One of the first and most important steps of any new business is finding the perfect name for your Colorado LLC.
Checking the LLC name availability in Colorado is an important step in the business formation process. It ensures your business name is distinguishable from the names of other Colorado businesses so that you do not violate anyone’s intellectual property rights.
Our Colorado LLC Name Search guide will show you how you can find available business names in Colorado , and how to reserve and register your business name.
How to Search for a Colorado LLC Name
Below are the four steps that you need to follow in order to conduct an LLC name search in Colorado.
Step 1: Follow the Colorado LLC Naming Guidelines
The first step is to ensure that your chosen name complies with the requirements of Colorado ’s LLC naming guidelines as listed below:
- You must use an LLC designator (i.e., “LLC,” “L.L.C.,” or “Limited Liability Company,” etc.) in your LLC’s name. This is normally at the end of the name.
- You cannot use a designator that could confuse your LLC with another business type (i.e., “Corp,” “Inc,” “Nonprofit,” etc.).
- To use a term like “bank,” “university,” “law center,” or other assuming words in your name, you must obtain approval from the proper authorities. This generally requires that your business hold the correct charters or have members with certain licenses before applying.
- Your name can’t be so similar to another business name that it could confuse customers.
Be mindful when selecting a name for your LLC, as changing it later on could be both tedious and costly. A more effortless solution? Create an assumed name (also known as a DBA), which allows you to operate your business under a trade name while keeping the original LLC name. To avoid improper or incomplete LLC formation documents, we recommend using the assistance of an LLC formation service.
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Step 2: Look Up Colorado LLC Name Search Availability
The next step is to conduct a Colorado LLC name search. Below are a few ways to do a business name search in Colorado.
- LLC Name Search: Colorado LLC Name Search — Search here — This is the database of all “taxable entities” in Colorado. Essentially, your name must be unique to all existing entities in the state.
- Domain Name Search: — Search here — You’ll want to ensure that your business’s name is available as a URL so that you can keep up your branding online. In many cases, the “.com” name may be taken. If this is the case, you can try adding “modifiers” to your name or use a different TLD (i.e., .co, .net, .biz, etc.) until you find an available domain name. Don’t skip this step. Even if you aren’t ready to start a website today, it’s important to register your domain name so that no one else snaps it up in the meantime.
- Social Media Search: Depending on your business, you may want or need to have a strong presence on the different social media platforms. Even if you don’t think you’re going to use them, it’s still wise to search Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other socials to see if your handle is available.
To determine the availability of your chosen URL, use a domain registrar, such as GoDaddy.
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Note: While you can use social media to search for business names to determine your desired name, the search results might not give you useful insight if your desired business name is available and exclusive for use.
Step 3: Reserve Your Colorado LLC Name
Secure your LLC’s identity in Colorado by submitting an online name reservation request form to the Colorado Secretary State and paying a filing fee of $25.
You can reserve a business name for 120 days with the Colorado Name Reservation tool online.
When your 120 days are about to expire, you can renew your hold by filing a Statement of Renewal of Reservation of Name online. Find a link to this electronic form on the Secretary of State Business Forms List under “Name Reservations.” You’ll need to pay an additional $25 fee for every renewal you file.
Using a Colorado DBA for Your LLC
If you intend to run your business in Colorado with a different name, you must register it with the state. On the other hand, if you have already filed Articles of Incorporation for a nonprofit, you may not need to register a trade name.
Filing your Colorado trade name online with the Secretary of State is a breeze — just visit their website and complete the form relevant to your business type (corporation, LLC, partnership, etc.). Be sure to include the trade name itself, a description of the business, and the effective date of the trade name. Plus, there’s an added bonus: From July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, the state has reduced trade name filing fees to a mere $1!
LLC owners sometimes choose to brand their businesses with a DBA. Most sole proprietors and general partnerships use a DBA to create a brand other than their surnames.
Step 4: Register a Colorado LLC Trade or Service Mark
Doing a name search on the federal trademark database will tell you whether another business or person has already “marked” your name.
Once you verify the availability of your LLC name and secure it, you can choose to apply for a trade or service mark for your business.
Registering your LLC business “mark” (refers to trade and service marks) with the Colorado Secretary of State not only distinguishes the goods or services your business provides, but also creates a statewide notice that any entity or person cannot use any of your marks (such as brand name, slogans, and logos).
For these reasons, it is important for an LLC owner to register a mark with the Colorado Secretary of State. The filing fee for a trademark registration is $30 per class (“class” means goods and services).
You can apply for a Colorado Trade or Service Mark via electronic filing:
- Go to the Business Home Page and select “File a business document”.
- Click on “File a form to create a new record”.
- Select the option to register a trademark.
Registering a trade or service mark is not the same as filing a formation document. If you’re registering a business in Colorado, check out the steps on how to form a Colorado LLC.
Colorado Secretary of State Contact Information
Denver, CO 80290
Denver, CO 80290
(Northeast corner of 17th and Broadway)
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Phone: (855) 428-3555 (toll free)
Colorado LLC Name Search FAQ
Why do I need to do a Colorado LLC name search?
When forming a Colorado LLC, you will be required to choose a name.. This name must be unique and available for use, and should not already be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State. To search for available LLC names, you can use the Colorado Business Entity Search tool on the Secretary of State website.
How do I check if an LLC name is taken in Colorado?
You can use the Colorado Business Entity Search tool to check if your business name is available. You may also contact the Colorado Secretary of State via phone at (855) 428-3555 (toll free) for assistance on how to perform a Colorado LLC name search.
Can I renew a Colorado LLC name reservation?
Yes. You can renew a name reservation by filing a new application during the 120-day period before the expiration of your last name reservation.
Is the Colorado Secretary of State LLC name search reservation tool free to use?
Yes. You can use the Colorado Name Reservation tool to find and reserve a name for your LLC. Simply enter the desired name for your LLC. If the name is available, you can reserve it for 120 days.