Starting a company

How To File A DBA In Colorado

Key takeaways

  • Learn about the importance of DBA
  • Get to know about the filing process for DBA in Colorado
  • Know about the forms required to file a DBA
  • Learn more about the name restrictions
  • Discover more about the tax considerations
  • Understand the filing fees for DBA in Colorado 

Filing a DBA (Doing Business As) is a legal procedure that permits a business owner to perform business under a name other than their legal name. This may help with branding as well as separating personal and corporate funds.

What is DBA?

In Colorado, filing a DBA entails registering a "Doing Business As" name with the state government. A DBA, also known as a trading name, fake name, or assumed name, permits a company to function under a name other than the one under which it was created.

In Colorado, registering a DBA is needed if a business wishes to use a name that differs from the legal name of the organization that owns the firm (such as a corporation or LLC). This is accomplished through the Colorado Secretary of State's office, and it entails completing a registration form and paying a fee. It's crucial to understand that registering a DBA does not create a new legal organization. The company is still liable for any liabilities or debts incurred under its legal name. To avoid legal complications, it's also a good idea to see if the intended DBA name is already in use or trademarked.

Why do you need a DBA?

You might ask why you need a DBA if you're just starting. Let us tell you; there are a few solid reasons why you should acquire a DBA.

  • Branding: A DBA permits a firm to function under a name apart from its legal name, which may be beneficial for branding. For example, a sole proprietorship called "John Smith" may choose to operate under the name "Smith's Landscaping" to develop a brand for their company.
  • Legal Compliance: In some jurisdictions, if a business operates under a name other than its legal name, it may be required to register a DBA. Failure to do so may result in legal problems or penalties.
  • Banking: Banks frequently demand a DBA to create a business account under a name other than the firm's legal name.
  • Running several enterprises: A company owner may run several enterprises through a single legal organization. A DBA enables each firm to have its distinct name, making it easier to distinguish between them.

Understanding that creating a DBA does not constitute a separate legal company or give liability protection is critical. It just permits you to conduct business under a new name. If you wish to safeguard your assets from business responsibilities, you might consider creating an LLC or incorporating your firm.

When selecting a DBA, ensure that the name is not already used by another firm in your region. You should search for current business names to avoid any trademark infringement difficulties.

How to set up a DBA in Colorado?

In Colorado, establishing a DBA is a relatively simple process. A DBA, or Doing Business As, permits a company to operate under a name other than its legal name. Suppose you are a Colorado sole proprietor, partnership, or LLC and wish to do business under a name other than your legal name. In that case, you must register a DBA with the Colorado Secretary of State's office. Read below to find out how. 

Step 1: Conduct a trade name search in Colorado 

All trade names in Colorado must be distinctive and fulfill regulatory standards.

To verify DBA name availability, enter a name on the Colorado Name Availability Search page.

Step 2: Register your Colorado DBA 

Your DBA must be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State. Filing it online at the Secretary of State's website is possible. 

When you apply for a DBA in Colorado, you will be asked for information such as:

  • The company name you want to use.
  • A detailed description of your company.
  • Your requested trade name's effective date.

For sole proprietors and normal partnerships, a DBA in Colorado expires after one year. Before your DBA expires, the state requires you to renew it online. Corporations and LLCs in good standing are not required to renew their DBA names at the state level.

Step 3: Pay the DBA filing costs in Colorado

The $20 filing fee and the online Colorado Trade Name registration must be submitted. You may pay your DBA fee online using a credit or debit card. No cash payments are accepted.

If you have any more queries, please contact:

(303) 894-2200 Colorado Secretary of State's Office 

Toll-free number: (855) 428-3555 

Colorado DBA name restrictions

Any words or phrases forbidden in Colorado, including obscenities and referrals to unlawful or unethical behavior. Terms indicating that you are a corporation, limited liability company, or another type of legal organization are not authorized in your DBA name. A DBA is not a different legal entity but a business technique under a different name. Using words like "Corp" or "LLC" in your DBA name is misleading and might lead to legal difficulties.

Moreover, words that associate your company with a government agency, such as the FBI, the Department of Treasury, or the Department of Justice.

Forms needed to file a DBA in Colorado

Below are forms essential for filing a DBA in Colorado for processes such as name availability search, renewal, or withdrawal. 


Colorado name availability search website 

Secretary of State's website

Colorado trade name renewal

Withdraw Colorado trade name

Colorado DBA filing & registration

A DBA (doing business as) is referred to in Colorado as a "trade name." You must register a trade name with the Colorado Secretary of State to utilize it for your business.

The following are the processes for registering a trade name in Colorado:

  • Choose a name for your company that another company in Colorado is not currently using. The Colorado Secretary of State's website allows you to search for existing business names.
  • Fill out the online trade name registration form on the Colorado Secretary of State website with business information such as the trade name, type of company entity, and owner information.
  • Make payment for the filing fee. The charge for registering a trade name in Colorado is $20 as of 2021.
  • Send the completed form and your payment to the Colorado Secretary of State. This can be done online via the Internet, by mail, or in person at the Secretary of State's office.
  • You will get a certificate of registration after your trade name registration has been completed and authorized. It is critical to understand that registering a trade name in Colorado does not confer trademark protection. You should file a trademark application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to protect your company's name and identity.

Colorado DBA tax considerations

When registering a trading name (DBA) in Colorado, you must examine the tax ramifications for your company. Here are a few tax concerns to consider:

  • Sales Tax: If your company sells physical things or specified services, you may need to register with the Colorado Department of Revenue for a sales tax license. In conclusion, you will be able to collect and pay sales tax to the state.
  • Income Tax: All Colorado businesses must pay state income tax on their profits. The tax rate is determined by the kind of company entity and the amount of money received. If you are a solo owner, your business revenue will be reported on your personal income tax return.
  • Business Licenses and Permissions: Depending on your industry and location, you may require extra licenses and permissions to conduct business in Colorado. Zoning permits, health and safety permits, and professional licenses are examples of such permissions.

Consult with a tax specialist or accountant to verify that you are fulfilling all your tax duties as a Colorado company owner. They can assist you in navigating the tax code and maximizing any potential deductions or credits.

How much does a DBA filing cost in Colorado?

The cost of registering a DBA (trade name) in Colorado is $20 as of 2021. When you submit your trade name registration form, you must pay this charge to the Colorado Secretary of State. It should be noted that this charge only covers the registration of the trade name and does not cover any other fees related to running a business, such as taxes or licenses. Suppose you have any questions concerning the cost or procedure of registering a DBA in Colorado. In that case, you should speak with a company attorney or accountant who can give assistance and recommendations depending on your circumstances.


To summarize, registering a DBA (Doing Business As) in Colorado might be wise for people or corporations seeking to operate under a different name. It is a simple process that may be completed online at the Colorado Secretary of State's website. Registering a DBA may safeguard your brand, improve your marketing efforts, and create a separate legal identity for your company. However, it is crucial to understand that registering a DBA does not give any legal protection or liability coverage. To guarantee compliance with any applicable rules and regulations, it is suggested that you check with a legal practitioner or an accountant. 

We can help!

At Levy, we help early-stage founders streamline and automate regulatory and legal ops, HR, and finance so you can focus on what matters most — your business.

Like our content?

Subscribe to our blog to stay updated on new posts. Our blog covers advice, inspiration, and practical guides for early-stage founders navigating their start-up journeys.

Note: Our content is for general information purposes only. Levy does not provide legal, accounting, or certified expert advice. Consult a lawyer, CPA, or other professional for such services.

Get content like this, and more, sent directly to your inbox once a month.

Thank you for subscribing us!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


Stressing the details?

Let levy handle this for you.
Learn more
No items found.