Start a Business in Colorado
Starting a business in Colorado is easy. All you need to do is file a few forms with the Colorado Secretary of State and start running your business. Below, we show you how to get started and walk you through some of your options.
One option is, of course, to stop reading and just hire us to start your business for you. At Northwest, we form businesses and provide registered agent service throughout the US. That’s our business, and obviously we recommend starting your business in a certain way. We call it “Starting a Business the Right Way."
Starting your business the right way means hiring a registered agent to form your LLC or corporation so you can protect your privacy and receive the care your business needs to stay active. If you hire us to start your Colorado business, we’ll be your registered agent, provide Privacy by Default®, a business address, mail forwarding and local Corporate Guide® service for life.
How to Start a Business in Colorado
You file articles of incorporation for an Colorado corporation or articles of organization for an Colorado LLC with the CO Secretary of State. Colorado corporation and LLC filings must be completed online.
You obtain a federal tax ID number (FEIN or EIN) with the IRS after you have confirmation and filed articles from the State of Colorado showing your approved Colorado business.
Opening a business banking account under your new Colorado business name should be easy with these two items.
If you’re going to have employees or need to withhold sales tax, you will probably need to register with the CO department of revenue. We provide all these links in your online account.
If your business trade requires a license, you’ll have to apply for a license with the Colorado licensing board. (Most businesses don’t.) But if you do, these quick links and contact details are in your online account.
Some local cities or counties have a general license, but most don’t.
You obtain a local trade license if the city or county you’re going to be working in requires it.
If you’re going to have an office or shop you might need an approval from the city zoning for your type of business in that location.
If you get overwhelmed, just get your business pulling in money and worry about regulations later.
Are You A Do-It-Yourselfer?
You Can Save Some Money:
If you want to start a business in Colorado yourself, you can just hire us as your Colorado registered agent, and you’ll instantly have the Colorado LLC or corporation forms to file along with filing instructions on the quickest, cheapest, and most efficient way to incorporate an Colorado corporation or form a Colorado LLC. You’ll get the ongoing support of our online tools, reminders and the support of a professional Colorado registered agent service.START YOUR COLORADO BUSINESS TODAY
Colorado LLC vs. Corporation
Small business owners are drawn to LLCs because they typically require less maintenance and offer flexible management. Business owners seeking to start large, fast-growing companies like corporations because they have a solid, established management structure and offer the ability to sell stocks—which attracts investors.
But, what about Colorado? Are there pros and cons of a Colorado LLC vs. a Colorado corporation?
For the most part, there are no significant advantages to starting a Colorado LLC versus a Colorado corporation. Both entities cost $50 to form and require a $10 filing fee for the annual Periodic Report (annual report). In addition, both Colorado corporations and LLCs have experienced a slight decrease in limited liability protection. The state Court of Appeals recently ruled that corporations and LLCs can be held responsible for business debts (Martin v. Freeman). Essentially, creditors no longer need to prove offense, ill intent, or poor faith in order to pierce the corporate veil and impose personal liability for LLC members and corporate shareholders.
So, if building a large, growing business with lots of investors is your goal, then definitely start a Colorado corporation. But, if you’re more focused on staying small and local, the business structure of an LLC will more than suit your needs.
If you want a corporation, you file Colorado Articles of Incorporation:
The Colorado articles of incorporation cost $50 with the Colorado Secretary of State.
We custom draft your Colorado Colorado corporation articles. The basic requirements of Colorado corporations are:
- The Colorado corporation must have a corporate ending such as incorporated, corporation or an abbreviation thereof.
- The duration of the corporation is “perpetual” unless otherwise stated.
- The purpose of the Colorado corporation is not actually needed.
- There is no requirement to give the number of shares.
- The name of the registered agent in Colorado and the registered office address.
- The name and address of the Colorado incorporators.
- The CO corp principal office address and mailing address.
- Date of execution.
- The Colorado incorporator must sign the articles of incorporation.
Colorado does not require original signatures on new CO corporation filings. When you form a CO corp online you get an online copy immediately.
Start Your Colorado Business!GET STARTED
If you want a LLC, you file Colorado Articles of Organization:
- The business name must have a limited liability company ending or variation of it such as LLC, L.L.C.
- The Colorado business name must be different than already registered Colorado businesses.
- The duration of the Colorado LLC, (Usually perpetual.)
- Colorado limited liability companies do not need to state a LLC purpose.
- The Colorado registered agent and the physical address.
- If the CO limited liability company is to be managed by one or more managers, you must specify this management structure.
- The principal and mailing address of the new Colorado LLC.
- Someone must acknowledge the filing as the CO LLC organizer.
Colorado does not require original signatures on new CO LLC filings or signatures at all for that matter. The proof of the new Colorado LLC filing is created online immediately.