Get a Liquor License in Colorado

Liquor Licensing in ColoradoSeal_of_Colorado

In Colorado liquor licenses are overseen by the Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division. Applications are submitted by mail. Colorado is a dual licensing authority for the state’s licensed retailers and special event permittees. Liquor licensing in Colorado requires in-state retailers to first obtain license approval at the local government level by requiring them to apply within their local city or county. Businesses or individuals from out of state may apply via mail directly to the division at the address listed below. For new license applicants this typically requires showing the neighborhood needs and desires for each new liquor license. Local government will typically conduct an initial background investigation of the individuals involved with a retail liquor license application. An exception to this rule exists for chain stores or other entities that have multiple liquor licenses located throughout the state. In this case, to avoid the need for individuals to go through repetitive background investigations in multiple jurisdictions, the Division conducts the individual’s background investigation. For state-only issued licenses (manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and public transportation carriers) the Division conducts all individual background investigations. You will also need to follow the steps outlined below.

Basic requirements to obtain a liquor license in Colorado:

  1. Complete the application form in the appropriate packet, found here:
    https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/retail-license-packet-liquor-enforcement
  2. Pay appropriate fee (depends upon the type of need – see the form).
  3. Mail the application to your local city or county office that processes the  initial request or if  you are an out of state applicant you can mail the application directly to the Lakewood Division at:

Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division
1881 Pierce Street #108
Lakewood, CO 80214
303-205-2300 (Main Number)
303-205-2341 (Fax Number)

Note: There are other division offices but the Lakewood Office is the one that accepts the mailed applications.  It is also the one used for out-of-state applicants and has the final approval for licenses.

Fees:

Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division fees are listed within the applications themselves.

Regulations:

The various rules and laws relevant to the Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division may be found here: Colorado Liquor Enforcement Laws, Rules, Regulations. There are separate codes for Liquor, Beer and Special Events.

Regulating Agency:

Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division
1881 Pierce Street #108
Lakewood, CO 80214
303-205-2300 (Main Number)
303-205-2341 (Fax Number)
https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/liquor

Enforcement

The Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division oversees:

  • Licensing of Colorado Liquor Industry
  • Enforcement of Colorado’s liquor control laws.
  • Enforcement of Colorado tobacco control laws in compliance with federal mandates

Liquor law enforcement in Colorado includes both criminal and administrative (license) sanctions for law violators. Typically, individuals are cited criminally for liquor law violations and licensed businesses are cited administratively. Criminal sanctions for most liquor law violations range from class II petty offenses up to class I misdemeanors. The Liquor code contains one felony provision, which occurs when a licensee permits illegal gambling to occur on their licensed premises. Both Division investigators and local law enforcement agencies have the authority to investigate liquor law violations.

You can learn more here: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/enforcement/liquor-enforcement