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Recently I was reading about Bitcoin and its anonymous creator "Satoshi Nakamoto", and it made me wonder:

Could a company legally have an anonymous staff and/or board? If not, why not?


To clarify:

  • Obviously this would need to be a distributed workforce (everyone's working remotely).

I'd like to see the answer contain:

  • Consideration of the possibility of domiciling the company outside the United States.
  • Consideration of the extent to which different types of employees may differ with respect to the legality of their remaining anonymous.
    • So, for example, it might be illegal for the CEO to be anonymous, but not for the rank-and-file employees.
  • Consideration of the extent to which different corporate structures might make it possible for some or all of the staff to remain anonymous.
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    Probably very difficult for tax reasons. – gnasher729 Oct 22 '17 at 15:19
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It depends on what do you mean by "anonymous". If this means "appearing under a fake name", then you are probably out of luck. This would require a fake ID which is illegal in most (if not all) countries in the world.

However, if by "anonymous" you mean "not appearing in the public record", then there are ways to do it. Many offshore tax havens keep corporate records confidential, safeguarded by a private firm that you will hire and pay for. If this is not enough, often you will be able to appoint nominees for board directors who are residents in the tax haven and will appear in the records, but in practice they will do your bidding. That is, such directors will execute almost any decision or document that you please.

Names of employees are usually not required to be disclosed, except for social security matters. You'd probably have to ask an offshore specialist and I expect this may be heavily jurisdiction-dependent.

Keep in mind that maintaining such corporate structure is quite expensive. For example this firm charges $2,200 annually for a non-anonymous structure. Anonymity will cost well in excess of that.

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Not in Australia:

Directors and Company Secretaries must be registered by ASIC on their public register.

Employees get paid. Therefore they must be assessable for tax even if they don't earn enough to pay any. Therefore they need a tax file number from the ATO.

In both cases, taking out such registrations under an alias is a crime.

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