Colorado Name Search

Colorado LLC Name Search


Video Transcript:

The following information is provided for educational purposes only and in no way constitutes legal, tax, or financial advice. For legal, tax, or financial advice specific to your business needs, we encourage you to consult with a licensed attorney and/or CPA in your state. The following information is copyright protected. No part of this lesson may be redistributed, copied, modified or adapted without prior written consent of the author. In this video, we are going to teach you how to research and choose your desired LLC name. The purpose of this video is to help you: avoid infringing upon someone else’s name rights, to help you differentiate your business name from existing entities, and make sure your desired LLC name is available for use. In order to make sure your desired LLC name is available for use, you will need to search it against the existing organized entities on the State’s online database. We will first walk you through some requirements and restrictions and then later we will show you how to perform your search. Name requirements. Your LLC name must end with the words “Limited Liability Company”, or the abbreviations “L.L.C.” or “LLC”. Using the abbreviation “LLC” is the most common. For example, Joe wants to start a company by the name “Joe’s Landscaping Services”. Since he is forming an LLC, he must file under the name “Joe’s Landscaping Services, LLC”. Again, using the abbreviation “LLC” (or the full word “Limited Liability Company”) is a requirement when forming an LLC. Name restrictions. Your LLC name cannot imply that it is a corporation. You are not allowed to use the words “Corporation” or “Incorporated”, or the abbreviations “Corp.” or “Inc.” anywhere in your LLC name. Let’s look at our example again. Since Joe wants to form an LLC, he cannot call his company “Joe’s Landscaping Services, Inc., LLC” or “Joe’s Landscaping Services Incorporated, LLC”. Your desired LLC name must also be “distinguishable”. This means it cannot be too similar to the names of existing organized entities that are found in the results during the search of the database. We will now illustrate several examples of distinguishability, and we will provide examples you may see while performing your search. Differences in designators, which are the identifiers at the end of a business name. do not create distinguishability. Examples of designators would be “Inc.” or “Corp.” (for Corporations) and “LLC” or “L.L.C” (for Limited Liability Companies). There are other designators as well, but these are the most commonly used. For example, your desired LLC name is “Smith Investments, LLC”, but during the search of the database let’s say you found the business under the name “Smith Investments, Inc.” In this example, your desired LLC name would not be available for use. You would have to think of an alternative name that is unique and different. An example would be “Smith Financial Group, LLC”. Grammatical differences. The following do not create distinguishability: differences and variables in singular, plural, possessive forms of a word. For example, your desired LLC name is “Apple Farm, LLC”. Let’s just say during the search you found the business under the name “Apple Farms, LLC”, or let’s say you also found a business under “Apple’s Farm, LLC” (with an apostrophe s). Both of these names, although slightly different, are too similar and therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use. An example of an alternative name would be “Apple Orchard, LLC”. The following do not create distinguishability: differences in articles such as “A”, “An”, or “The”. For example, your desired LLC name is “Print Shop, LLC”. Let’s just say that during the search the database you found a business called the “The Print Shop, LLC”, or you found a business called “A Print Shop, LLC”. Again, although they seem different, these names are all the same in the eyes of the State, and therefore your desire LLC name would not be available for use. An alternative name would be “Printing Solutions, LLC”. The following also do not create distinguishability: the use of conjunctions such as “And”, “Or”, and the ampersand symbol. Let’s say your desired LLC name is “Night & Day, LLC” with the ampersand symbol. But during your search, you find a “Night and Day, LLC”, or you found a “Night Day LLC”. Again, both of these examples are too similar, and your desired LLC name is not distinguishable and therefore not available for use. An example of an alternative name will be “Moon and Sunshine, LLC”. The following also do not create distinguishability: the use of certain punctuation such as hyphens, slashes, periods, commas, etcetera. Let’s say your desired LLC name is “Peter Paul & Mary Studios, LLC”, but during your search you found “Peter-Paul-Mary Studios, Incorporated”, or you found a “Peter, Paul, and Mary Studios, Incorporated”. Again, both of these examples are too similar, and therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use. An alternative example would be “PPM Productions, LLC”. Alphanumeric: differences in numerical, or written numbers does not create distinguishability. For example, let’s say your desired LLC name is “Three Teachers Consulting, LLC” (with a number “three” spelled out), but during your search of the database you found a company called “3 Teachers Consulting, LLC” (with the number “3”). Again, these are deceptively similar; the State does not look at these as any different and therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use. An alternative example would be “A Few Good Teachers Consulting, LLC”. Deceptively similar names that are too similar to existing organized entities also do not create distinguishability. For example, your desired LLC name is “Speedy Delivery Services, LLC”, but during your search let’s say you find “Speed Delivery Services, LLC”, or you find a “Super Speedy Delivery Services, LLC”. Again, these names are too similar. Therefore your desired LLC name would not be available for use. An example of an alternative name would be “At Your Door Quick, LLC”. Takeaways: as you can see, just filing the paperwork with your desired LLC name is not as straightforward as you may have originally thought. The most important takeaways from showing you all these examples are as follows: it’s important to make sure your name is truly unique and not too similar to the names of existing organized entities; if your desired LLC name is unavailable for use, either by its exact match already being used, or by it being too similar to an existing name, we recommend using some creativity and coming up with a variation of your original LLC name, so that the name is now unique and is “distinguishable”, and stands apart from other businesses. Some additional tips to think of when creating your LLC name are: Make your LLC name easy to spell. You want to make sure people can find you when they’re looking for you. Make your LLC name short. Shorter names are easier for people to remember. Make your LLC name have a positive connotation. Leave people with a good feeling when they hear about your business. You are now ready to search your desired LLC name against the State’s online database. We showed you a number of examples where the desired LLC names were not available for use, but don’t worry. In the next part of this video, we will provide plenty of examples of names that are available for use, so that you can best understand the database and the results that you see. Let’s head over to the State’s online database. The link below this video will take you there. Here we are at the State’s website. Before we get started though ,there are few things specific to Colorado which we must go over first. When searching the State’s database, you will be comparing your desired LLC name against their registered businesses in the State. If an existing registered business appears during your search, and that businesses is already using your desired LLC name, or one that is very similar, then your desired LLC name is not available for use. If there are no existing registered businesses that appear with your desired LLC name, or 1 that is very similar, then your desired LLC name is available for use. Next to the registered businesses you find you will see a column which reflects the status of the business. Although some of the statuses may make it sound like these businesses are no longer in existence, and that their name is now available for use, that is not the case, and we recommend that you choose a different LLC name. The reason for this is to make sure you don’t run into any legal issues with those companies. Don’t worry it’ll make more sense in a moment when we show you how to search the database. When searching on the State’s database, enter your desired LLC name without the designator “LLC” or “L.L.C.”. Capitalization is not important, so you can search your name in all lowercase letters, all uppercase letters, or any variation of the 2. We recommend that you watch us perform the search a few times, then you can re-visit this part of the video when you do your own search. Let’s look at a few examples of names that are available for use Let’s say your desired LLC name is “Tappan Builders, LLC”. Let’s head over to the State database and let’s do a search for “Tappan”, and then “Tappan Builders”. On the State’s website, next to the “Business name, trademark or trade name”, this is where you’re going to enter the desired LLC name. For this example, let’s do a search for “Tappan”. I’m going to enter “tappan” in the box. I’m going to scroll down and then click the “Search” button. So in this case, we have 10 matching records that pull up names that include the word “Tappan”. As I look through this list, I don’t see anything identical to “Tappan Builders”, or anything similar. Let’s double-check and let’s do this search another way. Let’s go ahead and hit “Business Search”. This time, I’m going to enter “tappan builders”, and I’m going to scroll down and click “Search”. And “No results found for the specified name”. Perfect. Since we didn’t find any businesses with the same or similar name, this desired LLC name would be available for use. Let’s take a look at another example. Let’s say your desired LLC name is as “Zikoski Vision, LLC”. Let’s head over the database and let’s search the word “zikoski”. I’m going enter “zikoski” in the box, scroll down and then click “Search”. Same thing here: “No results found for the specified name”. Since we didn’t find any records on the State’s database, therefore this desired LLC name would be available for use. Let’s look at a few examples of names that are not available for use. Let’s say the desired LLC name is “Castle Peak Investments, LLC”. Let’s head to the database and lets do a search for “castle peak”, and then “castle peak investments”. Under “castle peak”, scroll down and click “Search”. For these results, we have 1,400 matching records, and again our desired LLC name is “Castle Peak Investments”. Scroll down through page 1, go to page 2. During your search, if you come up with a large amount of records, it’s a good idea to re-do your search and make it more specific. So in this case, I’m going to click back on “Business Search”, and I’m going to enter “castle peak investments”, scroll down and I’m going to click “Search”. Okay, we have 6 records here. We have a “Castle Peak Investment, Inc.”, we have another 1 that’s delinquent, we have a “Castle Peak Investments, LLC” (and Ltd, etcetera). Earlier in the video we mentioned to the right, you’ll see statuses. Sometimes you’ll see delinquent, or other statuses that make it seem like the name is available for use. Again, we recommend that you do not use these names even though they may sound like they’re available because you want to avoid any legal issues or confusion within existing or delinquent business. Again, in this example, because we found existing businesses under the name “Castle Peak Investments”, this desired LLC name would not be available for use. Let’s look at another example. Let’s say your desired LLC name is “Tomahawk Development Services, LLC”. Let’s head to the database and let’s search “tomahawk”, and then let’s search “tomahawk development”. I’m going to go on the left, click “Business Search”, and enter “tomahawk”, scroll down and click the “Search” button. At first, we have 75 records here, so I don’t see it on page 1. I’m going try a more specific search. Go back and click “Business Search”, Enter “tomahawk development”, scroll down and click “Search”. Now, we have 1 record here. It’s an existing business with an identical name: “Tomahawk Development Services, LLC”. Again, for this example, because we found an existing business (“Tomahawk Development Services, LLC”) with the exact same name, therefore the desired LLC name would not be available for use. Takeaways: you want to search your desired LLC name every way that you can think of to make sure it is truly unique and distinguishable. The good news is that you can search as many names and variations as you like since the database name search is free. This is an important step in forming your LLC, so please take the time to ensure your name is unique and that it does not conflict with any existing businesses. If you have any questions about the database, you can call the State at the phone number listed below this video. Once you find a name that is unique and distinguishable from existing businesses ,you can then proceed to the next step. This now concludes the Name Research Lesson.
Need to save time? Hire a professional to form your LLC in Colorado:
IncFile ($49 + state fee) or LegalZoom ($149 + state fee).

Colorado Online Database

http://www.sos.state.co.us/biz/BusinessEntityCriteriaExt.do

State Contact Information

CO Secretary of State
Business Organizations
Phone: 303-894-2200 (hours: M-F, 8:00am – 5:00pm MT)
Email: [email protected] (they reply fast)

Next Step

After you’ve found an available LLC name, you can then proceed to the next Lesson: Registered Agent.

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Matt Horwitz
Founder & Educator at LLC University
Forming an LLC shouldn't be so complicated. Our step-by-step guide will make the process a breeze – and no complex legal jargon! We teach people how to form an LLC for free in all 50 states. We hope you find our free guides and resources helpful in your entrepreneurial journey.

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