How to Start a Corporation in Wyoming
In order to start a Wyoming corporation, you will need to choose a registered agent, hold an organizational meeting, and file the Articles of Incorporation with the Wyoming Secretary of State.
You will also need to choose your initial directors.
We’ll show you how to start a corporation in Wyoming yourself.
Or, simply use a professional service:
Northwest ($29 + state fee)
It's Easy to Incorporate in Wyoming
Step 1: Name Your Wyoming Corporation
Step 2: Choose a Registered Agent
Step 3: Hold an Organizational Meeting
Step 4: File the Articles of Incorporation
Step 5: Get an EIN
For a look at corporation formation in every state, check out our other How to Start a Corporation guides.
Not sure if a corporation is right for you? Check out our LLC vs. Corporation guide to help you make your decision.
Step 1: Name Your Wyoming Corporation
Choosing a business name is the first step in starting a corporation.
1. Wyoming naming guidelines:
- Cannot contain language that implies that the corporation is formed for any unlawful purpose or one not outlined in its articles of incorporation.
- Cannot be the same (or extremely similar) with a name that is already taken by another business that’s registered to conduct business within Wyoming.
- Must include the words “corporation”, “incorporated”, “company”, or any abbreviation (e.g., Co, Inc, etc.). If a business name contains special characters or begins with the letter “A”, it must be paper filed.
- Cannot include some words without approval from the Wyoming Division of Banking (e.g., Banker, Bancorp, PTC, Trust, Banco, etc.).
- Cannot include certain words without receiving approval from the Department of Education (e.g., University, School, Education, Academy, Institution, etc.).
Read the Wyoming state statute regarding corporation naming guidelines for more information.
2. Is my corporation name available in Wyoming?
Your Wyoming corporation name must be unique and distinguishable from other business names in Wyoming. Use the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Business Entity Search to determine if your desired business name is available.
3. Is the URL available?
Before registering your Wyoming corporation, you’ll need to check if a good URL is available for your business name. It’s important to secure your URL right away.
Find a Domain Now
Step 2: Choose a Wyoming Registered Agent
You must appoint a Wyoming registered agent when you register your corporation with the Wyoming Secretary of State.
A registered agent is an individual or entity that has been appointed to receive service of process, government correspondence, and compliance documents on behalf of a business.
Your registered agent can be an individual, business entity, or professional registered agent service. Any member of the corporation or individual can serve as your Wyoming registered agent as long as the person:
- is 18 years or older
- has a physical address in the state where business activity is conducted
- is available (in person) during normal business hours
Designating someone else to serve as a registered agent for your LLC or corporation has its benefits. To learn more about hiring a registered agent service for your corporation, read our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service guide.
Recommended: Northwest offers one year of free registered agent services with their corporation formation package ($29 + State Fees).
Step 3: Hold an Organizational Meeting
Before you officially file the Articles of Incorporation in Step 4, you will need to hold an organizational meeting to complete the following tasks:
- Fill out and execute the Articles of Incorporation
- Create and approve bylaws
- Select your initial director(s)
- Determine your share structure
- Execute an Incorporator’s Statement
Create and Approve Corporate Bylaws
Bylaws are the rules that determine how your organization will be governed and run. For detailed instructions on creating your bylaws, read our corporate bylaws guide.
Appoint Initial Directors
You must appoint at least one director who will oversee your Wyoming corporation until the first shareholder meeting.
A corporate director is in charge of the adoption, amendment, and repeal of operational bylaws as well as the election, supervision, and removal of officers.
After forming the corporation, the incorporator(s) — or initial director(s), if named on the formation documents — should call an organizational meeting. During this initial meeting, either the incorporator(s) will elect the board of directors or the initial director(s) will appoint the officers.
Choose a Share Structure and Strategy
A share of stock is the unit of ownership of a corporation. Each share of stock represents a percentage of ownership of the company. For example, if a corporation issues one share of stock the shareholder (stock owner) would then own 100% of the corporation.
Shares can be structured into classes. Each class, termed a share class, holds different rights and privileges. You can have multiple classes and each class can hold any number of shares.
Authorized Shares: the number of shares the corporation is allowed to issue.
Issued Shares: the total number of shares actually issued to shareholders.
Share Class: a group of shares that has a unique set of rights and privileges.
In Wyoming, the Articles of Incorporation form allows you to indicate if the corporation will issue more than one authorized share class or series.
Create and Execute an Incorporator’s Statement
The incorporator(s) should sign an Incorporator’s Statement with complete names and addresses of each initial director and store it in the corporate records book.
This document names the initial director(s) that will serve until the board of directors is elected during the first shareholder meeting. It should be stored with the rest of your corporate records.
Step 4: File the Wyoming Articles of Incorporation
You will need to file the Wyoming Articles of Incorporation to set up a corporation in Wyoming. You may file it by mail or online with the Wyoming Secretary of State. The filing cost is $100.
This document will cover the basics of your corporation, including:
- Corporate name and address
- Corporate registered agent name and street address
- The number and class of authorized shares the corporation is allowed to issue
- Incorporator(s) name(s) and address(es)
- Email address of a designated contact person
Option 1: File Online With Wyoming’s Business Center
- OR -
Option 2: File the Articles of Incorporation by Mail
Filing Cost: $100
Wyoming Secretary of State
Herschler Building East, Suite 101
122 W. 25th Street
Cheyenne, WY 82002-0020
Step 5: Get an EIN for Your Wyoming Corporation
An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by the federal government to identify a business entity. It is essentially a social security number for the company. An EIN is needed:
- To open a bank account for the company
- For federal and state tax purposes
- To hire employees
Get an EIN
Option 1: Request an EIN from the IRS
- OR -
Option 2: Apply for an EIN by Mail or Fax
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999
Fax: (855) 641-6935
Running Your Corporation
It is very important to adhere to the formalities of running a corporation. Read our How to Run a Corporation guide to learn more.
Taxes, Annual Reports, & Licensing
Wyoming State Corporation Tax Requirements
Depending on the nature of your business, you may be required to register for one or more forms of state tax:
Wyoming Sales Tax
If you’re selling a product, you’ll typically need to register for a seller's permit through the Wyoming Department of Revenue's website. This allows a business to collect sales tax.
Wyoming Employer Taxes
If you hire employees, you will need to register for Wyoming employer taxes through the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. This includes Employee Withholding Tax, Unemployment Insurance Tax, and Disability Insurance.
Wyoming Corporation Licenses and Permits
To operate your corporation in Wyoming, you must comply with federal, state, and local government regulations. For example, restaurants likely need health permits, building permits, signage permits, etc.
Learn more in our Wyoming Business License guide.
File the Wyoming Corporate Annual Report
You must file a Wyoming Annual Report each year by the first day of your corporation’s anniversary month. To file online, search the database for your corporation and then follow the prompts. You can also print out your annual report and mail it in.
The minimum filing fee is $50, but it can be higher depending on your corporation’s assets. Read Wyoming’s fee schedule for more information.
Corporate Dissolution & Wyoming Good Standing
How to Get a Wyoming Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing verifies that your Wyoming corporation was legally formed and has been properly maintained.
You may request a Wyoming Certificate of Good Standing online on the Secretary of State’s website. There is no fee.
File a Wyoming Certificate of Good Standing
Request a Certificate Online From Wyoming’s Business Center
How to Dissolve a Corporation in Wyoming
If at any point you would like to permanently stop doing business, or close your business, it is important to officially dissolve your corporation. Failure to do so in a timely fashion can result in tax liabilities, penalties, or even legal trouble.
There are five main steps to close your Wyoming corporation:
- Stop doing business
- Hold a board meeting, vote on dissolution, and record the meeting in the corporation minutes
- File the Articles of Dissolution with the Wyoming Secretary of State
- Close your federal and state business tax accounts with the IRS and Wyoming Department of Revenue
- Close your business bank accounts
File Dissolution Documents
Wyoming corporations have two options for filing dissolution documents: one for those that have yet to issue shares or commence business and one for those that have.
Articles of Dissolution by Incorporators or Initial Directors
If your corporation has not yet issued shares or commenced business, you may file the Articles of Dissolution by Incorporators or Initial Directors. The fee is $60.
Articles of Dissolution by Shareholders
If your corporation already issued shares and commenced business, you must file the Articles of Dissolution by Shareholders. The fee is $60.
Is a Corporation Right For You?
An LLC provides limited liability protection without corporate complexity.
Find out if an LLC is the right structure for you.
Steps After Forming a Corporation
After forming a corporation you’ll want to protect your personal and business assets, and build credit.
Taking these steps will set your business up for success:
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Open a Business Credit Card
- Establish and Build Business Credit
- Get Insurance
- Protect Your Corporate Veil
Wyoming Corporation FAQ
How much does it cost to start a corporation in Wyoming?
Your Wyoming incorporation cost will depend on several factors, including whether you choose to use a registered agent service and whether you pay for expedited filing.
The cost of filing your Articles of Incorporation with the Wyoming Secretary of State is $100.
See our Should I Use a Registered Agent Service article for more information on appointing a registered agent for your business.
What is the difference between an LLC and corporation in Wyoming?
In Wyoming, an LLC is taxed as a pass-through entity (similar to a sole proprietorship and general partnership). On the other hand, a corporation is required to pay corporation tax, and its shareholders need to pay income tax on all dividends they receive.
LLCs are also more flexible when it comes to how they can operate.
For more information, see our LLC vs. Corporation review.
How long does it take to set up a corporation in Wyoming?
According to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website, setting up a corporation will take up to 15 business days after they’ve received your Articles of Incorporation.
Note: Expedited filing is available for online applications only, although this will entail an additional fee on top of the $100 that you will need to pay in order to file your Articles of Incorporation.
Is it difficult to start a corporation in Wyoming?
Not really. Having said that, starting a corporation in Wyoming can be quite time-consuming, and can require additional resources in comparison to an LLC, sole proprietorship, or general partnership.
Note: The type of corporation in question can affect how difficult the formation will be. Have a look at our S Corp vs. C Corp vs. LLC article for a more in-depth review.
Is it easier to start an LLC than a corporation in Wyoming?
Regardless of the type of corporation in question, starting an LLC is generally more simple and less time-consuming in comparison to starting a corporation.
Nevertheless, the biggest difference in difficulty relates to post-formation, as the shareholders of a corporation will need to follow significantly more protocols and will be subject to more rigmarole in order to stay compliant.
See our How to Run a Corporation for more information.