15 Fascinating Colorado Small Business Statistics


Colorado is the 21st most populous and the 8th largest state by total area in the US. The state offers a very healthy work-life balance that attracts well-educated, work-hungry young people who also love the great outdoors. Colorado has become a favorite place to relocate due to the scenic environment.

The state has a very diverse economy with multiple investments by private entities in gold and molybdenum mining, food processing, chemical products, transportation equipment, farm machinery, tourism, and marijuana production.

The start-up scene is very lively in Colorado, as is evident by the largest start-up-focused event in the US. In fact, according to a survey, Colorado is the fifth best state for start-ups in the US.

Learn about the importance of small businesses (SMBs) in Colorado from the list of statistics below:

  • 99.5% of all Colorado businesses are small businesses, a total of 653,639.
  • 1.1 million people are employed by SMBs, which is 48.5% of the entire state workforce.
  • Out of a minority population of 1,870,607, only 72,132 are self-employed individuals, a staggeringly low 3%.
  • 76.95% of the state’s new entrepreneurs created a business out of choice rather than necessity.
  • 11.07% of all new businesses made the first payroll within eight quarters of business application.
  • An average of seven jobs are created by start-ups within the first year of operation.
  • Small businesses created 33,618 net jobs in 2019. Of these, 27,593 are in firms with less than 20 employees.
  • To start an LLC in Colorado, you need to file Articles of Organization with the Secretary of State’s office for a $50 processing fee.
  • Colorado State law requires that every new Colorado LLC designates a Colorado registered agent that will be available during regular business hours at a physical address within the state.
  • Usual taxes for businesses in the state are the wage withholding tax and the sales and use tax. However, according to the type of business, certain additional levies, such as the fuel excise tax and liquor excise tax, can be imposed.
  • The most common licenses or permits issued by local councils in the state are health permits, occupational permits, signage permits, zoning permits, alarm permits, building permits, business licenses, and/or tax permits.
  • Sole proprietors are not required to register their businesses with the Secretary of State, as their revenues are considered personal income. However, the trade-off is they have to use their personal name as the business’s name.
  • There are 291,025 private entities in the accommodation and food services sector. Of these, 181,639 are small businesses.
  • In 2018, 5,015 small firms generated 27.1% of Colorado’s $7.9 billion in total exports, including grain products, beef, chemicals, computer, and electronic products.
  • Forbes lists Denver, Colorado, as the fourth best place in the US for business and careers.


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