Business FAQs

Contents
Attachments & additional information
Beginning a business
Business survey information
Certificate of Good Standing
Certifications
Delayed effective date
Dissolution and reinstatement
Electronic filing
Email notification
Filing documents and finding information
Foreign (outside of Colorado) business entities
Glossary
Missing, illegible, or incorrectly indexed records
Names
Noncompliance and delinquency
Periodic reports
Personal identifying information
Professional service companies
Public benefit corporations
Ratification of defective corporate action
Registered agent
Secure business filing
Tax information
Trademarks
Trade names

 

Names

Q1. What does "the name is not available" mean?

A1. If a name is not available, 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 (i.e., different) 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 can make a name distinguishable. For example, a Limited Liability Company (LLC) must include the appropriate term or abbreviation in their name; however, entities with similar names could use different abbreviations for an LLC and be considered distinguishable. These name rules apply to corporations, nonprofits, partnerships, etc.

The following pairs of names are distinguishable:

ABC LLC is not the same as ABC Limited Liability Company
ABC LLC is not the same as A B C LLC
ABC LLC is not the same as A-B-C LLC
ABC LLC is not the same as (ABC) LLC
ABC LLC is not the same as ABC INC

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. Why do I need to include a term or abbreviation in my business name?

A3. Colorado state statute 7-90-601, C.R.S. requires most business entities to include a term or abbreviation in their name. The term or abbreviation identifies the entity type of the business. You may want to contact legal counsel or a business advisor for help with how your business name relates to your entity type.

 

Q4. Will you add a term or abbreviation to my business entity name?

A4. No. Depending on how the business is structured, specific terms and abbreviations may be required in the name (LLC, Inc, etc.). You must include a term or abbreviation in the business name per 7-90-601, C.R.S.  For more information about the designator requirements for different types of entities, see 7-90-601, C.R.S. or the list of terms or abbreviations.

 

Q5. I don’t have “LLC”, “Inc”, “Corp”, or another required term or abbreviation in my business name. What can I do?

A5. 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 Home page for that entity.
  5. If you searched by the name, you will see a list of matching records. Click on the ID number of the correct record.
  6. Select File a form from the Home page and then select the document to be filed.

 

Q6. How do I change my business name?

A6. 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 Home page for that entity.
  5. If you searched by the name, you will see a list of matching records. Click on the ID number of the correct record.
  6. Select File a form from the Home page and then select the document to be filed.

 

Q7. My name was changed to include words such as “Delinquent”, “Dissolved”, “Withdrawn”, or “Colorado Authority Terminated”. What does this mean?

A7. 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 per Colorado law.

 

Q8. Can I reserve a name until I am ready to file my documents?

A8. 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.

 

Q9. Should I include a term or abbreviation in my name reservation?

A9. You should include the appropriate term or abbreviation when reserving a name. Depending on how the business is structured, specific terms and abbreviations may be required in the name (LLC, Inc, etc.), so you should determine your business structure before reserving a name. For help with determining your business structure, contact legal counsel or a business advisor. For a list of terms or abbreviations for each entity type, see our List of terms and abbreviations page.

The term or abbreviation you use will impact the distinguishability, or uniqueness, of the name. For example, “ABC, LLC” is distinguishable from “ABC, Limited Liability Company”. For more information see Q1 above.

 

Q10. How do I transfer the name of my business to another business?

A10. 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 available for filing.

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