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.
This license requires a zoning use permit.
Instructions for requesting zoning use permits(PDF, 379KB).
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 before leasing or buying property and before applying for a business license.
- Before contacting Zoning, email CPD Records to ask if there's an existing zoning use permit for your address. Allow up to 10 business days for them to respond to your inquiry.
- If they respond that there isn't a zoning use permit for your address, then contact Zoning to apply for a permit. They will tell you if you're zoned for the use. Allow up to 10 business days for them to respond to your inquiry.
- Complete an online propane permit application. You will log in and click on "Fire". You will then click on "Apply for Operational Permits". From the list, select "Fire Prevention Flammable Operational Permit" and click on "Continue Application". You will go through the application. A copy of your registration, driver's license and current fire suppression inspection report will need to be attached to your fire permit application. You will receive an invoice via email to pay online. These documents will also walk you through the online process for the propane permit. How to apply for a propane permit English(PDF, 2MB), How to apply for a propane permit Spanish(PDF, 2MB) and New Process for propane permits(PDF, 157KB).
- If you do not use propane, please email DFDMobiles@denvergov.org to obtain a propane exemption letter.
- Do not pay until you receive an invoice for the annual $200 fee. The invoice will be sent to your email from email@example.com. Once the payment has posted to your account you will be able to print, or screen shot your permit. You will need to have a copy with you while open for business. You will also need to provide a copy on inspection day.
- For your permit invoice or exemption letter it may take 5-7 business days. Do not apply for the propane permit or exemption letter until you are ready to have the mobile unit inspected.
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.
The license fee for the food retail license depends on which food-processing activities are performed. The fee is determined by adding $25 for each of the following activities:
- Selling prepackaged cold foods
- Scooping ice (including bagged ice for retail sale)
- Heating commercially processed foods or cold holding foods
- Cooking raw animal products
- Cooling cooked foods
- Reheating previously cooked foods
- Serving raw or undercooked animal products (beef, eggs, fish)
- Specialized process (fermentation, curing, sous vide, etc.)
- Infusing products with hemp
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 application is approved, Excise and Licenses will notify both the Department of Public Health and Environment and the Fire Department regarding your application.
Your packet will be reviewed by a representative of the Department of Public Health and Environment (DDPHE). You will be contacted directly by DDPHE within 7-10 business days of submitting the packet to gather additional information or approve the unit for operation. (No physical inspection required by the Department of Public Health and Environment)
Starting January 1, 2023, all new applicants are required to schedule and pass a fire safety inspection. A courtesy safety inspection can also be scheduled upon request. You will need to contact the Denver Fire Department (DFD) via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your in-person fire safety inspection. This can be done simultaneously with DDPHE’s review.
The Denver Fire Mobile Retail Food Vendor Inspection List can be downloaded(PDF, 151KB) for your guidance.
Once the unit has been approved by DFD during the physical inspection and remotely by DDPHE, a license will be issued for the mobile unit by Excise and Licenses via email within 5 business days.