How To Maintain Your Privacy In Business

Maintaining your privacy should be a TOP priority for all nurse practitioner entrepreneurs…. Why? Because there are CRAZY people out there and if you are ever being sued, that lawyer is going to do their research on you to determine how much you are worth.

Your job should be to make your business look like its owned by no one. You need to make it as difficult as possible for people to look up who owns your business. There are “ways” people (such as a nosey lawyer or someone who is looking for an easy payday) can look up who owns a specific business. Once they figure that out, they can then do more research on you such as doing title searches to see what property you own and even more…

You need to develop the mindset of “Ill be damned if someone is going to take what I worked hard for all my life!” Because listen everyone, BS lawsuits happen all the time, and sometimes, hard working and good natured people get royally screwed in a lawsuit.

First and foremost: BE A GOOD PERSON. That is the number one way to avoid a lawsuit.

Now, with that out of the way, lets review ways to make yourself as anonymous as possible with your business:

***Disclaimer: Some of these strategies will be impossible to implement in some states. For example, if you are required to form a PLLC, chances are your name will be public for that PLLC. You need to contact a business lawyer to determine if there are ways around this. ***

1) Using a “Parent LLC” that owns your operating LLC: As many of you know, I recommend forming an LLC in WY or NV because of their awesome privacy protections. When you form an LLC in WY or NV, you do not have to disclose who owns it in the initial articles of organization. Unfortunately, in NV, you must disclose that in your annual reports, but guess what? In WY you do not… You cannot find out who owns an LLC in WY by simply using public records. It would take an action in a court of law to pierce through that protection, and that takes a long time usually. Within that time, you could get your affairs in order to protect your assets further, such as moving money offshore, transferring assets to other people, etc.

Operating a telemedicine practice out of Wyoming is smart. Chances are, you will be operating in multiple states. So, what better way to maintain your privacy? NO ONE can find out who owns that LLC. I owned a transgender telemedicine practice before I sold it! A very CONTROVERSIAL type of practice. Do you think I wanted crazy ass people online to know who owned it? ABSOLUTELY NOT. I did not want a bomb showing up to my front door…

Now, if you are operating a brick and mortar practice, you will more than likely need to file for a foreign LLC in the state you are practicing in. Unfortunately, many states will require you to disclose your information, BUT, in many states, you can use the parent company in WY as the “member”, “shareholder”, or “owner” of that foreign LLC. Therefore, if someone looks up your foreign LLC in your home state, it will simply list your “Wyoming LLC” as its owner/member. Then they look up the WY LLC and BOOM, nothing. Look into this option. I have done it, and it works great.

Check out THIS article on how to start an LLC if you need to know.

2) Using a third party “manager” on the LLC articles of organization: In some states, you can designate a manager of your LLC and only this person would be listed on the organizational documents. This is called a Manager-Managed LLC. Some states have this, and some do not. If your state does though, you could elect your cousin Jimmy to be your manager, which would list them on public record, maintaining your anonymity. You would need to trust this manager 100%.

3) Registered Agents: As I mentioned in the registered agent article HERE, you do not want to elect yourself as the registered agent for your LLC. This information is PUBLIC, therefore, if you list yourself as the owner on it, you basically just blew your cover.

4) Using your home address for the LLC: NEVER NEVER EVER EVER USE YOUR HOME ADDRESS FOR AN LLC! It floors me how many people do this… If some nosey person saw that the address on the LLC did not match that of your businesses location, they could look it up and see that it is a residential address in some neighborhood and then look up who owns that house. If that is you, then your anonymity is destroyed.

You need to use your businesses physical address, P.O. boxes, virtual addresses, or addresses of friends/relatives when registering your LLC. I have used my fiancés rental property address for one of my rental property LLCs address before. The tenants of my rental property have NO CLUE who actually owns that house, which is by design. It works great!

5) Domain registration: When you register for your domain name, the owner of that domain name is public. Therefore, when you are purchasing your website from hosting companies like GoDaddy, Wix, Site Ground, etc., there is an option to buy domain privacy protection for like $10. With GoDaddy for example, they list their name as the owner instead of you, protecting your privacy. This is a wise $10 investment.

6) Lease agreements: Avoid signing a lease for a new office with your personal name. Always use your LLCs name. Most commercial real estate companies or landlords have no problem with this. All they care about is receiving their rent.

7) Always use business phone numbers and emails: This might sound like a no brainer, but far too many nurse practitioner entrepreneurs use their personal email address or phone number to conduct business… JUST DON’T DO THIS. A second phone line using RingRx or Sideline costs $15 a month and a Gmail account is free. There is no excuse for this.

8) Never tell your employees or patients that you own the practice: I am guilty of this, and my men’s health practices anonymity is destroyed because of it. Most of my patients know I own the practice. Thankfully, they are all laid back and down to earth (mostly). Therefore, I don’t stress out about it much. When it comes to my second location though, those patients will have no idea who owns it. As I expand and open more locations, I am going to take the above steps to ensure it stays this way.

Do not tell your patients you own the practice. If anyone is going to sue you, it will be your patient or their family. Same thing with your employees. Just tell them you are a manager or director and leave it at that. No one is going to dive into it.

The resounding theme here is this everyone:

Avoid having your name associated with anything that is public record. This is true for a business and your property.

This might sound tedious and confusing but taking a few extra hours of due diligence during the planning phase of your business could potentially save your ass down the road. If you already have a business, changing the member information with the Secretary of State is not difficult, just give them a call or contact a lawyer to help you out!

40 Responses

  1. This is great information, some of which I did not know. My LLC is already formed in my home state, is it to late to make this changes? Also do you have any recommendations for a lawyer?

  2. This is great information, some of which I did not know. My LLC is already formed in my home state, is it too late to make these changes? Also do have any recommendations for a lawyer?

    1. You can always form another LLC and start functioning underneath it, that is not a problem! I do not have a recommendation for a lawyer.

  3. We just looked into opening an LLC in NV, but it looks like you must have a physical address in NV, not just a PO box. If there is a different rule, please advise.

    1. You would have to go through an LLC service in NV to get around that. Honestly, WY is MUCH cheaper, and superior in my opinion.

  4. Absolutely useful information.
    How do I contact you for one on one consultation .
    Thank you for sharing such valuable information

  5. Hello Justin,

    I want to open a Telemed practice and I hope to operate in multiple states. Do I need to register my LLC from Wyoming as a “foreign LLC” in every other state that I plan to practice in.

    I only plan to do Telemedicine in those states where I do not have an LLC.

    1. It is up to you if you want to do that or not. If you do not have a foreign LLC in the state you are providing services in, you are waiving your right to bring legal action in that state. With a small telemed company, that probably is not much of a concern for you. It is nothing more than a civil issue and ultimately up to you. Some telemed companies do so and many others do not. To save on your start up costs, I would avoid doing so at the start.

    1. Good for you! Getting started really is the hardest part… Once you do so, you will never regret it!

  6. Hello,

    I’ve been reading about how to protect privacy. So lets say I set up LLC in Wyoming and decide to open a practice where I love locally. What advice do you give when people ask who the owners are? If I am going to set up a practice locally, which I think I am going to start it as a telehealth model first and potentially open up a physical location, is using your model still a good idea?

    1. Yes, the model I present is ideal in that situation.

      It ultimately comes down to what image you want to present. If YOU are the sole product of your organization, then protecting your privacy doesn’t even matter. If you want more of a generic practice where you hire out other NPs or whatever later on, then protect your privacy.

      I am not the sole focus of my men’s health practice… Therefore I wanted it to be private as I have other NPs working for me.

  7. Hey Justin,

    Wish I researched formation of LLCs a little more before creating one but I’m so glad I ran into this article! So I created an LLC in Texas with my registered agent being a friend and used her address. However my LLC does include my name as the managing member along with my home address. What action steps do I need to take to protect myself moving forward? I was thinking of forming an LLC in Wyoming and having it be the owner of the one I currently have, thoughts?

    1. Yes, you can have a WY LLC own this current one, but NEVER use your home address… Simply contact the Secretary of State to have the address updated!

  8. Hi Justin! Looking to set up WY LLC for small startup men’s health/TRT clinic. How do you feel about those services for 1 year $199 WY LLC, and they provide an address and forward your mail? I am having issues getting started bc I wanted to start out of my home office and tele and eventually build clientele to justify an office. However, this would make it difficult for anonymity.

  9. Hello Justin,
    I truly appreciate all the content on Elite…it has been invaluable to me. I am currently working through the taxes course which has been great. I am looking into LLC formation in FL and struggling to decide if I need to spend the money on first creating “Parent” LLC in wyoming and once that is situated then establish the florida “child” LLC OR just go ahead and do florida LLC for sake of time and finances.
    My second question is if I create anonymous practice obviously I cannot promote the practice on my professional NP IG . If I do that then there was no point to pay for the anonymous LLC.
    What do you think of having practice name at the top of page as the place of employment, but not divulge any info on IG. This would still allow me to talk about holistic health/hormones etc. and allow people to book with me if they so desire, but without being labeled as owner.
    Or is this unwise.

    Thank you!

    1. You can just function under the FL LLC and be done with it at first.

      Right, being a professional and the “product” of the business essentially makes being anonymous worthless. This is more important if you have multiple employees and NPs working for you. If it is just a solo practice and you are the face of it, then you just have to accept the fact that it will be pretty obvious that you are the owner. Or just don’t comment you are the owner. It is up to you.

  10. Thanks for the informative article! If you are opening a small side practice locally and know you cannot maintain your anonymity, do you recommend using the USPS Street Addressing Service to get a physical address for your LLC other than your home address? Or would you recommend paying for one of the “virtual address” services online who will receive and scan mail, etc…?

    I would assume that as time progresses and the business grows a Parent LLC could be set up in Wyoming?

    1. Correct, you can always add the parent company later.

      Either address is fine, it really doesn’t matter. Whatever is most convenient for you!

  11. I am preparing to start the business and will be taking your advice on setting up an LLC in Wyoming. I live in Texas and believe that I cannot use a P.O. Box when setting up an LLC. The problem is that I have not found a location as of yet. Also, I would prefer to use my business name when signing the lease to remain anonymous. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    1. The name on the lease doesn’t matter, only the landlord will know that.

      Just use a virtual address through iPostal. Problem solved!

  12. Question:Can I use a PO Box for the Board of Nursing and State Articles of Incorporation for the LLC?
    Also, and just use the physical office address for DEA purposes and credentialing with insurance? I hope to
    outgrow this shared office in 6 months to 1 year. Will I need to give the insurance company a new office address if I move?

  13. I have my business under “my name NP LLC” and then operate under a DBA that doesn’t look like my name. Of course, forms etc have the legal name on it too. Maybe I should change the legal name of my business from my name to my DBA name??
    . Right now, I’m it- the only member, NP etc. I have a physical location in VA and only practice in VA. I have two service lines.
    I’m considering expanding, and to add some 1099 NPs for telehealth- but wonder if it would be better to create a parent LLC in WY, change the member (and name?) of my current LLc, or maybe form a new practice for a different service line?
    Do I need to get a NP license and dea in WY?

    1. If you care about your privacy and want to expand then yes, change the name. If you don’t care that much, then I say keep operating out of the LLC.

      I think having a parent LLC in WY and the operating LLC underneath it is the best way to protect your privacy. And no, you don’t need any licenses for the WY LLC, that is just a business entity you operate out of.

  14. Hello Justin,

    Firstly, thank you for your invaluable guidance, honestly, and support of NPs.
    Secondly, I opened a LLC today in WY, per your advice. I live in CA, but will travel to MN for the actual work. Should I also file a LLC in MN? Do I need to file a LLC in CA, even though I won’t be doing any of the work in that state. Please advise, I am trying to get ahead of penalty nightmares in CA. Hoping to meet you and your advisors in October in NV!

  15. Hello Justin,
    When I set up the Wyoming LLC. I entered my SS# as I did not yet have the EIN. Is that wrong? Was I to obtain the EIN first and then enter that as the Wyoming LLC SS#?

    Also, I have no other LLC’s yet and plan to obtain one in WI. Do I use the EIN that I obtained for the Wyoming LLC or must I obtain a new EIN for WI?

    Does the WI LLC need to be a Foreign LLC or can it be a regular one as well? What would be the difference, other than waiving legal rights with the Foreign LLC?
    Thanks, Anita

    1. No, you get the EIN after you form the LLC. The SS is just attached to the EIN for tax purposes.

      Each new LLC requires a new EIN.

      Just get a regular one in WI that the WY one owns.

  16. Hello Justin,
    I have found the answers to my above questions, but still requesting information about: What would be the difference, other than waiving legal rights with the Foreign LLC versus a basic? I did find, that in WI, there is not Foreign LLC option. Curious, for other states.
    Thanks, Anita

    1. Foreign LLC: everything goes through the parent LLC. Basic LLC: it is a separate entity. At the end of the day it is the same thing from a legal aspect really.

  17. Great information! I plan on using a UPS store mailbox service as my “business address.” It will be registered under my name though. Should I use my personal name or not since that could destroy my anonymity?

  18. Also, when it comes to choosing a “principal place of business,” if I don’t have a physical office yet, is it wise to use my home address or a UPS store mailbox service? Will this address be public (I want to maintain anonymity)? I know there are tax benefits with the IRS for using my personal address as the principal place of business so want to know what’s the best option. Thanks!

  19. I used ipostal to get a virtual address for my telehealth practice I’m hoping to open within the month. When I applied for my NPI, they kicked the address back as “it is a Commercial Mailing Receiving Agency (CMRA) address”. I don’t want to use my personal address, what do I do?

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