Colorado LLC formation requirements

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You’ll need to complete 5 simple steps to form your Colorado LLC, and 2 things to keep it in good standing.

The 5 steps to form a Colorado LLC are:

  1. Choose Your LLC Name
  2. Select Your Registered Agent
  3. File Your Articles of Organization
  4. Create and Sign Your Operating Agreement
  5. Get your Federal Tax ID Number from the IRS

To keep your Colorado LLC in good standing with the state, you’ll need to annually:

  1. Submit your LLC’s Periodic Report
  2. File any Colorado State Taxes

Important: You can only submit the Articles of Organization and Periodic Report online. The Colorado Secretary of State will not accept these forms by mail.

If you have questions on forming a Colorado LLC, you can contact the CO Secretary of State’s Department of Business Organizations:

Phone: 303-894-2200 (Hours: M-F, 8:00am – 5:00pm MT)

Step 1: Choose your LLC Name

Search the Colorado Online Database to check your desired LLC name against other existing businesses in the state:

Colorado Secretary of State: Business Database Search

You can watch our free video lesson on how to research your Colorado LLC name correctly.

Once you find an available name for your LLC, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Select Your Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal documents for your Colorado LLC.

A Registered Agent must have a street address located in Colorado.

If you have a street address in Colorado, you have 2 options:

  • you can be your LLC’s Registered Agent
  • your LLC can serve as its own Registered Agent

If you don’t have a street address in Colorado, a friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.  They must have a street address in Colorado.

If you don’t have friends or family located in Colorado, then you’ll need to hire a Commercial Registered Agent.

If that’s the case, we recommend Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).

Northwest has been the business for over 20 years and excellent customer service.

For tips on choosing the right Registered Agent for your LLC, you can watch this video.

Step 3: File Your Articles of Organization

You’ll need to file your Articles of Organization with the CO Secretary of State. (This is the legal document which officially forms your LLC.)

Filing is done online here:

Colorado Secretary of State: File a Form

You’ll have to pay a one-time filing fee of $50 with a VISA, Mastercard or American Express card. Colorado does not accept Discover.

If your LLC has 2 or more members, you must download the Additional Members Form. Then, you will fill it out and submit it online with your Articles of Organization.

You can watch our free video lesson on how to file your Articles of Organization correctly.

Step 4: Create and Sign Your Operating Agreement

Your Operating Agreement is what governs how you and any additional members will run the LLC. This includes how much of the LLC each member owns, how you will pay taxes, and how you will share profits/losses.

You will not need to submit your Operating Agreement to the State.

You can complete your own Operating Agreement by downloading our free template and filling in the blanks.

Download our free LLC Operating Agreement template:

Free LLC Operating Agreement (PDF)
Free LLC Operating Agreement (Google Docs)
Free LLC Operating Agreement (Microsoft Word)

Check out our step-by-step video on how to fill out your LLC’s Operating Agreement.

Step 5: Get your Federal Tax ID Number

A Federal Tax ID Number is issued by the IRS to identify your Colorado LLC.  This is also known as an Employer Identification Number (or EIN).

You should only get your Federal Tax ID Number AFTER approval of your Colorado LLC.

The fastest way to get a Federal Tax ID Number is online. You can access the application on the IRS website here:

IRS: Apply for an EIN Online

You’ll need the SSN (Social Security Number) of one of your LLC’s members for the online application.

For non-US residents, an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) is required instead.

If you don’t have an ITIN yet, you can visit the IRS Website for more information on how to get one.

For further questions, you can also contact the IRS here:

Phone: 800-829-4933
Other IRS Phone Numbers: IRS Online Tools and Resources

For a step-by-step walkthrough on how to correctly fill out the IRS’s questionnaire you can watch our free video here.

File Your LLC’s Periodic Report

Submitting your LLC’s Periodic Report annually is a legal rule in the State of Colorado.

You have a 5-month window to submit your LLC’s Periodic Report:

  • The 2 months before your Periodic Report Month
  • The Periodic Report Month itself
  • The 2 months after the Periodic Report Month

Note: your Periodic Month is the month your LLC was approved.

The annual filing fee is $10 and must be paid with a debit or credit card.

You can submit your Periodic Report here:

Colorado Secretary of State: Record Identification or ID Search

If you need help filing your Periodic Report correctly, you can watch our video tutorial.

If your Periodic Report is late, the state will charge a $50 late fee.  If you continue to ignore this legal rule, the state will eventually shut down your LLC.

File Colorado State Taxes

You’ll need to pay taxes at the federal, state, and local level.

Federal: Since your Colorado LLC does not pay taxes on its own to the IRS, its profits and losses will “flow through” to your personal tax return. They’ll be listed on a Schedule C inside your Form 1040.

State: At the state level, a Colorado LLC pays its taxes at the Personal Net Income Rate of 4.6%.

The deadline for filing the Colorado Individual Income Tax Form 104 is April 15th each year.

The instructions as well as Colorado Form 104 can be found here:

Colorado Department of Revenue: Individual Income Tax Forms & Instructions

Local: At the county level, you’ll need to speak with a professional in your area.  Colorado has 64 counties, and we’re not going to go in depth here since we don’t know your particular situation.

Also, calculating your tax obligations on your own can be pretty tough. If done incorrectly, it will negatively affect your Colorado LLC.

For this reason, we highly recommend you consult a qualified CPA/accountant to do your Colorado LLC’s taxes for you.

For tips on finding a good tax professional, check out this video.

Here are some additional tax resources:

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz has been the leading expert on LLC education for the past decade. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC that other companies weren't offering. He's cited by Entrepreneur Magazine, Yahoo Finance, and the US Chamber of Commerce, and was featured by CNBC and InventRight.
Matt holds a Bachelor's Degree in business from Drexel University with a concentration in business law. He performs extensive research and analysis to convert state laws into simple instructions anyone can follow to form their LLC - all for free! Read more about Matt Horwitz and LLC University.

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