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One of the first steps in forming your Colorado LLC is to make sure your desired name is available for use. You’ll compare your desired LLC name against the names of existing businesses registered in the state.
Below is a simple, step-by-step guide on using the Colorado Business Entity Search.
You can access it here: http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/BusinessEntityCriteriaExt.do
(Tip: If you prefer the “movie” instead of the “book”, then watch this step-by-step video.)
First, type in your desired LLC name in the search box (don’t put in the letters “LLC” or “L.L.C.” at the end of the name).
You also don’t need to worry about capitalization. You can type your LLC name in uppercase or lowercase letters.
For example purposes, we’ll show you an LLC name that is available for use and one that is not.
For this first example, let’s look at a name that’s not available for use. Let’s type in “The Barber Shop” into the search box and then click “Search”.
As you can see below, our search returned 40 matching records. Some of them are identical or have names that are very similar to our desired LLC name.
In this case, “The Barber Shop, LLC” is not available.
Next, let’s look at an example of a business name that is available for use.
In this case, we’ll type in “ABC Lumber” and look at the search results.
As you can see below, the database search did not find any results. If this happens, you’ll see a message that says “No results found for the specified name”.
What this message means is that your desired LLC name is available for use. In our example, “ABC Lumber, LLC” is available for use.
We recommend when searching the database is to do a broad search first. Then, go back and do a more specific search the 2nd time.
So for this example, let’s say our desired LLC name is “Tappan Builders, LLC”. Let’s type “Tappan” into the search box and look at the results.
As you can see below, the search returned 12 matching records and there is no “Tappan Builders”. That’s a good sign.
Just to double-check, let’s do this search again, but this time let’s be more specific. Let’s search “Tappan Builders”.
As you can see, the state database showed “No results found for the specified name”.
That means “Tappan Builders LLC” is available for use.
In summary, when searching the Colorado Business Database, first do a broad search using just the 1st word. Then, do your search again making it more specific with 2 or more words.
This way you will see all the potential variations of your LLC name. This helps ensure your LLC name is unique and available for use.
If you need help searching the Colorado Database, watch this video.
Once you find an LLC name that is unique and distinguishable from the existing businesses in Colorado, you are then ready to file your Articles of Organization.