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  • Writer's pictureBruce W. Akerly

The Anonymous Investor

Limited liability companies (“LLC”) and other business vehicles enable investors to invest money with the added advantage of limited liability and anonymity. Why would one care to be anonymous when investing in a business entity? Perhaps they have creditors seeking payment on outstanding debts or are involved in or threatened with litigation.

In these situations, the best vehicle for achieving investment and anonymity is a limited liability company. In forming an LLC there is very little information about investors that is required to be disclosed in the formation documents. Typically, all that is required is the name of registered agent (for official notices and service of process), the organizer (usually the person who is assisting in the formation), and an initial managing member of the LLC (the person in-charge).

TIPs: When forming the LLC, avoid using a home address as the registered address. A physical address is usually required and preferred. The key issue is effective notice to the entity from the Secretary of State or litigants serving process. Also, consider using a registered agent service which is unrelated to the LLC itself. When served with notices or process, they will forward it to the LLC. Another method of preserving and maintaining anonymity is to name the initial manager of the LLC as a non-owner or what is called an “anonymity trust.” The use of this technique will require special advice and documents supporting the trust, including a trust instrument.

Whenever establishing methods of business transaction to avoid personal liability and asset protection it is always a good idea to consult competent counsel to gain a better understand of your situation and goals. A skilled attorney can provide advice and counsel as to the proper approach for your circumstances.


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