How to File Colorado LLC Articles of Organization
A lot goes into the conception and planning of a new business. It is the Colorado Articles of Organization that make the LLC official. Being prepared before sitting down to complete the application will help you finish it efficiently.
First, have all of the required information handy. You will be asked for the following information:
- Name and address of the LLC *
- Name(s) and address(es) of the individual(s) forming the LLC
- Name and address of the registered agent*
- Name and address of the individual doing the filing
- Indication of whether the management of the LLC is vested in a manager(s) or the members
- A delayed effective date (optional)
- Email address for notifications of upcoming due dates affecting business (optional)
*The address must be a physical address. It cannot be a post office box.
A sample of the Articles of Organization document is available on the Secretary of State website.
Second, the cost of filing the Articles of Organization is $50. The articles may only be filed online.
Finally, because applications are filed online, they are processed immediately after being submitted. The Secretary of State does not send back confirmation copies of filings. However, images of the document are available to view and print. Go to the the Entity’s summary page and click on “Filing History and Documents.”
Want Help Filing Your Colorado Articles of Organization?
If you decide to use your time building your business rather than completing paperwork, but don’t want to spend the money on an attorney, an LLC formation website is a great compromise.
Lots of services are out there but do vary in perks offered, processing times (theirs, not the state’s), and price.
In general, a service will collect and review your information, prepare the documents, and submit them to the Business & Licensing Division of the Colorado Secretary of State. They will contact you when the Articles of Organization have been filed.
One additional benefit offered by some services is a free year of registered agent service. Others offer order tracking or notifications of future legal requirements needed with the state.
After reviewing all the top incorporation services available, we found IncFile and Northwest Registered Agent the best overall options. While neither of them have as high brand power as the industry giant, LegalZoom, both services have great customer support, prices and offer a free CO registered agent.
(Post Formation Checklist) After LLC Formation
After you have filed the formation documents with the state, it’s important not to overlook a few critical details.
On the federal level, most LLCs do not pay taxes directly to the government. Instead, they report income and losses on the owner’s personal 1040 tax returns. Schedule C is often used for reporting. Unless the LLC chooses to be taxed as a corporation, a single-member LLC is taxed as a Sole Proprietorship and a multi-member LLC is taxed as a Partnership.
Unlike many other states, Colorado does not have a franchise or privilege tax for the privilege of doing business in the state. Unless electing to be taxed as a corporation, LLCs are taxed on “pass through” income on individuals’ personal income tax returns. In some cases, Colorado offers a gross receipts tax as an alternative to income tax. In order to qualify for this tax, income must be generated only through sales and total less than $100,000. In addition, the taxpayer may not rent or own real estate in Colorado.
If your business hires employees, you will need to withhold and pay employee income taxes. This requires registering online or through the mail with the State of Colorado. You will also need to pay unemployment insurance taxes. This requires registration with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. For more information, visit their website: https://www.colorado.gov/cdle/unemployment.
For information on tax requirements for LLCs, visit the Colorado Department of Revenue website.
The Business & Licensing Division of the Secretary of State’s office does not issue licenses. Required licenses vary depending on the type of LLC being formed. The Colorado Department of Revenue (DOR) or Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) issues some licenses. Other licenses are issued through local city or county offices.
A periodic (annual) report needs to be submitted to the Secretary of State’s office each year. The report helps keep an LLC’s information current and maintain “good standing” status.
To determine the month that your LLC needs to file the report, check your entity’s summary page. See the directions from the Secretary of State’s website below.
In addition, if you would like to have an email reminder sent, register on the Business and Licensing Division’s email notification service.
The periodic report can be filed up to two months prior to your periodic report month. If late filing the report, you can file a late periodic report for an additional two months following your report month.
If the LLC fails to file the periodic report within this three-month time frame, the entity’s status will change from “good standing” to “noncompliant,” and a $50 late fee will be added.
If the LLC remains noncompliant for 60 days or more, the status changes to “delinquent,” and a statement curing delinquency must be filed to return to good standing.
The periodic report needs to be completed online and costs $10 for filing.