Transfer Ownership of a Liquor License

A business entity seeking to obtain ownership of an existing liquor license must apply for a transfer of ownership. 

An applicant can request a temporary liquor permit authorizing the applicant to continue selling alcohol as permitted under the permanent license when an application to transfer the ownership of the license is pending.

You must apply for the transfer of ownership before becoming eligible to apply for a temporary liquor permit. 

How to Submit an Application

There are several ways to submit a new or renewal application to the Department of Excise and Licenses. If renewing, include your business file number.

  1. All license applications not available online can be submitted by email to EXLSubmit@denvergov.org. When applying, attach all documents to one email. Visit the email application process page for more information.
  2. You can mail your application with fees to:

City and County of Denver
Department of Excise and Licenses
201 W. Colfax Ave., Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202

Make checks payable to: Manager of Finance

3. You can pay fees online or by phone after the application has been submitted. You will receive an invoice and you can pay virtually. Visit the online payment process page for more information.

For questions, email licenses@denvergov.org or call 311.

How to Apply for a Transfer of Ownership

Reporting

  • Transfers or changes of financial interest in a license must be reported to the Colorado State Liquor Licensing Division within 30 days.

Required documents

Application forms and business entity documents are required for the applications process.  All documents must be submitted in duplicate – one for the City and County 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 Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.

  • Make sure no staples are in the documents.
  • Colorado liquor retail license application(PDF, 294KB) same form as the application form for a new liquor license
  • Tax check authorization, waiver, and request to release information(PDF, 105KB)
  • Tax certificate(PDF, 793KB) (from Department of Treasury) stating no personal property taxes are due from the City Sales Tax Department
  • City tax license
  • State tax license
  • If you would like a 120 Day Temporary License, include a letter requesting a 120 Day Temporary License. Be sure to include name of company, address, sign and date the letter.
  • Wholesaler affidavit of compliance(PDF, 138KB) - statement on a form provided by the Department acknowledging applicant can be held responsible for any pending disciplinary actions against the former owner and could be responsible for any days of suspension being held in abeyance.
  • Acknowledgment of transfer of license subject to past, pending, or possible future disciplinary action(PDF, 54KB)
  • Zone use permit
  • Right of possession documents (lease or deed). The lease must be valid for at least 90 days from the date the application is submitted.
  • If a public hearing is held, appropriate closing documents
  • The floor plan drawing is to be on paper that is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches with dimensions included.  The diagram does not have to be to scale, but must reflect the area to be licensed, including depictions of the following:
    • Exterior areas showing control of the licensed premises (fences, walls, doors, gates, etc.)
    • A diagram for each floor plan, outlined in red to indicate the boundary (including external and internal walls, doors, fences, gates, and the like). The diagram must identify the kitchen area if the applicant is applying for a hotel and restaurant class liquor license.  The diagram of the kitchen must include the range, refrigerator, sinks, dishwashers, and other industrial equipment.
      • The floor plan must match that of the previous owner that the Department has on file. If it does not match, a modification of premises application must be submitted.
      • Location of the proposed licensed premises designating where alcohol will be sold, served, stored, distributed or consumed
      • One diagram must have the licensed liquor area outlined in red.
      • One diagram must have the licensed liquor area outlined in black.
    • Affidavit that each wholesaler that has sold alcohol to the transferor has been paid in full for all alcohol delivered to the transferor.
    • Individual history form (required for each owner that owns 10% or more of the business)
    • Cabaret license application if any form of entertainment is being offered. 

    Fingerprints for the following:

    All officers and directors

    Additional documentation by form of business entity

    Corporate applicants

    • Certificate of incorporation
    • A current certificate of good standing
    • A certificate of authorization (if applicant is a foreign corporation)
    • A list of officers, directors, and stockholders of the parent corporation (The list must designate one person as the "principal officer")
    • A trade name certificate, if applicable
    • Current corporate minutes authorizing application for a liquor and/or cabaret license

    Limited liability company applicants

    • Stamped copy of Articles of organization
    • A current certificate of good standing
    • Operating agreement
    • A certificate of authority (if the applicant is a foreign company)
    • A trade name certificate, if applicable
    • Name and phone number of the licensed premised manager

    Partnership applicants

    • Partnership agreement (unless husband and wife)
    • Trade name affidavit, if applicable

    Sole proprietorship applicants

    • Trade name affidavit, if applicable

     

Fees

State application fee:  $1,100 plus all other applicable fees

City application fee:  $750 plus all other applicable fees

Fingerprinting:  $38.50 per person for a full set of fingerprints

State fees made payable to the Colorado Department of Revenue

City fees made payable to the Manager of Finance

Other considerations

Fingerprinting required

People new to the corporation or limited liability company who have not previously been qualified must be fingerprinted.

Liquor license applicants require fingerprints for the following:

  • All officers and directors
  • Members and shareholders who own 10% or more of the business entity

See Fingerprinting Process 

If an officer or manager of a licensee has already been qualified and is only changing positions within the licensee entity, that person will not have to be requalified, and no fee will be charged unless the Department has reason to suspect there has been a change in the record of the individual since the last qualification.

Investigation and findings

Investigation

The Department could investigate the accuracy of information and/or documents submitted; the fitness of the applicant to conduct the business for which a license is sought; the character, record or reputation of the applicant or its officers or directors relating to the likelihood that violations of the liquor code could occur.

The Department will send a notification of a new application to the Denver Police Department, division chief of patrol, for review. 

Findings

The Department will issue written findings to the applicant that address the following:

  • Complete and accurate application
  • Qualification or disqualification of the application

Public hearing

  • The Department will only conduct a public hearing on the transfer application if issues related to unsatisfactory character, record or reputation are uncovered in the application or investigation.
  • In such an event, a show cause order will be issued by the director and a hearing will be scheduled.
  • The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer.  The hearing officer will issue a recommended decision and the director will issue the final decision. 

Closing documents

A copy of appropriate closing documents must be submitted to the Department before issuance of the license.

 

Required Inspections

  • Development Services (720) 913-1311
  • Denver Fire Department (720) 913-3409
  • Department of Public Health and Environment (720) 913-1311
  • Department of Excise and Licenses (720) 913-1311 (Last inspection - Schedule when all other inspections have been passed.)

Get Your License

Email the Department of Excise and Licenses, at licenses@denvergov.org, that you want your license emailed when all of the steps below have been completed.  

  1. All documents required for the license are complete and submitted to the office.
  2. The background check, if applicable, is accepted and approved.
  3. Fees are paid in full.
  4. All required inspections, if applicable, are passed.
  5. All approvals are given by the state and local offices.

You should stay in touch with the Department of Excise and Licenses during the application process as each step can vary from the general steps described herein depending on your particular circumstances.

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

How to Apply for a Temporary Liquor Permit

Required documents

An applicant applying for a liquor-licensed drugstore for a merger and conversion is not eligible for a temporary permit. (Effective Jan. 1, 2017) 

All documents must be submitted in duplicate – one for the City and County of Denver and the original for the state of Colorado. Documents must be printed in black ink or typewritten. Photocopies are accepted.

  • Request for a temporary liquor permit submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses in writing
  • The application for a temporary permit must be filed no later than 30 days after the filing of the application for transfer of ownership

 

 

Application process

The applicant submits the request for a temporary liquor permit along with the application for change in ownership.

The application is reviewed by the Department and subject to investigations.

A temporary permit, if granted, by a local licensing authority will be issued within five business days after it has been received and will be valid until the application to transfer ownership of the license to the applicant is granted or denied or for 120 days, whichever happens first. 

If the application to transfer the license has not been granted or denied within the 120-day period and the transferee demonstrates good cause, the Department could extend the permit for up to 60 days.

Fees

City:  $100