How Much Does It Cost to Form a CO Corporation?
Legal business registration — and maintaining a status of good standing — involves necessary expenses and investment. Some of these costs are payable to the CO Secretary of State, while others are due to additional state entities or the federal government. Here are some common requirements and fees.
Please note that fees for a State of Colorado business license or permit may be due when you first form your business, on an ongoing schedule or on an ad hoc basis. Find more details below.
Initial Colorado Corporation Filing Fees
When starting a business in Colorado State, you’ll need to file a form and pay a filing fee. Here are the current Colorado corporation filing fees and times:
When you use Incfile to register a business in Colorado, we charge you the state filing fee and forward it to the Secretary of State when we file your incorporation paperwork.
Employer Identification Number
Every corporation in the country should have a unique EIN (Employer Identification Number) from the Internal Revenue Service. You'll use it when you open a business bank account, file taxes and pay employees. You can get one directly from the IRS, or Incfile can get one for you.
If you want to do business in a state other than the one where your business is based, you must create a Foreign Corporation.
Colorado Foreign Corporation Registration
Before you can bring an arm of your business from another state into Colorado, you must request Colorado Foreign Qualification. This means the state gives you permission to conduct business there.
To request registration of a Colorado Foreign Corporation, you must complete a Statement of Foreign Entity Authority via the Secretary of State's website and pay a processing fee of $100. The state may have additional registration requirements, so contact the Colorado Secretary of State directly for more information and to ensure you're in compliance with CO corporation law.
Foreign Qualification to Operate in Another State
If you plan to expand your Colorado corporation into another state, you’ll first need Foreign Qualification or a Certificate of Authority from that state. This is necessary before you can create a physical presence, hire employees or bank in that state.
You'll likely have to complete at least one application and pay a filing fee, but each state has its own requirements. Before you start the process, compare state filing times and state filing fees so you can plan accordingly.
Above all, contact the state government entity that administers business (usually the Secretary of State) to confirm their requirements and for specific instructions.
If you need assistance, Incfile provides a complete Foreign Qualification service for all states.
Colorado Annual Report Requirements
Most states require business entities to file an annual (or other periodic) report. Colorado requires a periodic report to be filed once a year with the Colorado SOS.
Your periodic report must be submitted electronically with the Secretary of State accompanied with a filing fee of $10.
During the three-month beginning with the first day of the entity’s anniversary month of incorporation.
State of Colorado Business License and Permit Requirements
Before you start doing business, you must secure the necessary state, federal or local business licenses and permits to operate your corporation. Some of the fees will only need to be paid once, while others may be ongoing charges.
Permits and licenses vary based on:
Unlike many states, you aren't required to have corporation bylaws if you form a corporation in the state of Colorado. This means you don't need to file them with the Colorado Secretary of State, but regardless of legalities it's still a good idea to make and keep bylaws for your corporation.
The bylaws must then be adopted (and amended, if necessary) by the board of directors and shareholders.
Drafting a set of bylaws can be extremely helpful in making sure you’re organized and can help protect your business from any future changes and events that may affect your business.
Other CO Corporation Filing Requirements and Fees
The State of Colorado requires you to complete a few more tasks before you can begin conducting business.
In Colorado, the board of directors may elect officers such as the president, secretary, and treasurer, but at least one officer must hold the responsibility of the preparation and maintenance of minutes of the directors’ and shareholders’ meetings and other records and information required to be kept.
Issue Stock to Shareholders
To raise business capital and keep it separate from company owners' money, every Colorado corporation must sell stock to its shareholders. The Articles of Incorporation must authorize the sale of at least one class of share, and the corporation cannot sell more shares than are authorized.
Hold Annual General Meetings
In Colorado corporations are required to hold annual meetings, however if you fail to do so, C.R.S. 7-107-101 states, "The failure to hold an annual meeting at the time determined pursuant to subsection (1) of this section does not affect the validity of any corporate action and does not work a forfeiture or dissolution of the corporation."
Change the Registered Agent
If your corporation is based in Colorado, then you must have a Registered Agent in the state. You'll need to appoint one when you file your Articles of Incorporation. You can also change to a new Registered Agent later by filing a form and paying a fee of $10.
Reserving a Name for Your Corporation
If you're not quite ready to start your business, you can reserve a name for 120 days with the Secretary of State by via the Secretary of State website and paying a fee of $25. First, conduct a CO corporation search and learn the state's business naming rules to ensure you choose a name that meets legal requirements.
Amending Facts About Your Corporation
When you incorporate, the Colorado business forms you fill out include certain facts about your business at that time. Through the years, some or all of this information may change. If it does, you'll need to file Articles of Amendment with the Secretary of State via their website along with a filing fee of $25. You can do this yourself or Incfile can do it for you.
Get a Certificate of Good Standing
Some organizations may request that you prove your corporation's compliance with laws and tax requirements. In most states, including Colorado, this proof is provided with a Certificate of Good Standing.
If you need to prove you have met your commitments, you’ll need to request a CO Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State. You can do this by submitting the request electronically via their website. There is no fee charged by the SOS for this service.
The information listed above details many of the fees a standard corporation will be required to pay in Colorado. In some circumstances, there may be other one-off, periodic or ad hoc fees not listed above.
Of course, your corporation will also probably need to pay federal, state, self-employment (if it's an S Corp) and other taxes. You'll find more information on the Colorado taxes page.