How to Find Business Records in Colorado
Colorado Business Records
The Colorado Secretary of State maintains a number
of business records which can be accessed and viewed by the public, even
when those members of the public have no ownership interest in the
business in question. Here are a few tips that will assist you in
obtaining business records in the State of Colorado.
What Records Are Maintained by the Colorado
Secretary of State?
When a business incorporates, or takes a corporate
form, the business is considered to be a separate entity from its
founders, directors and officers. In short, the business is treated as
if it were a separate person. In order to obtain this treatment as a
separate entity, a business must file documentation memorializing the
formation of the corporate form. The most well-known form is the
corporation. Other forms are also recognized in the state of Colorado,
such as the limited liability company. Regardless of the corporate form
chosen, the documentation of the incorporation must be filed with the
Secretary of State.
Additionally, businesses often require loans, and
these loans can be collateralized with property of the business. When
this occurs, it is common for a UCC, or Uniform Commercial Code, form to
be filed. This form demonstrates the security interest that the secured
party has in the collateral of the debtor. These forms are maintained
by the Secretary of State.
Why Would a Business Not Have Documents On File?
Not every business will choose to incorporate. It
is common for individuals running private businesses to operate as a
sole proprietorship, which is not treated as a separate business
entity. If this is the case, there may be no forms on file with the
Secretary of State. Any business that does not incorporate may not have
documents on file with the Secretary of State’s office.
Another reason that the Colorado Secretary of State
may have no record of a business would be if the business elected to
incorporate in another state. Sometimes, even when a business has its
main offices located in one state, it may choose to incorporate in
another state if the laws of that state seem more advantageous for the
business. The State of Delaware, for instance, is held in high favor by
many corporations and is often thought to be one of the best states to
incorporate. Therefore, even if the Colorado Secretary of State has no
record of the incorporation of a business, it should be remembered that
that business may have incorporated elsewhere.
How Can I Search for Records Maintained by the
Colorado Secretary of State?
The Colorado Secretary of State’s business records
can be viewed either online or in person. If you wish to search the
Colorado Secretary of State records in person, the Secretary of State’s
office is located at 1700 Broadway, Suite 200, Denver, Colorado 80290.
If you wish to view the Secretary of State’s
business records online, go to the Colorado Secretary of State’s
website, located at: www.sos.state.co.us. Near the bottom of the home
page, select the words “Business Home” printed in blue under the heading
“Business Center.” From the Business Home page, you may choose to
select business records or UCC filings.
If you choose to search business records, select
the words “Search Business Database” under the heading “Business
Information.” On the next page, select the option entitled “Records
Search.” You will be taken to a page where you may select the type of
search you wish to perform: business, trade name or trademark, ID or
document number, or name availability search, or you may click on
“Advanced Search” to search by more complicated criteria. Search by
“business name” if you know the name of the business you are searching
for. If the name of the business is a trade name rather than the formal
name of the corporation, search by “trade name.” If you believe the
business name you know is a state-registered trademark, then search by
trademark. The name availability search will allow you to search and
find out if a business name you want is already taken. If it is not
taken, the page will tell you all of the documents you would be entitled
to file with that business name, if you choose.
Once you have performed your search and the results
have been displayed, you may click on the displayed ID number of any
item in the list to obtain more information. This will take you to a
page providing additional information about the business, including the
ID number, corporate name, registered agent and the registered agent’s
address, the address of the principal corporate office, the status and
form of the corporation, the jurisdiction of the corporation, the
formation date, the term of duration, and the month in which annual
reports are due for that corporation. Additionally, at the bottom of
the page you may click an option to obtain a certificate of good
standing for that corporation, or to view the corporation’s history and
UCC records, you must create an account and provide personal information
before proceeding. To do so, go to the Business Home page and select
“Search UCC Database” under the heading “UCC Information.” Select “Free
UCC/EFS/Miscellaneous,” then “Lien Searches,” and then click Continue.
This will take you to a page where you can create an account before
proceeding to search for UCC information.
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