How To Incorporate In Colorado

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1. Choose a Name for Your Colorado Corporation

Check on Available Names in Colorado:  If you want to incorporate your small business in the state of Colorado, you must first decide on a name for your corporation. The name that you choose cannot be in use by another corporation. To determine if the name that you have chosen is unique, you should search the Internet and other corporate and legal records and databases. You can check the Colorado state corporation database online at Colorado Corporation.

Reserve a Corporate Name: Once you have chosen a name for your corporation and determined that the name that you have chosen is not in use by another corporation, you will be able to reserve that name by submitting an application to Colorado Secretary of State. You can the find the application online at Reserve a Colorado Corporation Name under “Statement of Reservation of Name.” When you reserve a corporate name, the name will be reserved for a period of 120 days. The fee is $25.00.

Filing Trademarks and Doing a Corporate Name Search: You should be aware that although the name that you have chosen and reserved for your corporation may be available for use in Colorado, it could be that another company outside of Colorado is using the same name. You might encounter some restrictions on the name that you have chosen to use to incorporate your small business in Colorado.  See the article on how to choose a name for your corporation.

Colorado Corporate Name Requirements: The name that you choose for your Colorado corporation must include the word “corporation,” “incorporated,” “company,” “limited,” “association,” or an abbreviation of one of these words. You can learn more about the corporate naming policy in Colorado online at Colorado Corporation Name Requirements.

2. Find a Registered Agent in Colorado 

After choosing a name for your Colorado corporation, you will need to choose a registered agent to act as an agent for service of process. Registered agents are responsible for receiving legal and tax documents for corporations.  There are companies that provide registered agent services for a fee—you may consider using one of these companies as your registered agent. You can learn more about choosing a registered agent in Colorado online at Colorado Corporation Agent.


3. File Articles of Incorporation with the Colorado Secretary of State

Minimum Requirements: To incorporate your small business as a normal stock corporation, you need to file Articles of Incorporation with the Colorado Secretary of State. The Articles of Incorporation document is available to download online at How to Incorporate a Colorado Corporation. You can also begin the application online at Colorado Corporation Application. When you are filling out the Articles of Incorporation for your company, you will need to give the unique corporate name that you have chosen, the purpose of your corporation, the address of your place of business, the name and address of your registered agent, and the name and address of the incorporators. You will also be asked to provide information about the number and class of shares authorized by your corporation.

Other Colorado Legal Provisions: There may be other legal provisions that apply to your corporation besides the minimum requirements that make up the Articles of Incorporation document. By consulting an attorney when you are preparing the Articles of Incorporation document, you can learn about the additional legal provisions that you should include in your company’s Articles of Incorporation.

Where to Submit Form: You must file the completed Articles of Incorporation form online. You can access the online form at Colorado Articles of Incorporation.

Filing Fee: The filing fee in Colorado is $50.00.

4. Create Other Colorado Incorporation Documents (Corporate Kits)

After completing and submitting the Articles of Incorporation document online, the next step is for your corporation to take certain actions. These actions may include appointing officers and directors, adopting corporation bylaws, issuing stock certificates, and obtaining a tax ID number in preparation to pay taxes. Your corporation will also most likely need to obtain a business license.

You will probably want to consider creating other types of corporate documents such as buy-sell agreements, shareholders agreements to determine when stock can be sold, and documents that outline what will happen if an owner leaves the company. These documents can prove to be extremely useful especially if your corporation has multiple owners. If you consult an attorney as you are drafting these documents, you can be sure to follow all the legal requirements that apply to your corporation. There are also corporate service companies that can assist you in preparing many of these legal documents for a fee.

5. Qualify Your Colorado Corporation to Do Business in Other States

If the main office of your corporation is not located in Colorado, you need to find out if you are required to register or qualify your corporation to do business in other states. In most other states, it is required to possess a certain qualification. You will most likely need to pay taxes in your home state. If you would like to read more about how to qualify your corporation to do business in other states, go to Doing Business in other states.

6. Make Annual Filings and Pay Annual Fees and Taxes in Colorado

Domestic corporations that are registered in the state of Colorado are required to submit a periodic report. In this report you will be able to provide updated information about your corporation. The fee to file the periodic report is $10.00 if you file online. You can learn more about the periodic report and follow the instructions to file online at Colorado Corporation Tax.

Once registered, your corporation will be subject to Colorado state taxes.  The income tax rate for corporations in Colorado is 4.63%. Your corporation must file the appropriate tax documents and pay the annual required tax in Colorado. You can learn more about the tax requirements for corporations in Colorado and file taxes online at the official website of the Colorado Department of Revenue: Colorado Corporation Revenue Dept

When preparing tax documents for your corporation, it is best to consult an accountant. An accountant will help you to avoid costly mistakes on your tax documents.

There are many decisions to make when incorporating a small business, especially when there are multiple owners.  By consulting an attorney and an accountant when you are incorporating your small business in Colorado, you can feel confident that your paperwork will be processed correctly.

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This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or tax advise. The information on this site should not be relied upon as an official source of information and should be independently verified.


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