How to Form an S Corp in Colorado

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As an entrepreneur, you have many decisions to make when getting a business off the ground. One major decision is how to structure your business for tax purposes. If you opt to form a corporation, you also have the option of filing with the Internal Revenue Service as an S corporation to receive special tax status. According to the Internal Revenue Service, S corporations pass along income and losses to the shareholders. In Colorado, you form a corporation through the Colorado Secretary of State and then file through the IRS to become an S corporation.

Choose a Company Name

Before you can file, you must choose a name for your corporation. Colorado Revised Statutes require the name of a corporation to include one of the following words, or an abbreviation of the words: corporation, incorporated, company or limited. Your corporation’s name must be different from that of any other Colorado corporation. To check the availability of your name, you can do a search on the Colorado Secretary of State website.

Gather Information for Articles of Incorporation

The secretary of state requires any business seeking corporation status to file articles of incorporation. While the secretary of state does not require an attorney to file the articles, it does recommend that you consult with an attorney or certified public accountant to assure you understand the tax implications of an S corporation. Information you will need to collect for the articles includes the corporation name, explanation of shareholder rights, duration of the company, bylaws and types of stocks offered. You must also include the name of the registered agent, who legally represents the corporation, and the names of your board of directors members and incorporators.

Submit Corporation Form

File to start a new corporation via the Colorado Secretary of State website. From the business home page on this site, choose “profit corporation” and fill in the information the form asks for, starting with the name of your corporation. After everything is filled in, preview the form to check for and fix any errors. If everything is correct, the form will prompt you to enter payment information to cover the cost of filing the form and then you can submit it. You will receive a confirmation and can check the status of your filing through the Colorado Secretary of State website. If your corporation will collect sales tax or have employees, you should also file Form CR0100, “Colorado Business Registration,” through the Colorado Department of Revenue.

File With IRS

To file as an S corporation with the IRS, you submit Form 2553, “Election by a Small Business Corporation.” This must be filed within 75 days of incorporating your business. If not filed within that time frame, you may not change your status until the beginning of the next tax year, and the form must be filed by March 15 of that year. The corporation's status stays that way until it no longer meets the requirements of an S corporation or the shareholders revoke the status. A corporation also needs to file through the IRS for a Federal employer identification number.