There are thousands of companies operating in Colorado, and each has a unique name.
A unique company name will reflect on the reputation and recognition of your future brand. It determines the way your LLC in Colorado will be considered by potential customers and partners.
When planning to start a Colorado LLC, you should choose your name carefully. A good company name must not only describe the product or service, but also avoid confusion with competing companies.
An indispensable tool for checking the uniqueness of a name is performing an LLC name search, which has a number of additional useful features. In this article, we’ll talk about how it works and the ways to make an LLC name unique.
Reasons to Perform an LLC Name Search
The process of setting up an LLC in Colorado involves a number of mandatory requirements. These include a number of rules that govern naming of your business, especially registration availability. To meet this requirement, you must check Colorado LLC name availability, and make sure there are no other companies operating in the state under the same name.
At the same time, you may have a lot of other reasons to search the database LLC of the state. The main ones are as follows:
1) Finding Similar Names
Sometimes the names of companies operating in the industry are similar because they contain the same keywords. Therefore, potential customers may confuse your LLC with a competitor, that can reduce the flow of customers and, as a result, profits.
It is easy to avoid a situation of your LLC getting mixed up with others. All you need is a name search to find out all the companies registered nearby. You can also find a new name that will be more unique and creative.
2) Checking Your Business Status
Once you have filed the Articles of Organization, you have officially started your Colorado LLC, which imposes certain obligations. For example, each LLC must confirm the business’ good standing and regularly monitor its status. You can check the status using a name search. After you find the right company, click on its name to see detailed information.
Additionally, a name search allows you to get company information, including the LLC’s ID number, which is required for some documents.
3) Registered Agent and Office Information
Use a name search to find out the office address and contacts of a Colorado registered agent of another company. This is very helpful if you need a business service of process or would like to discuss a potential partnership.
4) Maintaining Current Business Information
Do a name search and go to the company page for modifying LLC’s information. It is especially important in the case of changing the registered agent of your LLC or the details about the member of a company. You can update the information that the Secretary of State already has on your own, providing the current info in the database.
How to Perform a Colorado LLC Name Search?
Depending on your goal, The Colorado Secretary of State website provides you with two free searching options.
The first one is Name Availability Search, which lets you find out the name availability. To do this, you should follow these steps:
- Visit the Colorado Secretary of State’s website;
- Enter the name of the business you would like to check: please note that the accuracy of the search depends on the completeness of the name. For example, including the words “LLC”, “Limited Liability Company”, or “Inc” will give broader search results. That is why we recommend that you exclude such designators to shorten the list.
- Check out the result: if checking name availability shows that the name is available, then everything is okay. You can write it in the Articles of Organization and apply for approval to obtain exclusive rights.
When you need more time to register your LLC officially, you can reserve a name for your company. This service allows you to protect the name from third parties for 120 days by paying a $25 fee with an option to renew it later.
Otherwise, if the LLC name you chose is already in use, you either need to make significant changes or come up with a new one.
- Use the “Business Database Search“: this step is optional. However, it provides access to a full list of Colorado entities that use a similar name.
The second way of searching is when you want to find a specific business and get detailed information about it. Business Database Search is right for this task.
For the identification you can use:
- Business name;
- Keyword or partial word;
- Trade name, etc.
When you click on the name of any company from the list, you will get the following information about it:
- Entity Name;
- Status (good standing, delinquent, etc.);
- ID Number;
- Periodic Report Month;
- Formation Date;
- Entity Type (LLC, corporation, etc.);
- State of Jurisdiction;
- Principal Office Address;
- Registered Agent Name and Address.
If you are searching for name availability, the Status section is particularly interesting. The data contained there may give the impression that the company has ceased to exist, that makes the name available, but this is not always the case. For this reason, we recommend that you choose a unique name to avoid potential conflicts.
What If My Name Is Unavailable?
When the Name Availability Search shows that the name you chose is already in use, that’s no reason to give up. There is a solution.
If it is a domestic (formed in Colorado) LLC, you need to go back to the original step – choosing the right name.
Look in your drafts, try to replace keywords with synonyms or swap them around, start brainstorming with friends and family. Make up several variants of the future name, in case some of them turn out to be unavailable.
For foreign LLCs, the legislation provides more options.
If the name under which your company conducts business in your home state is not available in Colorado, a DBA is a quick and cost-effective option. It is an assumed name that is used within the state along with the official name.
How to Make a Colorado LLC Name Distinguishable?
We have already learned that starting a new company is impossible without its name being unique. But what exactly should be understood by this term? To understand, let’s first look at the Colorado general business name requirements for reserving an original name of an LLC.
So, a legal actual or assumed name must meet the following criteria:
- Use one of the following terms: “Limited Liability Company,” или аббревиатуры “L.L.C.,” or “LLC”;
- Do not use the words such as: “Corporation,” “Corp.” “Incorporated,” “Inc.,” “Ltd.,” “Co.,” “Limited Partnership” or “LP.”;
- Restricted words (e.g. Bank, Attorney, University) require a special license;
- Do not use any terms indicating a connection between the company and the government (FBI, Treasury, State Department, etc.);
- The name must be distinguishable from all other business names registered or reserved with the Secretary of State.
The last point often causes some difficulties among aspiring entrepreneurs.
In general, a name is considered distinguishable if it is unique in the eyes of the state, i.e., it has significant differences from others. But not every difference can be considered as such.
Changes that would not affect uniqueness include:
- Replacing capital letters with lowercase letters or vice versa;
- Presence or absence of punctuation or spaces.
The significant difference will be:
- Rearranging, adding, removing keywords or replacing them with synonyms;
- Adding or removing articles like “the” or “a”.
If you still have any questions, visit the Entity Names FAQ page where you can find useful information about choosing the right business name.
What to do after choosing a name for an LLC?
Once you have chosen an appropriate name, what you do next is up to you.
If you are ready to officially start an LLC, you can immediately submit the Articles of Organization to the Secretary of State for approval. This will automatically register the name with your company, giving you all the exclusive rights to use it.
You can also reserve the name you like to get more time to prepare your business plan and documents. This will allow you to focus on preparing to formalize your Colorado LLC while the state retains your name for 120 days.
In addition, it is a good time to think about hiring a professional online company that will help you form your business quickly. Moreover, most of these services not only take care of all the paperwork, but they also assist with maintaining good standing in Colorado by providing Registered Agent services.