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What is a Colorado Registered Agent?
A Colorado Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail and notices on behalf of your Colorado LLC.
Legal mail (called Service of Process) is sent if your LLC is involved in a lawsuit. Additionally, the Colorado Secretary of State may send notices and reminders to your LLC’s Registered Agent.
Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.
Colorado Registered Agents should be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm), Monday through Friday.
And the Registered Agent for your LLC in Colorado must have a physical street address in Colorado. PO Box addresses aren’t allowed.
Note: Most states use the term “Registered Agent”, but some use the terms “Resident Agent” or “Statutory Agent”. They all mean the same thing and we may use these terms interchangeably.
Does Colorado require a Registered Agent?
Yes, Colorado requires all business entities to list a Registered Agent on their LLC formation paperwork. And they must keep a Registered Agent on file with the state for the life of the LLC.
Why do I need a Registered Agent in Colorado?
The purpose of a Registered Agent is to accept Service of Process in case your business gets sued. And the court needs proof that your LLC received the legal documents.
That’s why each business entity (like a Limited Liability Company or Corporation) must have a Registered Agent on file with the state.
Said another way, your LLC’s Registered Agent is a key component of how the court and legal systems work. By requiring all Colorado LLCs to keep a Registered Agent on file with the state, the delivery of court documents can be properly tracked.
Who can be my Registered Agent in Colorado?
You actually have 4 options for who can be your Colorado Registered Agent:
- a friend or family member
- your LLC
- a Colorado Registered Agent Service (also called a Commercial Registered Agent)
You can save money by being the Registered Agent for your LLC, but there are some risks.
What are the risks?
The risks of being your own Colorado Registered Agent are:
- missing an important notice from the state
- administrative dissolution
- missing Service of Process (and potential legal consequences)
These issues are more likely to occur if you:
- move and forget to update your address with the state
- travel or leave town for extended periods of time
- don’t have a reliable address
- don’t keep up with your mail
We’ll explain a few of these risks below.
Missing an important notice from the state
Your business needs to promptly receive all important notices sent by the Colorado Secretary of State or any other state agency.
Notices sent by state agencies often have actions that your LLC must take by a certain deadline. And in some cases, there are penalties and fees if you miss those deadlines.
If you are the Registered Agent for your LLC, and you move without updating your Registered Agent address, the Colorado Secretary of State can dissolve (shut down) your LLC.
To clarify, the state isn’t looking over your LLC every single day, so this potential administrative dissolution won’t automatically happen if you don’t update your Registered Agent information.
However, if the state finds out that your Registered Agent address isn’t up-to-date, and they can’t reach you, then they could shut down your LLC.
If there is a lawsuit against your LLC, a process server will make multiple attempts to serve your LLC (deliver the court documents).
However, if they are unable to serve your LLC in person, Service of Process can be made another way (like through Certified Mail). This can mean the court notices and/or documents were “delivered” to you, even if you didn’t physically receive them.
Then the person suing your LLC can argue their case without you being there to defend your LLC. In these situations, the person suing your LLC usually wins and the court enters a default judgment against your business.
Contempt of Court
If there is a lawsuit that involves your LLC, the parties might serve your business with a subpoena. The subpoena may ask you to testify in a hearing, or to produce records.
If you don’t respond to the subpoena, you can be held in contempt of court. This can lead to fines, or the court can issue a bench warrant. This means the sheriff can come seize the records or force you to show up in court.
So should I be my own Registered Agent?
You certainly can. While there are risks of being your own Registered Agent, they don’t come up very often. And you can save money by being your own Colorado Registered Agent.
Having said that, hiring a Colorado Registered Agent Service can provide additional benefits, such as address privacy.
Registered Agent Information is Public Record in Colorado
While you (or a friend or family member) can be your LLC’s Registered Agent, you may not want to have a home address listed on public record.
The information you enter in your Articles of Organization (including the Registered Agent’s address) becomes public record with the Colorado Secretary of State.
Not only is this information searchable by the public, but other websites download the state’s records and republish them on their own website. Then things begin to spread as other public record websites take that same information and list it on their websites too (and the process repeats itself).
Pretty soon your address is listed on many websites and people can easily find it by doing a Google search.
If you’d like to keep your address off public records, we have a strategy for this.
How to keep your address off public records:
Many business owners in Colorado start businesses from their homes. So you should be aware that the Registered Agent’s name and address on your LLC Articles of Organization gets listed on public records.
If you want to keep your address off public records, you can hire a Colorado Registered Agent Service that will allow you to use their address throughout your Articles of Organization.
Northwest Registered Agent offers this unique service at no additional cost.
There are many Colorado Registered Agents out there, but we have found Northwest to be the best Registered Agent Service available.
What’s the best Colorado Registered Agent option to choose?
Choosing the best Colorado Registered Agent option for your business depends on a few factors.
You can be your own Registered Agent in Colorado if:
- you are a resident of Colorado, and
- you have a physical address in Colorado
You also should be comfortable with your address being listed on public records.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Colorado Registered Agent Service).
Friend or Family:
A friend or family member can be your Colorado Registered Agent if:
- they are a resident of Colorado, and
- they have a physical address in Colorado
They also should be comfortable with their address being listed on public records.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you aren’t a resident of Colorado, but want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Colorado Registered Agent Service).
Your Colorado LLC can be its own Registered Agent if:
- your LLC has a physical address in Colorado.
You also should be comfortable with this business address being listed on public records.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you aren’t a resident, but want to save money (since you won’t need to hire a Colorado Registered Agent Service).
Colorado Registered Agent Service:
A Colorado Registered Agent Service (aka Commercial Registered Agent) is a company that specializes in receiving mail and Service of Process for your LLC.
Colorado Registered Agent Services usually charge $100 to $300 per year. After they receive mail for your LLC, they’ll forward it to you or upload it to your online account.
Why choose this option? This is a good option to choose if you:
- don’t live in Colorado
- don’t have a friend or family member’s address to use
- won’t be available during normal business hours to receive mail, or
- don’t want your address listed in the Articles of Organization
If you’d like to hire a Registered Agent Service, the company we recommend is Northwest Registered Agent.
Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the nationwide Registered Agent Service we use) for a few reasons:
- they’ve been in business for over 20 years
- their customer service agents are LLC experts, and
- they let you use their address in your entire LLC filing (to keep yours off public record)
Special discounted pricing for LLC University readers
Northwest usually charges $100 + state fees to form an LLC. However, we’ve negotiated a discounted rate (60% off) for LLC University® readers.
Special offer: If you hire Northwest to form your LLC ($39 + state fee), they’ll include their Registered Agent service free for the 1st year.
(Check out our Northwest Registered Agent review to learn more)
Colorado Registered Agent FAQs
How much does a Registered Agent cost in Colorado?
If you (or a friend or family member) will be your Registered Agent, there is no cost.
If you want to hire a Registered Agent Service, it will cost between $100 and $300 per year.
What is the best Registered Agent Service in Colorado?
We’ve reviewed the top Registered Agent Services in the industry and think the best Registered Agent Services in Colorado are:
- Northwest Registered Agent
- Our #1 recommendation for privacy
- Harbor Compliance
- Rocket Lawyer
To learn more about how these companies compare against each other, check out Best Registered Agent Services in Colorado.
Note: If you want to save money and can accept Service of Process during regular business hours, you can be the Registered Agent for your Colorado business.
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17 comments on “Colorado Registered Agent”
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.
I’m wanting to designate a Commercial Registered Agent for the purpose of keeping my address private. I’m wondering, however, about the business address that the Secretary of State requests in the Article of Organization. If I list my home address as the business address, will that information appear on a web search anyway?
Hi Mary, anything listed in the Colorado LLC Articles of Organization goes on public record with the Colorado Secretary of State. And therefore, any website could republish it and then it could end up in a web search. We recommend hiring Northwest Registered Agent. They can be your Colorado LLC’s Registered Agent and they’ll also let you use their address as the Principal Office address, address for the person forming the LLC, and address for the person causing the document to be delivered. You can hire Northwest to be the Registered Agent or you can hire them to form your LLC and be the Registered Agent. I hope that helps.
If I have a registered agent in Colorado can my primary office address be out of state? I am temporarily living out of state, and most of my business is now online, but I plan to return to colorado and want to keep my business registered there.
Hi Kristi, yes, your Principal Office Address can be located in any state. In fact, it can be located in any country. Hope that helps.
Yes, thanks so much Matt!
If I change the Registered Agent address after I set up the LLC, can it be an address in another state?
Hi JC, no. The address of the Colorado Registered Agent must be in Colorado.
I live in Colorado and if I use NORTHWEST as my registered agent, they don’t have a Colorado address. I thought the registered agent has to have an physical address in Colorado. ALSO, THANK YOU for making this process so easy to understand. (Except for my question above, obviously. HA.)
Hi Carla, you’re very welcome! Northwest Registered Agent does have a Colorado address. They have locations in every state. Were you by chance confused since you saw that their headquarters office was in Washington?
I’m applying for LLC with a family member’s Colorado address, I live in Florida. The form is asking me to upload documents, when i check no documents to upload it doesn’t allow me to move on… it says add documents.
What documents must i upload? Is there an authorization for since it’s a family member?
Hi Paula, no, you are not required to upload a form if you have a nothing to upload. However, I bet what happened was on the first page you checked off “yes” when it asked “Do you need to attach additional information?”. Maybe that caused the issue. After you try again, let us know how it goes. Hope that helps.
Can I change my registered agent after I have designated one? For example, could I use a family member for a few months while I don’t want my business to be public knowledge, and then change it to my own name and address?
Hi Katherine, great question. Yes, you can. And yes, you can do as mentioned in your example. Your Colorado LLC’s Registered Agent isn’t “set in stone”. It can be changed at any time. In order to do so, you can file a “Statement of Change Changing the Registered Agent Information“. The filing is done online at the Colorado Secretary of State’s website. Here are the steps:
1. Go to Colorado Secretary of State: Business Database Search
2. Search your LLC name and click on its ID Number.
3. Click “File a form”.
4. Click “Statement of Change”.
5. Click “Statement of Change Changing the Registered Agent Information”.
Hope that helps!
Can a business such as Mailboxes Etc. serve as the registered agent address? Unlike a PO box, they do provide a physical address (street address plus unit/box number) and can accept both mail and packages on your behalf.
Hi Steve, most states’ statutes are silent on the use of mailbox rentals, however, it’s generally agreed upon that it’s acceptable in Colorado. The state has a provision that if the Registered Agent can’t be served at the Registered Agent’s address, the LLC can be served via it’s principal office address. Hope that helps.
Can an LLC be in the name of the estate of a deceased person? Can we use the EIN and bank account already created for the estate?
Hi Cynthia, we don’t cover estates, so I’m not sure. You’ll need to speak with an attorney for further clarification. Thank you for your understanding.