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.
Quick Note: If you’d like to keep your costs of starting an LLC as simple and low as possible, consider hiring ZenBusiness – a reliable business formation service. To get a better idea of the value they offer and how it works, we compared them to the two most well known services:
Bare Minimum Cost to Start an LLC in Wyoming
- Optional: LLC Name Reservation Fee
- $50 for a hard copy filing
- Optional: LLC Formation Service
- $49 for a service like IncFile and $99 for LegalZoom
- Required: Articles of Organization Fee
- $102 for online filings and $100 hard copy filings
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.
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.
LLC Formation Service
Starting an LLC 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 the time on research, paperwork, and filings.
Most of these services (like ZenBusiness and Northwest) offer basic LLC formation service 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.
Registered Agent Service
Appointing a 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 and on-time, saving you from the penalties of delinquent filings and the stress of having to do it yourself.
Not all registered agent services are equal, so you’ll need to be careful in choosing one. Fortunately, we’ve done some research for you, and we recommend Northwest Registered Agent. In addition to registered agent services, Northwest also handles LLC formation — and they’ll include a registered agent free for one year when you form your business with them. We think they’re the most reliable choice, but if you’d like to evaluate all your options, check out our Best Registered Agent Services guide.
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 $500-2000.
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, specialties, and be confident that you’re hiring a good fit for your LLC.
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.
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), which 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.
What If I Don’t Pay?
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.