Join 3,496 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


How can I work anonymously?
June 4, 2008 7:55 PM   Subscribe

I have a good deal of experience as a phone sex operator. Recently, I decided I would like to go into business for myself rather than work for an agency. I don't think it's legally possible to incorporate anonymously, but still I'd like to keep my real legal identity as private as possible. Any tips?

I'd like everything to be on the up-and-up financially/legally speaking, but since the phone sex business encourages obsessive behavior, it's absolutely crucial to hide any/all identifying information about me from even the most persistent clients. Is there any way for me to safely/legally go independent? Or am I doomed to give up more than half my income to a middleman forever?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (14 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
IANAL, but a quick Google search turns up this site which says that these states do allow you to incorporate LLCs anonymously:

* Alaska
* Delaware
* Indiana
* Michigan
* Missouri
* New Mexico
* New York
* Oklahoma
posted by cdmwebs at 8:09 PM on June 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


How about nite flirt? They connect the calls so the client doesn't know your number. Don't know what cut they take...
posted by the anticipation of a new lover's arrival at 8:11 PM on June 4, 2008


IANAL in the relevant sense, but I suspect you could have your lawyer be the person of record if there must be one. Make sure any such arrangement is documented.
posted by grobstein at 8:15 PM on June 4, 2008


Why worry about incorporation? Is somebody going to sue you for negligent titillation? I assume you already have a client base or a means of distributing your phone number. I assume billing is done through the phone company or cc. Just work as an an individual proprietorship. You don't need to be registered with the man to run a business as long as you pay your income taxes.
posted by norabarnacl3 at 8:17 PM on June 4, 2008


In fact, if you look at Delaware's LLC formation document, all you would need is a Delaware Agent of Process. Another search turns up this company's site claiming the following:

"As Registered Agent, we accept legal service of process (lawsuits, etc.) and forward it immediately to you so that you can respond on time. We charge a low annual fee of $90.00, which remains the same from year to year.

"We keep all your files private and do not reveal your contact information to people who call. If someone wants to contact you, we ask they put their request in writing. We then forward the request to you. We will forward official government mail, but we are not a mail forwarding service. If you are not happy with your current LLC or Corporation registered agent please complete the form below."


So it looks like for ~$180 one-time and $90 annually, you can have an anonymous Delaware LLC. One thing to keep in mind is that you might have to travel to Delaware if you're ever sued or something. I think.
posted by cdmwebs at 8:17 PM on June 4, 2008


"You don't need to be registered with the man to run a business as long as you pay your income taxes."

Just because you don't "need" to (whatever that means) doesn't mean it's a good idea. Besides, if what OP is looking for is anonymity it seems starting up a business as an individual would be a bad way to do that, no?

I have no idea what sorts of legal risks operating a phone sex service might create, but I find it hard to believe that there aren't any worth taking seriously.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:29 PM on June 4, 2008


I have no idea what sorts of legal risks operating a phone sex service might create, but I find it hard to believe that there aren't any worth taking seriously.

What? Phone sex is perfectly legal.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:34 PM on June 4, 2008



1. How to be invisible

2. New Mexico LLC
posted by yoyo_nyc at 8:56 PM on June 4, 2008


I have no idea what sorts of legal risks operating a phone sex service might create, but I find it hard to believe that there aren't any worth taking seriously.

What? Phone sex is perfectly legal.


So is building houses but there are clearly legal risks in running a construction company. The point is that if you are operating any business they are risks that companies you contract with may want to sue you. This may mean it's beneficial to incorporate.

It looks like the Deleware LLC fits the bill for anonymity, though might there be tax issues?
posted by patricio at 12:05 AM on June 5, 2008


To a man with only a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

I don't think the OP is primarily concerned with being sued. I suspect OP wants to incorporate anonymously in an effort to help obfuscate identity from clients. Although avoiding legal risks in any business is advisable, this particular business might present real *physical* risks that OP needs to avoid.

I'm intrigued by the titles linked by yoyo_nyc.
posted by GPF at 7:03 AM on June 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps a bit of a shell game?

Set up your LLC (anonymously, as above?) and then run as a DBA under the LLC. You really don't even have to register your DBA if you don't want to; you just use a name no one else is using and that's that.

Then, if law enforcement types want to get hold of you, they can and will...because they see the LLC version of you. But your clients will see the DBA/subsidiary version, and you don't have to inform them that your DBA is a subsidiary of your LLC.

So there you go.
posted by SlyBevel at 9:14 AM on June 5, 2008


i remember from my days as a phone actress that there was a lot of chatter on boards about the problems with billing and making sure the fuckers pay up instead of do chronic chargebacks... so the hiding of one's identity from stalkers is one thing--the other is that you need a reputable billing service that can hunt down thieves for you.

Doxy Wringer is the smartest phone actress out there, AFAICT. you should be able to get something out of reading the blog/ask doxy sections on her website. there's a section called "being your own boss."
posted by RedEmma at 12:24 PM on June 6, 2008


amended: she appears to have left the biz circa 2006. but the idea of getting a billing service may still be necessary. if you go to the link listing message boards, you might find people who can answer your questions with more updated info.
posted by RedEmma at 12:35 PM on June 6, 2008


I like that..too a man with a hammer every problem looks like a nail (:-), fine point
posted by nanoboy at 5:33 PM on June 23, 2008


« Older Suggestions/Ideas/Advice for h...   |  Help me try to save my dog.... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.