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How to Form an Anonymous LLC in Arizona in 2024

(Last Updated On: November 15, 2023)

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An anonymous LLC, or limited liability company, grants individuals in Arizona the opportunity to engage in business activities without disclosing personal information. This business structure is particularly beneficial for those valuing privacy, including real estate investors or entrepreneurs in high-risk industries.

Forming an anonymous LLC in Arizona necessitates careful consideration of crucial steps. This article will delineate the essential actions required to establish an anonymous LLC in Arizona, and it will delve into the advantages and considerations associated with selecting this business structure.

Form an Anonymous LLC in Arizona with Northwest Registered Agent

What is an Anonymous LLC?

An anonymous LLC in Arizona is a limited liability company that does not publicly disclose the identities of its members, managers, or owners. These types of LLCs are sometimes referred to as “Blind LLCs” or “Double LLCs.”

One significant benefit of an anonymous LLC is the increased privacy it offers to its members. For example, if someone wants to invest in real estate or start a business while maintaining anonymity, an anonymous LLC can help with that.

Furthermore, anonymous LLCs can be used to hold assets that an individual or group does not want to be publicly associated with, such as investments or patents.

It’s important to note that while anonymous LLCs are legal entities, they have been used for illegal activities like money laundering and tax evasion in some cases. Additionally, they are not allowed in certain jurisdictions. However, if the business activities and income generated are lawful, anonymous LLCs can offer a level of privacy and liability protection for their members.

Before forming an anonymous LLC in Arizona, it’s essential to seek guidance from a lawyer and a tax advisor to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, it’s crucial to confirm that it is legal in Arizona to establish an anonymous LLC.

Form an Anonymous LLC in Arizona with Northwest Registered Agent

Is it Possible to Create an Anonymous LLC in Arizona?

Creating an anonymous LLC in Arizona is technically possible, although it involves additional steps compared to establishing an LLC in states that explicitly allow anonymous LLCs.

One popular approach to forming an anonymous LLC in Arizona is the “double LLC” structure, where a secondary anonymous LLC is set up as a member of the primary LLC.

Under this arrangement, the first LLC publicly owns the assets or operates the business, while the second LLC, which remains anonymous, is listed as a member of the first LLC.

While Arizona does not explicitly allow anonymous LLCs, state law requires the names and addresses of all members (or managers for manager-managed LLCs) to be included in the articles of an organization during LLC formation. However, using the double LLC structure can help maintain a certain level of anonymity for the LLC’s beneficial owners.

The double LLC structure involves forming one LLC (known as the “inner LLC”) owned by another LLC (known as the “outer LLC”). The members of the outer LLC remain anonymous, as they are not included in the articles of organization. An outer LLC is an anonymous LLC formed in a state that permits anonymous LLCs.

Only the inner LLC is publicly visible, and the names of its members (which may include other LLCs or trusts) are listed in the articles of organization. This way, the beneficial owners of the inner LLC remain undisclosed, offering some degree of anonymity.

It is crucial to seek advice from a legal or financial professional to understand the legal implications and determine the most appropriate course of action for your particular circumstances. This is because LLC regulations vary among states and may have different implications depending on the nature of the business and your unique situation.

How to Form an Anonymous LLC in Arizona

Outlined below is a step-by-step guide to using the double LLC strategy to establish an anonymous LLC as a holding company for a regular LLC in Arizona.

Step 1 – Choose a State to Establish Your Anonymous LLC

Arizona doesn’t have any laws that explicitly permit anonymous LLCs. However, you can form your anonymous LLC in a state that allows it, such as Delaware, New Mexico, Wyoming, or Nevada, if privacy is a concern.

Read more about the best anonymous LLC states:

Read about how to form an anonymous LLC in any US state:

Step 2 – Establish Your Anonymous LLC

To create your anonymous LLC, file articles of organization with the chosen state and pay the necessary filing fees. Additionally, select a registered agent to receive legal documents on behalf of the LLC. To further protect your anonymity, consider using a nominee service as your registered agent.

If you value privacy, consider contacting Northwest Registered Agent when establishing your anonymous LLC.

Establish an Anonymous LLC in Arizona with Northwest Registered Agent

Step 3 – Establish Your Arizona LLC

After creating your anonymous LLC, you can proceed to create your regular LLC in Arizona. For this step, file articles of organization with the state and pay the required filing fees. You’ll also need to choose a registered agent for the regular LLC.

Read more: How to Register a Business in Arizona

Establish Your Arizona LLC with Northwest Registered Agent

Step 4 – Have the Anonymous LLC Own the Arizona LLC

Once both the anonymous LLC and the regular LLC are established, designate the anonymous LLC as the owner of the Arizona LLC. To do this, list the anonymous LLC as the owner of the regular LLC on the regular LLC’s articles of organization.

Note that the process may vary depending on the state where you are establishing your LLCs. There may also be additional requirements and steps involved. It is always a good idea to seek professional advice to ensure compliance with state laws.

Arizona LLC Regulations

Here are some of the important rules and regulations concerning Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) in Arizona:

Formation 

LLCs are formed in Arizona by filing Articles of Organization with the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). The articles should include the name and address of the LLC, the name and address of the statutory agent, and the name and address of the LLC’s managers or members.

Name 

LLC names must be distinguishable from the names of other Arizona LLCs or corporations. The name must also include the words “Limited Liability Company” or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC.”

Operating Agreement

LLCs in Arizona are not required to have an operating agreement, but it is highly recommended. The operating agreement specifies the rights and responsibilities of the members and managers, the management structure, and other important details about the LLC.

Management 

LLCs can be member-managed or manager-managed. Member-managed LLCs are managed by the members, while manager-managed LLCs are managed by a designated manager or managers.

Statutory Agent

LLCs in Arizona must have a statutory agent, who is responsible for receiving legal documents on behalf of the LLC. The statutory agent must have a physical address in Arizona.

Annual Report 

LLCs in Arizona must file an Annual Report with the ACC every year. The report includes the LLC’s name and address, the name and address of the statutory agent, and the names and addresses of the managers or members.

Taxation

LLCs in Arizona are treated as pass-through entities for tax purposes. This means that the LLC’s income is passed through to the member’s personal tax returns.

Dissolution 

LLCs in Arizona can be dissolved voluntarily or involuntarily. Voluntary dissolution requires the approval of the members, while involuntary dissolution can occur if the LLC fails to file its Annual Report or pay its taxes.

These are some of the important rules and regulations concerning LLCs in Arizona. It is recommended to seek professional advice to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Pros and Cons of Anonymous LLCs in Arizona

Pros and Cons of Creating Anonymous LLCs in Arizona.

Pros

  1. Privacy: Anonymous LLCs provide a degree of privacy for the members involved in the business, as their personal information is not publicly available in the LLC’s formation documents.
  2. Asset Protection: Anonymous LLCs can help separate personal and business assets, protecting the members in case of legal action or financial liability.
  3. Legal Compliance: Anonymous LLCs can be used to comply with certain privacy laws and regulations that apply to specific industries or businesses.
  4. Limited Liability for Members: Anonymous LLCs provide limited liability for members, meaning that members are not personally liable for the debts and liabilities of the LLC.
  5. Flexibility: Anonymous LLCs offer flexibility in management and ownership structure, as well as in tax treatment.
  6. Estate Planning: Anonymous LLCs can be used in estate planning and can help transfer ownership of the business to future generations.
  7. Anonymity can be beneficial for certain businesses: Anonymous LLCs can be beneficial for specific types of businesses, such as those in the real estate or cryptocurrency industries, where anonymity can provide an added layer of security and protection.

Cons

  1. Lack of Complete Anonymity: While anonymous LLCs provide privacy, they are not a guarantee of complete anonymity, and there may be other ways for someone to discover the identity of the members or managers of the LLC.
  2. Cost: Setting up an anonymous LLC may require additional legal and financial costs, such as the cost of setting up a separate legal entity or hiring a registered agent.
  3. Complexity: Anonymous LLCs can be complex to set up and maintain, requiring careful attention to legal and financial compliance.
  4. Limited to Certain Businesses: Some businesses may be restricted from forming an anonymous LLC.
  5. Viewed with Suspicion: Anonymous LLCs may be viewed with suspicion by banks and other financial institutions, making it harder to open bank accounts or secure funding for the LLC.
  6. Complexity in Taxation: Anonymous LLCs can be complex to handle when it comes to taxation, as different layers of LLCs may have different tax implications.
  7. Difficulty in Obtaining Financing: Anonymous LLCs may have a harder time obtaining financing, as banks and other financial institutions may be hesitant to lend money to anonymous entities.
  8. Difficulty in Building Trust with Customers: Anonymous LLCs may have a harder time building trust with customers, as the anonymity of the company may be viewed with suspicion.
  9. Difficulty in Finding a Business Partner: Anonymous LLCs may have a harder time finding a business partner, as potential partners may be hesitant to work with an anonymous entity.
  10. Compliance with Anti-Money Laundering Laws: Anonymous LLCs may have a harder time complying with anti-money laundering laws, as the anonymity of the company may make it harder to identify the beneficial owners of the LLC.

It is essential to consider all of the pros and cons of creating an anonymous LLC in Arizona and to seek professional advice to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.

Conclusion


Creating an anonymous LLC in Arizona offers a degree of privacy and asset protection during business endeavors. By adhering to the steps detailed in this article, you can safeguard the confidentiality of your personal information and ensure full compliance with state laws.

It’s vital to grasp that anonymity doesn’t shield you from all legal liabilities; hence, seeking legal advice before LLC formation is advisable. Furthermore, maintaining accurate records and responsibly utilizing anonymity by refraining from involvement in illegal activities is crucial.

Through exercising caution and staying informed about the laws, you can reap the benefits of anonymity while successfully operating a business in Arizona.

For more information on anonymous businesses, explore our article on how to maintain anonymity as a business owner and how to hide business ownership.

About the author

Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, a distinguished legal scholar with a business law degree and a Doctor of Juridical Science, is a leading expert in business registration and diverse business departments. Renowned for his academic excellence and practical insights, Dr. Sterling guides businesses through legal complexities, offering invaluable expertise in compliance, corporate governance, and registration processes.

As an accomplished author, his forthcoming book is anticipated to be a comprehensive guide for navigating the dynamic intersection of law and business, providing clarity and practical wisdom for entrepreneurs and legal professionals alike. With a commitment to legal excellence, Dr. Alexander Sterling, Esq, is a trusted authority dedicated to empowering businesses within the ever-evolving legal landscape.