One of our most frequent requests or inquiries is how to be “anonymous” or at least not have your name on public records when forming your company. With modern websites like CorporationWiki and state databases, the names of company owners are not only searchable but openly pushed into search results of search engines like Google.
Despite what you’ve heard from many people who push the use of Nevada or Delaware companies, in most cases the owners, Directors (of a Corporation) or Members (of an LLC) are going to be listed on a public database somewhere. This database is almost always searchable to the general public and if not, then an inquiry directly to the Secretary of State by an attorney or other authority will usually get the data they need.
This is where the New Mexico LLC comes into play. As of the date of this post, New Mexico does not require listing the names of the LLC Members on the Articles of Organization when forming the company. More importantly, New Mexico does not require an Annual Report that lists the name of the members. The Annual Report (which is called different things in different states: “Annual List”, “Statement of Information”, etc.) is basically how each state keeps track of a businesses address and owners. This is the big difference between New Mexico and other states: other states may not list the Members or Directors on the initial filing but almost all of them will require it on the Annual Report. New Mexico never asks for it.
This means that as long as you have filed your LLC in New Mexico then the members (owners) are not going to be searchable and you will effectively be anonymous.
There are a few important things to note about the New Mexico LLC:
- The Articles of Organization do require that you list the name and address of your Registered Agent. This is why we recommend you use a Professional Registered Agent, even if you form the company yourself. This will be another level of anonymity.
- When you go to open a company bank account, the bank may have issues with the fact that there are no owners listed on any database. Typically this can be overcome with a copy of the Articles of Organization, a signed Operating Agreement and a banking resolution (we provide all of these to our clients).
- Things may get more complicated when you go to obtain your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN or EIN); the IRS requires you to assign a person who is a member of the company to be the “responsible person”. As far as we know, EINs are generally not searchable by the public but this is where anonymity will begin to get more complicated. Some people use a trusted relative or other person to be this person.
So basically, you can form a New Mexico LLC, make sure to use a 3rd party as your Registered Agent and navigate the pitfalls that may come from opening a business bank account and you’ve achieved a level of privacy that most American’s would envy.