Colorado LLC Name Search
How to Search Available LLC Names in Colorado
1. Check Colorado LLC Naming Guidelines
Before you do a name availability search, it makes sense to check if your business name meets the basic state guidelines.
Some key guidelines for Colorado LLC names include:
- Your name must include one of the following terms or abbreviations: limited liability company, ltd. liability company, limited liability co., ltd. liability co., limited, l.l.c., LLC, or ltd.
- Your name must be distinguishable from any existing business in the state.
- Your name cannot contain any term that would violate any Colorado law. For example, your business name cannot include obscenities or references to illegal activities.
Keep an eye out for restricted words. These words, such as “FBI” or “Treasury,” are often restricted to keep your LLC from sounding like an official institution.
For more information, check out Colorado’s official state statutes.
2. Complete an LLC Business Name Search
Once you know your LLC name meets Colorado guidelines, it’s time to make sure it’s available by using the Colorado Name Availability Search tool.
It is important that your name be distinguishable from all other business names. In Colorado, a distinguishable name is one that is substantially different from other names.
In addition to using different words, the following differences will make a name distinguishable in Colorado:
- Use of articles (e.g., the, a)
- Business type identifiers (e.g., LLC and Limited Liability Company are considered distinguishable)
The following differences will NOT make a name distinguishable in Colorado:
- Periods (.), commas (,), underscores ( _ ), apostrophes (‘) and inverted apostrophes (`)
- The case of letters
Failure to use a distinguishable name could result in your formation filing being rejected.
What if my LLC name is already taken? If your LLC name is unavailable in Colorado, it’s time to come up with some new ideas.
How to Reserve or Register Your Business Name
Reserve Your Name
You can optionally reserve your LLC name in Colorado for up to 120 days before you officially register it. This prevents other businesses from registering your name until you have the opportunity to register it yourself.
Name reservations can be filed online with the Colorado Secretary of State. The filing fee is $25.
Register Your Name
If you want to register a legal entity name for your LLC, you can do so at the time of formation filing. Colorado provides a section for your desired LLC name on the Articles of Organization.
Registering a DBA (doing business as) name, called a trade name in Colorado, is a separate process that requires filing with the Secretary of State.
Colorado LLC Name Search FAQ
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Colorado?
You can use the Colorado Name Availability Search tool to see if your preferred business name is available.
How do I complete a Colorado business name search?
You can use the Colorado Business Database Search tool to look up existing businesses in the state.
Should I name my LLC after myself?
While there’s no rule against naming an LLC after yourself, most experts advise against doing this.
One of the benefits of starting an LLC is the ability to choose a different name for your business, which can make it sound more professional.
What words can’t be used in a Colorado LLC name?
Business names generally can’t include words that imply the company is a banking or financial institution or that it’s affiliated with a local, state, or federal government agency.
Should I use an LLC name generator?
If you’re having trouble choosing a name for your LLC, an LLC name generator can help you come up with some ideas.
What is a brand name?
A brand name is a name a company gives to a product or line of products. It can be the same as the company’s name or something different.
Do I have to include LLC in my name?
Yes. Colorado requires that its LLCs use “Limited Liability Company” or one of its abbreviations (e.g., LLC or L.L.C.) in their legal name.
Do I need to renew my business name in Colorado?
Colorado does not require LLCs to renew their legal name, but trade names must be renewed annually with the Secretary of State.
You can renew online on the Secretary of State’s website. The filing fee is $5.
Can my business name be different from my LLC name in Colorado?
Some companies choose to operate under a name that’s different from their legal name. This can either be called a “doing business as” (DBA) name or trade name in Colorado.
In Colorado, trade names are filed with the Secretary of State.
Does my LLC need a DBA name?
Your LLC doesn’t need a DBA name unless it plans to do business under a name other than its legal name. Learn more about Colorado DBAs by reading our guide to filing for a DBA and selecting Colorado from the dropdown menu.