A person regularly engaged in the business of making contracts for purchase or purchase transactions of tangible personal property for resale in their business.

Pawnbroker licensees must register for and utilize the LeadsOnline computer database for reporting transactions to the Denver Police Department. For Information on registering for this free database, see the Pawnbrokers Leads Online Letter(PDF, 351KB).

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 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 or call 311.

How to get a new business license

Step 1: Zone use permit

A zoning use permit is required before obtaining a pawnbroker license. 

A zoning use permit grants the applicant/owner of a lot, building, or structure permission for the requested use of the land. "Use" can be any activity, occupation, business or operation in a building or on a lot/tract of land.

Plan ahead before leasing or buying property and before applying for a business license.  Follow the steps below to learn more about the approved zone uses for the address where you want your business.  Start on the find your zoning page.

  1. Enter the desired address. Click Search.
  2. Note the zone district.
  3. Click on the + to expand for more information. 
  4. Note the neighborhood context.
  5. Click on the link for the zoning code or in former Chapter 59.
  6. Click on the article number for the neighborhood context.
  7. Open the document and scroll to the "Use" tables at the bottom.
  8. Find the "Use" category in the left column and the zone district to the right.
  9. The code in the intersecting square represents the permitted use.  (There is a key to the codes at the top of every page.)

The zoning use permit must be approved and issued by the Zoning department.  Learn more about the Denver Zoning Code or visit the Zoning Office.

Applying for a zoning use permit


Zoning contact information

Step 2: Required documents


Step 3: Fees

Application fee:  $200

License fee:  $650

Fingerprint fee per person:  $16.50

Fees can be paid with cash, check, money order or credit card. Credit card payments are only accepted in person. Checks should be made payable to Manager of Finance.


Step 4: Required inspections

  • Development Services 720-865-2982
  • Denver Fire Department 720-913-3409
  • Pawnshop Detail 720-913-6211 (Detectives from Denver Police Department)

Step 5: Get your license

Email the Department of Excise and Licenses, at, that you want your license emailed to you when all of the steps below have been completed. Include your business file number, name of your company and address of your business.

  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.



Renew a business license

Required documents

  • $5,000 surety bond or continuation certificate


Renewal fees

License fee:  $650

Late renewals

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 when licenses can be renewed by paying the license and penalty fees. If a license is not renewed before it expires, the licensee must cease operations until the license has been renewed.

First 30 days of grace period:  20% penalty fee

Days 31 to 90:  50% penalty fee

After 90 days:  Licensees must apply for a new license


Renewal policies

The Department of Excise and Licenses will try to notify business license holders, at the email provided at the time of application, of the approaching expiration date. Failure of a notification does not excuse the licensee from any applicable late penalty.