The first step to starting a Colorado Corporation is to select a name. Your Corporation name must be distinct and unlike any other businesses registered in the Secretary of State’s office. The words ‘corporation’, ‘incorporated’, ‘company’ or ‘limited’ should be present in your business name.
As soon as you have a name, check it against the Colorado business name search tool for availability. If it is available, a name reservation can completed through the Secretary of State’s office for 120 days at a $25 fee.
To officially make your business a Corporation, file the Articles of Incorporation to the Secretary of State of Colorado. When filing a Corporation in Colorado, one must provide the following information:
Filing fee: $50
A Colorado Registered Agent or an Agent for Service of Process, is an essential part of operating a legal business. This individual or entity that will act as the representative for your business and will receive and service legal paperwork.
Unlike other states, the state of Colorado does not allow a business to be its own Registered Agent. You can hire a Registered Agent service and pay up to $160/year, or get a Colorado Registered Agent free of charge when you form your Corporation with IncFile.
A Corporate Records Book is a collection of your corporation’s documents. You may include paperwork such as: registration documents, business taxes, licenses, permits, and meeting minutes.
You can get a Corporate Records Binder at a local office supply store or have one shipped directly to you through Amazon.
As the owner of a Corporation, you must elect a set of initial directors. These individuals will make crucial decisions for your Colorado Corporation and will serve on the board until your first shareholder’s meeting.
Once you have elected these directors, create an Incorporator’s Statement, including all the names and addresses of each director. This Incorporator’s Statement should then be placed in the Corporate Records Binder.
Once you select your board of directors, meet with them to discuss the following items of business:
If you would like to have S Corporation status, this should also be discussed and approved during this meeting. Before dismissing, minutes should be prepared and signed by the board of directors.
As a legally operating Corporation, you are required to take care of your obligations for Colorado business taxes and licenses. Complying with these obligations also ensures your Colorado Corporation maintenance while avoiding trouble with the government and the IRS. Take care of your obligations by completing the following:
When you start a Corporation, it is very important to keep your personal and business assets separate. Therefore, it is necessary to open a business bank account. This will help you distinguish between personal and business expenses.
Recommended Resource: Look into this roundup of the best business banking accounts to decide which is right for you.
Congratulations! You have followed the steps above and are officially a Colorado Corporation. In addition to the eight state guidelines listed above, here are a few additional steps based on best practices that will ensure your Corporation is a success. These are not required, but are highly recommended.
While it’s not mandatory to create a business plan when forming a Corporation in Colorado, it is highly recommended.
A business plan is not only your business’ blueprint, it also helps your business obtain the funding it needs. For help writing a solid business plan, check out the two resources below.
If you want to be taken seriously, you must have a professional website. With WordPress, the budding entrepreneur is able to build and customize a website in minutes. Bluehost is reliable, has a 1-click automatic WordPress installation, and boasts reliable customer support.
Resource for Getting Started: See how to start your business website through this step-by-step guide.
Colorado Corporate bylaws is the internal rulebook of your Corporation. This document controls your day-to-day operations, ensuring smoothly running operations to ensure that your business is able to function normally.
Although this document is not filed with the Articles of Incorporation, it is an integral part of your Corporation and proves your legitimacy as a business.
As this article should only be used for informational purposes only and serves only as a guide. We advise that you discuss with your lawyer intricate matters of forming an Colorado Corporation. Also note for maintenance purposes, you are required to file a Colorado Corporation Periodic Report regularly each year that you are in operations. Learn more about this maintenance requirement here.