Selene Nestor, the owner of Olta Mexican Whiskey, speaks during an Aug. 8, 2022 press conference at the Colorado State Capitol.
Nearly 11,000 new businesses filed with the Colorado Secretary of State’s office in July, the first wave that took advantage of a temporary filing fee reduction passed during the previous legislative session.
There were 10,878 new businesses in the state during July and all of them paid a $1 filing fee, down from about $50. That represents about $650,000 in savings, Gov. Jared Polis said during a Monday press conference celebrating the reduced fees.
“The $50 or $75 filing fee that is waived might not seem like a lot. But for some of the businesses starting out … if you’re starting with $200 and an idea, $50 is a quarter of your capital that you burn through just registering your business,” Polis said.
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“Colorado businesses are the backbone of our economy, and we’re just really proud of the resilience they’ve shown,” he added.
Legislation passed last session — sponsored by Rep. Lisa Cutter, a Littleton Democrat, Rep. Tom Sullivan, a Centennial Democrat, Sen. Brittany Pettersen, a Lakewood Democrat, and Sen. Chris Kolker, a Centennial Democrat — reduced the business filing fee for the 2022-2023 fiscal year and transferred about $8.4 million from the general fund to the state department to cover the gap.
State officials say the fee reduction is already encouraging an entrepreneurial uptick. This July saw a 12% increase in new business filings from July 2021. Polis said he anticipates businesses using the extra money to pay for startup and material costs, though the state is not tracking that specific impact in any formal way.
Scott Thomas, the owner of the Grappolo Wine School, said he used the money once reserved for filing fees to purchase an extra case of wine glasses. Stacey Harris, who owns the sunglasses store The Glass House, said the additional money in her budget will go towards an upcoming move from downtown into the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.
Selene Nestor, who registered her Olta Mexican Whiskey business, said the $1 filing fee helps every new business owner, but especially minorities and immigrants.
“I know a lot of immigrants in this country who are looking for an opportunity,” she said. “Something like this gives them a way into their business.”
The law is in effect until June 30, 2023.
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