Starting a Corporation in Wyoming | What You Need to Know

Start a Corporation in Wyoming

In Wyoming, starting a corporation can benefit entrepreneurs looking to establish a separate legal entity for their business. Incorporating your business provides liability protection for its owners and offers potential tax benefits and a professional image. This comprehensive guide will walk you through Starting a Corporation in Wyoming, from choosing a corporate name to fulfilling ongoing compliance requirements. Some people consider starting a corporation since it has advantages and benefits rather than Starting an LLC in Wyoming.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge in starting a corporation with thorough research and market study. It would be best to cross-check all the factors in this article before forming a corporation.

What is a Corporation in Wyoming?

A corporation in Wyoming is a business organization recognized as a separate legal entity from its owners, also known as shareholders. When a corporation is formed, shareholders invest capital by purchasing shares of stock and, in return, become partial company owners. The corporation is managed by a board of directors elected by the shareholders to oversee the company’s operations and make important decisions. Corporations in Wyoming are required to have at least Three directors. One of the main advantages of a corporation in Wyoming is that it provides limited liability protection to its shareholders, meaning their assets are not at risk if the corporation incurs debt or is legally sued.

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Common Types of Corporations

Before you start with a corporation, you should know what type of corporation you will form. There are several different forms of corporations you can take into consideration, depending on your corporation’s objectives and ownership structure.

C-Corporation

C-Corporation is the most known type of incorporation. They have almost all corporate distinguishing characteristics. Profits are distributed to corporate owners who are taxed at an individual level. The corporation is taxed similarly to a business unit.

S-Corporation

S-Corporation in Wyoming is set up similarly to a C-corporation but has different tax implications and owner limits. An S-Corporation has no more than 100 stockholders and is not taxed separately. These business units must also file paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain their status.

Nonprofit Corporation

Religious, educational, and charity institutions frequently use nonprofit businesses to run their operations without making a profit. Thus, a nonprofit corporation is exempt from paying taxes. The nonprofit organization’s gifts, contributions, or cash are reinvested in the company to fund its growth, future endeavors, or operations.

It is recommended to Start a Corporation in Wyoming if you would like to provide limited liability protection to your shareholders rather than Wyoming LLC. However, you may want to consult to LegalZoom’s Business Attorney before starting a business.

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How to Start a Corporation in Wyoming

To start a corporation in Wyoming, you must follow the below steps that, include choosing a corporate name, hiring a Registered Agent, appointing directors, filing for Articles of Incorporation, creating corporate bylaws, holding the initial board of directors, issuing stock, obtaining required licenses and permits, registering with state tax agencies, and annual reporting and ongoing compliance. All these steps are basic ones. It can be changed depending on the type of corporation you form and the nature of your business.

Step 1: Choosing a Corporate Name

The first step in starting a corporation is choosing an available name that complies with Wyoming naming rules. Most states require that the name of a corporation be distinguishable from other registered business names and include a corporate designator such as “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” or an abbreviation thereof.

Here are some guidelines you must follow while naming your corporation in Wyoming-

  • Your business name must contain entity identifiers, such as “Incorporated,” “Limited,” “Corporation,” or “Company,” or an abbreviation, such as “Inc.,” “Co.,” or “Ltd.”
  • Exclude any words in your business name, such as “Trust,” “Bank,” “Credit Union,” or “Trustee,” or words related to a government agency, such as “FBI,” “State Department,” or “Treasury.”

To check the availability of your desired corporate name, you can search the Wyoming Secretary of State‘s business name database and Business Name Search in Wyoming. If the name is available, you may choose to reserve it for a specific period of 120 days by filing a name reservation application and paying the online name reservation fee of $50 and mail name reservation fee of $50. If your corporation plans to operate under a name other than its legal name, you may also need to register a fictitious or “doing business as” (DBA) name.

The DBA filing can be done by two methods, by mail and in person., which costs around $100. In addition, the DBA’s validity in Wyoming is ten years, which you can file in Wyoming Secretary of State.

You can check out How to File a DBA in Wyoming for clearer understanding.

Step 2: Hire a Registered Agent

Hiring a Registered Agent is essential in starting a corporation. Registered Agent is a person or company responsible for receiving important legal documents, tax notices, and other correspondence on behalf of your corporation. They ensure that your corporation remains compliant with state regulations and requirements. There are Wyoming Registered Agent Services to check in forming Wyoming Corporation. We reviewed some of the best-registered agent services and provided features as an add-on with their packages.

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Step 3: Appointing Directors

Corporations in Wyoming are required to have at least Three directors, though some states may require more. Directors are responsible for overseeing the corporation’s management and making major decisions on behalf of the company. In Wyoming, directors must be at least 18 years old and do not need to be state residents.

When appointing directors, it is essential to consider individuals who are knowledgeable, trustworthy, and capable of making sound business decisions. Maintaining a record of appointed directors, including their names, addresses, and terms of service, is also a good idea.

Step 4: Preparing and Filing Articles of Incorporation

After you appoint the initial board of directors in your Wyoming corporation, the next step is to write and file a Articles of Incorporation. In writing, the Wyoming Articles of Incorporation, the corporation name, principal place of business, the purpose of business, Registered Agent contact information, and the names and addresses of incorporators and initial board members, should be written.

To officially form your Wyoming corporation, you must prepare and file Articles of Incorporation with the Wyoming Secretary of State. The Articles of Incorporation is a legal document that outlines essential information about your corporation, such as its name, address, purpose, and details about its stock.

The specific requirements for Articles of Incorporation vary by state, but generally, the document must include the following:

  • The corporate name
  • The purpose of the corporation
  • The name and address of the registered agent
  • The names and addresses of the initial directors
  • The number of authorized shares and their par value
  • The name and address of the incorporator(s)

Once the Articles of Incorporation are complete, please submit them to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office, along with the required filing fee. Fees vary by state, but in Wyoming, the Articles of Incorporation filing fee costs around $100 by mail filing. It is crucial to provide accurate and complete information on this document, as errors or omissions may result in delays or rejection of your filing.

  • Online Filing: there’s no online filing available.
  • Offline filing: Send the form by mail to Wyoming Secretary of State, 2020 Carey Avenue, Suite 700, Cheyenne, WY 82002

Step 5: Creating Corporate Bylaws

Now you are done filing Articles of Incorporation in Wyoming, the next step is to draft corporate bylaws. While not always required by law, creating corporate bylaws is essential in establishing Wyoming corporation. Bylaws are the internal rules and regulations that govern the corporation’s operations and management. They outline the rights and responsibilities of directors, officers, and shareholders and provide guidelines for holding meetings and making decisions.

Key provisions to include in your corporate bylaws may include:

  • The corporation’s purpose and principal place of business
  • The roles and responsibilities of directors, officers, and shareholders
  • The process for appointing and removing directors and officers
  • The procedures for holding annual and special meetings
  • The methods for amending the bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
  • The procedures for issuing stock and maintaining shareholder records

Once the bylaws are drafted, they must be adopted by the corporation’s board of directors. Keeping a copy of the bylaws with your corporate records and updating them to reflect changes in the corporation or applicable laws is essential.

Step 6: Holding the Initial Board of Directors Meeting

The initial board of directors meeting is a crucial milestone for your Wyoming corporation. During this meeting, the directors will adopt the corporate bylaws, elect officers, and make other key decisions to set the foundation for the corporation’s operations.

The agenda for the initial board meeting may include the following:

  • Adopting the corporate bylaws
  • Ratifying any pre-incorporation actions taken by the incorporator(s)
  • Electing corporate officers (e.g., president, vice president, secretary, treasurer)
  • Designating a corporate bank account
  • Authorizing the issuance of stock
  • Approving necessary licenses, permits, and tax registrations

It is essential to keep detailed minutes of the initial board meeting, documenting the decisions made and actions taken. These minutes should be stored with your corporate records.

Step 7: Issuing Stock

Corporations in Wyoming are required to issue stock to their owners, also known as shareholders. When preparing to issue stock, you must determine the number of authorized shares and their par value, as outlined in your Articles of Incorporation. You may choose to issue different classes of stock, each with its rights and privileges, such as voting rights and dividend preferences.

The process for issuing stock typically involves the board of directors approving a stock issuance resolution, determining the price per share, and recording the issuance in the corporation’s stock ledger. Maintaining accurate and up-to-date records of all stock transactions, including transfers and cancellations, is crucial to ensure proper ownership tracking and compliance with securities laws.

Step 8: Obtaining Required Licenses and Permits

Depending on the nature of your corporation’s activities and location, you may need to obtain various licenses and permits to operate legally. These may include federal, state, and local requirements, such as:

  • A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) for tax reporting and employee withholding purposes.
  • State sales and use tax registration, if your corporation sells taxable goods or services
  • Professional or occupational licenses for specific industries (e.g., healthcare, construction, food service)
  • Wyoming Business Licenses, zoning permits, and health department approvals

Researching and obtaining all required Wyoming licenses and permits before commencing operations and maintaining compliance with any ongoing renewal or reporting requirements is essential.

Step 10: Registering with State Tax Agencies

In addition to obtaining licenses and permits, your Wyoming corporation may also need to register with various tax agencies. This may include registering for sales and use tax, obtaining an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Wyoming for payroll tax purposes, and filing state income tax and franchise tax returns.

An EIN will serve as the tax ID for your Wyoming corporation. EIN can be obtained from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). It is a 9-digit number similar to Social Security Number. EIN, however, is distinct from SSN. It is only used for business-related activities, particularly for submitting general taxes. The form must be completed and uploaded to the IRS website.

The application of an EIN in Wyoming 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 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.

Each state has tax requirements, so consult a tax professional or Wyoming Department of Revenue for guidance on your specific obligations.

Step 11: Annual Reporting and Ongoing Compliance

Once your Wyoming corporation is up and running, you must fulfill ongoing reporting and compliance requirements to maintain good standing. This may include filing Annual Report with the Wyoming Secretary of State, updating your corporate records to reflect changes in directors or officers, and staying current on any required licenses or permits.

In addition, it is essential to stay informed about changes in corporate laws and regulations that may impact your business and to seek professional advice when needed.

Paying Your Taxes in Wyoming

Even if you have established your corporation in Wyoming, pay your taxes and keep everything up to date so you won’t pay any penalty. Unlike an LLC, there is a corporate tax that every corporation in Wyoming has to pay. On the other hand, they must pay income taxes based on their business income. Some other types of taxes in Wyoming are sales tax, franchise tax (not applicable to all the states), and other state taxes.

Cost of Forming a Corporation in Wyoming

In forming a corporation in Wyoming, a filing and Annual fee must be paid. Without it, your corporation won’t operate. A corporation’s initial filing fee may vary from state to state. However, in Wyoming, it costs $100 by mail filing. The corporation in Wyoming also has to file an Annual Report (though it might not be mandatory, it is recommended to file one). Ensure you comply with all the necessary fees and costs so your corporation will run successfully and smoothly.

FAQs

Why is Wyoming a popular state for incorporating a business?
Wyoming is known for its favorable tax climate, flexible business laws, and strong protections for business owners.
Do I need to be a resident of Wyoming to start a corporation there?
No, residency is not a requirement to incorporate in Wyoming.
What is the minimum number of shareholders required to start a corporation in Wyoming?
You can start a corporation in Wyoming with just one shareholder.
Do I need to have a registered agent in Wyoming to start a corporation there?
Yes, by law, all Wyoming corporations must have a registered agent with a Wyoming physical address.
How long does it take to incorporate a business in Wyoming?
Incorporating in Wyoming typically takes 24-48 hours.
Does Wyoming require corporations to file an annual report?
Yes, Wyoming requires corporations to file an annual report with the Wyoming Secretary of State.
How much does it cost to start a corporation in Wyoming?
The cost to start a corporation in Wyoming can vary based on a variety of factors, but generally starts at around $100.
What types of businesses can be incorporated in Wyoming?
Virtually any type of business can be incorporated in Wyoming, including LLCs, partnerships, and corporations.
How do I file the Articles of Incorporation with the Wyoming Secretary of State?
The Articles of Incorporation can be filed online or by mail with the Wyoming Secretary of State.
Can I file the Articles of Incorporation on my own, or do I need the help of an attorney?
You can file the Articles of Incorporation on your own without an attorney.
Is Wyoming a good state for businesses to incorporate in for asset protection purposes?
Yes, Wyoming’s laws offer strong protections for business assets and owners.
Does Wyoming offer any tax advantages for starting a business there?
Yes, Wyoming’s business tax climate is one of the most favorable in the country.
Are there any specific requirements for naming a corporation in Wyoming?
The name of your corporation must include a corporate identifier (such as “Corp.” or “Inc.”) and must not be too similar to any existing corporation names in Wyoming.
Do I need a business license to start a corporation in Wyoming?
You may need to obtain a business license depending on the type of business you are operating.
Can I dissolve my Wyoming corporation if I decide to close my business?
Yes, you can dissolve your corporation by filing the necessary paperwork with the Wyoming Secretary of State.
Do I need to hold annual meetings for my Wyoming corporation?
Annual meetings are not required by law in Wyoming, but they can be useful for staying organized and ensuring that the business stays on track.
Are there any annual fees associated with maintaining a corporation in Wyoming?
Yes, Wyoming requires an annual report fee for corporations, which currently costs $50.
Can I convert an LLC to a corporation in Wyoming?
Yes, you can convert your Wyoming LLC to a corporation by filing the appropriate paperwork with the state.
Is there a minimum amount of capital required to start a corporation in Wyoming?
There is no minimum capital requirement for starting a corporation in Wyoming.
Do Wyoming corporations have to pay franchise tax?
No, Wyoming does not have a franchise tax for corporations.
Does Wyoming have any residency requirements for officers or directors of a corporation?
There are no residency requirements for officers or directors of a Wyoming corporation.
How can I find a registered agent in Wyoming?
There are many registered agent services available in Wyoming that can act as your registered agent.
Does Wyoming require corporations to have a certain number of officers?
No, Wyoming does not have any specific officer requirements for corporations.
Can I start a nonprofit corporation in Wyoming?
Yes, you can start a nonprofit corporation in Wyoming by filing the appropriate paperwork with the state.
Can I register an out-of-state corporation to do business in Wyoming?
Yes, you can register an out-of-state corporation to do business in Wyoming by filing a foreign qualification application.
Does Wyoming offer any special advantages for small businesses?
Wyoming’s business laws offer many advantages for small businesses, including reduced compliance burdens and lower costs.
Are there certain industries that are particularly well-suited for incorporating in Wyoming?
Wyoming has a strong focus on energy and natural resources, so businesses in these industries may find additional advantages in the state.
Why should I consider starting a corporation in Wyoming?
Wyoming offers several tax advantages and minimal filing requirements for corporations.
What is the minimum number of people needed to start a corporation in Wyoming?
Only one person can be the sole owner, director, and shareholder of a corporation in Wyoming.
Can non-residents start a corporation in Wyoming?
Yes, non-residents can start a corporation in Wyoming.
What is the cost to start a corporation in Wyoming?
The filing fee for a Wyoming corporation is $100.
How long does it take to start a corporation in Wyoming?
The formation process can be completed in as little as one business day.
Do I need a registered agent to form a corporation in Wyoming?
Yes, a registered agent is required for all Wyoming corporations.
What is a registered agent?
A registered agent is a person or entity designated to receive legal paperwork on behalf of a corporation.
Can I be my own registered agent in Wyoming?
Yes, an individual or business can be the registered agent of a corporation in Wyoming.
Does Wyoming have specific naming requirements for corporations?
Wyoming corporations’ names must contain the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” or “limited.”
Are there any naming restrictions?
Wyoming does not allow corporations to have a name that is already in use.
Can I reserve a corporation name before forming the company?
Yes, Wyoming allows name reservations for a fee of $50.
Are there any publication requirements for the corporation’s name?
No, Wyoming does not have any publication requirements.
How many directors must my Wyoming corporation have?
A Wyoming corporation must have one director or more.
Does the director need to be a Wyoming resident?
No, directors don’t need to be residents of Wyoming.
Can I organize my Wyoming corporation as an LLC?
No, a corporation cannot choose LLC status but can instead be a Close Corporation Agreements in Wyoming.
What are Articles of Incorporation?
Articles of Incorporation are legal forms filed with the State that establishes a corporation.
What information is required in the Articles of Incorporation?
Articles of Incorporation typically include the corporation’s name and purpose, the number and type of shares authorized, the registered agent’s name and address, amongst other details.
How many authorized shares of stock must an incorporation in Wyoming have?
Wyoming Corporations can either have an unlimited number of shares or a specific number of stocks.
What is the annual report filing requirement for Wyoming corporations?
Wyoming corporations must file annual reports by the first day of the anniversary of to protect the company with the Secretary of State.
What is the cost of an annual report filing for Wyoming corporations?
The cost for filing an annual report in Wyoming is $50.
What are the taxes imposed on Wyoming corporations?
Wyoming corporations don’t have corporate income tax but assessed a franchise tax based on gross receipts greater than $250,000.
Can I reinstate a dissolved Wyoming corporation?
Yes, a dissolved Wyoming corporation may be reinstated at additional State fees.
How can I dissolve a Wyoming corporation?
It can be done through voluntary dissolution with filing the appropriate paperwork with the State.
Is a Wyoming corporation required to hold meetings?
Yes, corporations must hold an annual shareholder meeting with meeting satisfying reporting requirements.
Where can I get a copy of Wyoming’s corporation s statue or business corporation laws?
Information is available on the Secretary of State’s website and Wyoming State Bar or consulting an attorney who specializes in business and corporate laws.
Can I change a corporation’s registered agent in Wyoming?
Yes, an annual report informs of an agent’s change, which must be filed with Wyoming’s Secretary of State.
How do I modify the corporation’s name?
Amendments to provide necessary amendment paperwork with the State of Wyoming and applicable fees.
Does Wyoming have any specific rules for stock certificates?
Yes, Wyoming feels that printed certificate to stockholders issued.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Forming Your Wyoming Corporation

One of the first ways to save money when forming your Wyoming corporation is to do as much of the work yourself as possible. While it may be tempting to hire a lawyer or business consultant to take care of all the details for you, many of the steps involved in starting a corporation can be completed on your own with a little research and effort. For example, you can file the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office, draft your own articles of incorporation, and prepare your own bylaws. By taking the time to educate yourself on the process and do some of the legwork yourself, you can save a significant amount of money on professional fees.

Another way to save money when forming your Wyoming corporation is to carefully consider the business structure and services you actually need. For example, while it may be tempting to opt for a full-service package that includes services like registered agent representation and ongoing compliance monitoring, you may not actually need all of these bells and whistles for your particular business. By carefully assessing your specific needs and only paying for the services you truly need, you can avoid unnecessary expenses and save money in the long run.

Additionally, it may be worth looking into DIY incorporation options that offer templates and guides for completing the necessary paperwork yourself. While these services may come with a small fee, they can often be much more cost-effective than hiring a professional to handle every aspect of the incorporation process for you. If you are comfortable taking the DIY route and are confident in your ability to follow instructions and complete the necessary forms accurately, this can be a great way to save money while still ensuring that your corporation is set up correctly.

Finally, consider utilizing online resources and tools to streamline the process of forming your Wyoming corporation. Websites and platforms like the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website, LegalZoom, and Gust can provide valuable information, resources, and even online filing options to simplify the process and save you time and money. By leveraging these online tools and services, you can accelerate the process of forming your corporation while minimizing the costs associated with traditional methods.

In conclusion, there are several effective strategies you can use to save money while forming your Wyoming corporation. By taking a hands-on approach, carefully assessing your needs, considering DIY options, and utilizing online resources, you can keep costs down while still setting yourself up for success. With a bit of effort and creativity, you can navigate the process of establishing your corporation in Wyoming without breaking the bank.

Conclusion

Starting a corporation in Wyoming involves several critical steps, from choosing a corporate name to fulfilling ongoing compliance requirements. Following the steps outlined in this guide and seeking professional advice when needed, you can successfully establish your Wyoming corporation and enjoy the benefits of limited liability, potential tax savings, and a professional business image.

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