Starting an LLC in Colorado is not for the faint of heart. Maintaining one isn’t, either. There’s a bunch of annual requirements: annual taxes, business licenses to renew, and of course, annual reports. A lot of the annual requirements can be pretty complicated, too.
Annual reports can be pretty complicated…but only if you don’t know what to expect. That’s what we’re here for. In this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reports in Colorado: LLC filing fees, where to file, due dates, and if you want, where to go to get help filing. By the end, the annual report won’t feel so daunting anymore.
What is an annual report?
An annual report is a lot like an annual newsletter for your LLC—except you only send it to one place: the state government. Each year, the state needs updated information about your business. And this isn’t a requirement that’s unique to Colorado. In fact, nearly every state requires some form of annual (or similar timeline) update.
That said, the newsletter analogy falls short because you don’t need to tell the state what you did each month. You don’t even have to tell them the highs and lows of your year. And thankfully, you don’t have to write it out as a letter. All you’ll have to do is fill out the requested information.
Here’s a quick glance at the information Colorado will require from you:
- Business ID number
- Legal name of the entity
- Legal jurisdiction where your business was formed
- Principal office address
- Principal mailing address (if different from principal office address)
- Name of registered agent
- Street address of registered agent (and mailing address, if applicable)
- Name and address of individual responsible for filing
Sound overwhelming? Don’t panic. It’s actually a lot easier than you might think! In the rest of this guide, we’ll cover all the essentials to annual reporting—including a DIY approach and how to get help if you’d rather not file on your own.
Where do I start?
When the time comes to file your annual report, you should head to the Secretary of State’s website. More specifically, you should go to the Business Organizations page. Just hit the “Periodic report filing” button. From there, you’ll be directed to the record identification search. That’s the first step in filing your report.
Don’t be confused by the “period report” title. That’s just the title Colorado uses to describe the annual report. The two names are interchangeable, really. So don’t worry if you see both terms here or elsewhere on the internet.
Colorado only allows for online filings. You can view a sample copy of the report, but when you file, you’ll do so at the Secretary of State’s website. We find that online filing is usually easier, so we don’t mind that there are no mail-in filing options.
The periodic report isn’t extremely difficult to fill out, honestly. But if you’re extremely busy (and who isn’t these days?), the report can seem overwhelming—it’s yet another thing you have to do. That said, you can hire a Colorado LLC Service to handle the work for you. Not only will these services actually form your business for you (if you need it), but they’ll also help you handle annual requirements like the annual report.
How much does Colorado’s Periodic Report cost?
Some states have a pretty hefty price tag of several hundred dollars for their annual report. Other states charge more reasonable fees of less than $100. Colorado, however, keeps things extremely affordable. The filing fee is just $10. Since you file online, you’ll need to have a credit card on hand to make the payment.
When is the Periodic Report due?
In most states, the annual report is due, well, annually. In other states, entrepreneurs often refer to it as an annual report even though it’s due every other year. But in Colorado, the periodic report fits its “annual report” nickname; you’ll file it every year.
Colorado’s website will tell you that you need to file your report during your “periodic report month.” But let’s translate that: your periodic report month is your LLC’s anniversary month. Colorado requires you to file by the end of your LLC’s anniversary month. For example, if you filed your formation documents on April 10th, you’ll file your periodic report next year by April 30th.
That said, Colorado gives you a lot of grace. You can file anytime two months before or two months after your anniversary month.
What happens if you don’t file your annual report?
Sometimes annual check-ins are a pain, right? And we get it: with some things, like annual physicals, dental cleanings, and eye appointments are tempting to skip. Usually, there isn’t a big penalty if you skip them for a year or two (aside from a minor scolding from your doctor).
However, that isn’t the case with annual reports. You should never skip filing your annual report, and you should always do it on time. For one thing, filing on time ensures that you don’t spend any more than you have to.
If you don’t file within that two-month grace period we talked about, Colorado will label your LLC as “Noncompliant” and hit you with a $50 late fee. That’s five times more than the original filing fee.
If the late fee wasn’t bad enough, Colorado will switch your status to “Delinquent” within two months of being labeled as “noncompliant.” Delinquent businesses lose their Certificates of Good Standing (necessary for some important business functions). Plus, they can’t maintain court proceedings.
In extreme cases, the state will dissolve your LLC. Long story short, they’ll shut down your business by force. If that happens, don’t panic; you can get reinstated. But it’s a big hassle to do so. It’s far easier to prevent dissolution by simply filing your periodic report on time each year.
Maintaining a Colorado LLC is no laughing matter, and the annual report is without a doubt one of the most important annual filings. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Hopefully this guide has helped take out some of the guesswork. And don’t forget: an LLC Service can make things even easier.