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

Form an Anonymous LLC in Ohio

Starting a Limited Liability Company in Ohio offers business owners flexibility, simplicity, and asset protection. In Ohio, 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 Ohio and the benefits of doing so.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you form your Ohio 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 Ohio if you wish to protect your personal assets from business debts.

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How to Form an Anonymous LLC in Ohio

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 Statutory Agent, preparing and filing your Articles of Organization, 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 Ohio is to select a unique name for your business. Ensure another company still needs to use the name by checking the Ohio Secretary of State’s business name database.

There is a complete guide on Ohio 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 Ohio, 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 some time. You must file a name reservation application in the Ohio 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 five years, which costs around Varies by county.

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Step 2: Hire a Statutory Agent

To form an anonymous LLC in Ohio, you must hire a Statutory 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 Statutory Agent.

It’s essential to choose a reliable and responsible Statutory 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 Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization must be filed with the Ohio 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 Articles of Organization in Ohio.

1. Obtain the Necessary Forms: Visit the Ohio’s business filing office website, usually the Ohio 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 Ohio state office, either by mail, in person, or online. You may mail it at Ohio Secretary of State, P.O. Box 670, Columbus, OH 43216.

4. Pay the Filing Fee: When you submit your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $99. Make sure to check and include the correct payment with your submission.

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

Once you have successfully filed your Articles of Organization 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 Ohio through the Internal Revenue Service website.

The application of an EIN in Ohio 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 Ohio law, creating an operating agreement in Ohio 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 Biennial Reports and any required tax filings with the Ohio Secretary of State and maintain a Statutory Agent.

Benefits of an Anonymous LLC in Ohio

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

  • 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 Ohio

In Ohio, 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 where the identities of the owners are not disclosed in the public records.
Is it legal to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, it is legal to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
How do I form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
You can form an anonymous LLC in Ohio by following the same process as forming a regular LLC, but you will need to use a registered agent service to keep your identity anonymous.
Can I be my own registered agent for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
No, you cannot be your own registered agent for an anonymous LLC in Ohio. You must use a registered agent service.
What is a registered agent service?
A registered agent service is a third-party company that provides a physical address where legal documents can be served on behalf of your LLC.
Is a registered agent service required for all LLCs in Ohio?
Yes, all LLCs in Ohio are required to have a registered agent.
Can I change my registered agent for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can change your registered agent for an anonymous LLC in Ohio at any time by filing a form with the Ohio Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to have a registered agent for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
The cost of a registered agent service for an anonymous LLC in Ohio varies depending on the provider you choose, but it typically ranges from $50 to $250 per year.
Can I form an anonymous LLC in Ohio without a lawyer?
Yes, you can form an anonymous LLC in Ohio without a lawyer, but it’s recommended to seek legal advice to ensure compliance with state laws and regulations.
Do I need to file an operating agreement for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, it’s recommended to file an operating agreement for an anonymous LLC in Ohio to help establish the structure and governance of your business.
Is my name on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website if I form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
No, the names of the owners of an anonymous LLC in Ohio are not disclosed on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website.
Do I have to disclose my name to the Ohio Secretary of State when forming an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
No, you do not have to disclose your name to the Ohio Secretary of State when forming an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Can I operate my anonymous LLC in Ohio from another state?
Yes, you can operate your anonymous LLC in Ohio from another state, but you will still need to have a registered agent with a physical address in Ohio.
Can I manage my anonymous LLC in Ohio from another country?
Yes, you can manage your anonymous LLC in Ohio from another country, but you will still need to have a registered agent with a physical address in Ohio.
Can I get a business bank account for my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can get a business bank account for your anonymous LLC in Ohio, but you will have to provide personal identification to the bank.
Can I open a merchant account for my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
It depends on the merchant account provider, but some providers allow anonymous LLCs to open accounts.
Can I get a business credit card for my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can get a business credit card for your anonymous LLC in Ohio, but you will have to provide personal identification to the credit card company.
Do anonymous LLC owners have liability protection in Ohio?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners have liability protection in Ohio just like regular LLC owners.
Do I still have to pay taxes for my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you still have to pay taxes for your anonymous LLC in Ohio, including state and federal income taxes.
Do anonymous LLCs pay less tax than regular LLCs in Ohio?
No, anonymous LLCs do not pay less tax than regular LLCs in Ohio.
Can I apply for an EIN for my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can apply for an EIN for your anonymous LLC in Ohio using your registered agent’s address.
Will the IRS know that my LLC is anonymous if I apply for an EIN in Ohio?
No, the IRS will not know that your LLC is anonymous if you apply for an EIN in Ohio.
Can I hire employees for my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can hire employees for your anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Do I have to disclose my identity to my employees if I have an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
No, you do not have to disclose your identity to your employees if you have an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Can I sell my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can sell your anonymous LLC in Ohio, but the identity of the new owner must be disclosed.
Can I dissolve my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can dissolve your anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Do I have to disclose my identity when dissolving my anonymous LLC in Ohio?
No, you do not have to disclose your identity when dissolving your anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Can I convert my anonymous LLC in Ohio to a regular LLC?
Yes, you can convert your anonymous LLC in Ohio to a regular LLC at any time.
What is an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
An anonymous LLC is a limited liability company where the name of the owners remain confidential.
Are anonymous LLCs legal in Ohio?
Yes, Ohio state law allows for the formation of anonymous LLCs.
How is an anonymous LLC formed in Ohio?
An Ohio anonymous LLC is formed by filing articles of organization with the Ohio Secretary of State.
Can I form an anonymous LLC in Ohio by myself?
Yes, you can form an anonymous LLC in Ohio as a single-member LLC.
Do I need an attorney to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
It is not a requirement to hire an attorney to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio, but it can be beneficial for some people.
Can non-residents form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, non-residents can form an anonymous LLC in Ohio without any issues.
Is there a minimum number of members needed to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
No, there is no minimum number of members required to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Can I use a PO box as my business address for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can use a PO box as your business address for an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Can anonymous LLCs operate virtually in Ohio?
Yes, anonymous LLCs can operate virtually in Ohio.
How long does it take to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
It usually takes around two to three weeks to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Is forming an anonymous LLC in Ohio expensive?
The cost of forming an anonymous LLC in Ohio is relatively comparable to other states, but the specific charges may vary.
What documents do I need to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
You will need to file articles of organization along with a filing fee to form an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
What are the annual fees for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
The annual fees for an anonymous LLC in Ohio are $125.
Can I be sued if I form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, it is possible for an anonymous LLC in Ohio to be sued if the case meets certain criteria.
Can I dissolve an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can dissolve an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
What additional licenses or permits do I need?
If your anonymous LLC is conducting business in specific industries in Ohio, then it may require relevant permits or licenses.
How does taxation work for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Ohio taxes anonymous LLCs as pass-through entities, so the corporate income is not subject to taxation.
Are anonymous LLCs required to have an operating agreement in Ohio?
While it is not mandatory to have an Ohio anonymous LLC operating agreement, it can be beneficial and is often recommended.
Can Ohio anonymous LLCs issue stock?
An anonymous LLC in Ohio cannot issue stock as it is not classified as an incorporated entity.
Do anonymous LLCs in Ohio have personal liability protection?
Yes, Ohio anonymous LLCs offer personal liability protection to their owners.
Can I add a registered agent to my Ohio anonymous LLC?
Yes, adding a registered agent can provide several benefits to your Ohio anonymous LLC.
Can I change the name of my anonymous LLC in Ohio after formation?
Yes, Ohio anonymous LLC owners can change their anonymous LLC name if necessary.
Is it possible to convert another form of business into an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, you can convert another form of business to an anonymous LLC in Ohio.
Do Ohio anonymous LLCs have to keep records of their business?
Yes, anonymous LLCs registered in Ohio must maintain accurate and complete business records.
Is it mandatory to have a business bank account for an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, having a business bank account is necessary to avoid issues down the line.
Can I have employees if I form an anonymous LLC in Ohio?
Yes, Ohio anonymous LLC owners can employ individuals to work.
Do anonymous LLC owners have to be US citizens in Ohio?
No, anonymous LLC owners in Ohio do not have to be US citizens, as even non-US residents can own LLCs here.
Can anonymous LLCs shielding ownership only manage other companies?
Anonymous Ohio LLCs can manage any registered trademark, do copywriting work or own patents.
Can family members own the Ohio anonymous LLC and remain anonymous on record?
Yes, you can make your Ohio anonymous LLC a family venture as well, offering protection to each tagged owner.

Also Read

Why You Should Start Ohio Anonymous LLC

One of the main advantages of starting an Ohio Anonymous LLC is the anonymity it provides. By establishing your business as an anonymous LLC, you can keep your personal information confidential and prevent it from being publicly available. This can be especially beneficial for individuals who want to keep their business ownership private or avoid unwanted attention.

Additionally, an Ohio Anonymous LLC offers liability protection for its members. By forming an LLC, you can separate your personal assets from your business assets, which can help protect your personal property in the event of any lawsuits or debts incurred by the business. This can offer a sense of security and peace of mind for business owners, knowing that their personal assets are safeguarded.

Moreover, an Ohio Anonymous LLC can also offer tax benefits for its members. LLCs are considered pass-through entities for tax purposes, meaning that the business itself does not pay taxes. Instead, profits and losses are passed through to the individual members, who report them on their personal tax returns. This can result in lower tax rates for LLC members compared to corporations, which can save you money in the long run.

Another advantage of starting an Ohio Anonymous LLC is the flexibility it offers in terms of ownership and management structure. LLCs allow for single-member ownership or multiple members, providing options for individuals looking to start a business on their own or with partners. Additionally, LLCs have fewer formalities and requirements compared to corporations, making them easier to manage and operate.

In conclusion, starting an Ohio Anonymous LLC can be a smart choice for individuals looking to start a business while protecting their personal assets and maintaining a sense of privacy. With the anonymity, liability protection, tax benefits, and flexibility that an LLC offers, it can be a strategic and advantageous business structure for many entrepreneurs. If you are considering starting your own business in Ohio, an anonymous LLC may be the right choice for you.

Conclusion

Forming an anonymous LLC in Ohio 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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