How to Get a Liquor License in Colorado


To obtain a liquor license in Colorado, retailers are required to first get approval at the local government level. After the local licensing authority has approved the license, it is passed onto the state's Liquor Enforcement Division for approval. The process can take several months. It’s important to communicate with the local licensing authority well in advance of the opening date or there could be delays.

Meet basic requirements and qualifications. Background investigations will be performed to review applicant criminal history, liquor license violation history, ownership interests in other liquor industry members, and tax payment history.

Determine the type of alcohol you would like to sell and to whom you are going to sell it to. There are many types of liquor licenses: brew pub, beer and wine, club license, race track, tavern license, special events permit, retail liquor store, hotel and restaurant license, and more. Applications for each license type differ. For a complete list of license types, please visit the “Types of Liquor Licenses and Permits” under Resources.

Apply for the alcohol license. Contact the clerk for the town or city you want to do business in. The clerk will supply you with the appropriate application and information about legal requirements. After you have applied, the clerk will publish your application in the local newspaper to see whether there are any objections in the community. The licensing authority then will vote on the application for approval.

Pay the licensing fee. Fees are set by local municipalities. Contact the local clerk of your city or town for specific fees.

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