Like all states, entrepreneurs doing business in Colorado may start a corporation. The state provides registration and corresponding legal benefits for both profit and nonprofit corporations. The Colorado Secretary of State has enabled an online filing system for creating most new businesses. Entrepreneurs starting either a business for profit or a charitable organization may use the online system to fill out incorporation documents and pay the filing fee to create a Colorado corporation.
Decide on a name for your corporation. The Secretary of State’s website also has a name-availability search to determine if your desired name is available (see Sources). However, you should use the “Business name, trademark or trade name” field on the “Records Search” page to run a more complete search. By using this search function, you will uncover the names of registered Colorado corporations or other business names that may be confusingly similar to your desired name. Do not choose a name that is too similar to an existing Colorado business name because this could cause legal problems in the future.
Visit the “File a Document” page (see Sources). This page has a link for creating a Colorado business corporation (“profit corporation”) and a nonprofit. Note that you will have to get approval for tax-exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service when forming a Colorado nonprofit. The state does not provide this status. Look up Publication 557 on the IRS.gov website to determine how to apply for federal tax-exempt status for a charitable organization.
Click on the appropriate link and enter your desired corporate name on the next page. If the name is available, then the system will display the “Articles of Incorporation.” You then fill out the articles to form your new Colorado business.
Note that the basic form provided by the Colorado Secretary of State provides only the minimum necessary to file a corporation in the state. You may wish to consult a Colorado business attorney to assist you in making important decisions related to the structure and organization of your new business.
Submit the “Articles of Incorporation” and pay the filing fee. You will see a “Pay Now” button. Click that only one time and pay by credit card to complete the filing procedure. As of 2010, the fee is $50 to form either type of Colorado corporation.
File a Document Page (Links to Articles of Incorporation)
Records Search Page (Search Engine for Colorado Business Names)