Colorado Business Records

 

 

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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 documents online.

To review 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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