When faced with an investigation by the Attorney General's Office, a common consideration for single owner limited liability companies is whether to dissolve. It may seem that logic would dictate that dissolution would end the investigation, and consequently, any liability or civil penalties that might flow from the investigation. Moreover, in the case of Wyoming limited liability companies, the state has been known to dissolve them for failure to respond to a subpoena. One might think that it makes sense to ignore the subpoena and allow the state to dissolve the company.
However, things are not so simple. Dissolution, whether voluntary or involuntary, can expose the company owner to increased liability. The limited liability company form is specifically created to provide limited liability for the company owner. This gives the owner peace of mind that he will not be held liable for many of the actions or omissions of the company. When a company is dissolved, the owner can lose that limited liability protection, especially when the company is involuntarily dissolved by the state.
Additionally, under the consumer protection act, the individuals involved in the alleged violation can be held directly liable irrespective of the limited liability company form. The consumer protection act essentially creates a "piercing the veil" option to allow consumers to proceed against those directly involved in the wrongdoing. Dissolution may have no effect on the potential liability of a company owner directly involved in the violations.