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Colorado Corporation Service We’re Just Not Annoying®

How to Start a Corporation in Colorado

To start a Colorado corporation, you must file Articles of Incorporation with the Colorado Secretary of State, pay a $50 filing fee, and obtain an EIN from the IRS. The complete steps to incorporating in Colorado are as follows:

  1. File Colorado Articles of Incorporation
  2. Pay the Colorado Secretary of State $50
  3. Receive approval of your Articles in your email
  4. Get a Federal EIN tax ID for the corporation
  5. Create Colorado corporate bylaws
  6. Take these documents to the bank and get a Colorado corporate bank account
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Colorado Corporation documents free download. This is a sample PDF; all Colorado Corporation's must be formed online.

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Documents & Forms

How to File Colorado Articles of Incorporation

To form a Colorado corporation, you file the Articles of Incorporation in the following steps:
Step 1 Choose a name for your new corporation
Step 2 Decide what address you’d like to list publicly
Step 3 Decide if you want to hire a registered agent service to minimize public disclosures
Step 4 Decide how many shares to authorize
Step 5 Choose when you’d like your business to start
Step 6 File online and pay $50 with a credit card

How Long Does it Take to Start a Colorado Corporation?


Fastest 1 day

Colorado only accepts Articles of Incorporation via their online system. Hop online and file your Articles yourself. Most people receive approval in their email within minutes.


Almost Fastest (and some might say better) 1 day

Filing yourself may be fast, but it’s not easy. The online form can be confusing (what exactly is an “individual causing delivery?”) and requires you to do a lot on your own, like find a registered agent. Make the whole process both fast and easy when you hire Northwest. We’ll form and file your Articles, and we’ll give you a full year of registered agent service and loads of useful business forms. Just answer a few brief questions about your business, sit back, and let our Corporate Guides file everything correctly the first time.

What is the Cost of a Colorado Corporation?

The Colorado Secretary of State charges a $50 filing fee to submit Articles of Incorporation.

Hire Northwest and your total, out-the-door cost is $275, including state filing fees, a full year of registered agent service, and all the business documents you need to open a corporate bank account.


How Much Does a Corporation in Colorado Cost Each Year?

Colorado corporations pay $10 a year to submit their Colorado Periodic Report.

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What is a Colorado Periodic Report?

Your Colorado Periodic Report is a form you submit to the Secretary of State each year to confirm your contact information. The filing fee is $10 and reports are filed online. Forget to file? Watch as your costs balloon—the late fee penalty is $50. At Northwest, we’ll help you remember to file on time. When you sign up for our services, we send you reminder notifications for your yearly report. Want this report off your plate entirely? Hire us to file your Colorado Periodic Report for you each year.

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What are the Taxes for a Colorado Corporation?

The Colorado corporate net income tax is a flat rate of 4.63%—one of the lowest corporate net income tax rates in the country.

The state sales tax is also quite low: only 2.9%. Local sales taxes, however, can make the total much higher (particularly in more touristy areas). For example, in Aspen, the total sales tax rate is a whopping 9.3%. Luckily, the average total sales tax rate is not so daunting at just 5.966%.

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Is a Registered Agent Required for a Colorado Corporation?

Yes, you’re required to list a Colorado registered agent in your Articles of Incorporation (and each year in your Periodic Report). You don’t necessarily have to hire someone—you can appoint yourself as your own registered agent. While you might save a few bucks as your own agent, you’ll find this position comes with a world of headache. Your Articles and Period Reports are public documents—meaning your name and the address you list will almost certainly end up on a bunch of mailing lists. Being available during business hours at the address listed is also tough when you’re trying to run a business. You have meetings to attend and errands to run (and sometimes, you just need to take off for the mountains for a couple days).

A better option? Save yourself the hassle and hire Northwest. Providing expert registered agent service is what we do every day. We’ll list our address on your public documents. We’ll be ready and waiting to accept your legal notifications—we’ll even scan and send them to you the same day. We help make sure you can stay on top of your business wherever you choose to be.

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Colorado Corporation Versus Colorado LLC:

State filing fees are the same for both Colorado corporations and LLCs: $50 for Articles and $10 for Periodic Reports. There isn’t a significant tax advantage based on which entity you choose either—the taxes you owe are based more on your tax election than your entity. For example, both corporations and LLCs can choose the S election, which would make their tax obligations the same.

While costs are roughly the same, operations are a bit different for corporations and LLCs. Corporations are common choices for large businesses (or those that hope to scale quickly). Their familiar, formal structure makes managing a big operation easier. Stocks also give corporations options that LLCs don’t have, such as luring investors with perks like preferred stock. LLCs are more common for small businesses that don’t need as many formal requirements. Thinking about an LLC? Here’s information on starting an LLC in Colorado.

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Do I Need a Tax ID Number (EIN) for a Colorado Corporation?

Yes, the IRS requires your Colorado corporation to get an EIN for federal tax filings. You’ll also need your EIN for state tax filings and opening a corporate bank account. You can get an EIN for free directly from the IRS. Prefer to skip this extra application? Hire Northwest to get an EIN for you—just add on this service during checkout when signing up for our services.

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Does a Colorado Corporation Need a Business License?

Colorado doesn’t have a general, statewide business license, but many cities and counties have their own requirements for local business licenses. For example, if you have a physical location in the Town of Vail, you’re required to obtain a business license.

Does a Colorado Corporation Need Bylaws?

Yes, your Colorado corporation will need bylaws. There isn’t a public filing requirement (like there is for submitting your Articles or Periodic Reports), but bylaws are critical for organizing the internal operations of your business.

Your bylaws are where you spell out all the rules for how your corporation really works. You’ll need a board of directors—so you’ll have to decide who is on the board, how long members are on the board, how members are replaced, and how many members are needed to vote on a resolution. You’ll need stock—so you’ll have to decide on stock classes and voting shares. You’ll have officers—so you’ll have to decide on their powers and duties as well. Basically, your bylaws are where you put on paper who has power over what. And while it may be an internal document, people outside your corporation will want to see your bylaws too. Banks will request them when you open a corporate bank account, and investors and lenders will want to see them before they give you money.

Creating bylaws can be overwhelming—where do you even begin? Northwest can help with this. When you hire Northwest to form your Colorado corporation, we give you free corporate bylaws, along with other free corporate forms like resolutions and meeting minute templates. We’ve spent years refining our free forms. Why? We want to work and keep working with your business, so we want to make sure you start out strong. Take a look at the free corporate forms we provide to help corporations form and maintain their businesses.

What is the Colorado Corporation Statute?

Colorado Revised Statutes – Title 7, Corporations

Colorado Corporation Articles of Incorporation Requirements:

Business Name

Your name must include “Corporation,” “Incorporated,” “Company,” “Limited,” or an abbreviation for one of these words like “Inc.”

Principal Office

This street address will become part of the permanent public record of your Colorado corporation. Hire Northwest as your registered agent and you can use our Colorado address as your principal address.

Registered Agent

You can list an individual Colorado resident (such as yourself) or a business that provides registered agent service (such as Northwest). We recommend Northwest.

Registered Agent Address

This is the physical Colorado address where your registered agent will be available to accept legal notifications. When you hire Northwest, our address will go here.

Registered Agent Consent

Your registered agent has to agree to be your registered agent (no listing your brother and surprising him with his brand new job later on). Tick the box to confirm consent.

Name and Address of Person Forming the Profit Corporation

This is a long-winded way to ask for who is actually filling out the form. This person doesn’t have to be a director, officer, or anyone in the corporation. Hire Northwest to form your corporation and our information will go here.

Authorized Shares

List the number of shares you’re creating—you must create at least one. If you have more than one class of shares, you’ll have to upload an attachment stating how many shares of each class there are.

Effective Date

If you want your business to start right away, leave the “yes” selected. If you prefer to push out your start date (maybe the next tax period is right around the corner), you can enter an effective date up to 90 days in the future.

Email Notification

If you opt to enter an email address, you can receive due dates and business notifications from the state. Don’t want all the spam? When you hire Northwest, we’ll send you due date reminders and help you stay on top of things—without requiring you to publicly list your email.

Individual Causing Delivery

Colorado sure has a way with words. Your “individual causing delivery” is the person clicking “submit” on the form. This is almost certainly going to be the same person that is forming the corporation (it’s an online form—there’s not exactly a lot of time between filling out the form and hitting “submit”). Our information will go here as well when you hire Northwest.

Corporate Compliance
by Local Corporate Guides®