Read the ordinance for this license under "Municipal Code" on the right side of the page to make sure this license is right for you.
A zone use permit might be required when submitting a special event liquor permit application to Excise and Licenses.
- A zone use permit is a document granting the applicant/owner of a lot, building, or structure permission for the requested use of the land. "Use" can be defined as any activity, occupation, business or operation in a building or on a lot/tract of land.
Zone use permit is not required for events held in public parks/buildings and on public streets or alleys
- Zone use permits are not required for events in city parks and recreation centers as well as other Denver Parks and Recreation facilities, Denver International Airport, and Denver Arts and Venues facilities, events at a state-owned and operated facility, including state-owned universities and colleges and Denver Public School facilities, or for events in the public right-of-way (public streets/alleys).
- Events that are scheduled in a public park or street should be coordinated through the Office of Special Events. OSE will work with the applicant and appropriate city agencies to ensure the event checklist is tailored to address the city’s licensing and permitting concerns.
Events inside a building already zoned for assembly
- For events inside a building on private property, a zone use permit is required to ensure the building is appropriately zoned and permitted to host a public assembly event. Click here(PDF, 171KB) for a list of zoning uses where events for public assembly are allowed as part of the primary permitted use.
- Applicants can request a copy of the most current zone use permit for the subject building or space by emailing email@example.com. Be sure to include the property address. The most current zone use permit can be submitted for multiple events and does not need to be updated unless the zoning use has changed since the permit was issued.
Events in a building or outdoors (including parking lots) not zoned for assembly
- For events in a building or outdoors where the subject building or land is not currently permitted by zoning for public assembly events, applicants must apply for and receive a special event temporary zoning use permit.
Determine if you need a fire safety permit
The applicant might need to secure a fire safety permit. To determine if you need a fire safety permit, review the special event guidelines document(PDF, 219KB).
After reading the document and you decide yes, you need a fire safety permit based on the guidelines, follow these instructions:
After reviewing this document and you determine you need a fire safety permit, submit that application online to the Denver Fire Department. This document(PDF, 3MB) will guide you through that online application process. Once your fire safety permit has been approved, you will receive the permit via email. You will use that permit to apply for the special event liquor permit.
After reading the document and you decide no, you do not need a fire safety permit based on the guidelines, follow these instructions:
After reviewing the document and you determine you do not need a fire safety permit, email SpecialEventsDFD@denvergov.org at the Denver Fire Department. The email should state you are requesting an exception letter for the fire safety permit for your special event liquor permit. State why you are requesting the exception letter based on the guidelines you read in the guideline document(PDF, 219KB). State the date, time and location of the event. Give as much detail about the event as possible. The Denver Fire Department will determine if a permit is needed for the liquor special event. If no permit is required, it will send the applicant a letter indicating such. It can be submitted in lieu of the fire permit with the special event liquor permit application to Excise and Licenses. If the Denver Fire Department determines a permit is required, the applicant must submit it along with the special event liquor permit application to Excise and Licenses.
Online training videos provide helpful and detailed overviews of the application process. They are on the Online Training Videos webpage. They show how to register for an account, how to complete licensed establishment and entity registration records, and how to apply for new business licenses or amendments.
Make sure you have everything from the "Required documents" section below.
Important notes to keep in mind about your documents:
- All materials must be digital files saved as a .pdf or .jpg. Do not include any other file types. The Department of Excise and Licenses cannot accept other file types.
- Use numbers or letters but not characters such as symbols (/ ? < > \ : * | “ ^) or spaces that could cause complications.
- For example:
- Good filename: drivers-license-name-2022.pdf
- Bad filename: last name/ id.pdf
- In some cases, you might need to combine documents and upload them in a single .pdf. You can use a free, online tool to merge documents into a single file.
- Legal documents must be signed, dated and executed. All pages of large legal documents (such as a lease) must be included in the application.
- All materials must be legible.
- Incomplete applications will be rejected.
In Denver’s Online Permitting and Licensing Center:
- Under Business/Occupational, Short-Term and Residential Rental Licensing, click "Apply New."
- Select the type of license you want to obtain and click “Continue Application.”
- Application package contains the following licenses: Child care center, residential rental property, retail tobacco store, massage business, marijuana licenses, retail food, retail food-commissary based, wholesale food and wholesale food-commissary based.
- Read the introduction page and click “Continue.”
This will begin the application process.
You can save and resume within 30 days any time during the process. After 30 days, you must start again.
Go to the Online Training Videos webpage to guide you.
After the online application is complete, you will be prompted to submit fees in the online portal. These can be paid with a bank account or a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover card.
Application fee: $100
Licensing fee per day:
- Malt, Vinous, and Spirituous: $25 per day
- Fermented Malt Beverage: $10 per day
All credit cards are accepted except for American Express.
- The Department will determine if the premises is already licensed and, if so, whether any exclusions apply.
Excise and Licenses tries to conduct an initial review of a complete application within seven business days. The review process might take longer if it is incomplete or requires police review (if applicable).
- All application related communications will be sent through email, from EXLNotifications@denvergov.org. Do not respond to these emails as this inbox is not monitored.
- If the application is incomplete, the applicant will receive a "notice of deficiency" email. This allows 14 days for corrections. License endorsement requests and incidents on a background check need police review.
- All applications will be closed if they are not completed within 12 months.
Once approved, the applicant is emailed a copy of the business license. This allows the license holder to start operating.
The licensee should read "Once you have your license" below and follow the requirements.