Special event liquor permits allow for the sale by the drink only of malt, vinous and spirituous liquor, or fermented malt beverages, on premises that do not hold a liquor license or is to be sold by a qualifying organization or club or arts liquor-licensed premises.
Qualifying organizations include:
Special event liquor permits should be applied for at least 30 days before the event. This will ensure Excise and Licenses has plenty of time to process the application and the applicant time to post notice about the event.
By way of example, special event liquor permits are required when a qualifying organization or political candidate:
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.
Zone use permit is not required for events held in public parks/buildings and on public streets or alleys
Events inside a building already zoned for assembly
Events in a building or outdoors (including parking lots) not zoned for assembly
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.
Register for an account, if you haven't already, in Denver’s Permitting and Licensing Center. For help, navigate to the online training videos and watch the guide for how to register for a new account.
In Denver’s Online Permitting and Licensing Center:
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:
All credit cards are accepted except for American Express.
Application forms and business entity documents are required for the applications process. Documents must be printed in black ink or typewritten. Photocopies are accepted.
All documents are submitted through the online process to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.
The permit must always be posted when the event is being held.
Office hours (Schedule an appointment)8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday
Liquor office hours (Schedule an appointment)
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday
Marijuana office hours (Schedule an appointment)
8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday