Ask a Business Lawyer. Get Business Law Questions Answered ASAP.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns.
Depending on the state, some only require a listing of the registered agent for their records and an address where the entity can be served. However there is no real way to keep all your records from the official records--you can create a trust that starts the company, but then the name of the trustee would still be registered with the state. You can essentially try to make this as complicated as possible by creating multiple shells, but at some point the name of the creator (your name) would still need to be provided to the state--that is done to ensure that the state has someone personally to pursue in case of liability tax non-payments and other missed obligations. You can use an address different from your address BUT it has to be an address where you can still be personally found and served if necessary.
Hope that helps.
Thank you for the response. I am in the state of Maryland.
Right now, when creating a S-Corp and even if using a registered agent, the owners personal name and address are public records and readily available on the Internet.
If I create a Trust, and I am the Trustee, would the Trustee name also be public domain information?
Or, if yes, is there a way for a registered agent to be named the Trustee?
I do not have a problem with the IRS knowing who I am. I am not comfortable with my personal name and home address on the Internet and so easily accessible.
Thank you for your follow-up, Sophia.
Have you considered possibly setting up a business in a different state, and the registering it as a foreign entity in Maryland? If you create a trust, the trustee information would not be public domain but it would be required to be registered with the state. Also, if you end up using the trust to set up the business, then the trustee information would be public because it would go on the filing paperwork. You really do not want the registered agent to be the trustee, he would then be the only one able to make decisions for the trust and could conceivably take everything within the trust as it would be his to do with as he sees fit within the confines of the trust language.
Thank you. I am not familiar with the concept of registering the business as a foreign entity. If I chose this route, what information is available in the public records? Or, how does this help me?
Different states have different obligations. Depending on the state, some permit you to only place the information of the registered agent on the initial filing. Then, if you file in your home state, you can use the registered agent information and the address to the already established business as the address of record.
Ok, I understand. Do you know what states permit you to only place the information of the registered agent on the initial filing? e.g. Deleware, etc...
My apologies on the delay. It appears Delaware does not place owner information onto their public record site, so that may be a good state to start with in terms of providing as little information as possible. It likewise appears Wyoming also does not list owner information on their online search strings.
Hope that helps!
Follow up question. I am proceeding with starting a business in Wyoming and I've confirmed that it does not require my personal information to be entered.
After I am established in Wyoming, I wanted to stand up a foreign entity in MD. However, my CPA thinks that MD may still require me to provide my personal name and address to MD and that it may show on the MD public records site. Do you know if MD will only require the information from Wyoming or if MD will require me to have a physical address in MD?
Based on my review MD will require your personal information (I remember your question from last week, and remember them requesting the personal information from the principal). Perhaps it may be wise to only register in Wyoming and not register in MD. That depends on how much business you are seeking to pursue, but it may then avoid their reporting requirements.