How to Register a Copyright in Colorado


Copyright is a legally recognized form of intellectual property that, when properly registered and maintained, protects your rights as a creator. It gives you the ability to protect your work from being used without your permission and lets you sue for damages if those rights are violated. If you’re an independent artist or designer who sells their work online or at local events, it’s important to register your copyright immediately upon publishing anything new so that no one else can copy it without consequence.

Gather the Information You’ll Need

Before you can register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office, you must have certain information on hand. The following is a list of what you’ll need:

  • The title of the work. This can be either the title as it appears on your work or another name for it that’s commonly known in the art world (such as an artist’s signature).
  • Your name and address as author/copyright claimant. This is where a writer may want to consider using a pen name. If so, they should include both their real name and their pen name here—and make sure they’re spelled exactly alike.
  • The full mailing address for all parties listed above (namely yourself). You will also be required to include your phone number and email address in case someone needs clarification about something related to your registration form or claim later on down the road—so don’t forget those.

You don’t have to live in Colorado to file a copyright claim

If you are not a Colorado resident but wish to register a copyright in Colorado, there are two options:

  • You can hire a lawyer who is licensed in Colorado to do it for you. The lawyer will submit the paperwork on behalf of the client.
  • Alternatively, if you are comfortable doing so yourself and have all of the necessary information on hand, it’s possible for non-residents to file their own claims by mail or fax (see below). However, this process is more complicated than that used by residents because non-residents are required to provide proof of origin under Section 303(a) and (b). This can be provided through an affidavit signed by another person who was involved with creating the work in question or other documentary evidence such as contracts or receipts showing where the work was created or purchased.

Who is Considered the Owner

The copyright owner is the person or entity that owns a work. The creator of the work may or may not be the same as its owner. For example, an author who creates a book could sell it to their publisher and retain the rights to publish later but not own all copies in existence. In this case, both parties would be considered copyright owners under U.S. law but only one would control distribution rights (and therefore receive royalties).

Owners can be individuals or companies. They can be individuals acting as sole proprietorships (e.g., freelance writers) or corporations with multiple shareholders owning equal shares (e.g., big publishing houses). There are also other kinds of ownership arrangements like partnerships where two people own equal shares in a business together and LLCs where there are multiple owners but no say over how profits are divided up among them. These cases will require more advanced research before filing for copyrights on behalf of others because they must comply with specific rules regarding assignment agreements signed beforehand by all parties involved in order to ensure compliance with federal regulations regarding multiple-author situations such as those outlined above (or any other instance where more than one party owns rights over certain works).

How many Works can you Register?

You can register one or more works in a single registration. For example, if you’ve created three songs that are similar to each other, it makes sense to include them all in one registration instead of registering them separately. You may also be able to register a group of related works as a single application, depending on the circumstances and the kind of work involved (for example, paintings or photographs).

However, there are limits on how many different pieces of art can be included in one application. In general, you cannot register multiple unrelated pieces of art at once. They must each be registered individually by filing separate applications with us via our online form at

Download and Complete the Application

You can download and print out the application at the U.S. Copyright Office website ( After you’ve completed it, mail or take it in person to the address listed on your application form (see below). Make sure you sign your form, along with any supporting documents. If you’re mailing it, include a copy of your work as well.

Submit all Materials Together

If you choose to mail your application, send it via:

  • U.S. Postal Service (USPS) first class or certified mail with return receipt
  • UPS Next Day Air Saver
  • FedEx Priority Overnight
  • DHL Worldwide Express


  • Decide whether you want to register your copyright on your own, or hire an attorney to do it for you
  • Use this step-by-step guide for Colorado residents who are registering copyright for the first time


We hope you feel more confident in your ability to register a copyright, and we wish you the best of luck in your creative endeavors!

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