How Long Does It Take To Form an LLC in Colorado? (Guide)

Delina Chantel Yasmeh
Published by Delina Chantel Yasmeh | Author
Last updated: March 31, 2024
Methodology
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While you may want to get your LLC running and reap the benefits as soon as possible, it's important to understand how long the Colorado Secretary of State takes to approve your Articles of Organization.

As an experienced mergers and acquisitions specialist with a strong background in business formation, I understand the importance of time efficiency when starting a limited liability company.

Working with our LLC experts and business advisors, we've researched the LLC formation process in Colorado and the processing times of the different filing methods offered by the state.

Quick Summary

  • It takes 7–10 business days to form an LLC in Colorado by mail and less than 1 business day if filed online, with the possibility of instant approval after payment confirmation.
  • Expedited service is available for paper filings only. The state approves your application within 3 business days for an additional $150 filing fee.
  • Between March 2021 and March 2022, there was a surge in entrepreneurship in the state, with 32,069 new businesses being established. This growth in business formation could influence the processing time for LLC filings.
  • I advise my fellow businessmen to file online when applying for an LLC in Colorado since it is the fastest and most convenient way.


What is The Fastest Way to Start an LLC in Colorado?

Discussion outside office about LLC processing time in colorado

The fastest way to start an LLC in Colorado is by filing online, which takes less than 1 business day. However, the process can be approved instantly after payment confirmation.

Filing online can be done at any time, except for regular maintenance intervals.

The Colorado SOS also has periodic service outages at the end of each year, so it would be best to avoid filing your registration papers now.

LLC Processing Time in Colorado

The processing time in Colorado accounts for the total time the Secretary of State (SOS) takes to approve your LLC’s Articles of Organization.

The filing methods offered by the state have different processing times.

1. Expedited Colorado LLC Processing Time By Mail (3 business days + $150)

Using a tablet for online filing

In Colorado, you can pay an additional filing fee of $150 and have your papers processed within 3 business days [1].

Through my experience, I learned that this service is available primarily for paper filings.

2. Non-Expedited Colorado LLC Processing Time By Mail (7-10 business days)

The SOS will accept and process documents within 7-10 business days after receipt [2].

In my experience, this turnaround time may be prolonged because the central distribution center picks up the mailed documents before they're delivered to the SOS office.

3. Colorado LLC Processing Time Online (approved in real-time)

Recently, when I helped a client file for a limited liability company, I learned that the Colorado Department only allows online filing if your Articles of Organization are for a domestic or foreign LLC.

Small business owners can have their LLC approved almost immediately after the filing fee payment is confirmed.

You can access the online documents on the Colorado State website by clicking on the "Summary" page and selecting the "File a Form" option [3].

You can pay for your documents after filing them online using a prepaid account or credit and debit card [4].

"Forming an LLC in Colorado can vary in time based on several factors including the time of year, as filing times can be longer during peak business periods."

- Jon Morgan, CEO, Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Venture Smarter

Factors Influencing The Formation Timeline Of Colorado LLCs

When forming an LLC in Colorado, the processing duration can vary depending on several factors.

Understanding these factors is crucial for LLC owners to manage their expectations and ensure a smooth registration process.

Here are some factors that may influence the time taken to form your Colorado LLC: 

  • Complexity of the application: The complexity of the LLC formation application can significantly impact the processing duration. If the application includes intricate business structures, multiple business entities, or specific requirements, it may take longer to review and approve.
  • Documentation issues: Submitting accurate and complete documents is vital for a smooth processing experience. Any errors, missing information, or inconsistencies in the application or supporting documents can lead to delays. I make it a practice to review all information before submission. 
  • Backlog of filings: During high submission volumes or increased demand, there might be a longer queue for review. Submitting the LLC formation application promptly is advisable to minimize potential delays caused by a backlog.
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Requirements: The Internal Revenue Service has specific requirements for LLCs, especially in terms of taxation. Ensuring compliance with these requirements can contribute to smoother processing.

Despite possible delays, Colorado boasts 684,726 small businesses, which constitute 99.5 percent of all businesses in the state, as noted by the US Small Business Administration. This statistic underscores the state's robust entrepreneurial landscape.

FAQs

How Can I Get My Colorado LLC EIN Fast During Formation?

You can get your Colorado LLC EIN fast during the formation by filing online through the official website of the Internal Revenue Service. To expedite the process, gather all the required information, such as your LLC's legal name, address, and responsible party details.

How Can I Shorten The Registration Time for a New LLC in Colorado?

You can shorten the registration process for a new LLC in Colorado by availing necessary documentation and information or appointing a registered agent service.

Where Can I Check the Status of My Colorado LLC Formation During the Processing Period?

You can check the status of your Colorado LLC formation during the processing period by signing up for email and text notifications online.

References:

  1. https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/info_center/fees/business.html#SERVICES
  2. https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/FAQs/filing.html
  3. https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/filingInstructions.html
  4. https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/business/helpFiles/LLCintro.html

About The Author

Author
Delina Chantel Yasmeh, J.D./Tax LL.M, specializes in Mergers and Acquisitions at Deloitte and PwC, managing billion-dollar transactions. Educated in Accountancy at California State University and holding advanced degrees from Loyola Law School, she is highly skilled in tax law. Delina also dedicates time to pro bono work for women and children.
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Growth & Transition Advisor
LJ Viveros has 40 years of experience in founding and scaling businesses, including a significant sale to Logitech. He has led Market Solutions LLC since 1999, focusing on strategic transitions for global brands. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Communications, LJ is also a distinguished Matsushita Executive alumnus.
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