How to Form an Anonymous LLC in Delaware | Protect Your Identity

Form an Anonymous LLC in Delaware

Starting a Limited Liability Company in Delaware offers business owners flexibility, simplicity, and asset protection. In Delaware, you can take the benefits of an LLC a step further by forming an anonymous LLC. An anonymous LLC lets you keep your personal information private, making it an attractive option for entrepreneurs who value privacy and asset protection. In this article, we will discuss the process of How to Form an Anonymous LLC in Delaware and the benefits of doing so.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you form your Delaware Anonymous LLC. You must be guided by all the factors gathered in this article.

What is an Anonymous LLC?

An anonymous LLC (Limited Liability Company) is a business entity that allows its owners or members to maintain a higher degree of privacy and anonymity. This is achieved by not disclosing the owners’ or members’ names or personal information on public records, such as registration documents or annual reports. Unlike a Limited Liability Company, an anonymous LLC aims to protect its members’ privacy and minimize the risk of personal lawsuits or unwanted attention. However, it is important to note that anonymity may be limited, as certain circumstances may require disclosing owner information, such as in legal disputes or compliance with regulatory requirements.

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Before you start creating an anonymous LLC, it is advised that you consult with a legal expert. They will be aware of what’s best for you and your business. You can always start an LLC in Delaware if you wish to protect your personal assets from business debts.

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How to Form an Anonymous LLC in Delaware

To form an Anonymous LLC for your business, you must follow the guidelines that include the choose a unique name for your anonymous LLC, hiring a Registered Agent, preparing and filing your Certificate of Formation, obtaining an EIN, create an LLC operating agreement, obtain a business bank account, and maintain in compliance.

Step 1: Choose a Unique Name

The first step in forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware is to select a unique name for your business. Ensure another company still needs to use the name by checking the Delaware Secretary of State’s business name database.

There is a complete guide on Delaware Business Name Search for you to have a proper LLC business name. Here are some of the regulations you must follow while naming your LLC.

  • The name should not be confused with a government entity.
  • The name should be unique.
  • The name should be available to use.
  • Any other business does not use the name.
  • The new name must include “LLC” if it is a limited liability company.

In Delaware, if you do not wish to file your LLC right away but want to hold the name that you have decided on, then you can reserve your LLC name for 120 days. You must file a name reservation application in the Delaware Secretary of State to keep the name.

You can register your business under a different legal name if your preferred name isn’t available. Once you have chosen a name, you can submit an application for a DBA (doing business as). In this manner, you can choose any name you desire for your business. A DBA allows a company to operate under the name of the person or entity who owns it. If you have decided to file for a DBA, you can file it in two methods, by mail and in person for an easier way.

However, before filing a DBA, you should know that you need to renew your DBA up to Indefinite, which costs around $25.

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Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent

To form an anonymous LLC in Delaware, you must hire a Registered Agent. This is a third-party entity responsible for receiving official correspondence on behalf of your LLC. Your personal information remains private by using a Registered Agent.

It’s essential to choose a reliable and responsible Registered Agent, as failure to receive and respond to legal documents can have serious consequences for your anonymous LLC. Some businesses use Registered Agent Services to ensure compliance and proper handling of legal matters.

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Step 3: File the Certificate of Formation

The Certificate of Formation must be filed with the Delaware Secretary of State to form your LLC officially. These documents will include basic information about your business, such as the name, purpose, and registered agent. Be sure not to include your personal information in these documents to maintain your anonymity.

Here are the guidelines and specific requirements in filing your Certificate of Formation in Delaware.

1. Obtain the Necessary Forms: Visit the Delaware’s business filing office website, usually the Delaware Secretary of State’s office, to download the required forms or file online.

2. Provide the Required Information: Fill in the necessary details in the form, which typically include:

  • The name of your LLC (must include an LLC designator such as “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company“)
  • The purpose of your LLC (a general statement or specific business activities)
  • The address of your LLC’s principal place of business
  • The name and address of your registered agent (the person or business entity responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of your LLC)
  • The management structure of your LLC (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • The duration of your LLC, if not perpetual
  • The names and addresses of the LLC’s organizers or members

3. Sign and File the Form: Submit the completed form in the Delaware state office, either by mail, in person, or online. You may mail it at Delaware Division of Corporations, 401 Federal Street, Suite 4 Dover, DE 19901.

4. Pay the Filing Fee: When you submit your Certificate of Formation, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $90. Make sure to check and include the correct payment with your submission.

5. Receive Confirmation: After your Certificate of Formation have been filed and processed, you’ll receive a confirmation from Delaware, typically a stamped and approved copy of the document.

Once you have successfully filed your Certificate of Formation and it has been approved, your anonymous LLC is officially formed. However, remember to complete additional steps, such as obtaining an EIN, creating an operating agreement, opening a business bank account, and maintaining compliance.

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is required to open a business bank account for tax purposes. You can apply for an EIN in Delaware through the Internal Revenue Service website.

The application of an EIN in Delaware can be through the following:

  • Apply Online- The online EIN application is the preferred method for customers to apply for and obtain an EIN.
  • Apply by Fax- Taxpayers can fax the completed Form SS-4 application to the appropriate fax number), after ensuring that the Form SS-4 contains all of the required information.
  • Apply by Mail- The EIN application Form SS-4 can be filed via mail. The processing time frame to receive the mail is four weeks.
  • Apply by Telephone-International Applicants – International applicants may call 267-941-1099 (not a toll-free number) from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday to obtain their EIN.

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Step 5: Create an Operating Agreement

Although not required by Delaware law, creating an operating agreement in Delaware for your anonymous LLC is recommended. This document outlines your business’s management structure, ownership interests, and operating procedures.

The operating agreement includes information like-

  • About Business
  • Members and management
  • Capital contribution
  • Profit Distribution
  • Change of membership
  • Dissolution

Step 6: Open a Business Bank Account

To keep your personal finances separate from your business, open a business bank account using your EIN and business name. Separate your personal and business finances by opening a dedicated bank account for your holding company. This separation helps preserve the limited liability protection offered by the LLC structure.

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Step 7: Maintain Compliance

To keep your anonymous LLC in good standing, be sure to file Annual Reports and any required tax filings with the Delaware Secretary of State and maintain a Registered Agent.

Benefits of an Anonymous LLC in Delaware

Even though some people decide what to do with their businesses, important benefits will help you set up an anonymous LLC in Delaware.

  • Privacy: By forming an anonymous LLC, your personal information, such as your name and address, will not be listed in public records. This can protect you from potential lawsuits, identity theft, and unwanted solicitations.
  • Asset Protection: An anonymous LLC can help protect your personal assets from creditors and lawsuits. Keeping your identity hidden makes it more difficult for potential litigants to target your personal assets.
  • Enhanced Business Image: An anonymous LLC can give the impression that your business is larger and more established than it is. This can be beneficial in attracting clients and investors.
  • Ease of Management: An anonymous LLC is typically easier to manage than other business structures, with fewer compliance requirements and formalities.

Difference Between an LLC and an Anonymous LLC in Delaware

In Delaware, when you form a regular LLC, you are required to disclose the names and addresses of the members (owners) and managers of the LLC. This information typically becomes part of the public record, meaning anyone can access it, and the owner’s association with the business is not private.

An anonymous LLC allows the owner(s) to keep their identity and personal information private. The formation documents for an anonymous LLC do not require the disclosure of the members’ names and addresses. Instead, a registered agent or nominee is listed on the formation documents as a buffer between the public record and the actual owner(s).

Why Does Forming an LLC Need to be Anonymous?

Forming an LLC does not necessarily need to be anonymous, but some business owners choose to create an anonymous LLC for various reasons:

  • Privacy Protection: An anonymous LLC helps protect the owner’s personal information and identity from being publicly accessible. Many business owners value their privacy and prefer to keep their involvement in certain business ventures confidential, especially if they have high-profile positions or are involved in multiple businesses.
  • Asset Protection: By keeping the ownership details private, an anonymous LLC can make it more difficult for potential creditors, litigants, or other parties to discover and target the owner’s personal assets in case of a lawsuit or debt collection.
  • Enhanced Business Reputation: In some cases, anonymity can help improve the reputation of a business. For example, if a business is involved in a controversial industry or the owner has a controversial past, keeping the ownership private can prevent negative publicity from affecting the business.
  • Easier to Attract Investors: An anonymous LLC can make it easier to attract investors who may be hesitant to invest in a company if they know the owner’s identity. Investors may focus more on the business opportunity than the owner’s history or background.
  • Reduced Identity Theft Risk: Creating an anonymous LLC can help protect the owner’s personal information from falling into the wrong hands, thus minimizing identity theft risk.

Are There Drawbacks in Forming an Anonymous LLC?

While forming an anonymous LLC can provide privacy benefits, there are potential drawbacks. These can include:

  • Limited Banking Options: Some banks may hesitate to open accounts for anonymous LLCs due to concerns about money laundering or other illicit activities.
  • Additional Costs: Forming and maintaining an anonymous LLC, especially in another state, can involve additional costs, such as registered agent fees and annual filing fees.
  • Potential Scrutiny: Anonymous LLCs may attract more attention from regulatory authorities as they can sometimes be associated with illicit activities.

FAQs

What is an anonymous LLC?
An anonymous LLC is a limited liability company that does not reveal the identities of its owners to the public.
How can I form an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
To form an anonymous LLC in Delaware, you can file articles of organization for a limited liability company with the Delaware Division of Corporations.
Why would I want to form an anonymous LLC?
There are a few reasons why you might want to form an anonymous LLC, such as protecting your privacy or protecting your assets.
Are anonymous LLCs legal in Delaware?
Yes, anonymous LLCs are legal in Delaware and can be formed by following the state’s regulations.
Do I need to have a physical address in Delaware to form an anonymous LLC there?
Yes, you will need to have a registered agent with a physical address in Delaware in order to form an anonymous LLC there.
Can I use a PO box as my registered agent’s address in Delaware?
No, you cannot use a PO box as your registered agent’s address in Delaware.
Do I need to disclose the names of the owners of the anonymous LLC to the state of Delaware?
No, Delaware does not require anonymous LLCs to disclose the names of their owners to the state.
Will my anonymity be protected in Delaware?
Yes, Delaware takes privacy seriously and has strict regulations in place to protect the anonymity of LLC owners.
Can I operate my anonymous LLC in other states?
Yes, you can operate your anonymous LLC in other states, but you will need to comply with the regulations of those states.
Can I open a bank account in Delaware for my anonymous LLC?
Yes, you can open a bank account in Delaware for your anonymous LLC.
Will my bank know the identities of the owners of the anonymous LLC when I open the account?
No, the bank will not know the identities of the owners of the anonymous LLC.
Can I receive mail at my anonymous LLC’s registered agent’s address in Delaware?
Yes, you can receive mail at your anonymous LLC’s registered agent’s address in Delaware.
Do I need to pay Delaware state taxes if I form an anonymous LLC there?
If your anonymous LLC is earning income in Delaware, you will need to pay state taxes on that income.
Do I need to personally go to Delaware to form an anonymous LLC there?
No, you can form an anonymous LLC in Delaware remotely.
How much does it cost to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
It costs $90 to file articles of organization for a limited liability company in Delaware.
What are the fees associated with having a registered agent in Delaware?
The fees associated with having a registered agent in Delaware vary depending on the agent you choose.
Can I change the registered agent for my anonymous LLC in Delaware if I need to?
Yes, you can change the registered agent for your anonymous LLC in Delaware at any time.
How long does it take to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
It typically takes around 3-5 business days for your anonymous LLC to be formed in Delaware.
Do I need to have a social security number to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
No, you do not necessarily need to have a social security number to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware.
Can I have others manage my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, you can have others manage your anonymous LLC in Delaware.
Do I need an attorney to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
No, you do not need an attorney to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware.
Can I dissolve my anonymous LLC in Delaware if I need to?
Yes, you can dissolve your anonymous LLC in Delaware at any time.
What are the steps to dissolve an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
The steps to dissolve an anonymous LLC in Delaware vary depending on the situation, but generally involve filing documentation with the state.
Is Delaware a good state to form an anonymous LLC in?
Delaware is known for having strong privacy laws and is a popular state to form anonymous LLCs in.
Can I form an anonymous LLC in Delaware if I am not a US citizen?
Yes, you can form an anonymous LLC in Delaware even if you are not a US citizen.
Are there any restrictions on what businesses can be anonymous LLCs in Delaware?
No, there are no restrictions on what businesses can be anonymous LLCs in Delaware.
Can my anonymous LLC do business globally while keeping my anonymity intact?
Yes, your anonymous LLC can do business globally while keeping your anonymity intact.
Will I need to pay franchise taxes for my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Delaware are subject to franchise taxes.
Why should I form an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Delaware offers strong privacy protections for business owners, making it an ideal state to form an anonymous LLC.
Will the state of Delaware require me to reveal my identity when I form an anonymous LLC?
No, Delaware does not require the disclosure of ownership information when forming an anonymous LLC.
Do I need a registered agent in Delaware to form an anonymous LLC?
Yes, all LLCs formed in Delaware must have a registered agent located in the state.
Can I use a nominee service to act as the owner of my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, many companies offer this service for a fee.
How do I form an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
You can file the necessary paperwork with the Delaware Division of Corporations and pay the associated fees.
Can I operate my business under an assumed name or DBA?
Yes, but you will still need to register the DBA with the state of Delaware.
Will my anonymity be protected if I use a third-party formation service to form my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
It depends on the specific service, but many companies offer anonymous formation services.
Is it easy to get a business bank account for my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
It may be more difficult to get a bank account for an anonymous LLC, as banks may require proof of ownership.
Can I dissolve my anonymous LLC in Delaware without revealing my identity?
Yes, Delaware allows for the dissolution of an anonymous LLC without the disclosure of ownership information.
Are there any downsides to forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Depending on your particular situation, there may be other taxes or fees associated with forming an LLC in Delaware.
Can I change the ownership of my anonymous LLC in Delaware without revealing my identity?
Yes, Delaware allows for the transfer of ownership without the disclosure of ownership information.
Are there any annual requirements that I need to meet as the owner of an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, LLCs formed in Delaware are required to file an annual report and pay an annual franchise tax.
Will I need to get a business license in Delaware to operate my anonymous LLC?
It depends on the nature of your business; many types of businesses require a license in Delaware.
Can I be sued as the owner of an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, if someone believes they have a valid claim against your LLC, they may still bring a lawsuit.
Can I have multiple owners of an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Delaware can have multiple owners.
Can I have non-US citizens as owners of my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, there are no citizenship requirements to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware.
Are there any residency requirements for forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
No, there are no residency requirements to form an anonymous LLC in Delaware.
Can I change the name of my anonymous LLC after it has been formed?
Yes, you can change the name of your LLC by filing the appropriate paperwork with the state of Delaware.
Can I relocate my anonymous LLC to another state?
Yes, you can move your LLC to another state, although you will need to file the necessary paperwork to do so.
Can I avoid paying state taxes by forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
No, if your LLC does business in another state, you may still be required to pay taxes there.
Can I protect my personal assets by forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, forming an LLC can offer personal liability protection for business owners.
Can I borrow money for my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, anonymous LLCs can take out loans and lines of credit.
Can I use my home address as the business address for my anonymous LLC in Delaware?
Yes, you can use your home address as the business address for your anonymous LLC.
Is forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware costly?
The fees associated with forming an LLC in Delaware can be higher than in other states, but the low tax rates and strong privacy protections may be worth it for some business owners.
Can I form an anonymous LLC in Delaware without ever visiting the state?
Yes, you can form an anonymous LLC in Delaware without ever visiting the state.
What privacy protections does Delaware offer for anonymous LLC owners?
Delaware allows for the use of various privacy measures to protect the anonymity of LLC owners, including the use of nominee services and the non-disclosure of ownership information.
How are taxes handled for anonymous LLCs in Delaware?
Delaware has low tax rates for LLCs and does not require the disclosure of ownership information on tax filings.
Is forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware a good choice for online businesses?
Because of the strong privacy protections offered by Delaware, forming an anonymous LLC in the state may be a good choice for many online businesses.

Also Read

Why You Should Start Delaware Anonymous LLC

First and foremost, privacy is a key advantage of forming a Delaware Anonymous LLC. By setting up your business in Delaware, you can keep your identity as a business owner completely private. This can be crucial for many reasons, such as protecting your personal information from being public record, maintaining anonymity in business dealings, or simply avoiding unwanted attention.

Additionally, forming a Delaware Anonymous LLC offers increased asset protection. By separating your personal assets from your business assets, you can protect yourself from potential lawsuits or creditors going after your personal wealth. Delaware offers some of the strongest asset protection laws in the country, making it an ideal place to form an LLC for this purpose.

Another reason to start a Delaware Anonymous LLC is for the advantageous tax benefits. Delaware has a business-friendly tax structure that allows for minimal tax liability. This can save you money in the long run and allow you to keep more of your hard-earned profits within your business.

Furthermore, forming a Delaware Anonymous LLC can also offer flexibility and ease of management. Delaware has a modern and efficient legal system when it comes to business formation, making it a hassle-free process to set up your LLC. Additionally, Delaware also offers flexible regulations that allow for more freedom in how you choose to run your business.

Moreover, starting a Delaware Anonymous LLC can also lend credibility and professionalism to your business. Delaware is known for its business-friendly climate and is home to many Fortune 500 companies. By incorporating in Delaware, you are aligning your business with a state that is highly regarded in the business world, which can enhance your reputation among clients and partners.

In conclusion, there are numerous benefits to starting a Delaware Anonymous LLC for your business. From privacy and asset protection to tax advantages and ease of management, Delaware offers many advantages that can help your business thrive. Consider the benefits outlined above and take the leap in forming a Delaware Anonymous LLC for your business.

Conclusion

Forming an anonymous LLC in Delaware can provide numerous benefits for entrepreneurs, including increased privacy and asset protection. Following the steps outlined in this article, you can successfully establish an anonymous LLC and enjoy its advantages. However, consulting with an attorney or professional advisor is always recommended to ensure you make the best decisions for your unique business needs.

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