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Starting a Business in Colorado

A complete step-by-step guide to start your business and get on the fast track to financial success.

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Doing Business In Colorado

Business facts:

Besides hosting the largest startup event in the US, Colorado’s startup scene is very welcoming, especially for tech industry ventures. In 2015, Colorado ranked 4th in the nation in real GDP growth. Employment growth in Colorado ranked 8th nationally in September 2016. Colorado has the 8th lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 3.6%. As of 2016, there were 2,891.5 thousand people in the Colorado labor force.

Economy:

The economy of Colorado is ranked 20th largest in the United States in 2008. According to The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the gross state product estimates for 2008 was $248.6 billion. Colorado‘s per capita personal income in 2003 was $34,561, putting Colorado 8th in the nation

Small business

97.6% of businesses in Colorado are small businesses. Colorado small businesses employ 1 million people. Colorado approved $826.7 million worth of SBA loans in 2016. (Colorado SBDC) 97.6% of businesses in Colorado are small businesses, with over 572,546 in total. (SBA) Most small firms in Colorado are in the professional, scientific, and technical services industries. (SBA)

Major companies

Qwest Communications, EchoStar, Starz-Encore, and Comcast are just a few of the telecommunications companies with operations in the Denver area.

In 2016, 129 Colorado tech companies raised over $780 million in funding. (Built In Colorado) Colorado’s startup growth is at a rate of 74.1% as of 2017. Colorado is ranked 5th best state for startup activity. The city of Denver has 713 startups, making up 8.2% of center city businesses. In 2016, over $514 million in VC funding was raised by Denver-based startups. (Downtown Denver Partnership)

STEPS TO STARTING A BUSINESS IN COLORADO

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Step 1: Choose A Business Structure

The most common business structures are sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and a few different types of corporations—the standard corporation (often called a C corporation or “C corp”), the small business corporation (often called an S corporation or “S corp”), and the benefit corporation (often called a B corporation or “B corp”).

The most common business structures are:

Step 2: Choose The Right Business Name

Choosing a business name is important, you want to make it easier for your customers to remember it, here are some tips:

  1. Avoid hard-to-spell names.
  2. Don’t pick a name that could be limiting as your business grows.
  3. Conduct a thorough Internet search.
  4. Search and purchase a domain name.
  5. Use a name that conveys some meaning.
  6. Conduct a trademark search.

Step 3: Register Your Business

Depending on the business structure you chose you will need to register your business.

Colorado Resale license 

Colorado Business Entity Search

Step 4: Obtain an EIN Tax Number

With limited exceptions, most businesses require an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as a Tax ID Number. An EIN is used to identify a business in its federal tax filings. Without an EIN, you can’t hire employees or open a business bank account.

Click Here to Apply for EIN number online

Step 5: Open A Bank Account

– Open a business bank account:

  • Separates your personal assets from your company’s assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • Makes accounting and tax filing easier.

– Get a business credit card:

  • Helps you separate personal and business expenses.
  • Builds your company’s credit history, which can be useful to raise capital later on.

Step 6: Licenses & Permits

Now that you’ve registered your business name you need to obtain a business license for your company – this authorizes your company to do business in your city or county. Typically this also involves registering for state taxes and permits (the city may require them as part of the business licensing process).

Here are some links for Colorado Businesses:

Selling products? Check Colorado Resale Permit

Business Licensing for the State of Colorado

Step 7: Branding & Marketing

Your brand is the image customers have of your business, so it’s important to determine who is your audience and what is the message that you want to project. That way, your company’s image will be what you intend it to be. It should be strategic and intentional.

Step 8: Establish a Web Presence

Creating an optimized website helps you to gain important visibility for the right terms. A website is a powerful sales tool and one that allows you to address your customers’ concerns, give them the information they need to make a decision and create compelling calls to action.

In addition to a website, you should also consider other avenues for promoting your business online:

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