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Are Wyoming LLCs Legally Obliged to Have Operating Agreements?

No, Wyoming law does not require an LLC to have an operating agreement! If you do not have one, your LLC will be governed by the Wyoming Limited Liability Company Act. As a result, having one is highly recommended. A Wyoming operating agreement establishes the structure and rules of your LLC. It outlines how you and the other members of your LLC will handle critical procedures such as allocating profits and losses, voting, dissolution, and transferring membership interest when the time comes.

Since your Wyoming operating agreement is an internal document, you do not need to file it with the Wyoming Secretary of State. Interested to know the advantages of drafting and using an operating agreement in Wyoming? Keep reading to find out!

Benefits of having an operating agreement in Wyoming

  1. Your limited liability status can be strengthened with an operating agreement.

The primary advantage of forming an LLC in Wyoming is the liability protection it provides its owners. However, limited liability is not impenetrable. Unlike a general partnership or sole proprietorship, an LLC must demonstrate that it is a separate legal entity from its members to maintain limited liability. Adopting an operating agreement accomplishes this.

     2. An operating agreement can overrule Wyoming’s default laws.

Wyoming’s state laws govern your LLC in the absence of an operating agreement. Those laws may not be suitable for your LLC. A customized operating agreement will provide you with greater control over your LLC. 

     3. Misunderstandings can be avoided by having an operating agreement in place.

Even between close friends, miscommunication occurs. Documenting verbal agreements in writing as a reference for a dispute is good practice.

      4. Your operating agreement establishes you are the owner of your LLC.

Wyoming is a great state for privacy protection because member addresses and names are not required to be listed on Articles of Organization. However, proving that you own your Wyoming LLC can be difficult if you use a registered agent to keep your information off the public record. An operating agreement will be handy here as it will include the addresses and names of your members, allowing you to show a bank the owner of your LLC. Furthermore, members’ privacy is protected because it is an internal document.

      5. It clarifies your LLC’s succession plan.

What happens to your one-member LLC if you pass away? Drafting a good operating agreement is a vital part of succession planning. In your operating agreement, clearly define what will happen to your LLC to help your business family and partners avoid unnecessary disagreements in the future.

What are the issues or topics your Wyoming operating agreement should include?

Some of the most vital elements your Wyoming operating agreement should cover include the following:

Voting and management: Whether the LLC will be managed by an appointed manager or by its members, and how members will vote on business matters. Normally, each member has one vote, but you may want to give some members more voting power than others.

Distributions: The method by which profits and losses will be distributed among members. Profit distribution is the most common option. Your operating agreement should specify if you want them divided differently.

Capital Contributions: It is the sum of money invested in the business by each member. An operating agreement offers a platform where you should plan how to raise additional funds in the future.

Dissolution: If all of the members of your LLC decide that you no longer want to conduct business, you should dissolve it. A critical component of your operating agreement is outlining the hypothetical process of dissolving your business.

Membership Structure Modifications: How roles and ownership will be transferred if a company member leaves. The process for replacing a member or buying out must be spelled out in the LLC’s operating agreement.

What does drafting and signing your Wyoming operating agreement entail?

An LLC’s operating agreement is flexible since the law allows for broad changes. Generally, an agreement is permissible as long as it does not contain internal contradictions or violate the LLC Act. Ensure that all members sign a copy If you decide to write an operating agreement. The physical copies may be identical but must be distinct and signed. That is, instead of mailing one copy repeatedly, each member can print and sign their own.

Final Thoughts

When forming an LLC, whether member-managed or manager-managed, a customized Operating Agreement is essential. The Wyoming Limited Liability Company Act rules will apply to your company without this document. These are not necessarily the rules and regulations you wish to implement in your business. It is why your company needs its own written agreement. Visit here to learn more about why having your own operating agreement in Wyoming is actually a pretty good idea!  

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