Business FAQs

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


Beginning a business

Q1. Where can I find information on beginning a business in Colorado?

A1.  Several resources are available from the Secretary of State’s website for an individual who is planning to begin a business in Colorado, such as Starting a business in Colorado - tutorial. See the "Help and Resources" section of the Business home page.

The Colorado Business Resource Book also contains information about forming, licensing, and funding a business.

Additionally, you can access valuable information from the State of Colorado’s official website,, as well as the federal government’s official business website,

Finally, consult with a knowledgeable professional, such as an attorney or an accountant, who can provide guidance in answering important questions, such as the best type of entity for your situation or the tax implications associated with a certain entity type.


Q2. I want to begin a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership. What do I need to do?

A2.  The trade name of a sole proprietorship or a general partnership can be registered by filing a Statement of Trade Name with the Secretary of State's office. Filing a Statement of Trade Name creates a record of the name.

Filing instructions

Information regarding starting a business can be found in the "Help and Resources" section on the Business Home page. For information regarding state taxes and state sales tax licensing, contact the Colorado Department of Revenue, For information regarding federal taxes and obtaining an employer identification number (EIN), contact the Internal Revenue Service,


Q3. How do I form an S corporation or C corporation?

A3.  S corporations are corporations that elect to pass corporate income, losses, deductions, and credits through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes.

For federal income tax purposes, a C corporation is recognized as a separate taxpaying entity.

The S or C corporation status is determined when filing with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), only. Questions should be addressed to the IRS or your legal, business, or tax advisor(s). The S or C corporation status is not a distinction made at our office.


Q4. How do I obtain a business license?

A4.  The Business & Licensing Division of the Secretary of State’s office does not issue licenses to conduct business in Colorado. However, most businesses are first filed in our office. You may need to research federal, state, county, and local government licensing requirements. Some licenses are issued at the Colorado Department of Revenue or Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) depending on the type of business you are conducting. Other licenses are issued through local city or county offices.