As a business owner, you have a constitutional right to maintain your privacy and conduct your business affairs outside of public view. And every day, business owners (large and small) face the risk of being sued.
Whether you wish to hide your financial situation from neighbors, family or aggressive creditors, forming an Anonymous LLC can help you conduct business without the extra stress.
While several states actively compete for new business formations, Anonymous LLCs are only permitted in a few states.
Texas is NOT one of those states. But you can still form an Anonymous LCC and reside and operate in Texas, here’s how.
What is an Anonymous LLC?
An Anonymous LLC is defined as a limited liability company whose owners are not publicly identifiable by the state. An Anonymous LLC is created by being careful where and how an LLC is formed.
An Anonymous LLC anonymizes its ownership by being a manager-managed LLC as opposed to the traditional member-managed LLC. A manager-manager, or Anonymous LLC, is where designated members run the business, the rest of the members are passive investors. The names and addresses of the owners do NOT have to be revealed like they do in a member-managed LLC.
How an Anonymous LLC Works
Anytime you file LLC articles of organization with a state, you must disclose legal information such as:
- Name of the officers.
- Name of the directors
- LLC manager names
One of the most frequently asked questions related to forming an Anonymous LLC is, “How does the owner of the LLC remain anonymous?
The answer Is by having someone like a business lawyer and organization identify itself as the organizer and Registered Agent - the only specific information contained within the Articles of Organization that is published by the State.
It’s important to remember that anonymity is not absolute. You still must pay taxes, report to the IRS, and maintain bank accounts. These acts do allow for leaks to the public to occur. Additionally, Anonymous LLCs are not immune to lawsuits.
Why would someone create an anonymous LLC?
An Anonymous LLC provides all of the benefits of a regular LLC, with the additional benefit of not disclosing ownership information on the Internet.
Business owners choose to form an Anonymous LLC for a variety of reasons: complete privacy, baseless lawsuits, asset protection, and more.
Professions such as landlords, CEOs, celebrities, and investors would all benefit from forming an Anonymous LLC. However, when privacy is important to you, establishing an Anonymous LLC to protect you and your members may be the right choice for you, regardless of your profession.
Benefits of Anonymous LLCs
There are several benefits for registering as an Anonymous LLC rather than as a public entity.
Privacy protection is the number one benefit of forming an Anonymous LLC. This type of business formation is simply about keeping your personal information off the public records to maintain your privacy.
As an Anonymous LLC, you can conduct business without being associated with any negative fallout that may be generated from the business.
Registering as an Anonymous LLC helps prevent potentially dangerous individuals, such as stalkers and criminals, from having access to your information to use in a malicious or harassing manner.
Protection from Lawsuits
Did you know two lawsuits are filed every minute, and those with wealth are more likely to be targets? Whether it's creditors, neighbors, or angry customers, your assets will be safe from a simple Google search when you file an Anonymous LLC.
Regular LLCs and Anonymous LLCs are flexible by allowing partners to join companies at different stages. This may cost more in different states.
Negative Publicity Protection
In case your company gets sued, or your business faces any legal action, an Anonymous LLC allows you to not have to deal with the fallout in your personal life.
How to Form an Anonymous LLC
Texas is not a state that allows Anonymous LLC to be formed within the state. However, it is obtainable when the proper steps are taken.
The first step to forming an Anonymous LLC in Texas is to form an Anonymous LLC in another state like New Mexico. New Mexico charges no annual fees and will help you keep costs down.
All documents that are required for a regular LLC are also required for an Anonymous LLC, the only difference is rather than having your personal name and information in the public eye, you’ll have a registered agent in place.
To file an Anonymous LLC, the owner must submit the business's Articles of Organization to the state. This includes information such as:
- The name of the company.
- The duration of the business.
- The registered agent's information.
- The business's level of management.
- The business organizer's signature.
While obtaining an Anonymous LLC can be more difficult than filing for a regular LLC, the benefits are worth it for individuals who value privacy.
Make it Easy to Form an Anonymous Texas LLC
Owning and operating a business requires that you deal with clients, employees, suppliers, vendors, banks, IRS, and other stakeholders. That’s a lot of people involved when you want to remain fully anonymous, which is why contacting a business lawyer is a smart decision.
While there are a few Internet companies that offer Anonymous LLC services, the problem is anonymity is often destroyed without a reliable lawyer on your side. Only lawyers can provide attorney-client privilege and confidentiality, and ensure things are done correctly.
If a lawsuit were to present itself, attorney-client privilege makes it difficult to identify ownership information even through a subpoena. Attorney-client confidentiality means your attorney has an ethical duty and obligation to maintain your confidence.
In order to avoid the common drawbacks of forming an Anonymous LLC, let a qualified business lawyer act on your behalf. This will ensure your ultimate goal of maintaining privacy and will save you from unnecessary stress.