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

Form an Anonymous LLC in Wisconsin

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

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

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How to Form an Anonymous LLC in Wisconsin

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 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 Wisconsin is to select a unique name for your business. Ensure another company still needs to use the name by checking the Wisconsin Secretary of State’s business name database.

There is a complete guide on Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin 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 ten years, which costs around $15.

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Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent

To form an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin, 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 Articles of Organization

The Articles of Organization must be filed with the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin.

1. Obtain the Necessary Forms: Visit the Wisconsin’s business filing office website, usually the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin state office, either by mail, in person, or online. You may mail it at State of WI – Dept. of Financial Institutions, P.O. Box 93348, Milwaukee, WI 53293.

4. Pay the Filing Fee: When you submit your Articles of Organization, you’ll need to pay a filing fee of $130. 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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin through the Internal Revenue Service website.

The application of an EIN in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin law, creating an operating agreement in Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Secretary of State and maintain a Registered Agent.

Benefits of an Anonymous LLC in Wisconsin

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

  • 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 Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, 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 in which the owners remain anonymous to the public.
Is it legal to form an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
Yes, Wisconsin allows the formation of anonymous or “anonymous bearer” LLCs.
Can I use a post office box as the address for my anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
Yes, you can use a post office box as your LLC’s mailing address in Wisconsin.
Can anonymous LLC owners do business in Wisconsin without revealing their identities?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners can conduct business in Wisconsin without revealing their identities as long as certain conditions are met.
Are there any additional filing requirements for anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin must file certain additional forms and provide certain information to state authorities.
What information must be disclosed when forming an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
The names of the LLC’s organizers and managers must be disclosed on the formation documents, but the owners’ names can be kept confidential.
Can an out-of-state resident form an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
Yes, out-of-state residents can form anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin if they comply with the state’s laws and regulations.
How can I find a registered agent for my anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
You can hire a registered agent service or designate a trusted person to serve as the LLC’s registered agent.
Are anonymous LLCs taxed differently in Wisconsin?
No, anonymous LLCs are taxed the same as non-anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin.
Can anonymous LLC owners open bank accounts in Wisconsin?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners can open bank accounts in Wisconsin if they provide the necessary identification and documentation.
Are anonymous LLC owners protected from personal liability in Wisconsin?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners are generally shielded from personal liability in Wisconsin.
Is it more difficult to obtain financing for an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
It may be more difficult for anonymous LLCs to obtain financing because lenders may require more detailed financial information.
Can anonymous LLC owners be sued in Wisconsin?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners can be sued in Wisconsin if they are identified by a court or by voluntary disclosure.
Do anonymous LLCs need to file annual reports in Wisconsin?
Yes, Wisconsin law requires anonymous LLCs to file annual reports with the state’s Department of Financial Institutions.
What information is required in an annual report for an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
Wisconsin requires anonymous LLCs to provide information about their members and managers, registered agent, and business activities.
Are anonymous LLCs subject to Wisconsin’s franchise tax?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin are subject to the state’s franchise tax.
How many members can an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin have?
Anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin can have as few as one member and no maximum number of members.
Do anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin need to have operating agreements?
Yes, Wisconsin law requires all LLCs, including anonymous LLCs, to have written operating agreements.
Do anonymous LLCs have to pay the Wisconsin seller’s permit fee?
Yes, anonymous LLCs that engage in retail sales in Wisconsin are required to pay the state’s seller’s permit fee.
Can I convert my existing Wisconsin LLC to an anonymous LLC?
Yes, an existing Wisconsin LLC can be converted to an anonymous LLC, but certain legal requirements must be met.
Can I convert my anonymous LLC to a regular LLC in Wisconsin?
Yes, an anonymous LLC can be converted to a regular LLC in Wisconsin if the name and ownership structure are changed.
Can anonymous LLCs apply for federal tax IDs?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin can apply for federal tax IDs from the Internal Revenue Service.
Can anonymous LLC owners attend Wisconsin company meetings in person?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners can attend Wisconsin company meetings in person if they choose to reveal their identities to other members.
Can anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin hold copyrights or patents?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin can hold copyrights or patents although it may be more difficult to enforce those rights.
Do anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin pay state and local sales taxes?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin must collect and remit state and local sales taxes on retail sales.
Can anonymous LLC owners receive distributions in Wisconsin?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners can receive distributions from their Wisconsin LLCs as outlined in their operating agreement.
Are anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin regulated by the SEC?
No, anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin are not subject to regulation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Can anonymous LLC owners sue third parties in Wisconsin?
Yes, anonymous LLC owners can file lawsuits against third parties in Wisconsin courts if they are first identified through a legal process.
How do I dissolve an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
Dissolving an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin generally requires filing articles of dissolution with the state’s Department of Financial Institutions.
Can I form an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
Yes, Wisconsin allows for anonymous LLCs.
Do I have to use a registered agent in Wisconsin to form my anonymous LLC?
Yes, Wisconsin requires all LLCs, including anonymous LLCs, to have a registered agent in the state.
Can I act as my own registered agent for my anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
Yes, as long as you have a physical address in Wisconsin.
Do I have to publicly disclose my name as the owner of my Wisconsin anonymous LLC?
No, the owner’s name does not have to be disclosed in any state filings for a Wisconsin anonymous LLC.
What does the Certificate of Reduction of Authority form do in Wisconsin?
The Certificate of Reduction of Authority is used to reduce the powers of a registered agent or manager of a Wisconsin anonymous LLC.
Do I have to file annual reports for my Wisconsin anonymous LLC?
Yes, all Wisconsin LLCs, including anonymous LLCs, are required to file annual reports and pay a fee.
Can the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions provide a list of anonymous LLCs?
No, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions does not publish a list of anonymous LLCs.
What information does the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions require to form an anonymous LLC?
The WDFI requires the name of the anonymous LLC and a registered agent’s name and address.
Are there any specific naming conventions for anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin?
No, an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin can have any name that is not already being used by another LLC.
What happens if I need to change my registered agent or address for my Wisconsin anonymous LLC?
You must file a statement of change with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
Can I form an anonymous LLC for any type of business in Wisconsin?
Yes, like traditional LLCs, anonymous LLCs can be formed for virtually any type of business in Wisconsin.
Is there a limit on the number of owners/plans for an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin?
No, there are no requirements regarding ownership structure, and anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin can have any number of owners.
Do I need an operating agreement for my Wisconsin anonymous LLC?
While not required by law, an operating agreement is a recommended tool to help guide the management of your LLC, even when it’s anonymous.
Can I open a business bank account for my Wisconsin anonymous LLC without revealing myself?
It’s up to the bank’s policies, but some banks will allow anonymous LLC owners to open accounts.
Can I obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS for my Wisconsin anonymous LLC?
Yes, you can obtain an EIN for your anonymous Wisconsin LLC, but you must designate an authorized representative on the application that isn’t anonymous.
Does a Wisconsin anonymous LLC provide the same liability protections as a traditional LLC?
Yes. Wisconsin anonymous LLCs offer the same protections and benefits as traditional LLCs.
Can creditors or other third parties discover the true owner of a Wisconsin anonymous LLC if they are sued?
Nothing is ever 100% anonymous, and theoretically anyone can be discovered after thorough investigation. However, anonymous LLCs are intended to effectively hide business owners from the public record.
Does an anonymous LLC need a physical address in Wisconsin to be formed?
Yes. A physical address is required for your registered agent, and it needs to be a Wisconsin address.
Can a Wisconsin resident be a registered agent for an anonymous LLC?
Yes. A Wisconsin resident can be a registered agent for any type of LLC formed in any state or jurisdiction, including anonymous LLCs formed in Wisconsin.
What taxes does a Wisconsin anonymous LLC have to pay?
Anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin are taxed in the same way as traditional LLCs, including state and federal taxes based on the LLC structure.
Can a Wisconsin anonymous LLC do business with the government?
Yes, anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin have the power to conduct any legal business activity in the state,& government programs or private contract services included.
Do I have to pay the Wisconsin LLC processing fee if my anonymous LLC is denied during filing?
Yes, processing fees for forming LLCs in Wisconsin aren’t refundable in most cases, even if the LLC is denied for registration after filing.
Is my personal privacy better protected by an anonymous LLC or on a personal level?
Privacy laws in Wisconsin protect personal information, but an anonymous LLC gives an additional layer of anonymity for securing information surrounding equal taxation protocols.
Can I change my anonymous LLC to a traditional LLC?
Yes, conversions can be made from one type of LLC to another. Contact the Wisconsin Depart of financial institutions for your business to arrange this.
What is the difference between anonymity and confidentiality?
Anonymity means that the owner’s name is unknown publicly, meanwhile, confidentiality suggests that the name is known only to internal stakeholders.& Wisconsin secretes business privacy completely & efficiently with confirmed registration.
Can I own multiple anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin?
Yes, there aren’t any permit restrictions limiting the number of anonymous LLCs owned by one individual or business, provided each LLC is registered separately.
Can third-party providers (like filing agencies) access information such as owner details about my anonymous Wisconsin LLC?
Third-party agents are intended to be a liaison, avenue for support, and assistance throughout the respective registration process only, and do not have access to private and confidential information under Wisconsin Judicial Law.
Can a Wisconsin anonymous LLC own property?
Yes, registered anonymous LLCs in Wisconsin can legally own and manage an asset or property, which helps protect the owner’s investment for the property in question.

Also Read

Why You Should Start Wisconsin Anonymous LLC

One of the primary reasons why you should consider starting a Wisconsin Anonymous LLC is the protection it offers to your personal assets. By choosing to operate as an Anonymous LLC, you are able to separate your personal finances from your business finances. This means that in the event of a lawsuit or bankruptcy, your personal assets such as your home, car, and savings account are shielded from any potential liabilities of the business. This added layer of protection provides peace of mind for entrepreneurs who want to take risks with their business ventures without risking their personal financial security.

Additionally, starting a Wisconsin Anonymous LLC allows you to maintain a level of privacy that is not always possible with other business structures. If you value your privacy and wish to keep your identity confidential for personal or professional reasons, an Anonymous LLC can help you achieve this goal. With an Anonymous LLC, your name does not have to be publicly disclosed on state records, allowing you to operate your business without fear of unwanted attention or potential threats to your personal safety.

Furthermore, Wisconsin exempts Anonymous LLCs from having to file annual reports, which can save you time and money compared to other business structures that require more extensive reporting requirements. This streamlined process can make it easier for you to focus on growing your business and reaching your financial goals without getting bogged down in administrative tasks.

Another important benefit of starting a Wisconsin Anonymous LLC is the flexibility it offers in terms of management structure. Unlike other business structures that may require a board of directors or formal management hierarchy, an Anonymous LLC allows you to operate without these constraints. This means that you have the freedom to structure your business in a way that best suits your needs and preferences, allowing you to make decisions quickly and efficiently without having to consult with a larger governing body.

In conclusion, starting a Wisconsin Anonymous LLC can provide a host of benefits for entrepreneurs looking to protect their personal assets, maintain their privacy, and operate their business efficiently. If you value these aspects in a business structure and want the flexibility to make decisions without outside interference, then an Anonymous LLC may be the right choice for you. Consider the advantages of starting a Wisconsin Anonymous LLC and take the first step towards achieving your entrepreneurial goals today.

Conclusion

Forming an anonymous LLC in Wisconsin 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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