How To Do A Colorado Business Name Search
Whether you’re researching the availability of a business name or checking the status of a business entity, find the information you need from the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.
The Secretary of State Business Entity Database provides information for sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and LLCs registered in Colorado.
There is no fee to search the entity name database.
Also See: Guide to Starting a Business in Colorado
Steps For Searching Corporation and LLC Names In Colorado
Step 1: Visit the Colorado Entity Name Database
Visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.
Enter the name you would like to use in the “Corporation Search” section of the site. In this example, we will look up “Sew What” and then click “Search.” It is recommended to search by “Contains,” “Begins With,” and “Exact Match” to search your name thoroughly.
Step 2: Search for a Business Name
We get a response that the name is available to use.
Step 3: Review Results
Even though we get a response that says the name is available, it is a good idea to click on “search the business database”. If there is another name that is similar, the Secretary of State may not approve your name choice. This name has several similar names and there are some that are concerning. Looking at the “Status” column, we can often rule out those that say “Expired”, “Voluntarily Dissolved” or “Delinquent”. We do want to look closer at ones if they have “Effective” or “Good Standing”.Seeing so many results that are close, it’s questionable but possible that that name is available. In this instance, it would be best to verify with the Secretary of State for confirmation before filing.
We could do a business name availability search for “Sew What Clothing” and get the message that the name is not available. This name is definitely off-limits to be registered.
Something to keep in mind is that even though each Corporation and LLC name must be unique, it may not stop someone else from using that name since business names for a sole proprietorship or partnership are not registered by the Secretary of State and are not required to be unique. To protect your business name, consider getting a trademark.
How to Register a Trade Name (Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships)
To register, a sole proprietorship or partnership operating their business under a name that is different from the owner’s legal name will register for a Trade Name, also known as “Doing Business As,” DBA, Assumed Name, or Trade Name.
How do I form an LLC in Colorado?
Before starting your business and forming an LLC, be sure to do the business entity search first to make sure the name is available to use. Once you know the LLC name is available, learn how to form a Colorado LLC by reading our step-by-step guide on filing the Articles of Organization.
While not required in Washington, an Operating Agreement, which contains the rules for how the LLC operates, is a document worth considering, especially for multi-member LLCs.
What are the requirements to name an LLC in Colorado?
In addition to the name being unique, the name of the LLC must include a special designator such as Limited Liability Company, LLC, L.L.C., etc., in addition to not using restricted words such as bank or insurance, unless the entity is licensed to operate as such.
Can an Colorado LLC name be reserved?
If you have a name in mind, but you aren’t ready to officially form your LLC, you can reserve the name for up to 120 days by filing a Statement of Reservation of Name form with the Colorado Secretary of State. There is a $25 filing fee to file the Colorado Name Reservation form.