Retail Tobacco Store License

Online Training Videos are available for Retail Tobacco Store applications.

What is a Retail Tobacco Store License?

On October 1, 2019 Denver City Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to people under the age of 21. Tobacco products include nicotine products, vape products such as e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products. The law also requires all businesses that sell tobacco products to obtain a Retail Tobacco Store License. 

 

 Basic Information

All businesses that sell tobacco products must be licensed by July 1, 2021

To learn more about the new regulations for tobacco retailers and the "Tobacco 21 (T21)" program, please visit the Department of Public Health & Environment's website.

Proximity Restrictions

The new ordinance requires all businesses that sell tobacco products to be located at least 1,000 feet away from schools, city-owned recreation centers, and city-owned outdoor pools. However, businesses that apply for a Retail Tobacco Store License before January 1, 2021 will be exempt from these proximity restrictions.

Additional FAQs

Please download our Tobacco 21 Fact Sheet(PDF, 297KB) for answers to other frequently asked questions. You may also contact our Tobacco Program Supervisor directly with additional questions:

Natalee Salcedo

Phone: 720-865-6873

Email: natalee.salcedo@denvergov.org


 

Applying for a New Retail Tobacco Store License

Step 1 - Verify You have a Valid Address

Applications for a Retail Tobacco Store License must show that the Licensed Establishment will be operated at a valid Denver address. You can use Denver's Address Finder Tool to ensure that your address is recognized as a valid Denver address.

If your address is not recognized, please visit the Department of Transportation & Infrastructure website. Under the "Address Assignments" section, you will find an Address Request Form for converting your address into a valid address. The address is issued 3-4 days after the request has been submitted. If you have questions, please contact Denver Public Works at Denver.ROW@Denvergov.org.


Step 2 - Check Your Zoning Use Permit

Applications for a Retail Tobacco Store License will require a copy of a valid Zoning Use Permit. The Zoning Use Permit must reflect the valid address of the Licensed Establishment, and should reflect one of the following uses:

  • Retail Sales, Service & Repair, All Others
  • Food Sales or Market
  • Automobile Services
  • Eating & Drinking Establishment

If you have questions or need to obtain a copy of your current Zoning Use Permit, please e-mail zoning.review@denvergov.org.

If you do not have a Zoning Use Permit but need to submit your application for a business license, you may instead submit an Acknowledgement of Zoning Use Permit, the form can be found here(PDF, 67KB).

Please be aware that no business license will be issued without a Zoning Use Permit provided by Denver Development Services. The Acknowledgement of Zoning Use Permit only allows you to submit your application, it will remain pending until you submit your actual Zoning Use Permit to Denver Department of Excise and Licenses.


Step 3 - Required Documents and Fees

Upon application, you will need to pay a $250 application fee and a $500 license fee. These fees can be paid with a bank account or a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover Card. 

During the application process, a package will be assembled for you from the following three applications.

A Licensed Establishment Application

This application captures information about the location where you sell tobacco products. You will be asked to provide:

  • valid Denver address
  • Zoning Use Permit issued at the address of your Licensed Establishment that demonstrates one of the following uses:
    • Retail Sales, Service & Repair, All Other
    • Food Sales or Market
    • Automobile Services
    • Eating & Drinking Establishment

Please note: The name of the business on the Zoning Use permit does not have to match the License Holder name. If you have questions, contact zoning.review@denvergov.org.

  • Possession of Property Certificate(PDF, 905KB) or Lease that shows that you either own the property or will have possession of it for at least 90 days after the day you submit your application. If submitting a lease, please submit in it's entirety to include sublease, amendments, assignments, signature pages, etc.
  • Details for one to three On-Site Managers*, including their name, date of birth, home address and contact information. On-site Managers are individual(s) you designate who have the authority to make decisions regarding the Licensed Establishment. They must have access to and control over the Licensed Establishment at all times.

An Entity Registration Application

This application captures ownership information about the person or entity that will hold the license. You will be asked to provide:

  • The Entity Type (one of the following):
    • Sole Proprietor
    • Limited Liability Company
    • Partnership
    • For-Profit Corporation
    • Non-Profit Corporation
  • The True Name of the Entity or Person who will hold the license
  • A list of any Trade Names under which the entity operates
  • Details about any individual who owns 10% or more of the entity including their name, date of birth, home address, and contact information
  • Sole Proprietors will be asked to upload a copy of a Valid State or Federally Issued ID
  • Corporations, LLCs, and Partnerships will be asked to upload a copy of their Organizational Documents, such as Bylaws, an Operating Agreement, a Partnership Agreement, Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Good Standing, etc., as applicable

Please note: Any entity or person that will hold multiple Retail Tobacco Store Licenses in Denver will only have to complete this application once. We will then issue an Entity Registration ID that you can provide in lieu of this application in the application packages you will need to submit for other locations where you sell tobacco products.

A Retail Tobacco Store License Application

This application verifies that you are eligible to obtain a Retail Tobacco Store License and reviews the rules and laws you must abide by as a license holder. You will be asked to provide:

Records of any alleged violation of law or rule related to tobacco sales issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the FDA), the State of Colorado, or the City & County of Denver, to the entity or person applying for this license, or any of its owners, within the last five years


Step 4 - Submit Your Application

The Retail Tobacco Store License application is now available online

After submitting your application package, either:

  • Check your email for a link and instructions on how to complete payment.
  • Review the receipt page and follow the instructions on how to complete payment

Your application will not be processed without payment!


How to Renew a License

Renew a License

When to Renew

You can renew your Retail Tobacco Store License as early as 90 days before the expiration date. You should receive an e-mail notification when your renewal period opens.

How to Renew

Use the link HERE or on the right hand side of this page to access our online licensing portal. On the "Welcome" page, select "Renew or Manage" action under Business Licensing. On the "My Licenses" page, select the "Renew Application" action for the license you wish to update, and then follow the prompts.


Late Renewals

Licenses must be renewed on or before the expiration date to avoid penalty fees. 

90 Day Grace Period

There is a 90 day grace period from the expiration date during which licenses can be renewed by paying the license fee and the penalty fee. However, if a license is not renewed before the expiration date, they must cease operations until the license has been renewed during this grace period.

First 30 days of grace period:  20% penalty fee

Days 31 - 90:  50% penalty fee

After 90 days:  Licensees will be required to apply for a new license

Required Documents and Fees

Upon renewal, you will need to pay a $500 license fee. These fees can be paid with a bank account or a Visa, Mastercard, or Discover Card. 

During the renewal process, a package will be assembled for you from the following two applications.

A Licensed Establishment Application

This renewal captures information about the location where you sell tobacco products. You will be asked to provide:

  • Possession of Property Certificate(PDF, 905KB) or Lease that shows that you either own the property or will have possession of it for at least 90 days after the day you submit your renewal. If submitting a lease, please submit in it's entirety to include sublease, amendments, assignments, signature pages, etc.
  • Details for one to three On-Site Managers*, including their name, date of birth, home address and contact information. On-site Managers are individual(s) you designate who have the authority to make decisions regarding the Licensed Establishment. They must have access to and control over the Licensed Establishment at all times.

A Retail Tobacco Store License Application

This renewal verifies that you are eligible to retain a Retail Tobacco Store License and reviews the rules and laws you must abide by as a license holder. You will be asked to provide:

  • A copy of your Denver Sales Tax License
  • A copy of your State of Colorado Sales Tax License
  • A copy of Records of any alleged violation of law or rule related to tobacco sales issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (the FDA), the State of Colorado, or the City & County of Denver, to the entity or person applying for this license, or any of its owners, within the last five years (if applicable).

 

 

Renewal Application Process

Note - Excise and Licenses will strive to process any application for a Retail Tobacco Store renewal within 7 business days. The application review process may take longer if the application is found to be incomplete or inconsistent.

The renewal process is as follows:

  1. The applicant submits a renewal application online. All required documents must be uploaded before the application is submitted.
  2. Excise and Licenses will review the application and supporting documents for completeness and consistency. If the application is found to be incomplete, an email will be sent to the applicant allowing 14 days for corrections.
  3. If the applicant is found to be eligible for renewal, a copy of the Retail Tobacco Store license will be emailed to the applicant. Be sure to read and follow all conditions printed on the business license.


Once Your License is Renewed

Requirement to Keep Contact Information Up to Date

If a Retail Tobacco Store's contact information changes (place of business, onsite manager, etc) they must file an online amendment application notifying Excise and Licenses of the change within 72 hours.

Requirement to Renew Annually

Professional licenses expire annually. It is unlawful for a Retail Tobacco Store to operate while their license is expired. Renewal applications must be filed online with Excise and Licenses before a license expires.


Check on the Status of a Renewal Application

A Retail Tobacco Store applicant can check the status of an application at any time through the online application portal. Please download our Application Status Check-In Guide(PDF, 457KB) for step by step instructions.


 

Notifications & Amendments

Amend Your License

To update your contact information, ownership, or business name please go to our Entity Registration webpage to find out how to submit those applications. Those processes are listed at the bottom of the page.

To update your on-site manager go to our Licensed Establishment webpage to find out how to submit those applications. That process is listed at the bottom of the page.