For an LLC operating agreement, Colorado does not have any specific requirements. An operating agreement is not required by law. However, both single-member and multi-member LLCs can benefit from an operating agreement, which details how the company will be run and what role the members will play. An operating agreement can also create better separation between personal and business finances.

Forming an LLC in Colorado

It is a fairly affordable process to form an LLC in the state of Colorado. A single-member LLC is a single owner or sole proprietor to form a single-member entity. A multi-member LLC is a business or company that will have more than one managing member

There are several unique requirements for LLCs in the state of Colorado. Those who wish to form an LLC need to register with the Secretary of State of Colorado. This can be done by completing the appropriate forms, paying any fees, and making sure all formation and naming requirements are met. In order to register, LLCs in the state of Colorado need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State. These forms can be turned in online.

The preferred method for filing with the Colorado Secretary of State is online, as there are not currently any pre-made forms offered.

The type of entity needs to be selected when filling out the online form. Selections include domestic (requires Articles of Organization) or Foreign (requires Statement of Foreign Entity Authority). The following need to be included in the Articles of Organization: 

  • Name and address of registered agent 
  • Name, address, and date of organizer 
  • Effective date (if different from the date filed) 
  • Name and main office address of the LLC 
  • Type of management (manager-managed, member-managed, etc.)

All forms need to include the filing fee when submitted. The fee for domestic documents is $50, and the fee for foreign documents is $100. An expediting fee is required for paper-filed documents. No expediting fee is required when the forms are filled online. 

Documents that are turned in online will be processed right after they are submitted. It can take seven to 10 business days for them to be approved or rejected. Processing time will be three days if expedited services are chosen. If an LLC has more than a single member, it's highly recommended for its members to have an LLC operating agreement. LLCs that have a certain professional service are legally required to contact the appropriate licensing boards.

It's essential to know if an LLC is the correct business structure for a company before the registration process is started in Colorado. Make sure all members research the definition of an LLC and know the advantages before deciding to form one.

Deciding on a Name for Your Business

It can be confusing to understand the LLC naming requirements. The best way to ensure the business name gets approved is to make sure it stands out from other LLCs and has the specific words that are needed in an LLC's name. You can decide to have a certain name checked to see if it's available before you file with the Secretary of State.

Any name can be picked as long as it ends with one of the following:

  • Limited Liability Co
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Ltd. Liability Company
  • Limited
  • Ltd Liability Co.
  • Ltd. Co
  • L.L.C.
  • LLC

Names will stay reserved for up to 120 days. If a revision is necessary, fill out the appropriate online form and pay the additional filing fee will. In your application, include the name, address, and dated signature of the applicant.

Assigning an Agent for Service of Process

The resident agent is also known as the agent for service of process. This will need to be assigned in the second step of forming an LLC in Colorado.

Getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS

The Employer Identification Number (EIN) is used by the Internal Revenue Service to monitor the financial activity of every business. When there are two or more members in the LLC, the company will need to apply for their EIN for tax reasons from the IRS. If the owner wants to apply for credit cards or loans, have employees, or register for bank accounts, they'll need to obtain an EIN. This can be done online or with Form SS-4.

If you need help with forming an LLC operating agreement in Colorado, you can post your legal need on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.