Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws in Colorado

By Joe Stone

Colorado law requires the use of certain documents -- articles of incorporation and bylaws -- to properly form a corporation. The articles of incorporation are required to create the corporation and must be filed with the Secretary of State's office. The bylaws are a set of rules and guidelines created by the corporation's owners -- known as shareholders -- or its board of directors to govern the operation of the corporation. Bylaws are not filed with the secretary's office, but kept at the corporation's principal office.

Colorado law requires the use of certain documents -- articles of incorporation and bylaws -- to properly form a corporation. The articles of incorporation are required to create the corporation and must be filed with the Secretary of State's office. The bylaws are a set of rules and guidelines created by the corporation's owners -- known as shareholders -- or its board of directors to govern the operation of the corporation. Bylaws are not filed with the secretary's office, but kept at the corporation's principal office.

Corporation Naming Requirements

Before filing articles of incorporation, it is advisable to determine whether the name chosen for your corporation is available and that it complies with Colorado corporation law. The name must be readily distinguishable from all other business names on record with the Secretary of State. You can verify name availability using the search feature on the secretary's website that gives you access to all business names on record. After verifying a name is available, you can reserve it with the secretary's office for up to 120 days if you are not ready to file articles of incorporation. A for-profit corporation must include the following words or abbreviations as part of its name: corporation, incorporated, company, limited, corp., inc., co. or ltd. Nonprofit corporations have the option to use any of these words and abbreviations.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now

Articles of Incorporation

A Colorado corporation is created when the articles of incorporation are accepted for filing by the Secretary of State. Filing the articles must be done electronically using the “Filing a Document” page on the secretary’s website. The documents are filed in real time, and you will receive immediate confirmation if your articles were successfully filed. The secretary’s website also provides a form of articles that you can download and review in order to determine the information needed to complete the articles properly. The minimum information required includes the corporation’s name and principal office address; name and address of each incorporator and corporation’s registered agent; and the class and number of shares the corporation is authorized to issue.

Non-Profit Corporation

If a nonprofit corporation is being created, the requirements for filing the articles of incorporation are similar to the requirements for for-profit corporations. The Secretary of State's office mandates electronic filing and provides a form of articles of incorporation for a nonprofit corporation that you can download and review. Under Colorado law, the minimum information required for a nonprofit’s articles of incorporation are the same as a for-profit corporation, except a nonprofit’s articles do not include a statement regarding issuance of shares. However, if the nonprofit intends to apply for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, the articles must include special provisions to comply with IRS rules and regulations. IRS Publication 557 provides instructions and sample language regarding these requirements, which differ depending on the nonprofit’s purpose.

Bylaws

Colorado law permits each corporation to adopt bylaws, the governing rules for managing and regulating the affairs of the corporation. The bylaws include such matters as how to call a meeting; rules for electing directors and appointing officers; and dispute resolution procedures. The only limitation on the bylaws is that they cannot conflict with Colorado law or the corporation's articles of incorporation. The corporation's bylaws are not filed with any state agency, but Colorado law requires they are kept at the corporation's principal place of business.

Ready to incorporate your business? Get Started Now
How Do I Become Incorporated in California?

References

Resources

Related articles

The Requirements to Start a Non-Profit Business in South Carolina

Nonprofit businesses provide important services for communities, such as giving support to low-income families or raising awareness of important social issues. While you can do these things as an individual, organizing as a nonprofit allows others to help you operate your charity and encourages donations more effectively. Typically, South Carolina nonprofits are organized as nonprofit corporations.

The Process of a Nonprofit Incorporation in Pennsylvania

Knowing the process for incorporating a non-profit can help incorporators get an organization off the ground without time consuming delays. Paying close attention to the rules will ensure that an organization can promote its mission and solicit donations. In Pennsylvania, certain formalities and age requirements must be observed as well as documents drafted and filed, including articles of incorporation, with Pennsylvania's Department of State.

How to Start a Nonprofit Corporation in the State of Missouri

Missouri law allows nonprofit corporations to engage in a variety of activities, such as religious, charitable and social, with a complete list of approved activities set forth in Chapter 35 of the Missouri Revised Statutes at section 355.025. The primary prohibition is that the nonprofit cannot engage in any for-profit activities. To start a nonprofit corporation, you must file articles of incorporation with the Missouri Secretary of State that comply with Missouri corporation law.

LLCs, Corporations, Patents, Attorney Help

Related articles

How to Incorporate in Colorado

Starting a corporation in Colorado gives entrepreneurs the advantage of separating the company’s finances from ...

How to Incorporate in Iowa

Some state governments use the internet to streamline the business registration process. Most states have a central ...

About Incorporation in Indiana

An Indiana corporation is an independent legal entity, created under state law that owns its own assets and debts. ...

Incorporation in Massachusetts

The procedure for incorporation in Massachusetts is defined by state rather than federal law. You must comply with the ...

Browse by category