Are you a Colorado business owner who wants to be able to operate your company under an assumed name? If so, consider acquiring a doing business as (DBA) name.
How do you obtain a DBA name for your Colorado company, and how are you allowed to use your new name? In this guide, we’ll walk through every detail of the DBA acquisition process in this state.
What is a Colorado DBA?
For sole proprietorships and general partnerships, a DBA enables you to use a name other than the owner’s personal name. For limited liability companies and corporations, DBAs allow you to use multiple names to officially refer to your business activities.
There are many different reasons for Colorado companies to acquire ‘doing business as’ names.
- For sole proprietorships and partnerships, they can make your company sound more professional than simply using your own name. You can also open a bank account using your DBA, which can not only help you keep your business and personal assets separate, but customers often have a higher comfort level writing out a check to a business name rather than to an individual’s personal name.
- For corporations and LLCs, DBAs are frequently used to give the company the option of using different names for separate product lines. Another common usage of a DBA is to distinguish satellite businesses from your main company. Restaurant owners love to do this, as for example it can help a fine-dining establishment open a fast-casual spin-off restaurant without affecting customers’ perceptions of the original location. Whether you want to create this separation for marketing or accounting purposes (or both), a doing business as name gives companies options that they wouldn’t otherwise have.
In short, a DBA in Colorado allows businesses to communicate their image and express themselves in different ways without having to actually form a new business to do so.
How Do I File a Colorado DBA?
In Colorado, a DBA is often referred to as a “Trade Name.” The first thing you will need to do is search the Division of Corporations with your desired name.
This ensures that your desired business name is available, and hasn’t already been claimed by another business in the state.
To register a DBA, follow these step-by-step instructions provided by the Colorado Secretary of State. The entire process can be done online through the Secretary of State website, but it is recommended that you print off a copy of the DBA confirmation for your own records.
How Long Does a Colorado DBA Last?
Unlike many states that have 5-year DBAs, Colorado DBAs expire after 1 year. If you want to continue using the same DBA beyond that time, you will need to file a Statement of Trade Name Renewal within three months of the expiration date. For more information on Colorado DBA renewals, consult this website.
Should I Hire a Professional DBA Filing Service?
If you’d rather not fill out the paperwork and register for a DBA yourself, there are plenty of reputable companies offering a service. For a fee, these services will assemble the relevant paperwork and submit it to your state, and all you have to do is supply them with some basic information.
Colorado’s DBA registration process is extremely easy and intuitive. Everything can be done online, and it only costs $20 to register a new DBA. It is not recommended to hire a DBA service in Colorado, because the entire procedure can be done in a matter of minutes. However, if you would prefer to let professionals comb over the forms to make sure that everything is filled out correctly, most service providers (Ex: LegalZoom) charge a fair rate to handle DBA applications and renewals.
The doing business as name, or DBA for short, is one of the most simple business filings for Colorado entrepreneurs. The process to acquire one is quite straightforward, and you can begin using your new assumed name as soon as the state completes your filing.
We hope this article answered your questions about how to file a Colorado; DBA!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does a DBA provide any legal protections?
A: No, registering a DBA does not legally protect you or your business. If you’re seeking personal asset protection, you might want to look into forming a corporation or a limited liability company rather than just acquiring a DBA name.
Q: Does a DBA need a registered agent?
A: A registered agent is not a legal requirement for sole proprietorships or general partnerships that acquire DBA names. However, limited liability companies and corporations do require a registered agent whether they have a DBA or not.
Q: Can someone else register a business using the same name as my DBA?
A: Filing a DBA does not give your business exclusive rights to your assumed name. If someone wants to use the same name, and they form an LLC or corporation with it, they are legally allowed to take your name for themselves.
Q: Does the state of Colorado require publication of a DBA name?
A: No, Colorado does not require publication of a DBA name.