Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado Secretary
of State Jena Griswold
www.coloradosos.gov
www.sos.state.co.us

Colorado Secretary of State logo - Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold

Picture of Secretary of State Jena Griswold

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Colorado Secretary of State logo - cube with a C in it

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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Business FAQs

FAQ menu

Starting 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 - eLearning. See the "eLearning" section of the Business home page.

The Small Business Development Center published the Colorado Business Resource Book which contains information about forming, licensing, and funding a business.

Additionally, you can access valuable information from the State of Colorado’s official website, Colorado.gov, or you can visit MyBizColorado to get information about starting a new business in Colorado and to start online registration with other Colorado state agencies.

You can find additional resources from the federal government’s small business administration website, sba.gov.

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. What type of business should I form?

A2. Your business is unique. We do not know every situation your business is facing and cannot answer legal-based questions. We suggest talking to an attorney or business advisor if you need more help.

Q3. What is my EIN (Employer Identification Number)? How do I get an EIN?

A3. Our office doesn’t issue EINs. The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issues Employer Identification Numbers ("EIN"’s). Information is available on the IRS website "Employer ID Numbers".

You need to register at Colorado Department of Revenue for a state tax number.

Q4. I want to begin a Sole Proprietorship or General Partnership. What do I need to do?

A4. Filing a Statement of Trade Name creates a record of your business. You can file a Statement of Trade Name of a sole proprietorship or a general partnership with the Secretary of State's office online.

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, www.colorado.gov/revenue. For information regarding federal taxes and obtaining an employer identification number (EIN), contact the Internal Revenue Service, www.irs.gov. Another resource for additional filings is MyBizColorado.

Q5. How do I form an S corporation or C corporation?

A5. The S or C corporation status is not a distinction made at our office. 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), www.irs.gov only. Questions should be addressed to the IRS or your legal, business, or tax advisor(s).

Q6. How do I obtain a business license?

A6. Once you have filed your business with the Secretary of State’s office, you may need to research federal, state, county, and local government licensing requirements. Some licenses are issued at the 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.

Q7. What are the next steps to take after I file with the Secretary of State?

A7. Check out our eLearning “What’s next for my new business?”.