15 Fascinating Colorado Small Business Statistics

Colorado is the 21st most populous and the 8th most extensive state 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 startup scene is very lively in Colorado as is evident by the largest startup focused event in the US. In fact, according to a survey, Colorado is the 5th best state for startups in the US.

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

  1. 99.5% of all Colorado businesses are small businesses, a total of 653,639.
  1. 1.1 million people are employed by SMBs, which is 48.5% of the entire state workforce.
  1. Out of a minority population of 1,870,607, only 72,132 are self-employed individuals, a staggeringly low 3%.
  1. 76.95% of the state’s new entrepreneurs created a business out of choice rather than necessity.
  1. 11.07% of all new businesses made the first payroll within eight quarters of business application.
  1. An average of 7 jobs are created by startups within the first year of operation.
  1. Small businesses created 33,618 net jobs in 2019. Of these, 27,593 are in firms with less than 20 employees.
  1. To start an LLC in Colorado, you need to file Articles of Organisation with the Secretary of State’s office at a $50 processing fee.
  1. 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.
  1. 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 like the fuel excise tax and liquor excise tax can be imposed.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. There are 291,025 private entities in the accommodation and food services sector. 181,639 of these are small businesses.
  1. 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.
  1. Forbes lists Denver, Colorado as the 4th best place in the US for business and careers.


  1. The Business Journal’s
  2. Herosmyth
  3. Kauffman Indicators of Entrepreneurship
  4. Forbes
  5. US small business administration – State Profiles

Small Business Statistics by State