Skip navigation

Renew a Liquor License

The Colorado State Liquor Enforcement Division will notify the licensee ninety (90) days prior to the expiration date of an existing license by first class mail at the business' last-known address.

How to Renew a Liquor License

The Colorado State Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division will send the applicant a renewal application.

The application must be submitted to the City of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses no later than 45 days prior to an expiration date.

Example:  If a license expires on December 31, the renewal application must be submitted by November 16.

If the application is lost or not received, the Colorado Liquor Retail License Application can be used as a substitute renewal application. This form can be found under "Required Documents".

License renewal applications will not be approved by the Department earlier than 45 days prior to the expiration date of the existing license.



All documents submitted for renewal, including Colorado State applications, must be submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. 



No paperwork should be sent back to the Colorado State offices.



Duplicate documentsApplication forms and business entity documents are required for the applications process.  All documents must be submitted in duplicate – one copy for the City of Denver and the original copy for the State of Colorado.  Documents must be printed in black ink or typewritten.  Photocopies are accepted.

All documents should be submitted to the Department of Excise and Licenses, 201 W. Colfax Ave. #206,  Denver, CO  80202  

  • Liquor or 3.2 Beer License Renewal Application
  • Right of Possession Document (Lease, Deed, or other agreement showing right of possession of the premises) if up-to-date documents are not already on file
  • If you answer "yes" to questions 2,3,4 or 5 on your renewal application, you will need to provide a brief explanation and any necessary forms and documentation, if required.

Licenses must be renewed on or before the expiration date to avoid penalty fees.


90 Day Grace Period

  • There is a 90 day grace period from the expiration date during which licenses can be renewed by paying the license fee and a penalty fee.
  • Late Application Fee:  $500.00 made payable to the Manager of Finance
  • A late application for renewal will require that the fees and penalties be paid by cash, cashier's check, certified check, or checks written on an attorney's account.
  • A licensee who has filed a late renewal application and paid the requisite fees may continue to sell alcohol until both State and City have approved the renewal application and the licenses are issued.


Expired Licenses

  • If the liquor license is expired, the licensee must stop the sale of alcoholic beverages and beer. 

If funds paid to renew an existing liquor license are insufficient, the following procedures will be followed:

  • If the ninety (90) day grace period has not expired, the licensee must pay a $500.00 penalty to the State and a $500.00 penalty to the City of Denver.  Penalty fees must be paid in addition to license fees for all license renewals.
  • If the ninety (90) day grace period has expired, a new application will be required unless the licensee can demonstrate "compelling reason" to allow a late renewal.
    • The Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses will decide what constitutes a "compelling reason".
    • The Director reserves the right to take administrative action against a licensee who failed to renew its licenses in a timely fashion.


  • The Department of Excise and Licenses can determine that a valid basis exists to conduct a public hearing on an application to renew a liquor or beer license. 
  • Procedures will be followed with regard to posting, publication, and notification of the public hearing.
  • An area is designated around the location from which residents and business owners/mangers can sign petitions and testify at a public hearing.
  • The licensee must post a sign on the premises with notice of the hearing for at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing.  Upon written request of a relevant registered neighborhood organization, the posting will be extended and the hearing rescheduled, for an additional twenty-five(25) days.
    • The posting sign must:
      • Be white, sturdy, and measure 22 inches wide by 26 inches high with letters not less than one inch high
      • Indicate the type of license to be renewed, the date and time of the hearing, the name, and address of the licensee and any partners or officers of the licensee.
      • Be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises so that it is plainly visible and legible to the public
      • Content to be included on the posting sign will be established by the Department of Excise and Licenses.
    • A licensee who has timely submitted a renewal application may continue to sell alcohol pending the outcome of the renewal hearing even if the license has expired.
    • Failure to post correctly will result in the public hearing being postponed.  If the hearing is postponed for this reason, the licensee may not be allowed to sell alcohol until the Department has issued a ruling on the renewal issue.
  • The City bears the burden of proof in a renewal hearing.
  • Presentation of evidence at the hearing will be limited to allegations concerning good cause for non-renewal.
  • Parties who may present evidence at a renewal hearing include:
    • The licensee or an attorney representing the licensee
    • The Department of Excise and Licenses
    • A representative of a registered neighborhood group whose boundaries encompass any portion of the Designated Area for the licensed location
    • Residents and business owners/managers in the neighborhood
  • Once the public hearing is held, the Presiding Officer will issue a written Recommended Decision.
  • Applicant, any party in interest who testified at the hearing, and the City Attorney's Office will have ten (10) calendar days from the date of mailing the decision to file objections to the Recommended Decision.
  • The Director of Excise and Licenses will issue a final written decision.


Read more about public hearings.  

  • Department of Excise and Licenses inspectors will attempt to locate and notify business license holders of the approaching expiration date.  However, failure of an inspector to notify a delinquent licensee that its license has expired does not excuse the licensee from any applicable late penalty.


State Statutes

Colorado StatuesColorado Liquor
and Beer Laws


Municipal Code

Denver Revised Municipal Code

Chapter 6 - Alcohol

Fees:  Chapter 32

Plan Extra Time!

Date Icon

Inspections and paperwork can take longer than you expect. Plan extra time to get your license.