Welcome to the Start a Business guide to entity registration in Colorado. Those interested in forming an LLC, corporation, or partnership may do so by filing with the Colorado Secretary of State. This main page will give you a general overview of the process, however, the tutorials linked throughout it will enable you to gain a deeper understanding of what will be required of you when registering. All entities must file for formation/authority online as there is currently no prescribed paper form for entities filing in Colorado. There are a few other peculiarities you will encounter when registering your business in this state but rest assured, our tutorials will explain them in detail and you will be able to get your entity up and running in no time.
Start an Entity
Search for a Name
Before you form an entity in Colorado the first thing that we recommend doing is ensuring that the name you have selected for your entity is not currently in use, or is not too similar to a name currently on file with the Secretary of State. To check the availability of the name that you have selected you must perform a Business Entity Search. You can search the database in a number of ways, by name, trademark, trade name, ID number, document number, or registered agent name. If the name you have chosen is available for use, you will be presented with a page that confirms said availability and offers links to the forms that allow you to reserve said name.
How to File in Colorado
Step 1 – The very first thing that you should do, although not technically mandatory, is ensure that the name you have in mind for your entity is not already in use by another business operating in Colorado. To check your desired operating name’s availability, as previously mentioned in this tutorial, you must Search the Businesses Database. If the name you have chosen is available for use, proceed to the next step.
Step 2- With a name chosen and researched, you will have the opportunity to perform a Name Reservation. Again, this is not a mandatory step in registration but will simply enable you to secure the rights to your designated title for a period of 120 days while you prepare for registration. The filing fee will amount to $25.
Step 3 – You must now begin to complete the application form associated with your particular entity type. The application forms are only available through the web portal located at the Colorado Secretary of State webpage. You cannot print them out and thus you cannot submit them by mail. Click on the entity type you plan on filing below to learn more about it’s specialized registration process.
- Domestic Profit Corporation
- Domestic Nonprofit Corporation
- Foreign Profit Corporation
- Foreign Nonprofit Corporation
- Domestic Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Partnership
- Domestic Limited Liability Limited Partnership
- Domestic Limited Partnership Association
- Foreign Limited Partnership
- Foreign Limited Liability Partnership
- Foreign Limited Partnership Association
Step 4 – With the online application filled out, you will be able to pay the fee associated with your entity type. As the entirety of the application is conducted online you must ensure that you are ready to pay for the filing fee electronically by credit card. This payment must be made at the time of submission of your application or the application will not be accepted. Note that all domestic entities will be required to pay $50 while foreign business can expect to pay $100.
A Name Reservation is a very common filing that is available in most states across America. It enables filers to secure a business name prior to filing to give themselves ample time in which prepare for the registration process. The reservation is not a mandatory step but simply a precautionary measure to take if you feel as though your chosen operating name is common enough to be potentially filed by another entity. In Colorado, these reservations last for a period of 120 days and cost $25. A tutorial which will provide a step by step guide through the Secretary of State filing process can be found linked in the heading of this paragraph.
Certificate of Good Standing
A Certificate of Good Standing, also known as a Certificate of Compliance, is an invaluable document that proves that a business does not have any delinquent accounts and is in good standing with the Secretary of State under which it was formed. Certain states make obtaining such a certificate a bit of a headache, whereas Colorado’s streamlined portal has made the process virtually stress-free. All you have to do is search for your registered business in the business database and proceed from the advanced details page. To learn more about how to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing, follow the hyperlink in this sentence.
There are several agreements that, while not always legally mandatory, serve as excellent guides for the relationship held between the managing members of the entity and the entity itself. Without the employment of the below agreements, most businesses will be unable to detail a number of provisions that are considered essential to the proper organization of any entity. We have provided a free template for each agreement in Adobe PDF and MS Word formatting in the links below to accelerate the drafting process. It would be wise to have an attorney review the completed document to ensure that it will serve your company’s best interests.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
When creating a new business entity, it is almost always necessary to apply for an Employer Identification Number to ensure that the IRS has record of your business as an entity that pays withholding taxes on its employees. This number can be used to open bank accounts, hire employees, apply for credit cards and the like. For more information on the application process, both Online and through the mail, click on this link to be brought to our step-by-step guide.