Think about your LLC a year from now: raking in profits and taking Wyoming by storm. You have big plans, but before your business can officially take off, you’ll need to make a bit of an investment.
And we’re not talking about renting office space or paying employees — before you sell a single product, there are startup costs associated with launching an LLC in Wyoming.
While you’re making plans and dreaming big, make sure that you consider all the possible costs associated with starting an LLC. To help you out, we’ve compiled the most common Wyoming startup fees here.
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Overall Wyoming LLC Formation Costs
LLC Name Reservation Fee
Reserving a business name isn’t required to start your LLC. But it can be useful if you have a great name in mind but aren’t ready to file your Articles of Organization.
A mailed application and a $50 fee will give you 120 days of exclusive rights to your desired name. On the other hand, if you’re ready to start your business, skip the reservation and file the Articles of Organization instead — it will automatically register your name.
To clarify, most states don’t require name reservations, and they’re rarely necessary. If you’re concerned about someone else registering the name you want, you could opt to simply form your LLC instead of reserving the name.
Whether you reserve your business name or not, you should always perform a Wyoming business name search to make sure the name you want is available.
Articles of Organization Fee
This is the big one, the most important (and most expensive) form that you’ll file to start your Wyoming LLC. In the eyes of the state, your business doesn’t exist until you file the Articles of Organization, so file it as soon as you can.
It costs $100 for a paper filing and $100 plus a $2 processing fee for online submissions. The good news is that, as long as it’s accepted, this is a one-time filing, so you won’t need to pay this fee again.
The information required to file your Articles of Organization includes the official business name of your LLC, an indication that your LLC is a “close LLC” (if applicable), the name and address of your registered agent, your LLC’s mailing address and principal office address, the date, and your name, signature, phone number, and email address.
Before we move on, we’ll briefly mention that if you’re forming a Wyoming series LLC, you’ll need to use a specialized version of the Articles of Organization. For more info, check out our full guide to the Wyoming series LLC.
LLC Formation Service
Starting an LLC in Wyoming can be a complicated and time-consuming process. If you want to spend less time on paperwork and more time planning your business, you might opt for an LLC formation service. These services take care of the registration process for you, so you don’t have to spend time on research, paperwork, and filings.
Most of these services (which are often frequently used LegalZoom alternatives) offer basic LLC formation services like Articles of Organization filing, tax consultations, and phone/email support for a flat rate, with options to pay more for premium packages with premium services like Employer Identification Numbers, operating agreements, and expedited filing.
Business and Professional Licenses
You may have filed the Articles of Organization, but hold up — there’s just one more stop to make before doing business in Wyoming. Some LLCs must also obtain licensure from a state agency or local government. Convenience stores, for example, require licensure through the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Health Services, and child care services need a license from the Department of Family Services.
Read over the Wyoming Permitting and Licensure Guide to see which ones your LLC might need. On top of that, individual cities and/or counties often have their own licensure laws, so it’s a good idea to contact your local government as well. Costs vary depending on the type of license.
What are some of the most commonly required business licenses for Wyoming LLCs? If your business operates in a regulated industry, you will probably need some sort of professional license to operate in compliance with state law. On the municipal level, things like alarm permits, building permits, and zoning permits are all very common.
Registered Agent Service
Appointing a Wyoming registered agent is an important part of your LLC formation process. Your registered agent is responsible for handling sensitive legal and tax documents and keeping your business compliant with Wyoming business law. In short, you need an agent you can trust.
While you can be the registered agent for your own LLC, this puts pressure on you to keep up with business filings and potential legal disputes. Sometimes it’s better to hand off that responsibility to a professional. A registered agent service ensures that your annual reports and other forms are filed efficiently, saving you from the penalties of delinquent filings and the stress of having to do it yourself.
If you have questions or concerns about the LLC formation process or if it’s the best business structure for you, sometimes it’s best not to take chances and consult an attorney. They’re not cheap, but they can provide essential business advice, professional filing assistance, and peace of mind.
Some attorneys offer free consultations (usually 30-60 minutes) but will charge by the hour after that. On average, business attorneys charge between $150-350 per hour. Some will offer a flat rate for setting up an LLC, which can range from $500-2,000.
Cost variations depend on the experience and location of the lawyer. With so many qualified lawyers out there, choosing one can be a daunting task. But a site like Avvo can significantly reduce the stress involved. Avvo gives you access to a database of Wyoming business attorneys so you can compare rates, locations, and specialties, and be confident that you’re hiring a good fit for your LLC.
If you don’t want to go digging for your own attorney, we compiled the following list of highly rated business lawyers in Wyoming. All of these attorneys are primarily focused on the business world, they all receive five-star ratings from clients, and they all have excellent Avvo ratings.
Foreign Qualification Fee
This only applies if your LLC was formed in another state and is now expanding into Wyoming. Does this describe your LLC? If so, don’t worry about filing the Articles of Organization. Instead, you’ll file an “Application for Certificate of Authority.”
All foreign business entities are required to foreign qualify in Wyoming, or they could incur some pretty severe penalties. To qualify, submit your Application for Certificate of Authority using a hard copy. Either method will cost $100 but, like the Articles of Organization, this is a one-time filing and fee.
LLC Annual Fees
The Wyoming Secretary of State requires all business entities operating in the state to submit an annual report by the first day of their anniversary month. The annual report itself doesn’t have a filing fee, but you must pay a “License Tax” at the same time.
The minimum License Tax payment is $50, although LLCs with more than $250,000 of assets located in Wyoming will pay more. You can file your annual report and pay the License Tax at the same time online.
The information required to file your Wyoming LLC annual report includes the official business name of your LLC, your LLC’s Wyoming filing ID number, your LLC’s principal office and business mailing addresses, and your business email address. It’s important to note that Wyoming does not allow you to make registered agent changes in your annual report, and you’ll need a separate form for these changes.
For more information about Wyoming LLC annual reports and fees, check out our full article on this topic!
Since LLCs are classified as “pass-through” entities by the federal government, they don’t need to pay separate corporate income taxes. Income and losses will be reported by its individual owners and/or members on their personal returns instead. Similarly, LLCs don’t pay separate state income taxes.
The License Tax (outlined above), amounts to $.0002 per dollar of Wyoming assets or $50, whichever is greater. Other common LLC taxes include the Sales and Use taxes (if your company sells merchandise) and the Unemployment Insurance Tax (if your company has employees. Register for the Sales and Use taxes through the Department of Revenue and the Unemployment Insurance Tax through Workforce Services.
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Looking at all these fees, you might be thinking: how can I pay less? While you might be tempted to look for loopholes or find a way around them, this could cause you bigger problems in the future.
Right out of the gate, if you don’t file your formation documents — the Articles of Organization or Application for Certificate of Authority — you won’t be able to start doing business in the state. Once your business is up and running, be sure not to miss an Annual Report.
Any report that is outstanding for more than 60 days will result in the LLC’s administrative dissolution. Miss any required filing and your company will lose its good standing with the state, which means it can’t foreign qualify in most other states, apply for business loans, renew some licenses, and more.
There are also penalties for late tax payments. A late Sales or Use tax payment will incur a penalty amounting to 10% of the tax due. Plus, if you miss tax payments, your business will be labeled “delinquent.” Find more information on the Department of Revenue website.
Planning Your Expenses
By now, your budget spreadsheet might be looking a little crowded, but have no fear! Most of these are one-time fees that you won’t have to worry about again. Plus, with all these on the books, there won’t be any surprise costs when you register an LLC in Wyoming.
Soon, you’ll have these fees behind you and you’ll be forging ahead, growing your business and earning profits. As you do, make sure to keep up with the few recurring fees — like annual reports and License Taxes — so your business doesn’t fall out of good standing.
Key Steps for Starting a Wyoming LLC
- The first step to forming a Wyoming LLC is to come up with a good name for your business. You’ll want to make sure the name you want is still available and hasn’t already been claimed by another business, so you’ll need to search the state’s business database to verify its availability.
- Next, you’ll need to choose your registered agent. While you can legally serve as your own registered agent in Wyoming, this role can actually be more of a hassle than you might expect. That’s why we always recommend hiring a reputable registered agent service that can handle the responsibility of this position on your behalf.
- The third step involves the preparation and filing of your Articles of Organization. You’ll need to fill out the paperwork and pay a $100 fee. Once the state processes this document, your LLC will be officially open for business!
- That’s not the end of the road for the startup process though, as you’ll also need to create an operating agreement for your LLC. There is no legal requirement for Wyoming LLCs to have written operating agreements, but it’s still an extremely important element of any LLC. The operating agreement is an internal document that outlines how your LLC will operate, and there are several aspects of this document that can prevent messy ownership disputes down the line.
- You will also need to acquire a federal tax ID number (also known as an EIN, or employer identification number). This is essentially a Social Security number for your business, as it is a nine-digit code used to file taxes, hire employees, open business banking accounts, and more.
- Next, you’ll need to register for any relevant taxes with the Wyoming Department of Revenue, and also obtain all licenses and permits that apply to your business type. Keep in mind that, depending on the nature of your business, you might require licenses from the federal, state, county, and municipal governments.
Once you’ve finished all of these steps, you’re ready to operate a compliant business entity with the state of Wyoming!
Key Steps for Maintaining a Wyoming LLC
After you’ve completed all of the items in the previous section, you’ll need to focus on maintaining your LLC. The first step in this process is to open a business bank account. This will help you keep your business and personal expenses entirely separate, and it will also help immensely with your accounting and taxation responsibilities.
You should also keep detailed records of every financial transaction that takes place with your LLC. This means maintaining a file of invoices for every purchase and sale you make, along with information regarding your employees or contractors and the work they perform for your business.
As we already mentioned, annual reports are a key component of LLC maintenance in this state, and there are harsh financial penalties for delinquent reports. Additionally, you might want to hold an annual meeting to discuss goals and priorities for your LLC, although this is an optional step.
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we wrap things up, let’s take a look at some of the most common questions we hear from readers regarding the LLC formation process in Wyoming.
What are the state business tax rates in Wyoming?
Wyoming has a well-earned reputation as the most tax-friendly state for businesses. This state assesses no state-level income taxes for individuals or business entities, and it doesn’t have gross receipts or franchise taxes either. In Wyoming, the only state tax you’ll ever have to care about is the annual license tax of $50 or $.0002 per dollar of your Wyoming business assets, whichever is greater.
How quickly does Wyoming process LLC formations?
The Secretary of State should be able to process your LLC’s formation within 3-5 business days. There are no expedited options for business filings in Wyoming.
How many small businesses are there in Wyoming today?
The state of Wyoming is home to nearly 70,000 small businesses. Entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and business types find that Wyoming is a great place to own and operate a small business.
What are the top small business resources and websites in Wyoming?
The Wyoming chapter of the Small Business Development Center is a great place to start, as they offer a wide variety of tools and resources for Wyoming LLCs. The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Wyoming District Office is another valuable resource, and the state’s Economic Development Agency also has plenty of good info.
Should I form my LLC in Wyoming, or choose a state like Delaware?
Some people like to form their LLCs in states with favorable legal settings. For instance, Delaware is often seen as the most business-friendly state, as it has an entire court system that’s dedicated solely to business matters. As for Wyoming, this state has some of the most generous anonymity laws for LLC ownership.
For most people, your best option is to simply form your business in your home state. Forming in a different state can be a tremendous hassle, and it can add some unnecessary complexity to tax issues as well. Especially considering all of the advantages that exist for Wyoming entrepreneurs, there’s little reason to consider forming your business elsewhere.
For more info on the differences between forming an LLC in Wyoming, Nevada, or Delaware, take a look at our full guide on this topic.
Cost to Start an LLC in All 50 States
We break down the LLC costs in detail in all 50 states. View all of our State LLC Costs guides below.