You have a big idea, truckloads of ambition, dreams of a thriving Wyoming LLC, and you’re mentally prepared to make it happen. But the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” and for you, that first step is filing the Articles of Organization.
With such grand plans, the last thing you might want to do is file paperwork, but completing the Articles of Organization is what authenticates your LLC, making it official in Wyoming. It’s perhaps the most important step in starting your Wyoming LLC. Following this guide will help take the tedium out of paperwork and get your business started quickly.
But before you dive into the Articles of Organization, you should have a few pieces of information ready to help streamline the process.
Quick Note: If you’d like to have an online service file the Articles of Organization for you or simply need to save time, hire an LLC formation service. Two popular options are LegalZoom and ZenBusiness.
Choosing an LLC Name
Before anything else, you will need to decide on an LLC name. You must include a business name on your Articles of Organization, and if the Secretary of State deems that name unacceptable or unavailable, the document will be rejected, so make sure you nail down a good name right away.
Any name you choose must comply with Wyoming’s business name requirements, so it should include some form of “Limited Liability Company” or “LLC” and avoid the state’s restricted words. And that’s not all. Your LLC name must be distinguishable from all other names reserved or registered with the Wyoming Secretary of State. Perform a business name search to determine if your desired name is in use.
Once you’ve found your perfect name, include it on your Articles of Organization to automatically register it. In the event that you’re not quite ready to file an LLC, you can place a 120-day hold on your name by submitting a name reservation request.
Choosing a Wyoming Registered Agent
A registered agent is your LLC’s liaison to the state, the mediator who takes care of all your important legal, tax, and compliance documents, keeping your business in good standing. Every Wyoming LLC is required to declare a registered agent at the time that they file the Articles of Organization.
To make the appointment official, your registered agent must sign a “Consent to Appointment by Registered Agent” form, accepting their role. Without a registered agent name, address, and consent form, your Articles of Organization will be rejected.
Your registered agent can be either an individual or a business entity like a registered agent service.
Preparing to File Your Wyoming Articles of Organization
Now for the main event: the Articles of Organization. Here’s your opportunity to get your LLC officially on record and authorized to conduct business in Wyoming.
Despite its immense importance, the form itself actually isn’t long or complicated. Before you sit down to complete it, you’ll want to have all your information lined up. This way, you can fly through it without any obstacles. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Your LLC name
- Whether or not you would like to be classified as a “Close LLC,” a structure with more tightly-controlled rules and restrictions (primarily for small and family-owned businesses)
- Registered Agent Name and Address
- LLC Mailing Address
- Principal Office Address
- Your Signature and the date
- A contact person’s name, phone number, and email address
Don’t forget that you also need to submit the “Consent to Appointment by Registered Agent” form, including a signature from your registered agent, approving their role in your LLC.
And let’s not forget about payment. Unfortunately, the Articles of Organization isn’t free; it costs $100, so have a credit card or check ready to go when you file.
Once you’ve completed the Articles of Organization, obtained a signature on the Consent to Appointment form, and lined up your $100 payment, it’s time to submit everything. You have two options.
Filing electronically is the fastest way to go about it. The online form contains all the same information listed above and will be processed immediately. This method carries an extra $2 online processing fee, but it’s well worth the expediency. You can pay via credit or debit card.
Hard Copy Filing
Submitting a paper application is an equally valid way to file. Download the form here, then mail or hand-deliver it – along with your registered agent consent form and payment – to:
Wyoming Secretary of State
2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
Pay the $100 fee with a check made out to “Wyoming Secretary of State.” Processing time for hard copy submissions is 3-5 business days.
What About Foreign LLCs?
The process outlined above works for domestic LLCs (those formed in Wyoming), but what if your business is expanding to Wyoming from another state? Disregard the Articles of Organization, as it’s not the form for you.
Instead, you will need to foreign qualify your LLC by filing an Application for Certificate of Authority. Don’t conduct any business activities in Wyoming before foreign qualifying – doing so can lead to steep fines and a loss of your right to do business in the state.
After you’ve successfully received your Certificate of Authority, you’re free to kick off your business activities in Wyoming.
Want Help Filing Your Articles of Organization?
Let’s be honest: you’ve got a lot on your plate. Filing paperwork can take time away from your other tasks, ones more focused on setting your budding LLC up for success.
The good news is that you don’t need to file the Articles of Organization yourself. But if an attorney is out of your price range, hiring an LLC creation service is a great option.
There’s no shortage of business incorporation services out there, but not all of them are equal. Each one offers different packages, costs, and processing times, so it’s important to find the right fit for your LLC.
While each service has optional upgrades and perks packages, on the most basic level, they will review your business information, prepare your formation documents, and submit them to the Wyoming Secretary of State. They will complete everything outlined in this guide and notify you when your Articles of Organization has been filed. You won’t have to lift a finger.
There are other benefits too. Some services will include a year of free registered agent service when you hire them. Other services offer order tracking, notifications on future documents (like Annual Reports), assistance drafting your operating agreement, or coverage of certain LLC formation costs.