Each state has different requirements for forming a limited liability company (LLC). Whether you are starting a business or incorporating a business already in existence, you'll want to understand the Colorado LLC formation requirements.
How to start an LLC in Colorado
Starting a new business comes with a variety of challenges. The following highlights some of the critical steps needed to keep your business compliant if you decide to form a Colorado LLC. For more information on forming an LLC, view our webinar “What You Need to Know When Deciding Whether to Register Your Small Business.”
Decide on a name for your LLC
Naming your business is an important step that needs to be considered carefully. There are many business and compliance requirements to weigh when making the final decision on your LLC’s name.
Generally, your name cannot be the same as the name of another entity on file with the Colorado Secretary of State, and it can’t be misleading. Colorado also maintains an FAQ on business names that you can refer to when deciding the name of your LLC.
Determine management structure
One of the reasons you may have selected an LLC as your business type is the management structure. LLCs can have one of two management structures: member-managed, or manager-managed. The difference between the two comes down to the relationship between management and ownership:
If an LLC is member-managed, then all members are active in the decision-making processes.
If an LLC is manager-managed, then one or more managers are designated to make the decisions on its behalf. A manager may be a member or a non-member.
When starting your LLC, it is critical to understand how you plan to manage your business. Read our article LLC members vs. LLC managers for more information on LLC management structure.
Select your registered agent
A registered agent (also often referred to as agent for service of process) is a person or business you appoint to receive and forward to you important legal and tax information. Colorado requires LLCs to appoint and maintain a registered agent in the state. BizFilings includes this service in all incorporation packages.
Prepare and file with Colorado
Creating your LLC in Colorado requires you to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. Colorado does not allow for paper filing of your Articles of Organization. The Colorado Secretary of State will only accept Articles of Organization that are filed electronically. When submitting them, the documents must be typewriter/printer generated. Any handwritten documents will not be accepted.
Colorado does not require you to submit an Operating Agreement to form your LLC. However, it is important for every LLC to have an Operating Agreement, establishing the rules and structure of the business. The Operating Agreement is a private agreement and is not filed with the state. Read our article on LLC operating agreements for more information.
Obtain a federal employer identification number
A Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN or Tax ID) is an IRS identification number used for businesses. The most common comparison is to an individual’s Social Security Number. The EIN must be obtained by LLCs to be used when filing taxes. However, it is also often used for other important business activities, such as opening a business bank account, obtaining a loan, or paying invoices. Check out our article on Federal EIN for more information.
Meet your license and permit requirements
Your LLC may be required to obtain licenses and permits before it can legally operate in Colorado. There are many factors that go into determining which licenses and permits at the federal, state, and local levels are required for your business. For example, if you plan to hire employees, you may need a payroll tax registration and depending on where they are based that could have implications as well. Read our article “Understanding business licenses” for more information.
At BizFilings, we clearly outline our fees and the Colorado state fees. When you view our pricing to form an LLC you plainly see:
- BizFilings’ package prices. BizFilings offers three incorporation service packages from which you can choose.
- State fee for standard turn-around. Our pricing clearly shows the state fee to form an LLC in Colorado with standard turn-around.
- Expedited turn-around. You will see the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for expedited turn-around.
- 24-hour turn-around. Colorado has a 24-hour filing option, which is outlined in our pricing.
- Certified copy. Our pricing also clearly displays the BizFilings and state fee, if any, for issuing a Certified Copy of the Articles of Organization.