Frequently Asked Questions

What type of businesses do you license?

In total, there are over 100 business and liquor licenses issued by the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.  

Some of the license types include retail and wholesale food operations, emergency and non emergency vehicles, body artists and facilities, boarding homes and childcare centers, security guards, pedal cabs and peddlers, central alarm operators and apprentice, and marijuana licenses (in conjunction with the State of Colorado).


Complete list of business licenses


What is a Zoning Use Permit?

A zoning use permit is a document granting the applicant/owner of a lot, building, or structure permission for the requested use of the land. The Commercial Zoning group within Community Planning and Development issues zone use and construction permits for existing multi-family and commercial buildings in the City.  Find application materials and what must be submitted at the Commercial Zoning website, select the appropriate item under Zoning Use Permits for your business type.  

If the business license you are applying for requires a zone use permit, be sure to check with Commercial Zoning first to get approval  of the use of the land before submitting an application to the Department of Excise and Licenses.   

If you are an existing business and need a copy of any applicable zone use permits, email with the property address.


All City Services:  (720) 913-1311

Commercial Zoning:  (720) 865-3000 



What types of payment will you accept for my license?

Liquor and Cabaret Licenses

  • Application and license fees for the City of Denver should be made payable to the Manager of Finance.   
  • Application and license fees for the State of Colorado should be made payable to the Department of Revenue. 

Business Licenses

  • Business licenses may be purchased with cash, check or credit card.
  • Application and license fees for the City of Denver should be made payable to the Manager of Finance.

Online Licenses

  • These fees can be paid with a bank account or a Visa, MasterCard, or Discover Card. 



Where do I apply for a Retail Sales Tax license?

Sales, Lodgers, Use, Occupation Privilege Tax Information

201 W. Colfax Ave.

Denver, CO  80202


720-865-7075 Taxpayer Service Unit


How do I get a restaurant license?

You will need to apply for the Retail Food Establishment license.

If you are going to sell alcohol, you will need a liquor license as well. 


What is a Special Event Permit?

A special event permit is a permit issued to non profit organizations and political candidates to sell alcohol at a specific event where the facility does not currently hold a liquor license.


How do I apply for a Mobile Food Truck license?

You will need to apply for the Retail Food Mobile License.


Can I send in a post dated check that will arrive after my license expires?

Your check must physically be in our office on or before your expiration date to be considered on time with no late fees.