Myths About Anonymous LLCs

5 mins read

 On the Internet, there are several misunderstandings concerning Anonymous LLCs. When attempting to register an Anonymous LLC, do not allow false information persuade you to do a bad or unlawful action. 

Are you contemplating establishing or organizing a Private or Anonymous LLC? There are several advantages to this organizational structure, but there is so much disinformation on the Internet regarding Anonymous LLCs that it is essential to grasp their limits and common misunderstandings before getting started. 

What is a Private LLC? A private LLC whose ownership information is not revealed to the Secretary of State is known as an Anonymous LLC. It is not a way to evade paying taxes or anonymously shift money around. 

(1) Anonymity is possible in Nevada 

Did you see an article stating that Nevada (NV) is one of the states that enables private or anonymous operations? This is a (very) old article. Verify the date. 

This is one of the most widespread misunderstandings concerning anonymous LLCs. Nevada is not a state with no identity. 

Although Nevada does not need disclosure information on the formation paperwork (i.e. Articles of Organization), it does require a “Initial List,” which is required immediately after the business is founded. This first list must include owners (known as Members), so eliminating the potential of anonymity in Nevada. After the first list, you will be required to provide yearly reports with ownership information. 


(2) Nominee Services are efficient in maintaining anonymity. 

“Nominee Services” may land you in trouble, despite the fact that this is a frequent procedure offered by subpar service providers. 

Everyone appears to have their own interpretation of “Nominee Services,” but our competitors attempt to capitalize on the fact that no state validates submitted formation paperwork. 

Most “Nominee Services” engage in some type of bait-and-switch with the Secretary of State, using a random name on the formation forms, forming the company, and then providing you with secret documents claiming to alter the ownership or management of the business. These “Nominee Services” may accomplish the intended objective — creating a business without your name — but they add fraud into the registration process, and the majority of states require you to provide (and maintain) proper information. 

How might this possibly get you in trouble? Anonymous LLCs are intended to insulate business owners from liabilities and let them to operate anonymously. By fraudulently filing your Anonymous LLC with a “Nominee Service,” you’re allowing a plaintiff’s attorney (i.e. the person suing you) to argue you have a fraudulent LLC, and then use that fact to attempt to pierce the corporate veil, go after you personally for the debts, liabilities, and obligations of the company, and argue “willfulness” in a tort claim (which could permit special damages). 

In addition, we have seen title firms and other organizations need the original name as it appears on the documentation on file with the Secretary of State in order to sign some form of authorisation. This might be troublesome when real estate or other physical assets are involved and your “Nominee” is nowhere to be located. 

If you’re considering employing the services of an Internet corporation that claims its “Nominee Services” may help you attain anonymity, run as far and as quickly as you can. 


(3) Anonymous LLCs shield you from legal action. 

The authority of the Court is absolute, and the fact that someone cannot identify the ownership information of an Anonymous LLC does not exclude it from a lawsuit. 

Once a lawsuit has been launched against an Anonymous LLC, the owners will likely be named as “John or Jane Doe.” If you ignore the lawsuit, you risk a “default judgement,” which gives the plaintiff (i.e., the party suing you and/or your Anonymous LLC) a judgment against you and gives the court the authority to collect from you personally as well as your Anonymous LLC. In order to account for lawyers’ costs, maximum claims (i.e., you didn’t warn the court that the plaintiff was grossly misrepresenting the amount owing), fines, and interest, a default verdict will be much more than the sum originally in dispute. 

If the plaintiff knows anybody with whom you’ve done business (banks, credit card companies, domain name providers, registered agents, organizers and incorporators, etc.), they may issue subpoenas to these entities to identify the proprietors of an Anonymous LLC. Armed with this information, they are then able to execute default judgments against you personally, even years after you have closed the business. 


(4) No attorney is required to form an Anonymous LLC. 

If you do engage someone to assist you establish your Anonymous LLC, unless that person is an attorney or law firm, he or she lacks the skills, knowledge, and ability to optimize your anonymity. 

First, a person seeking ownership information might attempt to subpoena the organizer or incorporator (i.e. the one listed as creating the Anonymous LLC with the Secretary of State). If the individual is not an attorney or lawyer, they cannot claim attorney-client privilege or confidentiality. Even if a court order or subpoena is unlawful or without authority, almost all businesses will comply, with the exception of attorneys and law firms. In contrast, attorneys and lawyers must review all court orders and subpoenas and reply only if they are legal. 

Second, the majority of courts prefer not to issue subpoenas and court orders to lawyers and legal firms. It may cause complications in the future, thus it is normally avoided outside of exceptional situations. Over the years, how many subpoenas and court orders has L4SB received? Hundreds. How many has it answered? less than twelve. How many times has it been required to disclose ownership information? One — in more than a decade. 


(5) Anonymous LLCs are anonymous to banks and the Internal Revenue Service. 

This is one of the most widespread misunderstandings concerning Anonymous LLCs, and you cannot remain anonymous to banks and/or the IRS. 

Anonymous LLCs are not the correct technique to use if you’re attempting to conceal and transfer funds. Without an FEIN, an Anonymous LLC cannot establish a bank account. You cannot get an FEIN without giving information about your beneficial ownership to the IRS. The federal legislation requiring banks to “Know Their Customers” will necessitate the revealing of ownership information. 

Why? 

Consider terrorism, money laundering, and tax fraud, among others. All of these illicit activities are rigorously restricted and regulated, and “Know Your Customers” is one method for banks to do so. 

Fortunately, banks and the IRS maintain the confidentiality of this information. 


(6) You may choose any state to create an Anonymous LLC. 

This is also another of the common misunderstandings concerning Anonymous LLCs. 

Consider the following two questions: First, how does your organization do business? Secondly, where does your organization do business? 

“Business transactions” means: 

Where do the majority of your consumers reside? 

Which states comprise at least 20 percent of your customers? 

Do you get at least 20% of your income from a single state? 

Where do your W2-based workers, including yourself, work? 

Where is your “base of operations” or where do you frequently do business? 

Are you in a state that considers you to be doing business there merely because you dwell there? 

Ask yourself in which states you are “Transacting Business” according to the above definition. In the majority of cases, this will be your state of residency. It makes no difference whether you are selling something online. You must consider not just where you sell or find clients, but also what you do for them, how you serve them, and where they are situated. 


If you reside in an Anonymous state (find out by clicking here), you must incorporate in your home state. 

If you are based in California, you should establish an Anonymous LLC as a Management Company in New Mexico, which will manage a normal LLC in California as your Operating Company (and you will directly own the regular LLC in California).  

If you are situated in a location other than your home state, you should establish an Anonymous LLC as a holding company that owns a normal LLC in your home state as the operating company. You will own the Holding Company rather than the Operating Company. 

Such an approach not only enables you to operate legally in the states in which you are “transacting business,” but it also prepares your company to provide local proof of business (e.g., a local business license, a utility bill, etc.) without compromising your anonymity if your business begins to expand.

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