How to file Colorado Articles of Organization for an LLC

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Articles of OrganizationIf you googled how to form an LLC in Colorado, and are feeling confused, don’t worry! At LLC University®, we specialize in researching the LLC formation process and turning it into step-by-step instructions.

File Articles of Organization to form an LLC in Colorado

In this lesson, we will walk you through filing the Colorado LLC Articles of Organization form. This gets filed with the Colorado Secretary of State.

Your Articles of Organization is the legal document that officially forms your Colorado LLC. You can only file this document online (there is no mail filing).

The form asks for basic information like your business name, your LLC address, and your company’s Registered Agent information.

Colorado LLC Secretary of State Business Organizations
(Colorado Secretary of State, Business Organizations Building)

Need to save time? Hire a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

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Colorado LLC Articles of Organization filing fee

The filing fee for a Colorado Limited Liability Company is $50.

How much is an LLC in Colorado explains all the fees you’ll pay, including the Articles of Organization LLC filing fee.

Limited Liability Company approval times

If you file your LLC online, it will be approved immediately

You can file this yourself or you can hire a company to do it for you. Check out Best LLC Services in Colorado for our top suggestions.

Note: Filing times may take longer due to government delays. For the most up-to-date LLC processing times, check how long does it take to get an LLC in Colorado.

How to File a Colorado LLC Online

These instructions will walk you through filing Colorado Articles of Organization using the Colorado Secretary of State Online Filing System.

You don’t need to create an account to use the Colorado Secretary of State online filing system. Simply click the button at the bottom to start your filing.

Colorado Articles of Organization Instructions

Entity name – Step 1 of 11

Enter the LLC name you want to use.

Tips:

Make sure your business name follows Colorado naming guidelines. First, use our Colorado LLC Name Search lesson to check your business name’s availability.

You can use certain symbols in your name (Acceptable Characters).

Your LLC name must have an allowed designator at the end. Colorado lets you use these endings:

  • LLC (most common)
  • L.L.C.
  • Ltd.
  • Limited
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Company

You can use a comma in your LLC name before the designator, or you can leave it out. Both are okay. For example, you could use “Pines Winery LLC” or “Pines Winery, LLC”.

Click Next to continue.

Principal Office Address – Step 2 of 11

Street Address

Enter your Colorado LLC’s Principal Office street address.

This must be a physical address, not a PO Box. The address doesn’t have to be in Colorado, it can be in any state.

Mailing Address

Enter your Colorado LLC’s mailing address. This can be a PO Box or any other type of address. It can be in Colorado, or another state, or another country.

If your LLC’s mailing address and street address are the same, you can click the box to copy the information over.

Click Next to continue.

Tip: You may see a pop-up asking you to verify the address. The system compares the address you entered to USPS records and may offer you a slightly different address (changing “Road” to “Rd”, for example). Check whether the suggested address is still correct, then click the button for the address you want to use.

Registered agent – Step 3 of 11

Registered Agent’s Name

Before entering the name of your Colorado Registered Agent, select whether your Registered Agent is an Individual or an Entity.

If you will be your own Registered Agent in Colorado, or the Registered Agent is a business partner, friend or family member, click “Individual”.

If you hired a Registered Agent Service in Colorado, or your LLC will be its own Registered Agent, click “Entity”.

If your LLC will be its own Registered Agent, make sure to check the box stating “The LLC will be its own Registered Agent”.

Enter the Name of your Colorado Registered Agent.

Agent’s Address

Next, enter the Registered Agent’s Street Address and Mailing Address.

The Street Address must be in Colorado, and cannot be a PO Box. The mailing address can be a PO Box, but still must be in Colorado.

Consent

Click “Yes” to confirm that the person or company you entered above has agreed to be the Registered Agent for your Colorado LLC.

Click Next to continue.

Management & members – Step 4 of 11

Who manages the LLC?

Select “Members” if your LLC is Member-managed. Or select “Managers” if your LLC is Manager-managed.

Both types of management structure are allowed in Colorado.

There is at least 1 Member of the LLC:

Click “Yes”. Every Colorado LLC must have at least one Member.

In Colorado, you’re allowed to have a Single-Member LLC with just one Member, or a Multi-Member LLC with more than one Member. Colorado law doesn’t require you to list the names of all Members, just that you confirm the LLC has at least 1 Member.

Click Next to continue.

Formation – Step 5 of 11

This page is asking about the LLC Organizer (aka the person who is filing the Articles of Organization).

You don’t list all the LLC Members here, just the person who is filing this form.

Name

First, select what type of person is filing the Articles of Organization. Since most people are filing their own LLC, they click “Individual”.

Then, enter the first and last name of the person filing the Articles of Organization.

Address

Enter the Organizer’s address. This address doesn’t have to be in Colorado. It can be in any state or country.

Click Next to continue.

Persons forming the LLC review – Step 5 of 11

Confirm the Organizer’s information is correct. You can add additional Organizers (but you only have to list 1), or make changes to the Organizer you entered on the last screen.

Click Next to continue.

Additional information (optional) – Step 6 of 11

You can add additional provisions to your Articles of Organization here. This is uncommon, and usually only done if your business attorney specifically told you to do so.

If you don’t have any additional information, leave the box empty, click “No”, and then Next to continue.

Delayed effective date – Step 7 of 11

Do you want this LLC to take effect immediately?

The LLC Effective Date is the date your LLC goes into existence. Think of it like the day your LLC is “born”.

Most people select “Yes”, and their LLC will go into existence as soon as it’s approved by the Secretary of State.

However, you can delay the effective date of your LLC for up to 90 days if you want. In that case, click “No” and select the new effective date on the calendar.

Matt Horwitz, founder of LLC University®
Pro tip: If you’re forming your Colorado LLC later in the year (October, November, December) and you don’t need your LLC open right away, you can give your LLC an effective date of January 1st of the following year. This can save you the hassle of filing taxes for those few months with no business activity.

Click Next to continue.

Filer information – Step 8 of 11

Click the box to confirm you’ve entered accurate, truthful information.

Then the system asks you to identify the person filing Articles of Organization. For most people, who are forming their own LLC and entered themselves in the Organizer section (Step 4), click the box for “Same as a person forming the LLC”.

If you are filling out the online form on behalf of the Organizer (maybe you’re an employee or friend helping them), you should enter your Name and Address here instead. This is less common, since most people are filing their own LLCs.

Click Next to continue.

Notifications – Step 9 of 11

This page asks you about receiving notifications from the Colorado Secretary of State. For example, they will send a reminder notice about the Colorado LLC Periodic Report.

You can sign up for notifications via email, or text messages, or both. Click the appropriate buttons to opt-in, and enter the email address and phone number you want to use.

Don’t worry: information you enter here (like your email address or phone number) doesn’t go on public record.

Click Next to continue.

Filing Review – Step 10 of 11

This screen shows you all the information you’ve entered so far. Check for typos or errors and edit any sections, if necessary.

Click Next to continue.

Payment – Step 11 of 11

The fee for a Colorado LLC $50. Click the button to pay by Credit or debit card.

A secure payment process will open in the same window. Enter your payment details and submit your payment to the state.

Congratulations! Your Colorado LLC Articles of Organization form has been submitted for processing.

LLC approval time (online filing)

When you file online, your LLC is approved immediately.

At the end of the filing process, you’ll see a Confirmation screen that everything was processed successfully. From this page, you can download (and print) the approved Articles of Organization. You can even download a free Certificate of Good Standing too.

There is an option to forward your filing receipt to an email, but you won’t get the Articles of Organization or other approval documents emailed to you. So make sure to download them from the confirmation screen.

We recommend making a few copies of your Colorado LLC Articles of Organization and keeping them with your business records and other legal documents.

Tip: If you forgot to download them or misplaced the copies, it’s easy (and free!) to download them again via the Colorado Secretary of State: Business Entity Search page. We have step-by-step instructions in the FAQs below.

Colorado Secretary of State Contact Info

If you have any questions, you can contact the Business Organizations Division of the Colorado Secretary of State — Business Organizations Division.

Their phone number is 303-894-2200. And they’re open Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm Mountain Time.

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Need to save time?

We recommend hiring a company to form your LLC:
Northwest ($39 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee)

Colorado LLC FAQs

How much does it cost to register an LLC in Colorado?

It costs $50 to register an LLC in Colorado.

The filing fee for the Colorado LLC Articles of Organization is a one-time fee paid to the Colorado Secretary of State.

How much does an LLC cost per year in Colorado?

An LLC costs $10 per year in Colorado. This is the fee for the annual Periodic Report.

This fee is paid to the Colorado Secretary of State. Filing the Periodic Report keeps your LLC in good standing.

What are the Articles of Organization for an LLC in Colorado?

The Colorado Articles of Organization is a form that tells the Secretary of State important information about your LLC. Once the Secretary of State approves your Articles of Organization, your LLC officially exists.

The Articles of Organization form asks for your LLC name, business address, Registered Agent, and other information.

How do I get a copy of my Colorado Articles of Organization?

If you’re looking for a copy of an Articles of Organization that you already filed for your LLC, you can get one for free online.

Here’s how to do that:

If you just want a PDF copy of the Articles of Organization, click the link titled “Filing History and Documents”. On the next screen, click the Document Number link for the Articles of Organization and download the PDF.

If you need a Certified Copy (with the Secretary of State’s Seal on it), click the link for “Get Certified Copies of Documents”. On the next screen, click the Document Number link for the Articles of Organization and download the PDF with Certification.

You can use a stamped, approved Articles of Organization to open a business bank account. Most banks don’t require a Certified Copy.

Do you have to put LLC in your business name in Colorado?

Yes, you have to put “LLC” (or another allowable ending) in your business name if you are forming an LLC. Colorado allows the following endings:

  • LLC
  • L.L.C.
  • Ltd.
  • Limited
  • Ltd. Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Limited Liability Co.
  • Limited Liability Company

Tip: Most people choose “LLC”.

Your complete LLC name gets listed in your Colorado Articles of Organization.

How long does it take to get an LLC approved in Colorado?

When you form a Colorado LLC online, it will be approved immediately.

Does Colorado have Expedited LLC Filings?

No, the Colorado Secretary of State doesn’t offer expedited filings. And they aren’t needed in Colorado.

The reason is that all Limited Liability Companies in Colorado are filed online, and they are approved immediately. So you don’t need to pay extra for expedited filing.


Does my LLC need a Colorado business license?

It depends on what your business does.

Colorado doesn’t have a state-wide general business license requirement.

However, the state requires certain types of businesses to have a license. You should also check with your city or county about any local Colorado business license requirements for your LLC.

And you may need to register with the Colorado Department of Revenue in order to collect sales tax or register for other taxes.

Can I use the instructions above for filing a Foreign LLC?

No, the instructions on this page are specifically for filing a Domestic LLC in Colorado.

If you want to register a Foreign LLC, you can find the forms and fees in Foreign LLC Fees by State.

How do I form an LLC in Colorado?

Here are the steps to forming an LLC in Colorado:

  1. Select a business name for your Colorado LLC
  2. Choose your Registered Agent
  3. File the LLC Articles of Organization with the state
  4. Complete and sign an LLC Operating Agreement
  5. Get an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  6. Open business bank accounts to protect your personal assets
  7. Check whether you need a business license, local business permit, or sales tax license in Colorado

Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz
Matt Horwitz is the leading expert on LLC education, and has been teaching for 15 years. He founded LLC University in 2010 after realizing people needed simple and actionable instructions to start an LLC. 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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42 comments on “Colorado Filing Forms”

Disclaimer: Nothing on this page shall be interpreted as legal or tax advice. Rules and regulations vary by location. They also change over time and are specific to your situation. Furthermore, this comment section is provided so people can share their thoughts and experience. Please consult a licensed professional if you have legal or tax questions.

  1. Hi, I am in the middle of filling out the Article of Organization. Can you please tell me if at the part of the person forming the limited liability company I will add my name, as address can I still use Northwest’s address or do I need to use mine? And also, what name and address should I use at the true name and mailing address of the individual causing the document to be delivered for filing? Thank you!

    • Hi Bianca, if you hired Northwest Registered Agent, they will let you to use their address anywhere in the Articles of Organization. Northwest’s name should only be in the Registered Agent section. All other places would have your name.

  2. I registered my LLC with the state and listed myself as the sole member. How do I remove myself and make my husband the sole member?

    • Hi Debbie, Members are actually not listed in the Colorado LLC Articles of Organization. You are likely talking about signing as the LLC Organizer.

      Changing ownership in the LLC is a bit complex. It may be easier to dissolve this LLC and have your husband form his own Colorado LLC.

      To transfer ownership, you’d first sign an Assignment of LLC Membership Interest (we don’t provide this form at this time). This form will transfer your 100% ownership interest. Then the Colorado LLC Operating Agreement should be amended. You may also need to update the Colorado Department of Revenue. You’ll need to visit the bank to add him and remove yourself. Then he should change the EIN Responsible Party for the LLC with the IRS. Hope that helps.

  3. Okay so that’s why I’m not seeing my LLC name once I search it ? Because of the day I did it which was the other day December Thursday 31st. All I did was complete the payment screen and it glitched I’m just hoping tomorrow or Tuesday when I check I get a better update on it THANKS!

    • Yes, exactly. The online search was only up to date as of 12/31. I have a feeling it’ll be there Monday or Tuesday after the database is updated. Keep me posted :)

  4. I did the stuff to get my LLC and once I got to the payment screen I paid it and the system glitched! I know it was something after that page I’m supposed to receive can someone help! And my bank shows the payment went through! I also search the name I used and it’s still saying available

    • Hi Shiheam, it most likely went through. The Colorado Secretary of State: Business Database Search will not update with today’s filing until this coming week (Monday or Tuesday). Please do a search for your name on Monday or Tuesday. When you click that link this coming week, it’ll say “Business paper documents processed through:” and show a date at the top. Once you can search your name, do so, then click on the name in the search results. Then click “Filing history and documents”. You’ll then be able to download your LLC approval (the Articles of Organization document). Hope that helps. Feel free to reply back here to let us know how you made out.

  5. I have formed an LLC for my rental property for asset protection. At what point is my rental property address associated with my LLC? LegalZoom told me to use my primary home address for all addresses (I’m also my own Registered Agent). Just curious to know when the LLC actually links to my rental property or if it even needs to on any paperwork.

    • Hi Meghan, the LLC needs to be the owner of the property. If you own the property currently, you’ll want to speak to a real estate attorney and/or title company regarding the transfer of the property from your name to the LLC. After the LLC owns the property, the utilities will need to moved into the name of your LLC as well as the LLC holding the insurance policy. Do you have a mortgage in place?

      • Thanks, Matt. I’ll need to do those things you listed then. Yes, I currently have a mortgage on the property.

        • You’re welcome Meghan. You’ll want to look into whether or not the mortgage has a “due on sale” clause. Most do. It means the lender can call the mortgage due in full if you sell the property. However, if you continue making payments from the LLC, most lenders don’t care. Having said that, it’s not a recommended course of action without further inquiry. You can speak with your lender (they may not mind the transfer to the LLC) and/or you can speak with a real estate attorney about filing a quitclaim deed (transferring ownership from yourself to your LLC) and the pros and cons of ignoring the due on sale clause.

  6. Hello Matt,
    I just filed to form an LLC through Northwest Registered Agent. Northwest filled out the Articles of Organization and listed themselves as the person forming the LLC. Northwest then sent me the completed Articles of Organization and a document called Initial Resolutions. The Initial Resolutions document has a line that states “Resolved, the named Members of the Limited Liability Company are hereby named as Members and own an interest in the Limited Liability Company” and then my name is listed. I am concerned that I am not listed on the Articles of Organization as the person forming the LLC. I am also concerned that the Initial Resolutions document uses the language “own an interest” instead of something that directly says I am the sole, 100% owner of the LLC. It feels like the registered agent is trying to sneak in as a member/owner of the LLC. Is this situation normal? Should I be concerned?

    • Hi Alan, there is no need for concern. This is normal when hiring a company to form your LLC. You do not need to be listed in the Colorado Articles of Organization in order to own a Colorado LLC. In fact, you can’t. The Colorado Articles of Organization doesn’t ask for Members. The ownership details are spelled out in your Colorado LLC Operating Agreement.

      The person or company forming the LLC is know as the LLC Organizer (see LLC Organizer vs LLC Member). An Organizer doesn’t own the LLC (although an Organizer may also be an LLC Member).

      The Initial Resolutions they sent you (aka a Statement of LLC Organizer) is a document that shows them stepping down and that they have fulfilled their role. Again, you have nothing to worry about here. I know it’s confusing at first, but your LLC was filed correctly. Hope that helps :)

  7. Hi Matt, Your videos have been really helpful. I am trying to form an LLC for real estate in Colorado. Now in this case, does the “Pricipal address” have to reflect the address of the property? Or can it be different?

    • Hi SG, we apologize, but our notification system missed your comment. The Principal Address doesn’t need to be same as the property address, although it can be. Hope that helps.

  8. Wow! This is awesome, thanks so much! You really took the fear out of the start up!

    • Hey Iris! You’re very welcome. We’re so happy to hear that :-)

  9. Hi Matt,

    I added my spouse as a member in my Colorado LLC today in error. Can I remove her through a correction or do I need to do an amendment?

    Thanks for the great videos!

    • Hi Rod, I’m not 100% sure whether you’d file a Correction or an Amendment on this. I recommend calling the Secretary of State to double-check. Thanks.

  10. Filed my Articles of Agreement today. When I look at the summary page and my print out it shows todays date as effective date. Does this mean it was approved or do I need to wait for further emails or documents from the state?

    Great video’s by the way. It really helped us get this done without paying the lawyer $750. Thanks!

    • Hi Cynthia, you’re very welcome! Wow, that is quite some savings ;) Colorado LLCs are instantly approved, so you don’t need to wait for any further emails or documents. Hope that helps.

  11. Hi Matt,
    Thank you for such an informative website.
    I registered an LLC and listed myself as the only person forming the limited liability company. How do I add another person to it? Which form do I have to fill for this amendment?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Raj, you’re welcome! Adding an LLC Member involves multiple steps and is not something we cover at this time. You’ll need to file a Certificate of Amendment with the Secretary of State, amend your Operating Agreement, and change your tax classification with the IRS from Sole Proprietorship to Partnership. Hope that helps.

  12. Hi Matt,
    Thank you for all the detailed and valuable info.
    When following the steps in your video I get a msg saying “There must be at least one member of the LLC” and it won´t let me to go to the next step. I followed all your instructions exactly but in my case I´m the only member of the LLC. What did I do wrong? I chose the LLC to be it´s own agent so I didn´t fill any info on the first and last name box but instead filled out the entity box, could that be the reason why I´m getting that message?( since the name box has a red asterisk which means it should be filled out)
    Thank you for your help!

      • Glad to hear Gia :) Let us know if you have any other questions.

  13. Hi Matt,

    I am setting up an LLC in Colorado with a partner that is not a Colorado resident. Under the additional members forming the LLC attachment option, is this going to be a problem when I submit their name/address as a founder since they aren’t a Colorado resident?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Matt, nope, there won’t be any issues. Members don’t have to be residents of the state, so out of state addresses are perfectly okay for the Member’s information. The only resident requirement is if the Registered Agent is a person, then that person must be a resident of Colorado. Hope that helps!

  14. Thank you for this I went to open a business checking account and this is the one thing I was missing.

    • Hey Dave, you’ll need to check with the Commercial Registered Agent you hired. Some will allow you to use their address as your LLC’s Principal Office Address, others will charge you extra for it, and others don’t allow it at all. However, if you hired Northwest Registered Agent, then yes, you can use their address as your LLC’s Principal Office Address. In fact, since many people enjoy the privacy of keeping their address off of public records, Northwest will let you use their address throughout your entire Colorado LLC filing. Hope that helps :)

      • Perfect. Thanks, Matt! I cannot begin to tell you how helpful your website and Youtube videos are!

        • Hey Dave, thanks so much!! You’re very welcome. Happy we could help :)

  15. Am i able to change the address at a later date? Say if i do not have an actual address for my store yet but am using my home address for now for all of the setup.

    • Hi Cody, yes, you can easily change/update your address(es) with the Colorado Secretary of State at any time. Hope that helps.

      • How do i go about changing that? can i also change the name if i want?

        • Hi Cody, to make changes to your addresses, please see the “Changes” table on the Colorado Secretary of State’s Business Forms List. If you want to change your LLC name, you’ll need to file an Articles of Amendment. If you change your LLC name, you’ll also need to update the IRS, the Department of Revenue, your bank, credit cards, and any other place were you’re using your old LLC name. Hope that helps.

  16. Great information and made my life easier when it comes to creating an LLC. Thank you so much for sharing!!

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