by Brenda Speer
Here in Colorado, every entity (corporation, limited liability company or partnership) has to file an annual report in order to keep the entity in good standing with the Secretary of State. Keeping your entity in good standing is good for it offensively—entitling it to bring and maintain lawsuits—and defensively—refuting an attempt by another to have the corporate veil pierced and the individual principals behind it held personally liable. Likewise, a sole proprietor operating under a trade name needs to renew the trade name every year.
The annual renewal anniversary for an entity or sole proprietor trade name occurs in the month it was made of record (either as a newly formed domestic entity or a registered foreign entity) with the Secretary of State. If you need a reminder to attend to this task, then the Colorado Secretary of State makes it easy for you. Enroll for email reminders. It’s easy.
We strongly recommend that you sign yourself up for email notification from the Secretary of State for any changes in the status of your company. Any time documents are e-filed, or your annual report is due, you’ll receive an email from the Secretary of State notifying you that a change has occurred. You can then go to the Secretary of State website to review the change made to your company record.
Here’s how to sign up for email notification or to look up your company records:
1. Go to the web site at www.sos.state.co.us, select “Business Organizations” from the navigation menu.
2. Next, select “Search” from the navigation menu.
3. On the next page you can search for your company records one of two ways:
a. In the search box field for “Business Name, Trademark, Trade Name”, type in your company name and click the “Search” button. On the next page(s) generated, look for and select the appropriate ID number (a hyperlink) for your company (this is the identifying number assigned to your company by the Secretary of State); or
b. You can go directly to your business records by entering your company ID number in the “ID Number” search box field and click the “Search” button. You can find your company ID number either as outlined in paragraph (a) above, or by reference to your filed Articles or other organizational documentation. The ID Number will be in the top right corner of the first page.
4. On the next page with the “Summary” of your company information, select “Subscribe to E-mail Notification Regarding this Record” at the very bottom of the page; then on the next page, enter your email address in the “E-mail Address” field and click “Subscribe”.
6. You will get an email confirming that you are subscribed.
Any further changes to your company records will auto-generate an email notification to you so that you easily can stay on top of things.
Another handy option offered by the Colorado Secretary of State is that you can secure your business filings. You can enroll for this option and then only authorized persons who have your login information can make changes to your entity information. It’s easy to do that, too. Follow the steps above, however, at step 4 above, do this instead:
4. On the next page with the “Summary” of your company information, select “Set Up Secure Business Filing for this Record” at the very bottom of the page; then on the next page, click on “Request a PIN”.
5. You will get a postal mailing with your PIN sent to the registered address of the entity.
Once you receive the PIN, go back the Secretary of State site and go to the “Summary” of your entity record. From there, again select “Set Up Secure Business Filing for This Record”.
6. Enter your PIN and then click on "Continue".
7. Enter the required account information and click on "Submit".
8. You will see a confirmation page indicating that your Secure Business Filing account was created.
That’s all there is to it! You are now equipped to maintain your entity records.
If you have an entity formed in another state, then check out what options are available to you in that state. Most other Secretary of State sites have implemented similar procedures, so take advantage of them!
Of course, if you don't want to hassle with all this, we're happy to provide that legal service for you.
© 2012 BL Speer & Associates