You have a big idea, truckloads of ambition, and 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.
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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
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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 additional cost. 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
Herschler Building East, Suite 101
122 W 25th St.
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
Pay the $100 fee with a check made out to “Wyoming Secretary of State.” Processing times for hard copies vary based on the volume of business filings submitted to the Secretary of State. For a real-time update on turnaround times, check out the state’s convenient filing updates page. At the time of this writing, it was taking the state roughly six business days to process Articles of Organization filings submitted on hard copies.
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, along with an original Certificate of Existence (or Good Standing) from your LLC’s home state. At $150, the Application for Certificate of Authority costs a bit more than the Articles of Organization. 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 feature 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 have 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.
Important Post-Formation Compliance Issues
Once you’ve successfully filed your Articles of Organization, your LLC is an official business entity in the state of Wyoming. However, this doesn’t mean that your responsibilities have come to an end. There are several other steps you’ll need to take if you want to operate a compliant LLC for years to come.
Acquire a Federal Tax ID Number (EIN)
While an EIN isn’t a requirement for Wyoming LLCs, we strongly recommend that every entrepreneur obtains one. An EIN enables your LLC to hire employees, open business bank accounts, file taxes, and take care of several other important aspects of LLC maintenance. Even if you operate a single-member LLC with no employees, you should still have an EIN for your business.
Set Up a Financial Infrastructure
One other crucial step is to solidify the financial aspects of your LLC, first by opening a business bank account. You must have separate bank accounts for your personal use and for business purposes, as this will help you keep your personal and business assets separate, a vitally important consideration for any entrepreneur. If you commingle these assets, you leave yourself wide open for lawsuits, as it would be easy for someone to claim that your business is simply an extension of your own personality and not a separate entity from you as a person.
The other portion of this step is to set up an accounting system. This can either mean that you hire an accountant to take care of your LLC’s bookkeeping, or you could acquire high-quality accounting software like QuickBooks. Either way, you need a reliable means of keeping detailed records for each financial transaction your LLC executes. This is another vital part of keeping your personal and business assets separated, and it will also be enormously helpful come tax time.
Acquire Licenses and Permits
The next step involves obtaining any industry-specific licenses and permits your LLC may need to operate in compliance with state laws. Depending on the nature of your LLC’s business, you may require several permits or you may be able to operate your LLC without any state-level licenses.
Thankfully, Wyoming makes it very easy to figure out your business’ licensing needs. All you need to do is visit the state’s Licensing and Permitting page and you’ll find the license and permit applications you require. Make sure to check with your county and locality as well, as there may also be licensing requirements for your business on these levels.
Obtain Business Insurance
This step isn’t a requirement, but it is a strong recommendation. The exact insurance policies your business needs will vary based on the type of products and services you offer, but most LLCs should at least have a general liability insurance policy to protect against common perils like slip-and-fall accidents. In some industries, you might need several different insurance policies to cover all of your financial bases, so do your research ahead of time to determine which types of insurance you should purchase.
File Your Annual Reports
Each year, every LLC in Wyoming must file an annual report. This report includes some basic information about your business and keeps the state updated regarding any important changes to your LLC’s structure. The information you’ll need to file this report typically includes your LLC’s name, state filing ID number, business mailing address, principal office address, and business email address.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Filing the Wyoming LLC Articles of Organization
How long does it take Wyoming to form an LLC?
Online filings are typically processed immediately. As for hard-copy filings, turnaround times can vary a bit. We recommend taking a look at the state’s real-time processing speeds to estimate how long it will take them to process your filing. At the time of this writing, it was taking Wyoming around six business days to form LLCs.
Should I file my own Articles of Organization, hire an attorney, or use an online service?
This question largely comes down to personal preferences, but we do have some general insights. The DIY route can be quite a bit of work, as you’ll need to complete each step of the formation process on your own with no assistance. As for hiring an attorney, this can be prohibitively expensive for new businesses, as a lawyer can charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to form your LLC.
You can think of business services companies as a middle ground between these options. While most of these companies charge a fee to form your LLC, that fee will be significantly less expensive than an attorney’s fee. At the same time, you still aren’t going it alone. Instead, you have an experienced professional guiding you through the entire process.
What does Wyoming require for LLC formations other than the Articles of Organization?
Wyoming requires all entrepreneurs forming new LLCs to also file a form called the Consent to Appointment by Registered Agent. Without this document, your Articles of Organization will be rejected.
How many small businesses are there in Wyoming?
Today, Wyoming has more than 65,000 small businesses. Clearly, entrepreneurs in many different fields find Wyoming to be a great place to own and operate a business entity.
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How to File Articles of Organization in All 50 States
We break down the Articles of Organization formation process in detail for every state. View all of our guides below.
- How to File an Alabama LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File Alaska LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Arizona LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Arkansas LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File California LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Colorado LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Connecticut LLC Certificate of Organization
- How to File Delaware LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File Florida LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Georgia LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Hawaii LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Idaho LLC Certificate of Organization
- How to File Illinois LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Indiana LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Iowa LLC Certificate of Organization
- How to File Kansas LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Kentucky LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Louisiana LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Maine LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File Maryland LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Massachusetts LLC Certificate of Organization
- How to File Michigan LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Minnesota LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Mississippi LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File Missouri LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Montana LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Nebraska LLC Certificate of Organization
- How to File Nevada LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File New Hampshire LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File New Jersey LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File New Mexico LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File New York LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File North Carolina LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File North Dakota LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Ohio LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Oklahoma LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Oregon LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Pennsylvania LLC Certificate of Organization
- How to File Rhode Island LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File South Carolina LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File South Dakota LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Tennessee LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Texas LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File Utah LLC Certificate of Organization
- How to File Vermont LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Virginia LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Washington LLC Certificate of Formation
- How to File Washington, D.C. Articles of Organization
- How to File West Virginia LLC Articles of Organization
- How to File Wisconsin LLC Articles of Organization