How to File a DBA in Colorado

Image of a man looking up how to file a D B A in Colorado

Registering a Colorado DBA, also known as a trade name, is a simple process that you complete with the Secretary of State. To learn more about why you may need a DBA, read our What is a DBA article.

How To Use This Guide

Use our free guide below to file for a DBA in Colorado:

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Step 1) Start With a DBA Name Search

“Start If you haven't already, head over to the Colorado Secretary of State's website to make sure your trade name isn't taken by another registered Colorado business. Your name can be similar to other business names, but it’s still a good practice to create a unique name.

Next, a quick search on the U.S. Trademark Electronic Search System will tell you whether someone else has already trademarked your name.

Now would be the perfect time to make sure there’s a web domain available for your DBA as well.

Find a Domain Now

Service provided by GoDaddy.com

After registering a domain name, consider setting up a professional email account (@yourcompany.com). Google's G Suite offers a business email service that comes with other useful tools, including word processing, spreadsheets, and more. Try it for free

Step 2) Register Your DBA

“Register

In Colorado, you must register your DBA with the Secretary of State online.

The information you will need to provide varies slightly depending on whether your current business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation, but it may include the following:

  • True name of the owner of the trade name
  • Type of entity and jurisdiction of the owner (if an LLC, corporation, or partnership)
  • Secretary of State ID number (if an LLC or corporation)
  • Type of business conducted under the trade name

DBA does not offer any protection for your personal assets in the event that your business is sued. For more information on setting up a limited liability company, visit our How to Form an LLC page and select your state. 

 

Submit Your Statement of Trade Name Form

The trade name registration form can only be submitted online in Colorado. You can select the appropriate form for your business here.

Fees

  • $20 Registration Fee

Manage Your Colorado DBA

DBA Questions

Call the Colorado Secretary of State’s office: 303-894-2200 or 1-855-428-3555 (toll-free)

Renew Your DBA with the State

Trade names for sole proprietorship and partnerships in Colorado expire on the first day of the month after the one-year anniversary of the filing. For example, if a trade name was registered on October 10, it would expire on November 1 of the following year. Trade names need to be renewed online before the expiration date. They can be renewed at any point during the three months prior to the expiration date. The renewal fee is $5.

Trade names for LLCs and corporations do not expire as long as the company remains in good standing. If the company falls out of good standing, the trade name will expire after one year. If the company gets back to good standing, the trade name expiration date will be canceled.

If your trade name expires and you would like to use it again, you will have to file a new registration form.

Change Your DBA

You can make changes or corrections to your trade name registration online. The fee is $10.

Withdraw Your DBA 

You can withdraw your Colorado trade name online. The fee is $10.

FAQ

Can I file a DBA online in Colorado?

Yes. Trade name registration can only be done online in Colorado.

 

How do I change my DBA in Colorado?

You can make changes or corrections to your trade name registration online. The fee is $10.

 

How can I withdraw my DBA?

You can withdraw your Colorado trade name online. The fee is $10.

 

How often should I renew my Colorado DBA?

Trade names for sole proprietorship and partnerships in Colorado expire on the first day of the month after the one-year anniversary of the filing. For example, if a trade name was registered on October 10, it would expire on November 1 of the following year. Trade names need to be renewed online before the expiration date. They can be renewed at any point during the three months prior to the expiration date. The renewal fee is $5.

Trade names for LLCs and corporations do not expire as long as the company remains in good standing. If the company falls out of good standing, the trade name will expire after one year. If the company gets back to good standing, the trade name expiration date will be canceled.

If your trade name expires and you would like to use it again, you will have to file a new registration form.

 

When is a DBA required in Colorado?

A business (other than a nonprofit) or an individual transacting business in Colorado under a name other than its true name is required to file a trade name. 

 

How do I transfer my DBA in Colorado?

While not a formal process to transfer a trade name, you can change the name of the trade name’s registrant in Colorado by filing the change form online. The fee is $10.

 

Is my Colorado DBA protected from being used in other places?

There are some state-level laws that prevent DBAs that are too similar to existing ones from being used, but your name is not protected in Colorado. It is possible to create a federal trademark for a DBA, which would offer stronger protection across state lines.

 

How many DBAs can I have?

You can have as many DBAs as you can afford to create and are able to keep track of. However, more isn’t necessarily better. Each one will come with additional incremental expense and paperwork, so you will want to make sure you have a good reason for each one you have.

 

Can a DBA get an EIN or Tax ID?

DBAs aren’t required to have a separate EIN because DBAs aren’t a business entity. The business entity that the DBA is under would have an EIN if an EIN is required.

To learn more about EINs and when you would need one for your business, read What is An EIN from our friends at TRUiC.

 

Can a DBA become an LLC?

Your DBA is just a name. A DBA is often confused with a sole proprietorship. If you mean “can my sole proprietorship become an LLC?” then the answer is “Yes. Absolutely.”

To learn how to form an LLC, visit our Form an LLC state guides.

 

Can a DBA have "Inc." in the name?

A DBA can only have "Inc." in the name if the business entity the DBA is attached to is incorporated. Incorporated businesses include LLCs, corporations, and Limited Partnerships to name a few.

 

How do I set up a DBA for a rental property?

It’s always best to consult an attorney. Usually, the best option is to form an LLC to protect your personal assets in the event of an issue with the rental property. Holding the rental property in your name and with a DBA will not afford you any protection.

Need Help?

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