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I just read this article and want a second opinion: https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/starting-up-which-state-to-file-your-llc-in

I'm considering starting an LLC because I earn about $400 a month from Patreon; I'm making a game. The thing about this game is it's NSFW, so I want to stay anonymous. I don't want anybody to be able to Google my name and discover I'm making a NSFW game.

It seems to me that if I remain a sole proprietor, this is easy: I just report my income to the IRS but not how I earned it (at least, that's what I've been doing so far. I hope I'm not wrong about that.).

I read in that article that Nevada allows you to stay more anonymous than Delaware, but Wyoming allows even more anonymity. I'm not sure which one will be appropriate for me. Though I don't think it's likely for me to ever establish a board and have stocks, so if I didn't have the ability to ask here, I would go with Nevada.

To tell you the truth, I don't even know if I need Nevada's anonymity benefits in the first place: Can I just create an LLC associated with my name but give no indication it's related to NSFW content? I.e. call it "Anodyne Technologies LLC" (a totally benign name) and there's no way to know that it's related to a NSFW game?

  • 1
    LLC ownership may be "harder" to track but it's still public information. – Jonast92 Sep 2 at 15:50
  • I have completely updated my answer to this confusing question, CluelessInvestor. – Fattie Sep 3 at 13:02
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Yes,Wyoming LLCs work great for that purpose. Wyoming will not disclose your officers or owners to anyone but police etc. you can call the LLC anything you like that is not misleading or taken.

You will need a “Registered Agent” in Wyoming. Cost is about $200/year. They have one job: receiving legal notices.

Further, in any state you do business in, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. You will also need a registered agent in that state.

As far as taxes, a single member LLC with the default pass through tax treatment is treated as a “disregarded entity” so nothing about your taxes changes.

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  • In what way does the LLC provide the privacy OP seeks? Other than the IRS, who would know his business as a sole-proprietorship with no LLC? – Hart CO Sep 2 at 22:44
  • Further, in any state you do business in, you will need to register as a foreign LLC. That seems like a huge hassle. It is an online game that gets played all over the world. Does that mean I need to register as a foreign LLC 49 times? – Clueless Investor Sep 3 at 0:30
  • @clu there is a common-sense definition for “does business in”. Online transactions such as yours do not count. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Sep 3 at 3:30
  • @Harper-ReinstateMonica , that has not been my experience AT ALL I'm afraid. Using an other-state LLC in the US can be a huge hassle depending on your residence state. – Fattie Sep 3 at 12:55
  • I cannot see any possible reason, for the purpose explained, the OP would use any LLC other than one in the OP's own state. OP is NOT trying to achieve spy-level privacy like in the movies - it just has no connection to that. It is a completely standard ordinary issue, of the 3? million apps on the various app stores, it's a completely commonplace thing that the person wants to use a company name rather than their own name. the absolutely standfard, normal solution is just "an LLC" (obviously in your own state). It is misguided to suggest a Nevada/etc LLC for this trivial purpose. – Fattie Sep 3 at 12:58
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To tell you the truth, I don't even know if I need Nevada's anonymity benefits in the first place

Of COURSE you do NOT need a Nevada/etc LLC.

It's a ridiculous idea - huge overkill.

With the millions of apps on app stores, this is a completely commonplace problem...

Instead of having your name "John Smith" under the app, you just want a company name "General Software"

To achieve that, simply start an LLC (simply in YOUR state) - exactly what happens in every single case on the apps stores, Patreon, and similar.

It's that easy.

Can I just create an LLC associated with my name but give no indication it's related to NSFW content? I.e. call it "Anodyne Technologies LLC" (a totally benign name) and there's no way to know that it's related to a NSFW game?

Yes, of course, obviously.

With the millions of apps on app stores, this is a completely commonplace problem.

(Hint - don't use a bizarre word like "Anodyne" that will draw attention. Just name it "Western Software" or such.)

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  • But the OP apparently doesn't CARE about the IRS &c piercing that veil of anonymity: he cares about his co-workers and other individuals doing so. – jamesqf Sep 2 at 17:27
  • hi @jamesqf - hmm, I seemed to explain it pretty clearly, my answer is addressed to just those issue, as you say. (1) a "Nevada!" LLC is useless for the issue you just mentioned; (2) get a normal Your State LLC. And then, my two final Gotchya points trump everything. Unfortunately for the OP! – Fattie Sep 2 at 17:30
  • @jamesqf I'm sorry if I indicated that because that's not how I feel. I care about my own anonymity just as much as my employees. But if I must, I don't mind the IRS knowing, as long as there's nobody outside the IRS who can learn what the IRS knows (still not preferred). – Clueless Investor Sep 3 at 0:32
  • @Fattie: But your answer seems to be all about paying (or NOT paying) tax, which - at least as I understood the question - is not what the OP is concerned with. Instead, it's that if he forms "General Services LLC" in his home state, any private individual (that is, not IRS or police) could go on-line and discover that hey, that LLC is just Clueless Investor – jamesqf Sep 3 at 16:47
  • I do see what you mean, good point, but, with even a tiny bit more commitment from a "pryer", it's extremely easy to find out that info, on Patreon/similar, even if you used an "offshore!" type LLC (Nevada, etc). I really feel the sense of the OP's question is the extremely common one "So on an app store how to make it show 'Software Inc' rather than my name" The answer is just an ordinary (local) LLC. – Fattie Sep 3 at 16:50

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