Business FAQs

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Entity names
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Trade names

 

Entity names

Q1. What does "the name is not available" or “this name is not distinguishable” mean?

A1. If a name is not available or not distinguishable, it means that the name is currently on record with the Secretary of State. In order to be available, an entity name must be distinguishable from other entity names that are on record.

The following will make a name distinguishable:

  • Articles of speech such as ‘the’ and ‘a’
  • Terms and abbreviations included in an entity name (such as “LLC”, “Corp”, and “Inc”)

For example, the following pairs of names are distinguishable:

ABC Inc is not the same as ABC Incorporated
ABC Inc is not the same as ABCInc
ABC Inc is not the same as A B C Inc
ABC Inc is not the same as A-B-C Inc
ABC Inc is not the same as (ABC) Inc
ABC Inc is not the same as ABC LLC

The following will not make a name distinguishable:

  • Periods (.), commas (,), underscores ( _ ), apostrophes (‘) and inverted apostrophes (`)
  • Uppercase and lowercase letters are not distinguishable from each other

For example, the following pairs of names are not distinguishable:

ABC Inc is the same as abc inc
ABC Inc is the same as A.B.C. Inc
ABC Inc is the same as ABC, Inc.

See section 7-90-601, C.R.S., for more information about name distinguishability.

You may want to contact legal counsel before deciding to use a name that is very similar to another name.


Q2. How can I find out if a name is available for use?

A2. There are two ways to search for an available name.

Name availability search:

  • Will tell you whether a specific name is available
  • Will not show you similar names

Business database search:

  • Will display similar names to the name entered
  • Will not show you if a name is available

Searching our database for a few key words and leaving out any required terms and abbreviations (such as “LLC”, “Corp”, and “Inc”), articles of speech, and small words will usually yield better results.

If an entity on record with the Secretary of State is using the searched name, the Name Availability Search Result page will display the message, “The name is not available”.

Trade names and trademarks are not included in the Name Availability search. Any trade name may be registered, even if it is similar to or exactly the same as another name that is in the records. Trademarks are governed by different laws and will not be included in the name availability search.

You may want to contact legal counsel before deciding to use a name that is very similar to another name.


Q3. I forgot to put “LLC”, “Inc”, “Corp”, or another required term or abbreviation in my business name. What can I do?

A3. If you did not include a required term or abbreviation indicating your type of entity when you filed your original document, you may add a term or abbreviation by filing a Statement of Correction, Statement of Change, or Articles of Amendment.

Completing and submitting the appropriate Statement of Correction will allow you to correct the name by adding the appropriate term or abbreviation. Filing a Statement of Correction indicates that the name should have included the term or abbreviation at the time of filing the original document.

Completing the Articles of Amendment or Statement of Change will allow you to change the name. Filing an Amendment or a Statement of Change indicates that the original name was correct and you’re changing it now.

To file a Statement of Correction, a Statement of Change, or Articles of Amendment:

  1. Go to the Business Organizations page.
  2. Under Search & file, click on Search business database.
  3. Enter the name or ID number of the record that you are interested in and click on "Search".
  4. If you searched by ID number, you will be taken directly to the Summary page for that record.
    If you searched by the name, you will see a list of matching records. Click on the ID number of the correct record.
  5. Select File a form from the Summary page and then select the document to be filed.


Q4. How do I change my business name?

A4. There are different ways to change a business name. Some options include filing an Amendment or filing a Statement of Change, depending on your type of business entity.

To file an Amendment or a Statement of Change:

  1. Go to the Business Organizations page.
  2. Under Search & file, click on Search business database.
  3. Enter the name or ID number of the record that you are interested in and click on "Search".
  4. If you searched by ID number, you will be taken directly to the Summary page for that record.
    If you searched by the name, you will see a list of matching records. Click on the ID number of the correct record.
  5. Select File a form from the Summary page and then select the document to be filed.


Q5. Do I have to include a term or abbreviation in my business name? What is a "designator"?

A5. A "designator" is a term or abbreviation that is included in your entity or business name. Most business entities are required to include a designator in their name. The designator can be capitalized any way that you want. For more information about the designator requirements for different types of entities, see 7-90-601, C.R.S. or the list of designators.


Q6. My name was changed to include words such as “Delinquent”, “Dissolved”, “Withdrawn”, or “Colorado Authority Terminated”. What does this mean?

A6. This language was added to the end of your name when the entity status changed through delinquency, dissolution, or withdrawal. This language must stay on the name as long as the status remains.


Q7. Can I reserve a name until I am ready to file my documents?

A7. Yes, you can reserve a name with the Secretary of State before filing business entity documents. Name reservations are good for 120 days. A reserved name is merely held; reserving a name does not "start a business". A name reservation can be renewed by filing a Statement of Renewal of Reservation of Name.


Q8. How do I transfer the name of my business to another business?

A8. A business cannot transfer its name or trade name to another business. However, an entity can file the appropriate form to change its name or dissolve the entity, which will make the entity name immediately available for filing.

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