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

Colorado
Secretary of State
Jena Griswold

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

Trade names

Q1. What is a trade name?

A1. A trade name is an assumed name used to identify the business or activities of an individual or organization.

  • Sometimes a trade name is referred to as a “doing business as”, “DBA”, or “assumed” name.
  • A trade name is a name different than the true name

For more information, see section 7-90-102 (63.3), and Article 71 of Title 7, C.R.S. or talk to an attorney or business advisor.

Q2. Who is required to file a trade name?

A2. A for-profit business not using the entity’s true name or an individual not using their legal first and last name to conduct business in Colorado is required to file a trade name.

Here is the list of persons required to file:

  • Individual (e.g., sole proprietorship)
  • Non-Reporting Entity (e.g., general partnership)
  • Estate, Trust, State, or Other Jurisdiction
  • Reporting Entity (e.g., corporation or limited liability company)
  • Domestic Limited Partnership
  • Dissolved or Delinquent Reporting Entity or a Converted Entity

Q3. If two persons have filed the same trade name, how do I know with whom I have been doing business?

A3. If more than one person has filed the same trade name, look at the Statement of Trade Name document for each. There should be adequate information to distinguish between the businesses.

Q4. What if someone else is using the same trade name?

A4. Trade names are not distinguishable or unique, so more than one person can file the same trade name.

Q5. Should my non-profit file for a trade name?

A5. A nonprofit may, but is not required to, file a statement of trade name for any name other than its true name under which it does business.

Q6. Does filing a Statement of Reservation of Name reserve a trade name?

A6. No. Filing a trade name and reserving an entity name are two different transactions. A trade name cannot be reserved. For more information about the Statement of Reservation of Name refer to 7-90-602, C.R.S.

Q7. How do I file a trade name?

A7. A trade name is filed by submitting the appropriate Statement of Trade Name form for your type of business.

  1. Go to the Business Organizations page
  2. Select File a business document
  3. Select if this is for a new or an existing record

If this is to create a new record:

  1. Select trade name
  2. Select the type of business to register your trade name
  3. Complete the trade name form through payment confirmation

If this will be filed under an existing record:

  1. Search for your business record
  2. On your Summary page select File a form
  3. Select to file a trade name
  4. Complete the trade name form through payment confirmation

A Statement of Trade Name must be filed and paid for online. For line-by-line instructions, refer to Help on this page while filing.

Q8. Can I change my trade name into a reporting entity, such as an LLC?

A8. No, trade names cannot be converted into an entity. You can withdraw your trade name and file a document to form an entity.

More information about reporting entities

Q9. How long is a trade name effective for a reporting entity? Can a trade name be renewed?

A9. A trade name for a reporting entity is effective as long as the entity remains in Good Standing or in Non-compliant status.

When a reporting entity's status becomes Delinquent or Dissolved, the trade name remains effective for one year from the date of Delinquency or Dissolution. If the Delinquent or Dissolved entity cures its delinquency or reinstates before the trade name expires, then the trade name will continue to be effective as long as the entity remains in Good Standing.

If the entity remains Delinquent or Dissolved, the trade name can remain effective by filing the annual renewal.

Q10. How long is a trade name effective for an individual, a non-reporting entity, or an estate/trust/state/other jurisdiction? Can a trade name be renewed?

A10. A trade name for one of these entity types is effective for one year.

A trade name for one of these entity types will expire on the first day following the anniversary month of the original filing unless a Statement of Trade Name Renewal is filed. For example, if a trade name for a general partnership was filed on June 15, 2023, the trade name will expire on July 1, 2024 unless it is renewed first.

Trade names can be renewed every year. A renewal can be filed at any time during the three months prior to its expiration date. For example, if a trade name was filed on June 15, 2023, the trade name will expire on July 1, 2024. Therefore, a Statement of Trade Name Renewal can be filed between April 1, 2024 and June 30, 2024.

Once this expires it cannot be renewed.

Q11. My trade name has a status of Expired. Why?

A11. If a trade name does not get renewed on time we change the status to “Expired”. If a trade name registration expires, a new Statement of Trade Name would need to be filed in order to maintain an effective trade name registration.

Q12. Can I renew an expired trade name?

A12. No. An expired trade name cannot be renewed. If a trade name has expired, a new Statement of Trade Name may be filed using the same name. This filing will create a new trade name. The expired record will remain in the records of the Secretary of State and will not be associated with the new trade name filing.

Q13. Will I be notified when my trade name renewal is due?

A13. The Secretary of State’s office will send a complimentary email if you have signed up to receive email notification.

The first renewal notice will be sent at the beginning of the month in which the trade name can be renewed. If a renewal is not filed, a second notice will be sent one week before the trade name will expire.

Each person is responsible for timely renewal of the trade name, regardless of notification. Expired trade names cannot be renewed.

Q14. I no longer want my trade name. What do I file?

A14. A Statement of Trade Name Withdrawal can be filed if you no longer want your trade name. You may choose not to file a Statement of Trade Name Renewal, which will result in the expiration of the trade name.

Q15. Can I transfer my trade name to someone else?

A15. No, trade names are not transferable. Trade names are not required to be unique, so a Statement of Trade Name can be filed at any time for the same name.

Q16. How do I correct, withdraw, or make a change to the trade name filing?

A16. To correct, withdraw, or make a change to the trade name filing:

  1. From the Business Organizations page, select “Search business database”.
  2. Enter the record name or ID number and click “Search”.
  3. If you enter a name, a list of entities with similar names will display. Select the ID Number of the appropriate entity.
  4. On the Summary page, select “File a Form”.
  5. On the “Documents Available for Filing” page, select the appropriate document.

Q17. Why can’t I see the trade name document filed prior to 2006?

A17. In 2006 trade names were transferred to our office from the Department of Revenue and we didn’t get a copy of your filing. If your document number starts with “1448”, you’ll need to contact the Colorado Department of Revenue.