Colorado Cleaning Business Start-up Laws

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This article provides three key state business startup requirements for self-employed sole proprietors and general partners who run residential house cleaning businesses. Information from the Secretary of State, the Colorado Department of Revenue and selected city and county government sources were used to research this article.

Be aware that sole proprietor and general partner startup requirements in this state are always changing. Some requirements even vary from county to county.  It is important that you call or visit your local county or city government to find out local requirements for residential house cleaning businesses and home-based businesses. This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal or tax advice.

Business Name Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners who want a business name that does not include the owner(s) full legal names (for example, Janice Smith’s Cleaning Service or Martha Harris and Tom Graham’s Maid Service) must register a trade name with the state of Colorado. Start with a statewide, corporate name search to find out whether the name you want to use is available in the state of Colorado.

Then do an online search for names similar to the one you plan to use. For example, if you want to use the name, Crystal Clean Maid Service, do simple Google searches for “Crystal Clean Maid Service+Colorado” plus Crystal Clean Maid Service+your county” and “Crystal Clean Maid Service+your town or city”. Search beyond the first page of results. Go at least five pages deep into the search results to see if the name you want or similar names are being used in your state, county or city.

Register your business name online through Colorado’s secure business portal, MyBizColorado.

Colorado law allows a husband and wife to register as a sole proprietor when they register their ownership under one legal name only with the Colorado Secretary of State. The law allows the second spouse full privileges and responsibility for the business.

Sole proprietors and general partnerships register Trade Names or DBA (“doing business as” names) with the state.  Sole proprietors and general partnerships who intend to purchase and hold real property such as houses, buildings and land need to get a trade name affidavit from the Secretary of State and file it with the county clerk or recorder where the business is based.   Find a county clerk and recorder in Colorado.

In the state of Colorado, filing a Trade Name does not guarantee a business sole rights to the use of that name. Other businesses in the state may also register the same trade name. Registered businesses are expected to legally defend their trade names.

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Business License Registration

Sole proprietors and general partners do not have to apply for a business license with the state of Colorado. Residential house cleaning businesses must apply for a business license at their city or county clerk and recorder’s office. Find a county clerk and recorder in Colorado.

In Colorado, a general partnership is created when two or more owners form an oral or written agreement to start a business together. While general partners are not required to file any documents with the Secretary of State, it is advisable to file an assumed name certificate, trademark registrations and have a written partnership agreement drawn up by a lawyer. Partnership agreements do not have to be filed with the state.

Sole proprietors and general partners may apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS even if they do not plan to hire employees. Getting an EIN may make it easier to open a bank account and reduce your risk of identity theft.  You can apply for an EIN online.   In addition, some business registration forms will require a NAICS business classification number for the house cleaning industry.

Business Tax Registration

Register with the Colorado Department of Revenue through the state’s online business portal, MyBizColorado.

Residential house cleaning services are not taxable in Colorado. Cleaning services do not have to collect and send sales taxes to the Department of Revenue.

Sole proprietors and general partners pay tax on business income to the state of Colorado through their personal state tax return. Sole proprietors and general partners are responsible for paying estimated self-employment income taxes in Colorado (on Form 104-EP) similar to the way self employment taxes are paid to the federal government. Get more information about estimated tax requirements by calling the Colorado Department of Revenue at (303) 238-7378.

Colorado general partnerships that file a Federal partnership information Form 1065, may need to file state income tax Form DR 0106. Get more information from a CPA or qualified tax preparer to find out if your partnership must file those returns.

Selected Colorado City Licenses

Arvada Business License: https://arvada.org/business/business-licensing-resources/license-tools

Aurora Business License: https://aurorataxportal.gentaxcpc.net/tap/_/#0

Boulder Business License: https://boulderonlinetax.gentaxcpc.net/TAP/_/#1

Centennial Business License: https://www.centennialco.gov/Online-Services/Sales-Tax-Licensing

Colorado Springs Business License: https://coloradosprings.gov/city-clerk/page/business-licensing-0

Denver Business License: Cleaning services do not require business licenses in the city of Denver. However, you will have to register your business for tax payments at: https://www.denvergov.org/ebiztax/_/

Fort Collins Business License: Home-based cleaning businesses have to apply for a Home Occupation Permit and Sales and Use Tax License. Both can be found at: https://www.fcgov.com/business/doing-business

Greeley Business License: https://greeleygov.com/government/finance/business/getting-a-business-license

Lakewood Business License: http://www.lakewood.org/Finance/Taxes_and_Public_Improvement_Fees/Doing_Business/License_My_Business.aspx

Longmont Business License: https://www.longmontcolorado.gov/departments/departments-a-d/city-clerk/licenses-and-permits/business-licenses

Loveland Business License: The city of Loveland does not require a city business license for cleaning services.

Pueblo Business License: Cleaning services have to apply for a Use Tax License   https://www.pueblo.us/516/Business-Licenses

Thornton Business License: https://www.cityofthornton.net/business/Pages/business-licenses.aspx

Westminster Business License: https://www.cityofwestminster.us/Government/Departments/CityClerk/BusinessSalesTaxLicenses

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