Who can be the Registered Agent for your Colorado LLC?
Before filing your Articles of Organization with the Colorado Secretary of State (discussed in the next lesson), you need to choose a Registered Agent for your Colorado LLC.
A Colorado Registered Agent is a person or company who agrees to accept legal mail (known as “service of process”) on behalf of your Colorado LLC in case your business gets sued.
The Colorado Secretary of State will also use your Registered Agent’s address as your LLC’s point of contact for official notices sent to your business.
As per section 7-90-701 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, your LLC’s Registered Agent must have a physical street address located in the state of Colorado. A Colorado Registered Agent address can’t be a PO Box address.
Your Colorado Registered Agent should generally be available during normal business hours (9am – 5pm) in case Service of Process arrives. Service of Process for an LLC includes the delivery of legal documents such as complaints, summons, and subpoenas.
Your LLC’s Registered Agent is a key component to how the court and legal systems work. By requiring all Colorado LLCs to have (and continuously maintain) a Registered Agent on file with the state, the delivery of legal mail and court documents can be tracked and accounted for within the state.
This is similar to how ‘certified mail return receipt’ works, but in the legal world, this is how process servers – (people delivering legal documents) – create a record that something was delivered.
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.
Can I be my own Registered Agent in Colorado?
Yes, you can be your Colorado LLC’s Registered Agent, as long as you have a street address located in the state.
However, you actually have 4 options when forming an LLC in Colorado:
- Option 1: You can be your LLC’s Registered Agent in Colorado (are there risks?)
- Option 2: Your LLC can be its own Registered Agent.
- Option 3: A friend or family member can be your LLC’s Registered Agent.
- Option 4: You can hire a Colorado Registered Agent Company, also known as a Commercial Registered Agent.
Registered Agent Information is Public Record in Colorado
While you do have the option for yourself (or your LLC) to be the Registered Agent (or use a friend or family member), you may not want to have your address listed on public records.
The information you enter in your Articles of Organization becomes public record with the Secretary of State.
Not only is this information searchable by the public, but it may also appear in google searches. There is a solution though (see below) if you’d like to keep your address off public records.
What’s the best Registered Agent option to choose?
Option #1 or Option #2 (You or your LLC):
If you have a street address located in Colorado, are available during business hours, and don’t mind your address being on public records, then you or your LLC can be the Registered Agent.
Option #3 (Friend or Family):
If you don’t have a street address located in Colorado, but you have a friend or family member who does, they can be your LLC’s Registered Agent. They’ll need to be available during business hours and they shouldn’t mind having their address being listed on public records.
Option #4 (Registered Agent Service):
If you don’t have a street address in Colorado (or you’d rather not use it for this purpose), you can hire a Registered Agent Company in Colorado.
Colorado Registered Agent Service
Note: The terms “Registered Agent Company” and “Commercial Registered Agent” mean the same thing. We will use them interchangeably.
A Colorado Registered Agent Company specializes in receiving Service of Process (legal mail) on behalf of your LLC.
Most Registered Agent Services in Colorado cost between $100 and $300 per year.
The Registered Agent Company we recommend in Colorado is Northwest Registered Agent ($125 per year).
Why we recommend Northwest Registered Agent
Northwest Registered Agent is our personal recommendation (and the service we use) because they’ve been in business for over 20 years, have great customer service, and they let you use their address in your entire LLC filing in order to keep your address off public records.
How to keep your address off public records:
Many filers in Colorado start businesses from their home. For this reason, it’s important to know that all addresses that are on your Articles of Organization get listed on public records and may appear in google searches.
If you want to keep your address off of public records, you can hire a Registered Agent that will allow you to use their address as your LLC’s address. The only company that allows this is Northwest Registered Agent. They offer Registered Agent services for $125 per year and they’ll let you use their address throughout your entire LLC Filing.
Any mail that is sent to your LLC will be scanned by them and uploaded into your online account.
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.
Risks of being your own Registered Agent in Colorado
As mentioned above, you can be your own Registered Agent in Colorado.
Besides the address privacy we mentioned, are there any risks to being your own Registered Agent?
In short, there are risks. They are not extremely likely to occur, but if they do, you could lose your liability protection and the Colorado Secretary of State has the power to administratively shut down your Colorado LLC if you’re not in compliance with state laws.
This can happen if you don’t “continuously maintain” (always have) a Registered Agent on file, or if the Secretary of State is unsuccessful in reaching your LLC’s Registered Agent.
Additionally, if a process server (a person who serves court documents and notices of lawsuits) is unsuccessful in reaching your Colorado Registered Agent (or is unsuccessful in serving your LLC through the Secretary of State), a court case can proceed in your absence and you might not even know about it. Worse, the court could enter a default judgment against your LLC if you aren’t there to defend yourself.
A few reasons a process server might not be able to reach your Colorado LLC’s Registered Agent:
- you, your friend, or family member are not there during business hours
- you/they are on vacation or out of town
- you/they moved and you forgot to file a Change of Registered Agent with the state
Next Step: Articles of Organization
After you’ve decided who will serve as your Colorado LLC’s Registered Agent, you can then proceed to the next Lesson: Colorado LLC Articles of Organization.
If you plan on hiring a Colorado Registered Agent Service (a Commercial Registered Agent), please do so before going to the next step. You’ll need their address for your Articles of Organization.
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