Colorado Secretary of State Business Search and Naming Your LLC
Whether you’re searching for the right Colorado business name or registering your LLC with the CO Secretary of State, we can help. We’ve got all the information you need on a Colorado business entity search, LLC naming rules, fictitious names and registering your business.
Colorado Entity Search and LLC Lookup
You need to check whether there’s already another Colorado LLC registered with your desired business name. That means searching the Colorado Secretary of State website using their business search tool. You can easily look up CO LLCs and corporations by name and other details. Using the tool is easy. If the business name is already used, that means it’s not available and you won’t be able to register it; try searching for a different business name instead.Colorado Secretary of State Business Name Search Tool
Colorado Secretary of State Rules for Naming Your LLC
Once you’ve decided on a name for your LLC and checked business name availability, you’ll need to meet Colorado Secretary of State naming rules. These do vary from state to state — we’ve got general naming rules below, as well as naming rules specific to LLC businesses formed in CO.
General Business Naming Rules
These rules typically apply to all LLCs, no matter what state they are formed in. You will need to pay attention to these rules, as they will influence the name you choose for your Colorado LLC.
The business name you have chosen cannot be used by any other LLC or corporation in the state of Colorado. This is why you should check business name availability on the CO SOS website.
It’s not enough for your CO LLC name to be unique. It also cannot be similar to the name of another corporation or LLC in Colorado. For example, you cannot use the following factors to say your name is different from the name of another business:
- Suffixes, such as Corporation, Company, Incorporated, Incorporation, Limited, Corp., Co., Inc., Ltd., LLC, etc.
- Definite articles like “A,” “And,” “An,” “&,” “The,” etc.
- The singular, plural or possessive forms of a word
- Abbreviations, punctuation, symbols, fonts, typefaces, etc.
All LLCs must have the words “Limited Liability Company,” “L.L.C.” or “LLC” in their name. These words should normally come at the end of the name.
Most states will not allow you to form LLCs with names that:
- Are very similar to the name of a federal or CO agency or organization (e.g., FBI, FDA, Colorado Department of Revenue, Colorado Police, Treasury, etc.)
- Suggest affiliation with a federal or state agency or organization
- Use the term “Olympic” or any terms that are trademarks of the Olympic organization
- Imply a purpose that it would be illegal for your business to carry out
Colorado Trade Names/DBA Names
You might choose to do business under a different name from your legal LLC name. In Colorado, doing business under a different name is known as your “trade name” or “doing business as name” (DBA). You might choose to use a different name from your formal LLC name for a variety of reasons.
For example, your LLC might be called Colorado Renewable Resources Holding Company LLC, and you have a chain called Boulder Solar. You should file a Trade Name to let the Colorado Secretary of State know. In Colorado, you do that through a Statement of Trade Name, or you can have Incfile do it on your behalf through our Assumed Business Name service.Incfile's Assumed Business Name Service
Registering a Business Name in Colorado
Once you’ve searched for your Colorado business name, checked availability, followed the naming rules and decided whether you need a fictitious name, you can register your CO LLC name. There are a couple of ways to do this.
If you don’t want to form your Colorado LLC right now, you can reserve the business name with the Colorado Secretary of State. You will need to complete the Statement of Reservation of Name form and file it with the CO SOS. You do not need to reserve a name if you are forming your business right away.
If you’re ready to start your Colorado LLC, you can formally file your Articles of Organization with the Colorado SOS, or let Incfile take care of it for you.
FAQs on Naming Your Colorado LLC
You might find the following answers useful.
Just go to the business name search tool and enter your proposed business name. You can search the register of the Colorado Secretary of State, which will tell you if there are any CO corporations or LLCs with that name.
Yes. Most LLCs will be bound by general rules (applicable to all LLCs) and specific rules (applicable in the state of Colorado). We’ve detailed these rules above.
Yes. Known as “assumed names,” “fictitious names,” “doing business as names” or “trade names,” you can choose to conduct business under a different name. Details are above.
Yes. The Colorado Secretary of State allows you to reserve a name if you don’t want to start your business immediately. Details are above. If you are ready to start your business now, you do not need to reserve a name.
Useful Resources for Naming Your Colorado LLC
You might find these resources helpful.
Trademarks and Service Marks
You must be careful that your Colorado LLC name does not infringe on the trademark or service mark of another business. The easiest way to make sure your proposed business name does not infringe is to carry out a trademark search through Incfile. If it doesn’t infringe, you can even register it as a trademark yourself.Incfile Trademark Search and Registration Service
Find the Perfect Name for Your Colorado LLC
The perfect business name can be elusive. We have a complete guide to choosing the right business name, but basically, you'll want to choose a name that will:
- Appeal to your customers
- Be memorable enough to stand out
- Best represent your product or services
- Not be used by another business