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How To Start an LLC in Colorado: the BEST Method in 2024

Suzanne Stewart Suzanne StewartFinance Specialist
If you’re looking to make your entrepreneurial dreams come true in the state of Colorado, starting a Limited Liability Company (LLC) might just be the best way to get your business off the ground. LLC formation is a great way to gain credibility, enjoy tax flexibility, and keep your personal and business assets separate.

Additionally, Colorado has a favorable business climate, offering credit options, state tax credit incentives, and microloans to startups and entrepreneurial small businesses through several programs of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

But let’s be clear: it’s not easy. Setting up an LLC involves multiple steps that require an understanding of Colorado’s business laws, from filing the necessary paperwork to ongoing reporting requirements. And you don’t want to get these wrong. Non-compliance can lead to daunting legal and financial repercussions that could see your business dreams evaporating before your eyes.

The process, while feasible, is complex and requires meticulous attention to detail, and that’s why we’ve created this easy-to-follow guide. Let’s get started!

Short on Time? Here’s a Quick Guide to Starting an LLC in Any US State:

These are the bare minimum required steps to start an LLC in any state, district, or territory in the USA. Remember, these are generalized steps, and we’ve outlined more detailed requirements and the specific rules and regulations for Colorado in our full guide below. Always consult with a legal advisor, Colorado’s Secretary of State office, or one of our recommended LLC formation services for accurate, up-to-date information.

  1. Pick out a business name. Your LLC’s business name should be original and adhere to your state’s regulations.
  2. Designate a Registered Agent. Assign a person or entity to handle receiving legal and official correspondence for your LLC. You, a partner, or an LLC formation service like ZenBusiness could serve as a Registered Agent.
  3. Submit the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State or equivalent office. These documents should typically outline your LLC’s name, address, and the Registered Agent’s name and contact details.
  4. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN). Although optional, you’ll likely need to secure an EIN from the IRS and sign up for state and local business taxes.

How To Start an LLC in Colorado: a Comprehensive Guide

Before you begin, be sure to take note of the following important points:
  • The state of Colorado charges a $50 filing fee for all new LLCs.
  • The person filing the Articles of Organization must be 18 years or older. They don’t have to be a member of the LLC.
  • All paperwork, including addresses, telephone numbers, and other personal contact information is viewable by the general public on the state’s website. For this reason, you may want to engage an LLC formation service as your Registered Agent to protect your privacy.

1. Choose a name for your LLC

Select a name that reflects your business and complies with Colorado’s naming rules. The name must be unique, not be too similar to existing businesses, and include an LLC designator like “Limited Liability Company,” “LLC,” or “L.L.C.” Perform a name search on Colorado’s Secretary of State website to ensure your chosen name is available.

You should also consider searching for and registering a domain name for your business website, which is included with an LLC formation plan from Tailor Brands.

2. Appoint a Registered Agent

A Registered Agent is a person or entity responsible for receiving legal documents (e.g., lawsuits, summons) and official government correspondence on behalf of your LLC. The Registered Agent must have a physical address (not a P.O. box) in the state of Colorado, and must be available during regular business hours.

You can choose a member of the LLC if it is a partnership, a friend, a professional Registered Agent service like ZenBusiness, or even yourself.

3. File Articles of Organization

This foundational document needs to be filed with Colorado’s Secretary of State office. This costs $50 and must include the following information, at minimum:
  • LLC name
  • Principal office address
  • Registered Agent’s name and address
  • Name and signature of the organizer(s)

4. Create an LLC Operating Agreement

An Operating Agreement is optional for LLCs in Colorado. This is a legal document that outlines the ownership, management structure, and operating procedures of your LLC. It typically includes information on:
  • Members’ ownership percentages
  • Voting rights and responsibilities
  • Profit and loss allocation
  • Management structure (member-managed or manager-managed)
  • Procedures for adding or removing members
Creating an Operating Agreement helps avoid disputes among members and provides clarity on how the business should be run.

5. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

An EIN is a unique nine-digit number assigned by the IRS to your LLC for tax purposes. It’s required for filing business taxes, hiring employees, and opening a business bank account, which you should also do to keep your personal and business finances separate.

However, if your LLC is a single-member LLC with no employees and is classified as a disregarded entity for tax purposes, you may be able to use your Social Security number (SSN) instead of an EIN for federal tax filing. But even in this case, it is generally recommended to obtain an EIN to separate business activities from personal ones and maintain the limited liability protection.

6. Register for state and local taxes

Depending on your business activities and location in the state of Colorado, you may need to register for various state and local taxes, such as:
  • Sales and use tax
  • Payroll tax
  • Income tax withholding
  • Unemployment insurance tax
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
Consult the Colorado Secretary of State website or a professional LLC formation service for more information on registration requirements in your local region.

7. Obtain necessary licenses and permits

Your LLC may require specific licenses or permits to operate legally in Colorado, depending on the industry and location. Examples include:
  • Professional or occupational licenses
  • Health and safety permits
  • Zoning and land use permits
  • Sales tax licenses
  • Environmental permits
Visit the Colorado Secretary of State and your local government websites for more information on required licenses and permits, or seek advice from ZenBusiness, which can come up with a plan to cover your exact requirements.

8. Maintain ongoing compliance

LLCs in Colorado are subject to ongoing state requirements to remain in good standing. These requirements include:
  • Filing a Periodic Report. The State of Colorado requires LLCs to submit an annual Periodic Report, which updates the state on key information about your business, such as ownership, Registered Agent, and contact information. This costs $10. Your Periodic Report is due by the end of the business’s formation anniversary month.
  • Maintaining a Registered Agent. Ensure that your Registered Agent remains available and maintains a valid physical address in the state where your LLC is formed.
  • Complying with state and federal tax obligations. File your LLC’s tax returns and pay any taxes owed on time. This may include federal income tax, state income tax, sales and use tax, payroll tax, and any other taxes that may be relevant to your particular business.
  • Renewing licenses and permits. Keep all required licenses and permits up to date by renewing them as needed. Failure to maintain proper licenses and permits can lead to fines or legal trouble.
By staying informed and diligently meeting these ongoing requirements, you can keep your LLC in good standing and protect your limited liability status. The easiest way to do this is to employ one of the selected business service providers we’ve researched and reviewed below.

These Are the Top LLC Formation Services for Colorado

There are a lot of LLC formation services out there. To come up with the best ones for Colorado LLCs, we looked for the following features:
  • A free (minus state fees) plan that saves you the most money.
  • Feature-packed plans, regardless of cost, so you get the best value.
  • Unique features not offered by most of the competition, such as creative services, financial tools, or specialty consultations, to move you along.
  • Ease of use and user friendliness, because who needs a service they have trouble using?
  • Good customer support, if you need help or guidance getting started.
  • Customization of plans and services, because not all businesses are built alike.
Here are our top LLC formation services specifically to start an LLC in Colorado.

ZenBusiness homepage with preferred business name text field to get started
ZenBusiness can offer you LLC formation services starting at $0 (plus state fees, of course)
ZenBusiness, a respected LLC formation service, caters to both side hustles and ambitious enterprises, offering highly customizable plans and product bundles that accommodate businesses of varying budgets.

ZenBusiness provides a free plan, followed by two paid options: Pro and Premium. While the free plan boasts a filing time of 2–3 weeks, you have the option to expedite it with an add-on. The Pro and Premium plans guarantee filing times of 1–2 days, and importantly, all plans come with a 100% Accuracy Guarantee, assuring you of ZenBusiness’ commitment to precision.

ZenBusiness plans also include a valuable extra – ZenBusiness Money Essential, a no-cost financial management tool for automated expense tracking. If you’re seeking advanced features, there’s the paid version, ZenBusiness Money Pro, which assists in monitoring expenses, income, invoicing, mileage, taxes, and more. To explore your options, you can take advantage of a complimentary 30-day trial of ZenBusiness Money Pro and make an informed comparison.


  • Tax consultations. Just for signing up, you’ll get a free 30-minute tax consultation through partner 1-800Accountant.
  • Mobile app. Access your account dashboard through an Android or iOS app in addition to desktop.
  • Website builder. ZenBusiness offers access to a proprietary website builder with the Premium plan. You also get a domain name and email address.
  • Full customization. You can modify your ZenBusiness plan so you get only the services you need – and you won’t be paying for anything you don’t.
Free plan (plus state fees)?
Expedited option?
Fastest available LLC filing time 1–2 days
Customer support Chatbot, email, phone

2. Tailor Brands: Build Your Brand From the Beginning

Tailor Brands homepage, with business name text field to get started
Tailor Brands gets you started quickly and easily
Tailor Brands stands out primarily for its array of visual design and marketing tools, alongside additional services that go well beyond mere LLC formation, encompassing graphic design, brand development resources, social media utilities, and website construction.

A noteworthy feature of Tailor Brands is its complimentary “plan generator.” By furnishing some details about yourself and your business, Tailor Brands constructs a checklist to guide you from your current position to a fully operational online presence. While you’ll encounter prompts to explore its plans and services along the way, following its valuable roadmap can help you transition from the conceptual phase to taking concrete steps in your entrepreneurial journey.


  • Free logo maker. Tailor Brands provides a free logo maker available with all plans, as well as advanced features available with the Elite plan.
  • Zazzle partnership. Get started with printed merchandise for your LLC with an exclusive deal with Zazzle.
  • In-house website design. For an added fee, Tailor Brands offers a custom website design to help your business get seen.
  • Trademark support. Tailor Brands can help you file your trademark application as an add-on service.
Free plan (plus state fees)?
Expedited option?
Fastest available LLC filing time Less than 2 days
Customer support Chatbot, email, phone

3. Swyft Filings: Ideal for Beginner Small Business Owners

Swyft Filings homepage, allowing users to choose entity type and state of formation to get started
Swyft Filings helps the beginner and veteran alike by doing the paperwork for you
If you’re a novice entrepreneur seeking a straightforward path to kickstart your venture, Swyft Filing emerges as an excellent choice. Swyft Filings simplifies the LLC filing process by minimizing the burden of paperwork, making it particularly well suited for newcomers.

The signup procedure takes only a few minutes, and once you gain access to Swyft Filings’ client account dashboard, you’ll find it exceptionally user-friendly.

Swyft Filings doesn’t just assist with the initial setup; it also aids in maintaining the smooth operation of your business. Every plan includes a complimentary 14-day trial of ComplianceGuard, a tool that helps you stay on top of state business compliance by providing annual reports, meeting minutes, and timely filing reminders. Whether you’re a complete novice or an established pro, Swyft Filings remains a reliable partner throughout your journey.


  • EIN application. With the Standard and Full Service plans, your EIN application is included for free.
  • Business license applications. Swyft Filings offers licensing and permit research and application services available as a paid add-on.
  • Specialty documents. With the Standard and Elite plans, you’ll gain access to specialty documents like Operating Agreements and banking resolutions.
  • Free Basic plan. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, Swyft Filings offers a basic service that provides everything you need.
Free plan?
Expedited option?
Fastest available LLC filing time 1–5 business days
Customer support Phone support, ticket support, knowledge base

Get Your Colorado LLC Off the Ground With Ease

Starting an LLC can be a dream come true – but only after you’ve completed all the paperwork. Our top three featured company formation services take all the hassle and headache out of getting your LLC up and running.

No matter how big or small your LLC venture might be, ZenBusiness has a plan that will work for you. Its plans pack a lot of value, including its free one. And its competitors don’t offer many of the features it includes for free, such as 100% Accuracy Guarantee and ZenBusiness Money Essential, with every plan.

If brand building is your main priority, consider Tailor Brands. This provider is known for its creative and marketing services and tools. From your logo to your website, it has you covered.

Or, if you’re a newbie just starting out and want a lot of guidance along the way, go with Swyft Filings. It offers a fast, intuitive signup process and an easy-to-use client dashboard.

Here are our top picks at a glance for Colorado:

Standout feature Bonus feature #1 Bonus feature #2 Starting price
ZenBusiness Customizable range of plans 100% Accuracy Guarantee Free tax consultations $0
Tailor Brands Branding and marketing tools Business “launch plan” generator State and local permit research and filing service $0
Swyft Filings Ease of use for beginners Excellent client dashboard Free trial of ComplianceGuard $0


How do I start an LLC in Colorado?

To start an LLC in Colorado, you’ll need to follow all the requirements laid out by the Secretary of State. This includes choosing a unique name for your LLC, filing your Articles of Organization, and paying the required filing fee. You can do this on your own or use an LLC formation service to ensure you get everything filed properly.

What are the benefits of starting an LLC in Colorado?

Starting an LLC in Colorado allows you to separate your personal and business assets. It offers flexibility in management, allowing members to choose how the LLC is run and structured. Plus, Colorado offers several programs to assist new businesses with financing and tax credits through its Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

How can I start an LLC in Colorado for free?

No matter how you start your LLC, you’ll be required to pay the state fees charged by the Secretary of State. However, if you want to use an LLC formation service, we recommend ZenBusiness, as it offers a free basic plan to help you get started, as well as paid add-ons if you need them.

Which LLC formation service provides Registered Agent services?

Most LLC formation services offer Registered Agent services if you’d prefer not to do this yourself – basically, this involves being available for business communications during regular work hours. All three of our top vendors can act as your Registered Agent in any US state, but this will incur an additional fee. If you’re going to be available during regular business hours, you might find it more cost-effective to be your own Registered Agent, which is perfectly legal.

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