Known for its perseverance and rugged individualism, Wyoming has become one of the world’s best trust company jurisdictions. Wyoming offers regulated public and private family trust companies. In addition, Wyoming has become the jurisdiction of choice for unregulated private family trust companies. Wyoming trust law also provides prospective and current trust companies the tools needed to effectively accomplish desired objectives. Frequently named the top-ranked business climate in the US, Wyoming is well-regarded for its innovation, entrepreneurial spirit, and favorable regulatory environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a Wyoming chartered “public trust company,” an unregulated “private family trust company,” and a “chartered family trust company?”
As outlined in W.S.A. 13-5-301, “Public trust company” means a trust company that has been granted a charter by the commissioner to engage in trust company business with the general public. “Private family trust company” means a family trust company that is not a chartered family trust company and is not subject to regulation by the Wyoming division of banking. “Chartered family trust company” means a family trust company that has been granted a charter by the commissioner. Public trust companies and chartered family trust companies are subject to periodic examinations by the Wyoming Division of Banking as outlined below.
How do I create an unregulated Wyoming private family trust company?
As outlined in Wyoming Statutes Annotated (W.S.A) 13-5-701, one or more persons can form a private family trust company under Wyoming law. The unregulated private family trust company is formed by filing the articles of incorporation or articles of organization with the Wyoming Secretary of State. Pursuant to W.S.A. 13-5-302 (effective July 1, 2019), no person or entity wishing to organize as a private family trust company shall use the term “trust company” in its name without further specifying in its name that the entity is a “private family trust company.” In addition, the articles of incorporation/organization must include a statement that the articles are made to enable the corporation to act as fiduciary for the family members and a statement that the corporation will not engage in trust company business with the general public.
Upon the approval of the organizational instrument of a private family trust company by the secretary of state, the directors or managers of the private family trust company shall execute and deliver a signed waiver to the commissioner acknowledging that the private family trust company is not supervised by the commissioner and that at all times the private family trust company will not transact trust company business with the general public. A copy of the waiver that is to be filed with the Wyoming Division of Banking can be found below. For more information on how to create and operate an unregulated Wyoming private family trust company, please contact AFS to learn how we can assist your trust company.
What are the capital requirements for Wyoming trust companies?
Effective July 1, 2019, no public trust company shall commence business until the full amount of its authorized capital or membership interest is subscribed and fully paid in. No public trust company shall organize with a capital stock or membership interest less than $1,000,000. Please see Wyoming Statutes Annotated 13-5-511. In addition, regulated Wyoming chartered family trust companies are required to maintain a minimum capital requirement of $500,000. Please see W.S.A. 13-5-208. Wyoming unregulated private family trust companies do not have a minimum capital requirement.
What fees are due to the state of Wyoming?
The application fee for charter applications is $15,000. In addition, on or before January 31 of each year, each trust company shall compute and pay supervisory fees to the commissioner as set forth in the rules and regulations of the commissioner. Finally, Wyoming chartered trust companies are subject to examinations and the corresponding fees and expenses shall be paid by the trust company to the Wyoming Division of Banking. Please see W.S.A. 13-5-110.
How long does it take to secure a trust company charter for a regulated public trust company or a chartered family trust company in Wyoming?
Applicants should plan on 6 to 9 months to receive a trust company charter in Wyoming for public trust company applicants. Please see W.S.A. 13-5-502 (effective July 1, 2019) for the application process and timeline for public trust companies.
Applicants should plan on 3 to 6 months for a chartered private trust company. Please see Wyoming Statutes Annotated 13-5-606 (effective July 1, 2019) for the application process and timeline for public trust companies.
The “time to charter” may vary based on the number of applications pending before the Wyoming Division of Banking. That said, the Wyoming Division of Banking works diligently to process applications. AFS can work with you to complete and submit your trust company application. AFS can assist to help secure your trust company charter in Wyoming as soon as possible.
Do I need to come to Wyoming as part of the chartering process?
Public trust companies applicants should plan to travel to Wyoming. First, after the application has been submitted, the proposed board members and key personnel should plan to attend a pre-chartering meeting with the Wyoming Division of Banking in Cheyenne, Wyoming. At that meeting, the commissioner and deputy commissioner will meet individually with each of the board members and key personnel to discuss the business plan and their credentials. Second, the applicants should also plan to attend the formal hearing before the Wyoming Banking Commission which will occur after the Wyoming Division of Banking has completed its formal background research on the application and its proposed officers and directors.
What are the board meeting requirements for a Wyoming chartered trust company?
Pursuant to W.S.A. 13-5-520 (effective July 31, 2019), the board of directors or managers of a public trust company shall hold a regular meeting at least once every quarter of the calendar year. A record of the proceedings and business of all meetings shall be in included in the minutes.
How many board members do I need for a Wyoming chartered trust company?
Pursuant to W.S.A. 13-5-518 (effective July 31, 2019), public trust companies must maintain at least five (5) directors or managers.
How often are Wyoming trust companies examined?
Pursuant to W.S.A. 13-5-521, every public trust company is subject to examination by the Wyoming Division of Banking at least once every two years. Although not outlined in statute, the Wyoming Division of Banking typically conducts an informal examination of public trust companies within the first six months of the receipt of charter. All information, reports, or applications are confidential.
Pursuant to W.S.A. 13-5-607, every chartered family trust company is subject to inspection by the commissioner at least once every three years.
Where can I access the applications for a regulated Wyoming trust company?
Wyoming Chartered Family Trust Company
Where can I learn more about Wyoming trust companies?
You can learn more about Wyoming trust companies by contacting AFS. In addition, the Wyoming Division of Banking’s website is an excellent resource. On July 1, 2019, new Wyoming trust company legislation becomes effective. Links to the Wyoming Division of Banking and the 2019 trust company legislative updates are below.
Is the Wyoming Division of Banking an accredited member of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS)?
Yes, Wyoming is an accredited member of CSBS.
How do I find out if Wyoming is the best state for my prospective trust company?
Please contact AFS and we can discuss whether a Wyoming trust company will accomplish your goals and objectives.