Step 1) Verify & Secure Brand Name
To secure and register your brand name it must be unique, not too similar to another registered name in Wyoming, and shouldn’t contain any restricted wording. To check, conduct a Business Entity Search through the state and if there are potential trademark issues conduct another quick search using the TESS System through the U.S. Patent Office.
Unlike most other states there are no specific words you need to include in the name to indicate the entity is a corporation like ‘Company,’ or ‘Incorporated.’ Makes things a bit easier. If needed, file an Application for Reservation of Corp. Name with the Sec. of State that’s good for 120 days.
Filing Fee: $50
Quick Note: Before you commit 100% to a name, you may also want to check that there’s a decent URL available for your business. Use WEEBLY to search your options. If there’s a quality domain name for purchase, we advise buying it right away. Even if launching a business website isn’t on your radar right now, it’s going to be soon, and you might as well nail down a domain name that’ll make it easy for customers to find you!
Step 2) Appoint A Registered Agent
A Wyoming Registered Agent is an individual or recognized business entity in the state with a street address (typically non-P.O. Box) responsible for receiving and helping to handle/process all official documents like state filings, legal notices, important tax forms, etc. One is required to legally conduct business.
Step 3) File Articles Of Incorporation
Once you have a registered agent, when you and your board agree the corporation is ready, you can make it an officially recognized business entity by filing Articles of Incorporation with the Sec. of State. It asks for basic information to disclose for the public record including:
- Corporate name, address, and purpose,
- Full name and complete address of Registered Agent,
- Full name and complete address of the incorporators,
- Number of shares corporation is authorized to issue, and so on.
Filing fee: $100
Step 4) Get A Corporate Records Book
Think of this as the hard copy record book where all critical corporate documents are kept like the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, meeting minutes, stock certificate ledger, stock certificates, stock certificate stubs, stock transfer documents, etc. It’s the ultimate company binder! They’re very common and while not necessary, having one is highly recommended for all serious business entities.
Step 5) Elect Director, Meet, Discuss Bylaws
Appoint at least 1 director who among other things will oversee the Wyoming corporation until the first shareholder meeting where new directors will be voted in. Prepare an “Incorporator Statement” with complete names and addresses of each director and keep it in your records book. Once elected, an initial meeting should:
Step 6) Setup A Corporate Bank Account
When you start a Corporation in Wyoming, it’s very important to keep all personal and business assets/accounts completely separate. So don’t take this lightly. Where should you start building the financial foundation of your brand? Who is offering the best overall business services to corporate clients, relative to location and other conveniences?
If you think it’ll be helpful, look into this short breakdown of Business Checking Accounts to start brushing up if all this is unfamiliar territory. Where your corporation banks is a critical move, which is why it should be discussed at length in your initial shareholder meeting.
Step 7) Handle Taxation & Licensing/Permits
As a legally operating Wyoming corporation, you’re required to be 100% compliant with all relevant local/state/federal agencies. Ideally, you should have an attorney or at least be working with a professional filing service. Otherwise, here are four resources to get started:
- Get an EIN, or Employer Identification Number, quickly and for free through the IRS Website.
- Bookmark the Casper Small Business Administration office and the Wyoming SBDC platform.
- To form an S-Corp, submit Form 2553 with the IRS and be sure all board of directors have signed it.
- Also, consider using a business license research service that takes care of the legwork for you.