs $119/year after the first trial year.
- Northwest Registered Agent — one of the best RA services in the industry will cost you $125/year.
As you can see, there are many cheaper options to choose from, so you can pick one with a trial year and see how it goes.
#3 Wyoming State Fees
When you fill in the Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement for your LLC, you should mail them to the state along with the check that confirms your payment of the Wyoming state fee.
The state fee is $100 for hard copy filing and $102 for online filing ($2 for processing your forms and is a mandatory payment; otherwise, the state won’t register your business.
So, even if you decide to go for the cheapest Wyoming LLC formation, you still have to spend a hundred dollars to register. The good thing is that the state fee is a one-time payment, and you don’t have to pay it each year.
#4 Licenses and Permits
Some companies require a license to operate under the state law in addition to the state fee, and these licenses can quickly raise the costs of Wyoming LLC formation by several hundreds of dollars.
For example, if you made $100,000 or had more than 200 transactions per current or prior calendar year, the state will require you to collect, register, and pay sales tax. This also applies if you have a physical presence in the state: renting an office or hiring staff. The approval of the sales tax permit in Wyoming will cost you $60.
If your business operates in a regulated industry, such as agriculture, transportation, logistics, alcoholic beverages, aviation, firearms and ammunition, television broadcasting, etc., you need to obtain a federal license.
#5 Annual Fees
To ensure that your business is still up and running, you will have to pay Wyoming LLC annual fees along with your tax reports.
The annual fee is $60 for a business with less than $250,000 in assets. Companies with more than $250,000 assets will pay $0.0002 per $1 in assets. For example, if you have $400,000 in assets, your annual tax report fee will be $80, and so on.
An annual fee is paid on the first day of the anniversary month. For example, if your LLC is registered on March 16, you’ll have to pay the annual fee on March 1.
Failing to pay an annual fee won’t result in fines, but your company will be dissolved in 60 days, and you won’t be able to conduct a business in Wyoming unless you register your LLC again.
So, what are the actual fees for Wyoming LLC?
Let’s sum up all the essential payments you need to register the LLC in Wyoming:
- state fee: $100-102;
- registered agent service: $99-149/year, depending on the service you choose;
- sales permit tax: $60, one-time payment;
- business name reservation (optional): $50;
- Application for Registration of Trade Name (optional): $100.
So, the cheapest Wyoming LLC registration will cost you between $249-300, assuming you file the papers by yourself and only pay for a registered agent and sales tax permit fee. If you want to reserve your business name and DBA, you can add another $150 on top.
Another option to make sure you fill in all the documents correctly is to choose an online LLC formation service with reasonable pricing.
The team of qualified attorneys will fill all the paperwork for you, keep you updated with the annual report dates, and take a middleman’s role and ensure that your business is compliant with the state.
What happens if I don't pay the Wyoming annual LLC fees?
If you don’t pay the annual tax report fee before the first day of the anniversary month, your company will get dissolved by the state in 60 days, and you won’t be able to conduct business in Wyoming.
Wyoming is a great state to start a business if you don’t have much money to spend on its formation. The basic payments include a $100-102 state fee, $60 sales permit tax, and $100-150 for a registered agent service. If your business operates in a regulated industry, you may also need to pay for business permits, and their cost may vary depending on your location.
Have you ever planned to start a business in Wyoming? Did this article change your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!
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