How to Start an LLC in Colorado by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

How to Start an LLC in Colorado

Decided an LLC is for you, but unsure how to get started? Find out how to form an LLC in Colorado, including tips on which forms you’ll need, how long the process takes, information about fees and taxes, and more.

by Michael H. Cohen, Esq.
updated August 11, 2017 · 5 min read

LLCs in Colorado are affordable and easy to form. As with other states, the State of Colorado has some unique LLC requirements.

Interested parties must register with the Colorado Secretary of State by filing the necessary forms, paying the necessary fees and meeting all naming and formation requirements.

The specifications required of a Colorado LLC are:

Registration. LLCs are required to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. The documents may be submitted online. The Articles of Organization must include the following information:

  • LLC’s name and principal office address

  • Registered agent’s name and address

  • Effective date, if other than the date filed

  • Management type, i.e. member-managed or manager-managed

  • Organizer’s name, address and dated signature

All forms must be submitted with the necessary filing fee.

Forms and fees. LLC registrants are required to complete and submit Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State. There is a filing fee that must be paid upon submission of the documents. There is an expediting fee for paper-filed documents. There is no expediting fee for documents filed online.

Timeline. Documents submitted online are processed in real time immediately after they are submitted and may take between seven to 10 business days to be approved or rejected. Should you opt for expedited services, processing time is within three business days.

Naming requirements. LLC naming requirements can be confusing. However, the easiest way to make sure that your LLC name will be approved is to make sure that it is distinguishable from other LLCs and includes specific words required of LLCs. You may opt to have a preferred name checked for availability before filing your LLC formation documents with the Secretary of State.

Formation requirements. To form an LLC, a registrant must first file their Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. All submissions must be accompanied by the required filing fee.

An LLC with more than one member is also strongly advised to have a limited liability operating agreement among its members.

Please take note that LLCs offering a specific professional service are obligated to contact the necessary licensing boards as mandated by state law.

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Starting an LLC in Colorado

Before you begin the LLC registration process for an LLC in Colorado, it’s important to know what an LLC is and whether or not it is a viable business structure for your company, so be certain to read up on the definition and benefits of an LLC .

Here are some tips to help you put together what you need to begin the registration process with the Secretary of State:

1. Decide on a name for your business. You can choose any name as long as it ends with “Limited Liability Company,” “Limited,” “Ltd. Liability Company,” “Limited Liability Co.,” “Ltd. Liability Co.” or any variant of its abbreviations—e.g., L.L.C., LLC or Ltd. Co.

Names may be reserved for up to 120 days. A Statement of Reservation of Name may only be filed online with the Secretary of State and requires a small filing fee. Be sure to include in the application the name to be reserved and the applicant’s name, address and dated signature.

Prior to filing a name reservation application, you may have the preferred name checked for availability.

2. Assign an agent for service of process. This is also referred to as the resident agent.

3. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. If there are two or more members in your LLC, your company will need to obtain an EIN from the IRS, for tax purposes.

4. Create an operating agreement. Although LLCs in Colorado are not required to have a limited liability company operating agreement, it is wise to have one in place with other members should your LLC have more than one member. The State of Colorado recognizes limited liability company operating agreements as governing documents.  

5. Familiarize yourself with the LLC’s continuing legal obligations. These continuing legal obligations vary with each state.

Filing an LLC and Taxes

Following are the forms and fees that are required when starting an LLC in Colorado:

1. Forms. Those looking to form an LLC in Colorado will have to file their Articles of Organization, along with the required filing fee, with the Secretary of State. The Articles of Organization may only be filed online.

2. Limited liability company operating agreement. Although the LLC operating agreement is not filed with the Secretary of State, it is a good idea to have one in place for LLCs that have more than one member. This agreement should be kept on file by the registered agent.

4. Taxes. LLCs in Colorado are treated as corporations, limited liability partnerships or single-member LLCs and are subject to federal income tax classifications. Depending on the type of taxation you opt to have for your LLC, you will have different federal tax responsibilities . Colorado state tax responsibilities are as follows:

a) An LLC treated as a limited liability partnership. Per state law, an LLC treated as a partnership is required to file Partnership Return of Income (Colorado State Form 106) with the Colorado Department of Revenue.

b) An LLC treated as a C corporation for federal tax purposes. Per state law, an LLC treated as a C corporation is required to file C-Corporation Income Tax Return (Colorado State Form 112) with the Colorado Department of Revenue.

c) An LLC treated as an S corporation. Per state law, an LLC treated as a partnership is required to file S-Corporation Return of Income (Colorado State Form 106) with the Colorado Department of Revenue.

d) An LLC treated as a sole proprietorship. Per state law, an LLC treated as a disregarded entity is required to file a personal income tax return with the Colorado Department of Revenue.

You should always make sure to acquaint yourself with the state laws regarding taxation. Your LLC may be subject to other taxes depending on the kind of services your LLC may offer.

LegalZoom provides LLC formation and filing services, including providing a registered agent in Colorado.

Ready to start your LLC? START AN LLC ONLINE NOW
Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

About the Author

Michael H. Cohen, Esq.

Healthcare and FDA lawyer Michael H. Cohen is Founder & President of the Michael H. Cohen Law Group. The Michael H. Cohe… Read more