Thought I would throw this out about the GAO's report on company formations.

This may or not be relevant to the topic at hand, but may be parallel information to be aware of.

Cliff note summary from the report.

Why the study:
Companies form the basis of most commercial and entrepreneurial activities in market-based economies; however, "shell" companies, which have no operations, can be used for illicit purposes such as laundering money. Some states have been criticized for requiring minimal ownership information to form a U.S. company, raising concerns about the ease with which companies may be used for illicit purposes. In this report, GAO describes (1) the kinds of information each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia and third party agents collect on companies, (2) law enforcement concerns about the use of companies to hide illicit activity and how company information from states and agents helps or hinders investigations, and (3) implications of requiring states or agents to collect company ownership information.

What the GAO found:
Most states do not require ownership information at the time a company is formed, and while most states require corporations and limited liability companies (LLC) to file annual or biennial reports, few states require ownership information on these reports. With respect to the formation of LLCs, four states require some information on members, who are owners of the LLC. Some states require companies to list the names and addresses of directors, officers or managers on filings, but these persons may not own the company. Nearly all states screen company filings for statutorily required information, but none verify the identities of company officials. Third-party agents may submit formation documents to the state on a company's behalf, usually collecting only billing and statutorily required information for formations. These agents generally do not collect any information on owners of the companies they represent, and instances where agents told us they verified some information were rare.

Frank Muto
FSM Marketing Group, Inc

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