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The first step in our comprehensive guide, How to Start a Charitable in Colorado, is to choose a name for your 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Choosing the correct name is one of the most essential choices any entrepreneur will make. We’re here to assist with our comprehensive guide to selecting, authenticating, and registering a Colorado charity name in four simple stages.

In 4 Simple Steps, Name Your Nonprofit

It is simple to name your Colorado nonprofit. Simply follow these four easy steps to get the greatest name for your 501(c)(3) organization (3).

Step 1: Select an Appropriate Name for Your Nonprofit
Step 2: Adhere to the Colorado Nonprofit Naming Rules.
Step 3: Determine whether your company’s name is available.
Step 4: Register the Name of Your Nonprofit

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Step 1: Select an Appropriate Name for Your Nonprofit

It is critical to choose the correct name for your firm. We suggest following these recommendations when selecting a name that best symbolizes your nonprofit’s goal and purpose:

Make your point. The name of a charity should be straightforward and detailed enough to express its objective. Avoid employing ambiguous phrases or concepts that may mislead funders and potential customers about the objective of your organization.
Make it unforgettable. When choosing a name for a firm, rememberability is critical. Choosing a name that will stay in the minds of individuals who hear it can not only increase your nonprofit’s awareness among contributors and volunteers, but will also make it simpler for prospective customers to locate your services.
Maintain a professional demeanor. Nonprofits depend largely on their public image to attract funders or consumers who may need their services — and their initial impression will be based on the name of your organization. As a result, your organization need a professional name that conveys a genuine commitment to its goal and purpose.
Make it personal. Whether your organization serves animals, displaced people, or any other group, emotion and compassion are inextricably linked. Choosing a name that appeals to the emotions of both contributors and customers can aid in the development of trust and the legitimacy of your company.

Step 2: Adhere to the Colorado Nonprofit Naming Rules.

The majority of charities in Colorado are corporations, but you may also form a nonprofit as an unincorporated organization, a trust, an association, or a limited liability company (LLC). You must adhere to specified naming standards for each choice.

This article will concentrate on the prerequisites for naming a nonprofit company.
Requirements for a Company Name

The most frequent technique to create a nonprofit is to incorporate. While corporate name restrictions vary by state, several criteria apply worldwide. Colorado state criteria include the following:

Your corporation’s name must be distinct from any other name on file in Colorado, including any reserved names.
Your company’s name cannot include any terms that indicate it is associated with a government entity.
Your company’s name cannot include the terms “university,” “bank,” “credit union,” or “trust” as a single word to indicate that the organization is involved in banking or trust.

In contrast to many other jurisdictions, Colorado does not require the name of a nonprofit organization to contain an identifier such as “business,” “incorporated,” “corporation,” “limited partnership,” “partnership,” or any analogous abbreviation.
Requirements for Tax Exemption

Pay special attention to the terminology of your nonprofit’s name if you want to apply for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Any statements that indicate a political or lobbying connection may make it difficult for you to apply for 501(c)(3) status.

Step 3: Check to See If Your Company Name Is Available

After you’ve decided on one or more names for your organization, check to see whether they’re still available. Every charity must have a distinct name, therefore it’s a good idea to check the availability of your preferred name before incorporating.

The top four searches you should do are as follows:

Domain Name Search Federal Trademark Search Web and Social Media Search Colorado Business Database Search and Name Availability Search

Name Availability and Colorado Business Database Search

A nonprofit company in Colorado must have a distinct name. In contrast to other states, Colorado offers a Colorado Business Database Search as well as a Colorado Name Availability Search, both of which may be used to validate the availability of your desired name.
Domain Name Lookup

We highly advise you to additionally check to see whether your company name is accessible as a web domain (URL). Even if you don’t intend to construct a company website right away, you should purchase the domain name to prevent others from gaining it. It’s a completely free search.

Using the federal Trademark Electronic Search System, you may quickly see whether your preferred charity name has already been trademarked. Even if you do not intend to incorporate a nonprofit right away, this is essential.

You may register for a trademark for your organization after you have confirmed that no one else has previously trademarked your selected name.

If you need assistance in creating a logo for your organization, consider branding your company with our Free Logo Generator! Get a one-of-a-kind logo in minutes and begin creating your nonprofit’s identity right now.

Search the Web and Social Media

A good social media presence can help you reach out to prospective contributors or customers who will employ your services. As a result, before registering your preferred name, check the web and prominent social media platforms for it to confirm it is accessible on all platforms where you want to advertise your group.

Step 4: Register the Name of Your Nonprofit

After you’ve decided on a name for your charity and confirmed its availability, the following step is to register the name. You have many choices for registering your name:

Fill out a Name Reservation Form for a Corporation Fill out a DBA Name

Read our complete, step-by-step tutorial on How to Register a Business Name in Colorado.

Request a Name Reservation

Domestic nonprofit companies in Colorado are not needed to register for a name reservation prior to formation. However, reserving a name might be advantageous, particularly if you aren’t ready to incorporate but want to assure the availability of your preferred name.

To make a name reservation in Colorado, follow these steps:

Fill out the form on the Colorado Secretary of State’s website.

Name reservations for nonprofit companies in Colorado are valid for 120 days and may be renewed.

Create a Corporation

Incorporating is the most frequent method to create a charity, and it is the next step in making your organization official once you have chosen a name. In Colorado, there are a few simple stages to forming a corporation:

Your Company’s Name
Select a Registered Agent
Select the Initial Directors and Share Structure for Your Corporation
Deposit the Formation Documents
Obtain an EIN

Request a DBA Name

In Colorado, filing a trade name, also known as a doing business as (DBA) name, permits your charity to operate under a name other than its legal, registered company name. This is particularly useful if you wish to modify the name of an existing organization without amending its Articles of Incorporation.

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