How to Get a DBA Name in Colorado | A Step-By-Step Guide

Steve Bennett
Business Formation Expert  |   Fact Checked by Editorial Team
Last updated: 
WebinarCare offers informative content for educational purposes only, not as a substitute for professional legal or tax advice. We may earn commissions if you use the services we recommend on this site.
WebinarCare is led by Steve Bennett, a seasoned expert in the business world. He's gathered a team that's passionate about giving you reliable advice on everything from starting a business to picking the right tools. We base our tips and guides on real-life experience, ensuring you get straightforward and proven advice. Our goal is to make your business journey smoother and more successful. When you choose WebinarCare, you're choosing a trustworthy guide for all things business.
Get a DBA Name in Colorado

Have you ever wondered how to get a DBA for your Limited Liability Company? If you have, then you are on the right page. Doing Business As (DBA) names, also known as trade names, fictitious names, or assumed names, are an essential aspect of businesses in Colorado. A DBA name allows companies to operate under a name different from their legal business name since it is important for branding, marketing, and legal purposes. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to getting a DBA name in Colorado.

Through thorough research and market study, Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you learn about the DBA name. It would be best to cross-check all the factors before obtaining one for your Colorado business.

What is a DBA Name?

A DBA (Doing Business As) name in Colorado is a name under which a business operates that is different from its legal name. It is also known as a trading, fictitious, or assumed name. A DBA name allows companies to start a limited liability company in Colorado, and market themselves under a separate name from their legal business name. Registering a DBA name in Colorado, provides businesses with branding, marketing, and legal benefits while also helping to prevent other businesses from using the same or a similar name within the state.

Example of a DBA

A DBA (Doing Business As) example can be illustrated through a fictional scenario involving a sole proprietor named John Smith. Let’s say John owns a bakery business and wants to operate it under a different name rather than using his name.

Legal Business Name: John Smith (sole proprietor)

DBA Name: Sweet Treats Bakery

In this case, John would register “Sweet Treats Bakery” as his DBA name. By doing so, he can legally conduct his bakery business using the name “Sweet Treats Bakery” for branding, marketing, and legal purposes, instead of using his name, John Smith. This allows John to establish a professional identity for his bakery and distinguish it from other businesses.

If you start an LLC in Colorado, registering a DBA name is important when it comes to remembering your business. However, it is best to consult with a legal professional before you begin registering your DBA name. This is to ensure that your business name is available in Colorado.

WEBINARCARE EDITORIAL TEAM

How to Get a DBA Name in Colorado

Starting a business in Colorado can be exciting and challenging. One crucial step in establishing your business’s identity is choosing and registering a Doing Business As (DBA) name. Here are the steps to get a DBA in Colorado.

Step 1: Choose a Unique and Appropriate Name

The first step in registering a DBA name is selecting a unique and appropriate name for your business. Your chosen name should be easy to remember and represent your business’s products or services. 

Consider the following tips when choosing a DBA name in Colorado:

  • Avoid using names too similar to existing businesses, as this may lead to confusion and potential legal issues.
  • Stay away from names that may be considered offensive or misleading.
  • Research Colorado naming requirements, as some have specific restrictions on what words and phrases can be included in a business name. 

Recommended: Embark on your entrepreneurial journey confidently and affordably with LegalZoom’s DBA service, the beacon that guides businesses to credible branding and comprehensive compliance. Discover how effortless success can truly be!

LegalZoom – ($99 + Filling Fees)

Step 2: Conduct a Name Search

Once you have chosen a suitable name for your business, conducting Colorado Business Name Search is essential to ensure the name is not already used. In Colorado, they have an online business name database that you can search, usually found on the Colorado Secretary of State Business Database Search. Sometimes, you may also need to check with your local county clerk’s office to ensure the name is not already used at the county level.

If your chosen name is already in use, select a different name and repeat the search until you find an available name.

Step 3: Register the DBA Name

After confirming that your chosen name is available, the next step is registering your DBA name with the appropriate state or county agency. In Colorado, you will need to complete a DBA registration form, which can often be found on Colorado Secretary of State website. Colorado may require additional documentation, such as proof of business ownership or a business license in Colorado.

When filling out the registration form, provide accurate and complete information. Any errors or omissions may lead to delays in processing or even the rejection of your application.

Step 4: Pay the Registration Fee

A fee is typically associated with registering a DBA name. In Colorado, there are one method, online filing. The cost of filing a DBA is $20. However, renewing your DBA every one year would be best. Sometimes, there may be separate fees for Colorado DBA registrations. Be prepared to pay these fees when submitting your registration form.

Step 5: Publish a Notice of Your New DBA Name

Colorado requires you to publish a notice of your new DBA name in a local newspaper. This step will inform the public of your intention to operate under a fictitious name. 

The notice must typically include your DBA name, legal business name, business address, and owner’s name. You may need to provide proof of publication to Colorado or the county agency responsible for DBA registrations.

Step 6: Obtain Any Necessary Permits or Licenses

Depending on your Colorado business’s nature and location, you may need additional permits or licenses to operate under your DBA name.

The permits and licenses required for your business will depend on your business’s nature, location, and local and state regulations. Here are some common types of permits and licenses that might be required when operating under a DBA:

  • Business License: A general business license may be required in Colorado to operate your business legally. This license ensures your business meets local zoning, safety, and regulatory requirements. In Colorado, the costs of obtaining a business license range from $50 – $300.
  • Sales Tax Permit: If your business sells taxable goods or services, you may need a Sales Tax Permit from Colorado Department of Revenue.
  • Professional Licenses: Depending on your business type, you may need specific professional licenses or certifications. For example, if you are operating a restaurant, you may need a food handler’s permit; if you offer professional services such as accounting or legal services, you may need a professional license from Colorado state board. DBA filing requires professional licenses if you operate under a General Partnership in Colorado
  • Health and Safety Permits: Businesses in certain industries, such as food service, may require health and safety permits to ensure compliance with state and local regulations.
  • Zoning Permits: Depending on your business location and the type of business you are operating, you may need a zoning permit from your local planning or zoning department.
  • Environmental Permits: If your business involves activities that could impact the environment, you may need permits from Colorado state or federal environmental agencies.

Step 7: Renew Your DBA Registration as Needed

In Colorado, you are required to renew your DBA registration periodically. This renewal process may involve completing a renewal form, paying a renewal fee, and sometimes republishing the notice of your DBA name. Stay up-to-date with your state’s renewal requirements to maintain your DBA name and avoid penalties.

Maintaining the DBA Name

Once your DBA name is registered and published, it is essential to maintain it to remain in good standing with Colorado. Here are some important aspects to consider:

  • Renewal or Expiration: Depending on Colorado’s regulations, your DBA name registration may expire or need to be renewed periodically. Keep track of these deadlines to avoid losing your DBA name.
  • Updating Business Information: If your business undergoes significant changes (such as a change in ownership or address), you may need to update your DBA name registration with the appropriate agency.
  • Canceling or Discontinuing the DBA Name: If you decide to stop using your DBA name or close your business, notify the appropriate agency and follow any required procedures for canceling or discontinuing the name.

Is a DBA in Colorado the same as a Trade Name?

Yes, in Colorado, a DBA (Doing Business As) is the same as a trading name. Both terms refer to a name under which a business operates differently from its legal name. A DBA or trade name allows companies to conduct business and market themselves using a different name from their legal business name. Other terms for DBA or trade name include fictitious name and assumed name. Registering a DBA or trade name in Colorado may vary depending on the type of business and the state’s specific regulations.

Do I need to register my Colorado DBA in the Internal Revenue Service?

No, you do not need to register your DBA (Doing Business As) name in Colorado with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The registration of a DBA is typically done at the state or local level, depending on the specific regulations of Colorado. The IRS is not involved in the DBA registration process.

However, once your DBA is registered in Colorado, you may need to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) in Colorado from the IRS if your business has employees, operates as a corporation or partnership, or meets certain tax-filing requirements.

Do I need to file for a DBA if I already have Colorado Registered Business Name?

If you already have a registered business name in Colorado and you plan to conduct business using that exact name, you do not need to file for a DBA (Doing Business As). A DBA is required when a business wants to operate under a name different from its legal business name. 

However, you must file for a DBA if you have a registered business name and wish to conduct business under a different name. This applies to sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations that intend to use a name other than their legally registered name.

FAQs

What is a DBA name in Colorado?
A DBA stands for “doing business as” and is a name that a business uses in Colorado that’s different from the legal name.
Why might I need a DBA name in Colorado?
You might need a DBA name in Colorado if you plan to operate your business using a different name than your legal name.
How do I file for a DBA name in Colorado?
You can file for a DBA name in Colorado by completing an online application through the Colorado Secretary of State.
What is the cost to file for a DBA name in Colorado?
The cost to file for a DBA name in Colorado varies, and may be available on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.
Can I use my own name as a DBA in Colorado?
Yes, in Colorado, you can use your own name as a DBA if your legal name is different and you want to do business under that name.
Do I need any identification or legal documentation to file for a DBA in Colorado?
You’ll need to provide a social security number or EIN for tax purposes when filing the DBA in Colorado.
How long does it take to process a DBA name application in Colorado?
The processing time for a DBA name application in Colorado may vary but usually takes approximately one week.
Can I operate my business under a DBA in Colorado without a registered LLC or corporation?
Yes, you can operate your business under a DBA in Colorado without a registered LLC or corporation.
Can I reserve a DBA name in Colorado?
Unfortunately, you can’t reserve a DBA name in Colorado; it’s a “first come, first served” system.
How do I know if my DBA name is available in Colorado?
You can use the Colorado Secretary of State website search tools to see if your DBA name is available or not.
Can I change my DBA name in Colorado?
Yes, you can change your DBA name in Colorado by filing a new application with the Secretary of State and re-registering under that new name.
Do I need to renew my DBA name in Colorado?
No, you don’t need to renew your DBA name in Colorado. As long as you continue to do business under that name and file your taxes properly, there shouldn’t be any issues.
How long does a DBA last in Colorado?
There is no expiration on an existing DBA in Colorado.
Is a DBA name transferable in Colorado?
No, a DBA name isn’t transferable in Colorado. It only belongs to the individual or entity that filed it.
Can I use a DBA for an online business in Colorado?
Yes, you can use a DBA for an online business in Colorado as long as you operate within the state and comply with any laws pertaining to online disclosures and transactions.
Does a DBA name give me the right to conduct business in Colorado?
No, a DBA name doesn’t give you any legal right to conduct business in or operate in Colorado.
What’s the penalty for conducting business in Colorado without a DBA?
It’s illegal to do business in Colorado without a DBA, and you may face penalties and fines for not complying.
Am I required to have a DBA name if using my legal surname of my business?
No, you are not required to have a DBA, but you may choose to register one that reflects your brand marketing in Colorado.
Can I use a DBA for multiple businesses in Colorado?
Yes, you may have several businesses operating under the same DBA name.
Is a DBA name the same as a trademark in Colorado?
No, a DBA name isn’t the same as a trademark in Colorado, but they can overlap in their functions.
Can a DBA name protect my business name from being used by other businesses in Colorado?
No, a DBA doesn’t provide protection to your business name; for that, you’d need to register for a trademark or patent in Colorado.
What’s the difference between a DBA and a business license in Colorado?
A DBA name is used to catch all business activities projecting to your offering while a business license is an operational grant allowing you to operate that business in Colorado.
Do I need a DBA if I plan to sell products or services in Colorado?
If you plan to sell or conduct business activities under a name that’s different from your legal name, then you ought to get a DBA name to operate legally in Colorado.
Can I register for a DBA name and maintain my business’s legal name at the same time in Colorado?
Yes, you can use a DBA and maintain your current legal name for your business activities in Colorado.
Can I use an existing trademark as a DBA name in Colorado?
It’s permissible in some circumstances. However, it’s recommended to consult an attorney first before going down that line of operation in Colorado.
Can a corporation or LLC be listed as a DBA for another corporation or LLC in Colorado?
No corporation or LLC entity can be listed alone as a DBA for another entity in Colorado.
When must I file my DBA before commencing business activities in Colorado?
You should file for a DBA before launching your business and conducting functions under that business name to prevent potential penalties and fines in Colorado.
Can I file for DBA if I want to start a nonprofit organization in Colorado?
Yes, a nonprofit organization can also file for a DBA name to engage in any NPO or commercial objectives in Colorado.
Who can file for a DBA name in Colorado?
Any individual, partnership, corporation, or other legal entity conducting business in Colorado can file for a DBA name.
How much does it cost to obtain a DBA name in Colorado?
It varies based on county but generally costs between $20-$25 to file for a DBA in Colorado.
Where can I file for a DBA in Colorado?
You can file for a DBA in Colorado with the county clerk and recorder’s office in the county where your business is located.
How long does it take to obtain a DBA name in Colorado?
It usually takes between 7-10 business days to obtain a DBA name in Colorado.
How long is a DBA name valid for in Colorado?
A DBA name in Colorado is valid for five years.
Can a DBA name be renewed in Colorado?
Yes, a DBA name in Colorado can be renewed every five years as long as the business continues to operate under that name.
Do I need to register my DBA name with the state of Colorado?
No, you do not need to register your DBA name with the state of Colorado, only with the county in which your business operates.
Can I use a DBA name to conduct business outside of Colorado?
No, a DBA name in Colorado is only valid for conducting business within the state of Colorado.
Do I need to publish my DBA name in a newspaper in Colorado?
It depends on the county in which you are filing for a DBA name. Some counties may require publishing of the name in a local newspaper.
Can I have multiple DBA names in Colorado?
Yes, a business can have multiple DBA names registered in Colorado.
Can I use my personal name as a DBA name in Colorado?
Yes, you can use your personal name as long as it does not include any identifiers that suggest the business is a corporation, LLC, or Partnership.
Can I trademark my DBA name in Colorado?
Yes, you can trademark your DBA name in Colorado, but you may need to consult with an attorney specializing in intellectual property law.
Do I need a DBA name if I am a sole proprietor in Colorado?
No, a sole proprietor can operate a business under their legal name and does not need a DBA unless they want to use a different business name.
Can I register a DBA name if someone else is already using it in Colorado?
No, you cannot register a DBA name if someone else is already using it in Colorado.
Is a DBA name the same as a trade name in Colorado?
Yes, a DBA name is also referred to as a “trade name” in Colorado.
Do I need a separate business license to operate under a DBA name in Colorado?
No, you do not need a separate business license to operate under a DBA name in Colorado.
Do I need to submit a business plan to obtain a DBA name in Colorado?
No, you do not need to submit a business plan to obtain a DBA name in Colorado.
What if I change the type of business I operate under a DBA name in Colorado?
You will need to file a new DBA registration with the county clerk and recorder’s office if you change the type of business you operate under a DBA name in Colorado.
What taxes do I need to pay when operating under a DBA name in Colorado?
You will need to pay business taxes under the legal name of the business and not the DBA name.
Can I use symbols or punctuation in my DBA name in Colorado?
Yes, you can use symbols or punctuation in your DBA name in Colorado.
Can I operate a nonprofit under a DBA name in Colorado?
Yes, a nonprofit can operate under a DBA name in Colorado.
Can I register a DBA name online in Colorado?
It depends on the county in which you are filing, but many counties offer online registration for DBA names in Colorado.
Do I need to include my business entity type in my DBA name in Colorado?
You do not need to include your business entity type such as LLC or corporation in your DBA name in Colorado.
How do I verify if my DBA name is available in Colorado?
You can check on the availability of DBA names in Colorado with the county clerk and recorder’s office.
How can I change my address on my DBA registration in Colorado?
You can change your address on your DBA registration by filing an amendment form with the county clerk and recorder’s office.
Can I register a DBA name for a dormant business in Colorado?
No, you cannot register a DBA name for a dormant business in Colorado.
Do I need to file for a trademark to protect my DBA name in Colorado?
No, you do not need to file for a trademark to protect your DBA name in Colorado, but it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney specializing in intellectual property law.

Also Read

Conclusion

Getting a DBA name in Colorado is crucial for many businesses, providing branding, marketing, and legal benefits. By following the steps outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can successfully register a DBA name in Colorado and enhance your business’s credibility and recognition in the market. Remember to stay up-to-date with Colorado’s rules and regulations surrounding DBA names, and maintain your registration to ensure your business remains compliant.

Leave a Comment