How to Start an LLC in Colorado

Here are the 7 steps to start a limited liability company (LLC) in Colorado

For more information on how to form an LLC in any state, see the article How to Form an LLC.

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Learn about Colorado LLC formation, including information on Registered Agents, naming rules, business licenses, and more.

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Creating an LLC in Colorado

A limited liability company (LLC) offers many benefits to small businesses, including liability protection and tax advantages.

An Limited Liability Company LLC must be formed in Colorado by filing a Articles of Organization online with the Colorado Secretary of State and paying the $50 filing fee.

However, you’ll first need to choose a name and registered agent for your Colorado LLC . Online filings for Colorado limited liability companies (LLCs) are approved immediately. There is no additional transit time because you can download your documents as soon as they are approved.

There is no expedited filing option in Colorado because all LLC filings are approved immediately online.

An LLC can be easily formed in Colorado. Our step-by-step guide on How to Start an LLC in Colorado will help you get started today.   Find out more about LLCs and their benefits in our What is an LLC guide.

How to Start an LLC in Colorado

Step 1. Choose a Name for Your LLC Colorado

Creating an LLC in Colorado requires you to choose a business name before you can file the Articles of Organization. Be sure that your business name complies with the Colorado naming requirements and can be searched by potential customers.

  • Colorado law requires an LLC name to contain the words “Limited Liability Company” or “Limited Company,” or the abbreviations “Ltd.,” “LLC,” or “LC.” “Limited” may be abbreviated as “Ltd.” or “LTD,” and “Company” as “Co.”
  • It is not acceptable for your Colorado LLC to have words associated with a government agency (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.).
  • You should avoid using words or abbreviations that may make your LLC Colorado appear to be a different type of entity, such as “LP” or “corporation”.
  • There may be additional documentation and licensure paperwork required for certain restricted words (bank, lawyer, attorney, credit union, etc.).
  • Check the state’s business name database to ensure the name you want is not already taken(including businesses no longer in operation)

See a complete list of Colorado’ naming rules here.

Check URL availability: You are likely to need a web page even if you don’t think you do. Buying your domain name now will at least give you the option of having one in the future. It’s a good idea to check the URL availability before finalizing your Colorado LLC name.

Recommended: Consider setting up a business phone service after securing a domain name for your Colorado LLC to establish credibility and improve customer satisfaction.
 
Wise business plans offer a variety of features for businesses, including Toll-free numbers, Coverage in US and Canada, team messaging and more. Try our business phone services today.

The Colorado Office of the Secretary of State provides an online form through which you may submit a reservation request for a name. Requests for names can be filed for 120 days, at which time they will expire unless renewed by contacting the Colorado Secretary of State's office. The fee to reserve a name is $25.

An LLC stands for a Limited Liability Company. A simple business structure that is more flexible and offers many of the same benefits as a traditional corporation. For more information, see "What is a Limited Liability Company?".

In Colorado, sole proprietorships, general partnerships, estates, trusts, corporations, LLCs, domestic limited partnerships, dissolved or converted entities, and any for-profit business need to be use a DBA name when using a name other than the legal name of the person or company. To learn more about DBAs, read our What is a DBA Guide.

Step 2: Appoint Your Registered Agent in Colorado

Your next step in forming an LLC in Colorado is to appoint a Registered Agent, an individual or company authorized to receive legal and state mail on your behalf.

All ColoradoLLCs must have a registered agent. Please include your registered agent’s name and address on your Articles of Organization.

Registered Agent Requirements in Colorado

To comply with Colorado law, your LLC’s registered agent must be a resident or business entity that maintains a physical address in Colorado. The “registered address” cannot be a P.O. box. It must be a real physical address that can be visited in person.

Further, in Colorado, your registered agent must agree to perform this role and sign a form confirming their consent. Consent statements should include the following:

  • Written confirmation that the person designated consents to serve as the LLC’s registered agent
  • The name of your Colorado LLC and the person designated as your registered agent
  • Registered agent’s signature
  • Date of execution

Although you do not have to submit this form to the Secretary of State, your business must record it. Learn more about Colorado Registered Agents by reading our full guide.

A registered agent require to be a full-time Colorado resident or a corporation authorized to do business in Colorado, such as a registered agent service. You have the option of electing someone from your company, including yourself.

Yes, By filing a Statement of Change with the Secretary of State, you can change your Colorado registered agent.

Are You looking for a Registered Agent?

Wise Business Plans offers a free year of registered agent service when forming an LLC in Colorado.

Step 3.Prepare and File the Articles of Organization

To create a Colorado LLC, you will need to file Articles of Organization with the Colorado Secretary of State. You may apply only online.

There is a $50 filing fee. You need to send the original and a copy of your certificate if you file by mail.

Online filings for Colorado limited liability companies (LLCs) are approved immediately.

There is no expedited filing option in Colorado because all LLC filings are approved immediately online.

If you choose one of our business formation plans, we can handle this step for you.

The following information is typically required to create a Articles of Organization:

  • Your LLC name and principal place of business.
  • Name, address, and signature of the LLC’s registered agent
  • Decide whether your Colorado LLC will be member-managed or manager-managed. Indicate the names and addresses of each member and manager.
  • The reason for forming the LLC in Colorado.
  • Name and address of the LLC’s organizer.
  • The effective date of the certificate,
  • The person forming the LLC must sign the Certificate.

Foreign LLCs: You must file a Colorado Statement of Foreign Entity Authority with the Colorado Secretary of State, Business Division, to register a foreign LLC in Colorado. This document can be submitted online.

The filing fee for the Statement of Foreign Entity Authority is $100.

One Way to File the Articles of Organization

The option is: Online filing through the State of Colorado

There is a state filing fee of $50 payable to the Colorado Department of State. (nonrefundable).

Instructions: From the “File a Form” landing page, select “Limited liability company (LLC)” to be directed to the state’s online LLC registration portal.

In a member-managed LLC, the members (owners) take on the business's daily responsibilities. Manager-managed LLCs are managed by managers who are elected by the members. Those who manage your LLC will have the authority to do a wide range of tasks-from hiring staff to opening bank accounts.

Online filings for Colorado limited liability companies (LLCs) are approved immediately. There is no additional transit time because you can download your documents as soon as they are approved.

Step 4. Get a Certificate From the State

Upon filing your Articles of Organization, the secretary of state will review it. As soon as the Articles of Organization is approved, the LLC becomes a legal entity.

By obtaining this certificate, LLCs will be able to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), licenses, and business accounts.

Step 5. Write an Colorado LLC Operating Agreement

An operating agreement is a legally-binding document that sets out how your LLC will operate, from the voting process to mergers.

Operating agreements are not required in Colorado, but they are an essential part of your business.

Written operating agreements are helpful for different reasons, including resolving disputes over financial agreements and other potential litigation.

The LLC declaration can prove that your LLC is a separate entity, which can help preserve your limited liability.

An operating agreement ensures that all business owners are on the same page and reduces the possibility of future conflict.

How should an operating agreement be drafted?

The operating agreement should detail the LLC’s overall business purpose and other important matters, such as how the company will be taxed and how new members will be accepted. Legal agreements can clarify several important concerns, such as:

  • Who makes decisions for the company, especially those who decide if partners disagree.
  • Who is responsible for different aspects of the business as well as for strategic decisions.
  • If a partner leaves the company, what will happen to their ownership interests in the corporation.
  • The members and their contributions
  • How profits and losses will be divided
  • Procedures for admitting new members and removing outgoing members

In Colorado, you can include just about anything in your operating agreement, as long as it doesn’t violate the state law or the Articles of Organization.

An operating agreement is not required in Colorado for an SMLLC. Even if there is only one member in an SMLLC, an operating agreement is highly recommended. The state does not require the filing of an SMLLC operating agreement. Typically, the operating agreement is made between the single member and the LLC.

An operating agreement should be in place for every Colorado LLC owner to protect their company's operations. While an operating agreement is not legally required by the state, it will establish clear rules and expectations for your LLC while also establishing your credibility as a legal entity.

Step 6. Get an EIN for Your Colorado LLC

Basically, an employer identification number (EIN) is a social security number for your LLC in Colorado.

To identify your LLC for tax purposes, the Internal Revenue Service assigns a nine-digit Employer Identification Number (EIN). You can apply for your EIN either by mail or online.

An EIN is used for the following purposes:

  • Manage state and federal taxes
  • Create a business bank account
  • Hire employees

Get an EIN Number in Colorado

Getting an EIN number is easy and free, There are two ways to get an EIN number in Colorado.

The 1st option is:

Apply online for an EIN from the IRS

The 2nd option is:

Get an EIN by Mail or Fax

Address to Mail

Mail to:
Internal Revenue Service
Attn: EIN Operation
Cincinnati, OH 45999

If you form a one-member LLC, you only need to get an EIN if it will have employees or if you choose to tax it as a corporation rather than a sole proprietorship (disregarded entity). An EIN can be obtained by filling out an online application on the IRS website. There is no charges for filing.

A tax classification will be discussed with you when you obtain an EIN. In most cases, LLCs choose the default status.
Some LLCs can reduce their federal tax obligation by electing S corporation status. Consult with a local accountant to find out which option is best for you.

When you convert a sole proprietorship to an LLC, the IRS requires you to get a new EIN.

 

An Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a nine-digit number that the IRS issues to businesses to allow them to keep track of their tax reporting. The IRS offers a free EIN to anybody who needs one. Getting an EIN is a simple procedure that may be completed online or by mail.

Step 7. File Periodic (Annual) Reports

Every year, Colorado LLCs must file a Periodic Report with the Secretary of State. The report must be submitted electronically through the Secretary of State’s website. The filing fee is ten dollars.

 LLCs are required to file periodic reports during a three-month period beginning the first day of the month in which they were formed.

Filing Period: Due within a 5 month period starting 2 months before and 2 months after the date in which the LLC was formed. Visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website for more information.

Late Filings: If you miss the annual report deadline in Colorado, you will be fined $50. Furthermore, failing to file your annual report for two months will result in your LLC being labeled “Delinquent,” resulting in the loss of certain rights and privileges.

Are you Looking for Colorado LLC Formation Service?

Get the easiest and fastest Colorado LLC formation online with Wise business Plans.

What to do After Forming Your Colorado LLC

Keep your personal and business assets separate

Your personal assets (such as your home, car, and other valuables) may be at risk when your Colorado LLC is sued if they are mixed with your business accounts.

Here are some steps you can take to protect your LLC in Colorado:

 

1. Create a Business Plan:

If you have decided that a Colorado LLC will be a good choice for your business in Colorado, your next step is to create a business plan (although it is not required), so that you have a roadmap for what you will do and how you will accomplish it.

Business Plan Template

Free: Business Plans Examples

Do you need help creating a business plan? Check out these six free, proven business plan examples from different industries to help you write your own.

1. Open a Bank Account

As soon as your LLC is officially formed, you should open a business bank account. Why? Keeping separate bank accounts will help you maintain the legal distinction between the LLC and you (the owner).

Because LLCs are limited liability companies, creditors and litigants can’t take your assets.

It is essential for small business owners to partner with the right bank. Find out which banks offer the best business checking accounts, have low or no fees, ATM accessibility, and interest-earning accounts as well as online or mobile banking tools. 

Recommended: Check out our business bank account page to learn which banks offer the best business check accounts, ATM access, interest-bearing accounts, and online and mobile banking options for businesses.

2. Obtaining a business credit card:
  • Allows you to separate personal and business expenses.
  • Develops your company’s credit history, which can be helpful to raise capital (e.g., small business loans) later.
3. Hiring a business accountant:
  • It prevents your business from overpaying taxes while preventing penalties, fines, and other costly tax mistakes.
  • Gives you more time to focus on your growing business by simplifying bookkeeping and payroll.
  • Manage your business’s funding more effectively. Find out where extra profit or loss can be made

Getting Business Insurance for Your LLC in Colorado

You can manage risks and grow your LLC with business insurance. Here are the most common types:

  • General liability insurance protects your business from lawsuits. Most small businesses purchase general liability coverage.
  • Professional liability insurance protects professionals and businesses from claims of negligence from their clients or customers. Liability insurance typically covers negligence, copyright infringement, personal injury, and more.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers illnesses, injuries, and deaths resulting from a worker’s work.

Pro Tips: Would you like to learn more about business insurance? Here is a comprehensive article about 10 types of small business insurance and how to choose the right one.

Ready to Protect Your Business

Let us help you with your business insurance needs.

 

  • General business liability insurance
  • Medical insurance
  • Term life insurance
  • Workers’ Comp
  • Surety bonds
  • Commercial auto

Create Your Business Website

A website is an important step in legitimizing your business. It is essential for all businesses. You are missing out on a large percentage of potential customers and revenue if you don’t have a website, even if your business is too small or in an offline industry.

More than 90% of consumers begin their search for products and services online. If you don’t have a website that is ready to welcome your customers, then they will simply find your competitors.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

  • Every respectable firm has a website. When it comes to getting your firm online, size or sector isn’t a concern.
  • Creating a basic website has never been easier, thanks to website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder. To design a website, you don’t need to hire a web designer or developer.

Recommended: If you want to enhance your conversion rates and maximize revenue in order to help expand your business and meet objectives, you should always hire a professional business website design company to build your business website.

Wise Business Plans is a leading web design company, We have created over 2000 + websites across 20 countries for our clients but we are physically based in 7 major cities in the United States including Alabama web design, Pennsylvania, Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Iowa, Michigan and San Diego.

Colorado LLC FAQs

The Secretary of State in Colorado charges $50 to file Articles of Organization. For $25, you can reserve the name of your LLC with the Colorado Secretary of State.

A Colorado LLC offers the benefits of other business entity types in one package. The formation of a Colorado LLC insures that you will receive the following advantages: Personal asset protection. Your personal responsibility will be distinct from your company's responsibilities and liabilities.

Online filings for Colorado limited liability companies (LLCs) are approved immediately. There is no additional transit time because you can download your documents as soon as they are approved.

If you create a limited liability company in Colorado, you must file a completed Articles of Amendment form with the Secretary of State. This may be done online. Simply type your business's name and confirm that you have permission to make changes to your LLC's records into the online form. You must also pay a filing fee of $25.

Simply follow these three steps to dissolve an LLC in Colorado: Keep the Operating Agreement in mind. Close all of your company's tax accounts.

Step 1: Follow Your Colorado LLC Operating Agreement.

Step 2: Close Your Business Tax Accounts.

Step 3: File Articles of Dissolution.

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