Colorado LLC – How to Form an LLC in Colorado

Form an LLC in Colorado in just a few steps. Learn how to get an LLC name, registered agent, Articles of Organization, operating agreement, and EIN.

This guide on starting an LLC in Colorado provides step-by-step instructions on how you can file for formation documents, obtain tax IDs and set up company records.

Forming an LLC in Colorado – Overview

Colorado LLC– To form a Colorado LLC, you’ll need to file the Articles of Organization online with the Colorado Secretary of State, which costs $50. The Articles of Organization is the document that officially creates your Colorado limited liability company.

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LLCs are the most commonly used business structure. They are cost-effective, flexible, and easy to run. Your LLC legally creates your business, limits personal liability, gives you tax flexibility, and establishes your personal liability. The steps that follow will assist you in this process.

Colorado Business Resources

Step-by-Step Colorado LLC Guide

  1. Verify Name Availability

    Your LLC’s legal title may not conflict or be used in conjunction with another registered name. A name search can help you find out if your name is available.

    Name Search Colorado Secretary to State

    Name Search

    Name Reservation Optional
    Suffix: “(c). The entity title of a limited-liability company must include the term or abbreviation: “limited liabilities company”,” “ltd.. liability company”,,” “limited,” “limited,” “ltd.. liability co.”,” “limited”,,” “limited,” “l.l.c.” “, “llc”, “ltd .”.”

    CRS SS7-90-601

  2. Appoint a Colorado Registered Agent

    Before you can officially file to set up your Colorado LLC LLC, you’ll need to identify your Colorado registered representative. A registered agent can be described as a company’s legal representative to receive legal notices, such as government or legal notices, and is also the appointee of a lawsuit.

    The state law requires that every LLC has a registered representative. The registered agent will be designated when you file Colorado Articles of Organization with the Colorado Secretary Of State.

    This requirement can be fulfilled by our trusted registered agent service. You get:

    • Get same-day documents at our Boulder office
    • Access to state forms online immediately. Please include our address and, if necessary, our signature
    • Annual fees start at $89 and go up to $99 in each state. There are no additional fees

     

  3. Colorado Certificate of Formation

    Fill out the articles of incorporation to establish your limited liability company.

    Agency: Colorado Secretary to State
    Form:
    Articles of Organization
    Instructions:
    Instructions – Articles for a Domestic Limited Liability Company
    Filing Method  
    Agency Fee $50
    Turnaround: Instantaneously
    Law:
    Colorado Revised Statutes – SS7-80-01 et.s. Colorado Limited Liability Company Act
    Notes:
    • Secure Business Filing will be added to your file immediately after it is formed. Click “Setup secure business filing” at the transaction confirmation.
    • Even though articles of incorporation are filed electronically, you should still save a copy for your company records, and to use during business hours (e.g. You can set up a business account.
  4. Establish Limited Liability Company Records

    Your LLC must keep accurate records and books. Your LLC’s original articles of organization will be the first document you keep. Your LLC will create many other official documents such as:

    • Minutes of the meeting
    • Operating Agreement
    • EIN verification letter
    • Modifications and other filings made during the LLC’s lifetime
  5. Create a Colorado Operating Agreement

    It is possible to use a template to draft an Operating Agreement. This document will serve as the governing document. It specifies the legalities of the LLC’s operation, such as holding an annual gathering. You will read and then adopt the agreement during your organizational meeting.

  6. Hold the Organizational Meeting

    The first meeting between members of the LLC is called the organizational meeting. You’ll need your operating agreements and filed articles to hold this meeting. Keep the minutes of this meeting.

  7. Get a federal employer identification number (EIN)

    EIN is required if the LLC will have more than one owner or hire employees. EINs can also be required to open a bank or other financial account.

    Agency: Internal Revenue Service
    Form:
    IRS form SS-4
    Filing Method Mail, phone and fax. online.
    IRS fee $0
    Turnaround: Get your order immediately online or by phone. By fax, it takes 4 business working days. 4-5 weeks by postal mail
    Notes: The IRS website cannot be accessed outside of certain hours. Print your EIN prior to closing your session. IRS Pub1635: Understanding Your EIN provides additional guidance.
  8. Get Colorado State Tax Identification Numbers/Accounts

    Colorado offers two options for filing a tax registration online: one can be consolidated and the other is by mail.

    To apply to open a sales or wage tax account

    Send an email to:
    Colorado Department of Revenue

    http://www.colorado.gov/revenue

    Form:

    Form CR-0100: Colorado Sales Tax Withholding Account Application
    Filing Method
    Mail, in-person, or online
    Fee:
    $50 deposit if retail sales tax license needed.
    Turnaround:
    ~2-3 weeks online. 4-6 weeks post-paid Directly in-person

    If your LLC employs people and withholds earnings, then you will need to apply for a tax account number and rate for unemployment insurance.

    Submit to
    Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

    http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDLE-UnempBenefits/CDLE/1240336898069

    Form:

    UITL100: Application to Unemployment Insurance Account and Determination if Employer Liability
    Filing Method
    Mail or online
    Fee:
    $0
    Notes:
    This application can only be used for unemployment benefits purposes.
  9. Consider Electing C-Corp and C-Corp Taxation

    Your LLC will be subject to passthrough taxation by default. The majority of LLCs do not change this tax classification. Some LLCs are eligible to elect S-Corporation and C-Corp tax treatment.

    • S-Corp can help owners-employees making more than $75,000 a year save on self-employment income taxes.
    • C-Corps face double taxation. First, the corporation pays income taxes and then members pay distribution taxes. C-Corps offer lower tax rates on retained earnings, if the profits exceed $250,000, then you can provide employee benefits or re-invest the majority of your profit back into the business.
  10. Get Business Permits & Licenses

    It is necessary to obtain the required licenses and permits in order to operate your business legally. The Small Business Administration Business License & Permit lookup tool makes it easy to navigate a large number of state, federal, and local requirements.

    Colorado Business License

    NOT REQUIRED

    Colorado does NOT require licensure as a general business license.

    Colorado doesn’t have a general business license at the state or local level.

  11. To Maintain Your LLC, You Need to Continue Ongoing Filings

    You must file your federal and state taxes returns.

    For good standing with the secretary, many states also require business entities that file an annual statement. View the table below to see if Colorado LLCs must file an annual return.

    Colorado Corporation Annual Report Requirements:

    Agency: Colorado Secretary to State
    Form: It must be filed electronically. Refer to for a sample period report.
    Instructions:
    Instructions in completing a Periodic Report
    Filing Method  
    Agency Fee $10
    Due: Annually by end of the first month. If the Periodic Report has not been filed in due time, the entity will be allowed to file a late Periodic Report for two more months.
    Law:
    C.R.S. 7-90-501
    Original Ink Not required
    Notarize: Not required
    Penalties: $50 late fee
    Notes:
    • You must submit the form online and pay by credit/debit card.
    • Anyone may file if they have authority.
    • Reinstated reinstatement date is adjusted to an annual time period at the end month.

Colorado LLC – FAQs

What is the cost of starting an LLC in Colorado?

For Colorado LLCs, the initial filing fee is $50.

Are there annual fees for LLCs in Colorado?

Each year, a $10 Periodic Report (sometimes called an Annual Report) must be filed.

What is the time it takes to create an LLC in Colorado

After submitting the Articles of Organization, the LLC is approved immediately.

Are you a registered agent in Colorado?

Anybody can be a registered agent provided they are at minimum 18 years old and live in the state. They also must be available during normal business hours to receive documents.

What is the difference between an LLC and a sole proprietorship in Colorado?

You may be wondering what the differences are between a sole proprietorship or an LLC when you’re looking to start a Colorado business.

The LLC is an independent legal structure that protects the business owner’s assets, unlike a partnership or sole proprietorship.

The Limited Liability Company offers liability protection in addition to many other benefits over sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations. This is due to the numerous tax options, ease of administration, and management flexibility.

Do I need a business license if I own an LLC?

Sometimes it is believed that an LLC and a business license are one and the same. However, they are not. The business entity is also known as an LLC. It is the way the business is organized to do business. A business license allows you to operate legally.

What is a Foreign Limited Liability Company (FLLC)?

A Colorado foreign limited liability company, also known as a foreign entity authority, can be an LLC that was established in another state and wants to operate in Colorado. Being physically operational means that you have a physical presence, such as an office or employee.

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