Denver removes requirement of providing proof of legal residency

Published on July 05, 2022

In compliance with a new state law, as of July 1, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses no longer requires proof of legal U.S. residency to apply for a business or occupational license in the City and County of Denver. In addition to lifting this requirement, Denver also added additional forms of identification that will be accepted. A full list of acceptable forms of identification for business and occupational licenses can be found here.

“Our immigrant community plays a critical role in our economy,” said Excise and Licenses Executive Director Molly Duplechian. “We’re pleased to see our state lawmakers end the outdated anti-immigrant requirement that often limited an immigrant’s ability to pursue their dream of starting a business. An individual’s immigration status will no longer be a barrier to starting a business  in the Mile High City.”

In 2006, state lawmakers passed a law that required proof of legal residency to receive any public benefit, including a business license in municipalities. In order to comply with state law, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses required all license and permit applicants to complete a form to prove their legal immigration status. This change removes that requirement and opens a new era of financial opportunities for immigrants.

Common business license applications submitted by our immigrant community include restaurants, food trucks, and food peddlers.