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Privacy Issues - Wyoming LLCs and Filing Foreign Entity in Florida

Asked by: Jason - 11 May, 2013
https://d25eic0jctudgb.cloudfront.net/images/site/avatars/default.png-f1597c1da25f30f8c1a941405e8391c8 I live in Florida and have been looking into forming an LLC (or two) in Wyoming off and on for a couple of months. I've recently acquired another domain name (to replace my current one), personally built Android and iOS based applications, and filed a utility patent (via the use of a patent attorney) that covers the software aspects of said applications. The business will only have an internet/app store presence.

The only issue I'm concerned about is privacy - specifically separating my name from the business and its assets. I recently let my existing Florida LLC go through administrative dissolution. While owning this LLC, I wasn't too happy with the fact that anyone could easily find my name and address with a quick internet search. This is a concern for me because the domain name and mobile applications directly relate to marijuana and the greater marijuana culture. I would like to avoid any awkward questions from future employers or medical schools (in the middle of the application process). And it would be even better if the drug cartels, wannabe gang members, and stoners with too much time on their hands didn't know my name or where I lived.

Is the following scenario possible?

With the use of Registered Agents, I'd create two LLCs - ParentName, LLC and MJBusiness, LLC. I'd set it up so that ParentName is the full owner of MJBusiness (in Wyoming) and I'd use MJBusiness everywhere on my website, mobile applications, in advertising/promotions, and when registering with Apple and Google to sale my applications. As the owner of ParentName, I'll use another RA and file foreign entity paperwork for ForeignParentName, LLC in Florida.

My big question is: Would I also have to file foreign entity paperwork for MJBusiness as well?

I have no desire to avoid paying taxes or anything. I just don't want people to know (without a court order, of course) that I own MJBusiness.

From what I understand, Wyoming law does not require one to list members and managers of an LLC but Florida does.

I do intend on contacting a business attorney in Wyoming once I have a better picture of what I can and can't do.

Thank you for your time,
Jason
Answered by: Robert Kowalski - 11 May, 2013
https://d25eic0jctudgb.cloudfront.net/images/site/avatars/35.jpg-687fc92d5f6c5febcbdccb6895b08b8c Jason,

In a case such as yours what many people actually do is register an LLC in New Mexico, and use it as the holding company of all their future entities. Since New Mexico LLC offers a very good way to protect your identity while at the same time having no annual filing requirements, so you can't have your company administratively dissolved "by accident" because you forgot to pay the annual fee.

So a scenario for you would be to register a New Mexico LLC first, and then use it as the sole member of Florida LLC.

Wyoming is a great state, however in Wyoming your name would appear on the Articles as "Contact person" (with email and phone). Although this information is not searchable online, anyone can order a certified copy of the Articles and find your name and contact info there.

Obviously you need to use a third party Registered Agent as well, but that part you understand. Just keep in mind that Registered Agent address cannot be used as a business or mailing address for commercial purposes (it's used only for legal and government purposes).

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