Charities and Fundraisers FAQs

Contents
Account Management
Contract Elements Required by Law
Definitions
Disclosure Requirements
Donors and Consumers
eFiling and Other Filing Questions
Fees and Payment
Filing Notice Schedule
Public benefit corporations & benefit corporations
Registration

 

Electronic Filing and Other Filing Questions


Q1. How do I file forms with your office?  

A1. Most forms are filed online by logging in with your user ID and password.  To view all available forms and instructions, see the File a Form page.

 

Q2.  How do I pay for filings?  

A2.  See the payment FAQs.

 

Q3.  How do I change or add information on my registration?  

A3.  Registrations can be amended to change or correct the information that was originally submitted.  Changes must be reported to our office within 30 days.

Paid solicitors can  amend their registration to add the names and addresses of any new partners, members, officers, directors, agents, or employees.  This must be done within five days of the employment or contractual arrangement. 

To file an amendment, see the File a Form page.

 

Q4.  When is my renewal due?  

A4.  Renewals are due as follows:

  • Charitable organizations must file a renewal on or before the 15th day of the fifth month after the close of each fiscal year in which the charitable organization solicited in Colorado. This is the same date that the organization’s Form 990 is due to the IRS.

    Beginning on January 1, 2013, all charitable organizations will be granted an automatic 3-month extension of this deadline. Please note, however, that even though the electronic filing system will enter an automatic three-month extension, charities by law must still file a renewal and financial report with our office by the 15th day of the fifth month after the organization’s fiscal year, unless the IRS authorizes a later date for filing the organization’s Form 990.  We may request documentation of the IRS authorization in unusual circumstances, but not routinely.

    If you file a 990-T and receive a six-month extension from the IRS, you do not get an automatic six-month extension from us- you will only get the automatic three-month extension. You must request a second extension to add an additional three months. You must file a request for a second extension on or before the 15th day of the eighth month after the end of your fiscal year.

    See "How do I request an additional extension?"

  • Paid solicitors:  Your renewal is due on or before the anniversary date of your initial registration.  Registrations can be renewed beginning 60 days before the renewal deadline.

    You can find your anniversary date by searching for your record on our website. The initial registration (anniversary) date is found on the summary page.

  • Professional fundraising consultants:  Your renewal is due on or before the anniversary date of your initial registration.  Registrations can be renewed beginning 60 days before the renewal deadline.

    You can find your anniversary date by searching for your record on our website. The initial registration (anniversary) date is found on the summary page.

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Q5.  We are no longer operating in Colorado, or we are no longer required by law to register.  How do we withdraw?

A5.  To withdraw your organization, file any final documents, and then fill out the withdrawal form (PDF).

Mail the form to:

Colorado Secretary of State
Business & Licensing Division
Charities Program
1700 Broadway, Ste. 200
Denver, CO 80290

Forms can also be faxed to 303-869-4871, or emailed to charitable@sos.state.co.us.

 

Q6.  I don't have a federal employer identification number (FEIN). How do I get one?  

A6.  FEINs are issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  You can apply online.

 

Q7.  When I search for my organization, why do I get a message that says "Zero records returned"?  

A7.  The organization may not have submitted a registration, or the registration may not have been approved yet.  Our office has ten days to approve filings after they are submitted.

Also, check that you have entered the organization name or FEIN number correctly on the search screen.

 

Q8.  I'm renewing my charitable organization's registration.  Why can't I change the dates for our financial report?

A8.  Once the initial registration and financial report have been filed, our system will automatically determine the dates for all future financial reports. This ensures that every organization has an unbroken history of financial reporting.
If you are renewing your registration and the default financial report dates are wrong, that means the date on your initial registration was incorrect. Contact us at charitable@sos.state.co.us to correct the problem.

 

Q9.  What is a registered agent? 

A9.  A registered agent is a person or entity who is responsible for receiving service of process for a business or organization.  The registered agent must be located in Colorado. [1] 

A registered agent can be: 

(a) An individual who is 18 years old or older. Their primary residence or usual place of business must be in Colorado.

(b) A domestic entity that has a usual place of business in Colorado.

(c) A foreign entity that is authorized to transact business or conduct activities in Colorado.  Note that the registered agent must have a Colorado address.

You cannot appoint government offices or officials as your registered agent.

 

Q10.  Do I need to have a registered agent?

A10.  Yes.  Since August 10, 2009, a registered agent must be on file for every registered charity, paid solicitor and professional fundraising consultant. [2]

If your organization is incorporated or has filed a statement of foreign entity authority in Colorado, a registered agent was also required for that filing.  You can search for your filing in the Business program records and view the registered agent that is named on the summary screen for your organization.

An out-of-state (foreign) nonprofit entity must file a statement of foreign entity authority if it is required to register with us pursuant to the Colorado Charitable Solicitations Act. [3]

You cannot appoint government offices or officials as your registered agent.

Registered agents must provide a physical (street) address that is located in Colorado; post office or private mailboxes cannot be used as a physical address.  The mailing address for the registered agent must also be located in Colorado.

 

Q11.  Does my registered agent need to be located in Colorado?

A11.  Yes. Registered agents must provide a physical (street) address that is located in Colorado; post office or private mailboxes cannot be used as a physical address.  The mailing address for the registered agent must also be located in Colorado.

 

Q12.  Why can’t I find my most recent Form 990 on your site?

A12. Form 990s aren’t filed directly with our office- they are filed with the IRS.  We pay for a subscription service (through the Economic Research Institute) that gives us a library of Form 990 images that we display on our website.

The timeline for posting a 990 image on the our website is:

  • The IRS sends a DVD of 990 images to ERI once per month, which includes everything that the IRS has.
  • The IRS can take up to six months to include a 990 on the DVD.
  • 990s often don’t get filed with the IRS until four and a half months after a fiscal year, and then there could be up to a six-month extension, followed by a six-month delay before the 990 is included on a DVD sent to ERI.
  • Occasionally, the IRS makes mistakes or is late including a 990 on the DVD.
  • ERI posts 100% of what they get from IRS within two weeks.

Colorado private foundation Form 990-PFs are filed with the Attorney General’s office, but those forms are not displayed on any website.

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[1] 7-90-701, C.R.S.
[2] 6-16-114, C.R.S.
[3] 7-90-801(5), C.R.S.