1. Drafting and Submitting Your Articles of Incorporation
2. Picking a Corporation Name
3. Identifying Your Incorporators
4. Specifying Corporate Directors
5. Selecting a Registered Agent
6. Defining a Purpose and Adopting Bylaws

Setting up a corporation in Colorado is a multi-step process that begins with filing formation documents and ends when your company starts doing business. Getting help from an attorney is the easiest way to complete the incorporation process.

Drafting and Submitting Your Articles of Incorporation

Corporations in Colorado are not incorporated until the business owner has filed Articles of Incorporation and the document has received approval from the Colorado Secretary of State. A corporation will either begin on the date these documents are filed or at a later date specified within the Articles.

You must pay a fee when filing your Articles of Incorporation. Before you submit your Articles with the Secretary of State, make sure that they include the following information:

  1. The legal corporate name.
  2. The Colorado registered agent's contact information.
  3. Incorporators' names and addresses.
  4. The initial principal office address of the corporation.
  5. The corporation's stock structure. In this section, include information about stock classes such as the amount of authorized shares in each class.

In Colorado, Articles of Incorporation must be electronically filed on the website of the Secretary of State. You will also pay your $50 filing fee on this website.

Picking a Corporation Name

Before you file your Articles of Incorporation, you need to check to see if the name you have selected for your company is available. The Secretary of State maintains a database of registered business names that you can use to research name availability.

If you find that your desired name is available, it's possible to reserve it for a period of 120 days. You can make a reservation by filing a Statement of Reservation of Name. You can extend this reservation by another 120 days if necessary.

The names of all Colorado corporations must be distinct and include one of the following identifiers:

  1. Corporation/Corp.
  2. Incorporated/Inc.
  3. Company/Co.
  4. Limited/Ltd.

Identifying Your Incorporators

Incorporators are responsible for filing your company's Articles of Incorporation. Your incorporators may also be able to adopt company bylaws and elect a board of directors if you did not name initial directors in your formation documents. After filing the Articles of Incorporation, incorporators have no further responsibilities.

Several requirements apply when specifying incorporators:

  1. You must provide contact information for each incorporator.
  2. Incorporators must be over the age of 18.
  3. All corporations must have at least one incorporator.

Specifying Corporate Directors

The directors of a corporation are responsible for setting policies for the company and managing its daily affairs. You should only select people with good judgement and business acumen to serve as directors for your corporation.

Keep in mind the following requirements when specifying your corporate directors:

  1. A minimum of one director is necessary.
  2. There is no limit on how many directors a corporation can have, although you should state the number of directors in your corporate bylaws.
  3. Directors should be over the age of 18.

You can also apply whatever other qualifications you wish.

Selecting a Registered Agent

A corporation's registered agent receives any official mail sent to the company. Registered agents are usually individuals, but they can also be business entities.

In Colorado, an individual can only serve as a registered agent if they are over 18 years old and have a physical address in the state. The address can either be a business address or a residence. Businesses entities can serve as registered agents as long as they are legally allowed to do business in Colorado and have a physical presence in the state. Corporations may serve as their own registered agent in this state.

Defining a Purpose and Adopting Bylaws

Colorado is one of the few states to not require a corporation to include a purpose in its formation documents. Defining a corporate purpose, however, may make it easier to direct your business's operations.

All corporations should draft and adopt a set of company bylaws, which are rules for how the company will be operated. In your bylaws, you should outline the duties of company officers, and you should also describe how to make decisions for the company. Bylaws are not legally required, but they are an extremely useful tool of successful corporations. The main focus of your bylaws should be how your company will be managed. You may also want to include a protocol for selecting company directors and procedures for company votes.

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