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How people accidentally doxx themselves by setting up a business. Avoid these mistakes.

A lot of folks accidentally dox themselves, typically when they’re setting up a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation (or when purchasing property or filing for trademarks, though this post focuses on corporate records). Why is that?

When setting up a business, different states have different disclosure requirements. Some, such as Delaware, might only require the name and address of a registered agent* along with a few other details—but not require the physical addresses or names of the principals (i.e., owners). In fact, in Delaware, the person who owns the company doesn’t even have to be the one who forms the company. On the other hand, California require a filing called a Statement of Information, to be filed within 90 days of the formation of a company, which must include the names and addresses for the company’s principals. Some registered agent services in some states will allow principals to use the registered agent’s address as the principal’s address, but that’s rare.

* – A registered agent is someone who can accept service of process (i.e., legal service, such as for lawsuits) on behalf of the company and is a requirement in every state. Owners of a company can serve as registered agent, but there must be a physical address for the registered agent where someone will be generally present during business hours.

Some states require disclosure of a company owner’s name and business address on the company charter—for many creators, solo developers and others, their home address is their business address. And that company charter is a public record that anyone can look up. You can see where this is going. Principals sometimes use an online legal document service to set up their business and file in their state of residence without realizing that they’ve just disclosed their name and address to the world.

When individuals form entities or make other governmental filings without the help of legal counsel, sometimes they don’t realize the information in certain filings is publicly accessible. Sometimes, it is simple to clean up that record. Other times, it is very difficult.

If someone wants to set up a business without doxing their real name or personal address, it is vital they work with someone who knows how to set up companies to minimize the risk of disclosure. We’ve done this for myriad developers, content creators, vtubers, models, and others to better protect their privacy and safety.

Ryan Fairchild

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