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How to file a DBA in Colorado

Whether you want to start a small business or are planning to establish a large enterprise, a business name would be as important as the business itself. A good company name or a DBA (doing business as) name will play a key role in the overall success of your business. When choosing a name, you need to consider these two options, the first being a business name and the second being a DBA also known as a trade name. This guide will focus on filing a DBA in Colorado and provide insights into the process associated with it. The guide will answer queries pertaining to ‘how do I look up a DBA in Colorado’ and take you through the procedures for applying for a trade name and managing it, among others.

Doing Business As or DBA in Colorado

Colorado is home to over 600,000 small businesses and this includes startups, small and medium enterprises (SME’s), home-based firms, general partnerships, sole proprietorships, large corporations, and LLCs among others. Some of these companies are operating using a business name while some apply for a Colorado DBA online to operate. There are several top brands operating from this state with several companies headquartered in Denver. The list of top companies in the state is quite long and a few names include Arrow Electronics, DISH Network, DCP Midstream, Ball, Qurate Retail, DaVita, and Ovintiv among others. If you are planning to start a new company in this state then you can choose to use the legal name of the owners, use a business name (e.g., Aspen Tours), or file a Colorado DBA online application.

What is DBA in Colorado?

If you are thinking of starting a small business then you will need to first choose a company name. The DBA name would more often than not be the first thing your customers will see, and it will further set the tone for every interaction you have going forward with the customers. The type of name to be chosen will also vary according to the type of entity. For example, a corporation name may be different from that of a sole proprietorship, limited liability company, or a partnership. Business names are normally classified in the following ways:

  • Name of the business owner like Paul Faith LLC.
  • Traditional business name like Colorado Springs Treks
  • File a trade name in Colorado like Jason’s Plumbing

As the owner of a startup, you can choose any of the above types of business names. Such a name can be driven by several factors like specific business requirement, type of products or services, industry, location etc. If you don’t want a traditional name or your legal full name then the best option will be to file a Colorado DBA online application.

This means that you can opt for a trade name also known as a DBA or a fictitious name. Once you have chosen a DBA or trade name, it is important to conduct a Colorado trade name search to ensure availability of the said name.

When do you need a DBA?

If you are thinking of filing a DBA in Colorado then you will be able to file it irrespective of your company structure. Of course there are certain state regulations for trade names that you will need to be compliant with. There are numerous situations or circumstances in which any company may need to choose a trade name and this is essentially the first step towards looking up a DBA in Colorado! Let’s look at some of the important factors:

  • Expansion of business – If you are already operating a business and want to explore a new area in the same or another industry then this is where a DBA name can be quite effective. When you file a trade name in Colorado for this new aspect, which could be a new product or service, then your customers would be able to differentiate the two based on the business name and the trade name. Let us look at an example to get a clear picture:

    Example: You currently own a robotics company that specializes in designing, construction, and operation of robots. The name of this company is El Paso Robotics Corp. Now, you want to diversify into Artificial Intelligence (AI). Now, robotics and artificial intelligence are different areas due to their objectives and application. In such a scenario, you can conduct a Colorado trade name search and register a DBA name for the division that is focusing on AI.

  • Banking Requirements – If you are planning to conduct business in any name other than your legal name, especially a sole proprietorship, then most banks require you to submit a DBA or trade name certificate for opening a business banking account.
  • Operate Multiple Businesses – You need to apply for a Colorado DBA online if you plan to operate multiple businesses in the same industry or different sectors. The benefit is that when you apply for a trade name or file an assumed name, you can operate several businesses without creating or registering separate legal entities for each type of business.

Filing DBA in Colorado for LLC and Corporation

Every business being formed in Colorado will have some form of a legal name. This may be dependent on the entity structure and can be the name of the owner. It can even be a traditional company name, which appears in the new business registration documents. You can also choose to operate your company under a DBA also known as a trade name in Colorado. There is a specific process to follow when it comes to choosing a trade name. You will also be required to conduct a Colorado trade name search prior to registering the name. The rules and regulation, the process as well as registration fee will be different from that of business name reservation.

Doing Colorado Trade Name Search

If you have chosen a trade name for your Colorado Company then the first step would be to ensure that the chosen name is compliant with state trade name laws, which are governed by 2022 Colorado Code, Title 7 – Corporations and Associations, Article 71 – Trade Names. According to the laws, Colorado trade name search is one of essential processes that every business owner needs to go through as it will help you identify whether your chosen name is available or not. This is because your trade name might not be unique and several other businesses may be using the same name. If the name is available or not in use then you can go ahead and file a trade name in Colorado.

Basic business database search

The process of Colorado trade name search is similar to that of the business name search. You can conduct the business database search using business name, ID, trade name, trademark, or document number. This search will allow new businesses, both domestic and foreign entities to check if their chosen DBA name is available. Let’s look at an example to under this:

Example: You want to start a business in the travel and tourism sector in Colorado. Now, you want to apply for a Colorado DBA online using the name ‘Adam Travel & Tours LLC’. Prior to applying for this name, you need to conduct a business database search on the website of the Colorado Secretary of State. The search will reveal that Adam Travel & Tours LLC already exists in Aurora, CO. The company is active and enjoys a good standing with the state. You will not be able to use such a DBA. Now, if you change the name to Adam Tours LLC and conduct the Colorado trade name search again then such a name is available. You can reserve or register this name for your company.

Apart from the above search, it is also recommended to conduct a Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) search. This search will ensure your chosen name is not similar to any other federally registered names or trademarks.

You can also conduct an Advanced Search where multiple fields require input and more information has to be provided. This option of Colorado trade name search will require you to provide filing dates, Trade name with exact match, name and organization of registered agent, Trade name registrant, or reserved name holder.

Register Your Colorado DBA

The process of entity search is the answer to the query of how do I look up a DBA in Colorado? which is one of the most common questions that business owners have. If your chosen name is available then filing a DBA in Colorado is necessary. You will be required to complete and file the Statement of Trade Name pursuant to CO Code § 7-71-101 (2022). This application has to be filed online along with a fee of $20. You have an option wherein you can request the filing to take effect immediately or you can delay it for a maximum period of 90 days. Alternatively, we can help you to register a trade name or DBA in Colorado through a process which is easier and faster.

Do you want to file a trade name in Colorado?

Managing Colorado DBA

Once you file a Colorado DBA online application, you can choose when the trade name becomes active. Once it is active, you will be able to use this as the entity name for conducting business within this state. There are certain rules and regulations pertaining to a Colorado trade name or DBA including that of renewal of a DBA, changing, or canceling of the trade name in the jurisdiction where the business is operating from. Let’s look at the various processes applicable to managing a trade name.

How to renew a Colorado DBA?

Once you file a trade name in Colorado, you will have to renew it annually to ensure it remains effective. According to the Colorado Secretary of State, trade name of a non-reporting entity, dissolved or delinquent entity as well as an individual will be effective for a period of one year pursuant to CO Code § 7-71-105 (2022). Similarly, the trade name for a reporting entity (corporation or LLC) will remain effective as long as the said company files its annual reports on time or maintains a registered agent in the state.

You can apply for renewal of the trade name anytime within three months prior to the date of expiration. It is important to note that if your trade name expires then it cannot be renewed. In such a scenario, you will need to file the Colorado DBA online application (Statement of Trade Name) all over again.

How to change Colorado DBA?

After filing a DBA in Colorado, if you want to change the trade name at any given point in time, is it possible? Yes, it is possible. You will be required to file the Trade Name Change or Business Entity Name Change Form as applicable in the city or county that your business is operating from.

Example: If your company is based in Boulder, Colorado then you will need to file “Permit Application and Report of Changes” form, which has a dedicated section for Change of Trade Name or Corporation Name.

How to cancel Colorado DBA?

Once you have filed a Colorado DBA online application, if you decide after some time that you want to cancel the said trade name then is it possible? Yes, it is possible and you will be required to submit a Statement of Withdrawal of Trade Name with the secretary of state pursuant to CO Code § 7-71-106 (2022). There is a fee of $10 for this.

Need Any Assistance in Filing Colorado DBA?

The process to apply for a Colorado DBA online will require you to provide accurate information pertaining to your business and also ensure total compliance with state trade name rules and regulations as well as federal trademark laws. The process of conducting a Colorado trade name search and adhering to all DBA guidelines can be quite a challenging exercise. IncParadise can gladly assist you with this process. We have expertise and knowledge regarding the Colorado state DBA laws and Federal Trademark regulations.

We can help you to file a trade name in Colorado. Apart from assistance related to trade name registration, we also provide additional services that will ensure your other business requirements are fulfilled like getting a tax id, S corporation status, and dissolutions among others.

Do you want to file a Colorado DBA or Trade Name?