If you are thinking about starting your own business in Colorado, registering a limited liability company (LLC) is an option for organizing your business. For a small business owner in Colorado, an LLC combines the corporate protections of limited liability with the tax benefits and relaxed formalities of a partnership. The Colorado secretary of state regulates the creation of business associations, including LLCs, in Colorado. Registering an LLC in Colorado requires submitting a form, called an articles of organization, with the Colorado secretary of state.
Create a name for your business. Colorado law requires you to name your new Colorado LLC. Under Colorado law, the name of your new Colorado LLC must not be identical to or easily confused with the name of an existing Colorado corporation. The Colorado secretary of state website maintains a searchable database of existing Colorado corporations, making the process of selecting a unique name for your LLC easier. Additionally, Colorado law specifies that the name of your Colorado LLC must contain one of the following phrases or abbreviations: "limited liability company," "ltd. liability company," "limited liability co.," "ltd. liability co.," "limited," "l.l.c.," "LLC" or "ltd."
Read More: Is It Mandatory for LLC to Have a Registered Agent?
Choose a registered agent. Colorado law requires a person registering an LLC to designate a registered agent. If your LLC is ever the target of a lawsuit, a registered agent is a party (either a person or a business) who will receive service of process of the lawsuit. If you are a Colorado resident, you may designate yourself as the registered agent. Since your LLC registration is a public record, designating yourself as the registered agent publicly links your name and home address with your LLC. If you would prefer to keep your home contact information and business separate, you may hire a registered agent service to act as your registered agent.
Navigate to the Colorado secretary of state website. From the main page, click on “File a business document,” then select “Form a new limited liability company.” The only permissible method for filing an articles of organization with the Colorado secretary of state is via its website.
File your articles of organization online with the Colorado secretary of state. The secretary of state website will prompt you for the name of your LLC. You must also enter the street and mailing address of your business’s principal office, the name and street address of your registered agent, and the name and address of the true person forming the LLC. You must also indicate whether the management of the LLC is vested in its members (owners) or managers. Management is vested with the members of an LLC when day-to-day business decisions are made by the LLC's owners, while management is vested with managers if the LLC's owners hire other individuals (management) to make day-to-day business decisions. After completing the articles of organization, you must pay a $50 fee (as of 2010) via credit card to the Colorado secretary of state.
While you can register your Colorado LLC online, you may want to consult with an attorney about the tax implications of registering an LLC.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images