Colorado filing fees

What are the Business Filing Fees in Colorado?

Starting a business in Colorado means paying a variety of government filing fees. We’ve compiled the most common ones here so that you’ll know what to expect.


Are you thinking of starting a business in Colorado? If so, you can expect to pay some filing fees to get your company off the ground. Depending on the type of business you’re forming, you may also have to pay fees to renew licenses, file annual reports, or pay for permits. Limited liability companies (LLCs), corporations, and other statutory businesses have initial filing fees, and most will need to pay other kinds of fees throughout the lifecycle of their business. If you need to create your business, we can help with our LLC Formation service or Corporation Formation service.

If all of this sounds scary, don’t worry. Use this simple guide to understand what kinds of fees you may have to pay when you set up your California business, and how we can help.

Step 1: Pay your Colorado business’s initial filing fees

Initial fees are the ones statutory businesses must pay to the state of Colorado to start their business. Corporations, both for-profit and nonprofit, and LLCs in Colorado must file their initial paperwork with Colorado’s Secretary of State as well as a filing fee. For corporations, this required paperwork includes the Articles of Incorporation. For an LLC, you’ll need to file Articles of Organization.

While turnaround time generally runs around three weeks, you can expedite your filing and get your new company up and running in three days. Expect to pay extra for these expedited services.

To make things even easier, check out our expedited filing service, which speeds up your filing time so you can ramp up your business even faster.

Step 2: Reserve your Colorado business’s name 

The state of Colorado lets you reserve an available name for your business for 120 days before you actually open your doors for a small fee, which you can renew if necessary. Reserving a name isn’t required, and you aren’t actually starting your business when you do it. This step just keeps anyone else in the state from using the business name you want.

If you’re looking to reserve a business name, we can help through our name reservation service, so you can focus on the other startup tasks ahead of you.

Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Colorado

Colorado requires certain types of for-profit businesses to file a trade name or fictitious name, also known as a DBA (short for “doing business as”) when the company doesn’t use an individual’s actual legal name to conduct business. There are many reasons to choose this option, especially if you’re looking to expand into new industries or your legal name doesn’t quite convey the products and services you want to offer. All business types (statutory or not) must file DBAs if they intend to use one. We offer a DBA service to make this process easier.

In Colorado, a DBA is good for one year and must be renewed annually to stay active.

Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Your company needs an employer identification number, or EIN, to be able to hire employees, file tax returns, and open bank accounts. The EIN is issued by the IRS, and the application is free. But if you run into issues or don’t have the time, we can obtain an EIN for you.

In Colorado, the Colorado Department of Revenue issues wage withholding account numbers, which are essentially the state equivalent of the EIN.

Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Colorado business

Although it’s smart for LLCs in Colorado to create operating agreements, which codify how a company expects to conduct business and resolve conflicts, the state doesn’t require them. The same is true for corporate bylaws, and Colorado is one of the few states that doesn’t require a corporation to establish and maintain bylaws throughout the lifecycle of the business. Required or not, these are important documents for any business’s future success.

If you’re looking to create an operating agreement for your LLC but aren’t sure how to start, we have an LLC operating agreement template to help you tailor one to your business’s needs.

Step 6: Apply for your Colorado business’s necessary licenses and permits

Colorado requires permits and licenses for certain types of businesses. Apply for a business license with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies if your business falls within the following industries:

  • Health care
  • Personal services
  • Banking and finance
  • Transportation (which also may require permits)
  • Insurance
  • Home improvement (which also may require permits)

In addition, your local county or city may require your business to obtain a business license. Requirements and fees vary greatly from one location to another, so it can be difficult to figure out just what licensing and permitting you need. We can make things easier by providing you with a business license report to help you find the permits or licenses your Colorado business might need.

Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses

For Colorado, foreign (out-of-state) businesses are those located outside the state of Colorado. If your company is a foreign business, you must file a Statement of Foreign Entity Authority with the Colorado Secretary of State to gain the right to conduct business in Colorado and pay the applicable fee.

Unlike most other states, Colorado doesn’t require a Certificate of Good Standing (CGS) to do business in the state.

Step 8: Check Colorado’s periodic report requirements and fees

Annual reports, which are called “periodic reports” in Colorado, are required in Colorado from:

  • Corporations
  • LLCs
  • Limited partnerships
  • Limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships
  • Foreign companies transacting business in the state

Your first periodic report is due two months after you form your company, with subsequent reports due within two months of the formation anniversary every year. Periodic reports require a filing fee, with a late filing penalty assessed on late filers. Luckily, this is another task we can handle for you. Our annual report service provides a no-hassle way to comply with this filing requirement and make sure you have plenty of warning when deadlines are approaching,

Step 9: Keep your Colorado business legally compliant

Colorado requires you to file a Statement of Change when you make certain changes to your business, including changes to the company’s name, principal office address, or registered agent.

Statements of Correction are required to correct any errors regarding these same facts, as well as to amend errors in filing foreign entities or to correct information for the record.

To handle these changes and amendments, check out our amendment service and Worry-Free Compliance service, both of which can take the burdensome details of compliance off your plate so you can focus on your business.

Let us help you keep your business compliant with Colorado law

Falling out of compliance with Colorado’s regulations can result in penalties and fines — not to mention some real anxiety. Through our business formation and compliance services, we can take some of the pressure off. Not only can we form your business in minutes, but our compliance services can keep up with the paperwork so you can focus on what’s important: growing your Colorado business.


  • Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Colorado?

    Companies that file their periodic report late in Colorado pay a penalty of $50.

  • What happens if I can't pay my fees to the Colorado government?

    If a business fails to file its periodic report and pay the corresponding fee, the Colorado Secretary of State’s office considers the business delinquent. The Secretary of State advises delinquent companies to seek legal counsel.

  • Who receives the fees for forming my Colorado business?

    Filing fees for forming a Colorado business go to the Colorado Secretary of State.

  • What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Colorado business?

    Filing fees vary based on business type and whether or not you need to expedite your formation. A full fee schedule is available on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.

  • What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Colorado government?

    Pay your fees online using a credit or debit card or a prepaid gift card. Companies that do a lot of business with the Secretary of State’s office are encouraged to establish a prepaid account for ease of processing.

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