Fermented Malt Beverage License

On Premises

A fermented malt beverage license to dispense fermented malt beer by the drink for consumption ON the premises at this location.

Off Premises

A fermented malt beverage license to sell fermented malt beer by the package in sealed containers for consumption OFF the premises at this location.

How to Submit an Application

There are a variety of ways that you can submit your New or Renewal application to the Department of Excise and Licenses. If renewing, please make sure to include your Business File Number (BFN) with the submittal.

  1. In an effort to protect public safety, in-person customer service at Excise and Licenses is being offered by appointment only. Please visit our appointments website to make an appointment. 
  2. All license applications not available online can be submitted via email, EXLSubmit@denvergov.org, during this health crisis. When submitting your email application, please attach all documents pertaining to your license application to ONE email. Please visit our email application process page for more information on submitting email applications.
  3. You may also mail in your application with fees to:

City and County of Denver
Department of Excise and License
201 W Colfax Ave, Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202

Make checks payable to: Manager of Finance

You may also pay for your applications online or via phone once you have submitted your application to Excise and Licenses. We will send you an invoice and you may pay virtually. Please visit our online payment process page for more information on how to submit payment for your applications.

For questions, please email licenses@denvergov.org or call 311.

How to Get a Fermented Malt Beverage License

Step 1: Zone Use Permit

A Zone Use Permit is required before submitting a liquor application.

A use permit is a document granting the applicant/owner of a lot, building, or structure permission for the requested use of the land. "Use" can be defined as any activity, occupation, business or operation transacted in a building or on a lot/tract of land.

You can use the resources on the Internet to plan ahead before you lease or buy property and before you apply for your business license.  Follow the steps below to learn more about the approved zone uses for the address where you want to locate your business.  Start on the  Find Your Zoning page.

  1. Enter the desired address.  Click Search.
  2. Note the Zone District.
  3. Click on the + to Expand for more information. 
  4. Note the Neighborhood Context.
  5. Click on the link for the Zoning Code or in Former Chapter 59.
  6. Click on the Article # for the Neighborhood Context noted above.
  7. Open the document and scroll to the "Use" tables at the bottom of the document.
  8. Find the "Use" category in the left column and the Zone District in the columns to the right.
  9. The code in the intersecting square represents the permitted use.  (There is a key to the codes at the top of every page.)

Ultimately, the zone use permit for your business license must be approved and issued by the Zoning department.  Learn more about the Denver Zoning Code or visit the Zoning Office.


Applying for a Zone Use Permit


Office Hours and Location

General Hours:  8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Webb Municipal Office Building

201 W. Colfax Avenue, 2nd Floor



All City Services:  (720) 913-1311

General:  (720) 865-3000





Step 2: Distance Restriction

A 500 foot distance restriction from public and parochial schools, colleges, universities, seminaries and retail liquor stores applies to new Fermented Malt Beverage applications. 


Step 3: Required Documents

Application forms and business entity documents are required for the applications process. All documents must be submitted in duplicate – one copy for the City of Denver and the original copy for the State of Colorado. Documents must be printed in black ink or typewritten. Photocopies are accepted.

 All documents should be submitted to the Department of Excise and Licenses.

 Application Documents

  • Please make sure that no staples are in the documents when submitted to the Department of Excise and Licenses.
  • Colorado Fermented Malt Beverage License Application(PDF, 330KB)  (The Colorado application also serves as the City and County of Denver's application)
  • Tax Check Authorization, Waiver, and Request to Release Information(PDF, 107KB)
  • City Tax License
  • State Tax License
  • Right of Possession Documents (Lease or Deed). The lease must be valid for at least 90 days from the date the application is submitted.
  • Occupancy Permit which may be obtained from the Denver Fire Department
  • The floor plan drawing is to be on 8 1/2 by 11 inches with dimensions included. The diagram does not have to be to scale, but must accurately reflect the area to be licensed, including depictions of the following:
    • Exterior areas showing control of the licensed premises (fences, walls, doors, gates, etc)
    • A diagram for each floor plan, outlined in red to indicate the boundary (including external and internal walls, doors, fences, gates, and the like)The diagram must identify the kitchen area if the applicant is applying for a Hotel and Restaurant class liquor license.  The diagram of the kitchen must include the range, refrigerator, sinks, dishwashers, and other industrial equipment.
    • Location of the proposed licensed premises designating where alcoholic beverages will be sold, served, stored, distributed or consumed
    • One diagram must have the licensed liquor area outlined in RED.
    • One diagram must have the licensed liquor area outline in BLACK.
  • If the building does not exist at the time the license is applied for, the applicant must submit an architect's drawing of the building to be constructed
  • A list of equipment if the applicant is applying for a Tavern class liquor license and the proposed premises does not have a kitchen area
  • Individual History Form(PDF, 156KB) 
  • Cabaret License Application(PDF, 198KB) if any form of entertainment is being offered. 

Fingerprints for the following:

Additional Documentation by Form of Business Entity

Corporate Applicants

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • A current Certificate of Good Standing
  • A certificate of Authorization (if applicant is a foreign corporation)
  • A list of all Officers and Directors and Members and Stockholders of the Parent Corporation who own 10% or more of the applicant's entity.  (The list must designate one person as the "principal officer")
  • A Trade Name Certificate, if applicable
  • Current Corporate minutes authorizing application for a liquor and/or cabaret license

 Limited Liability Company Applicants

  • Articles of Organization
  • A current Certificate of Good Standing
  • Operating Agreement
  • A certificate of Authority (if the applicant is a foreign company)
  • A Trade Name Certificate, if applicable
  • Identification of its licensed premises manager

Sole Proprietorship Applicants

  • Trade Name Affidavit, if applicable


Step 4: Fees

Application Fee:

State - $1,550.00 fee made payable to Colorado Department of Revenue + Liquor License Fees

State - $1,650.00 fee for Concurrent Review + Liquor License Fees

State - $1,550.00 fee for Transfer of Ownership + Liquor License Fees

City -   $1,000.00 + other fees assigned at time of application

Colorado Bureau of Investigations Fingerprinting:  $38.50 per person for anyone that owns at least 10% of the business entity.

License fees will be calculated at the time the application is submitted to the City.


Step 5: Public Hearing

  • A public hearing is scheduled once all other requirements are complete
  • An area is designated around the proposed location from which residents and business owners/managers can sign petitions and testify at the public hearing
  • A sign is posted at the premises of the proposed liquor license for at least twenty (days) prior to the hearing. 
  • The posting sign must follow these guidelines:
    • Be white, sturdy, and measure 22 inches wide by 26 inches high with letters not less than one inch high
    • Indicate the type of license, the date and time of the hearing, the name, and address of the licensee and any partners or officers of the licensee
    • Be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises so that it is plainly visible and legible to the public
    • Contain a map of the designated area
    • Contents to be included on the posting sign will be established by the Department of Excise and Licenses.
  • Registered neighborhood organizations (RNOs), public newspapers, the City Council and the Police District are notified of the application and public hearing
  • Petitions are circulated in support and against the proposed liquor license.  Read more about petitions(PDF, 54KB).  
  • Public Hearing is held
  • Final decision is issued by the Director of Excise and Licenses


Read more about public hearings


Step 6: Required Inspections

  • Development Services (720) 865-2982
  • Denver Fire Department (720) 913-3409
  • Department of Public Health and Environment (720) 913-1311
  • Department of Excise and Licenses (720) 913-1311 (Last inspection - Schedule when all other inspections have been passed.)


Step 7: Get Your License

Notify the Department of Excise and Licenses, at licenses@denvergov.org, that you would like your license emailed to you when all of the steps below have been completed.  

  1. All documents required for the license are complete and submitted to the office.
  2. The background check, if applicable, is accepted and approved.
  3. Fees are paid in full.
  4. All required inspections, if applicable, are passed.
  5. All approvals are given by the state and local offices.

NOTE:  You are encouraged to stay in touch with the Department of Excise and Licenses during your application process as each step can vary from the general steps described herein depending upon your own particular circumstances.


Renew a Fermented Malt Beverage License

Renew Your License

he Colorado State Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division will send the applicant a renewal application.

The application must be submitted to the City of Denver Department of Excise and Licenses no later than 45 days prior to an expiration date.

Example:  If a license expires on December 31, the renewal application must be submitted by November 16.

 All documents submitted for renewal, including Colorado State applications, must be submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. 

 No paperwork should be sent back to the Colorado State offices.


Required Documents

  • Retail Liquor or Fermented Malt Beverage License Renewal Application(PDF, 177KB) received from the Colorado State Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division.  
  • Right of Possession Documents (Lease or Deed). The lease must be valid for at least 90 days from the date the application is submitted.
  • If the renewal applicant is a corporation, a current certificate of good standing must accompany the renewal application. Any changes in corporate structure must be noted in the renewal application.  Supporting documents must be provided.
  • If you have a current 3.2 Beer License, you need to complete the following form as well Retail 3.2 Selection Form(PDF, 124KB). This needs to be submitted with the renewal form listed above. More information regarding this change is listed below.

Please Note: New law mandates certain changes to the type of liquor license your establishment currently holds. This law is in regards to Retail 3.2 Beer On/Off Premises Licenses (FMB On-Off), Retail 3.2 Beer On-Premises License (FMB On), and Retail 3.2 Beer Off-Premises License (FMB Off).

No more Issuance or renewals of FMB On/Off licenses as of June 4, 2018:

● No Retail FMB On-Off licenses shall be issued new or renewed by the local or state licensing authority.

● Upon their annual renewal, an existing FMB On-Off licensee must convert to a FMB On or FMB Off.

● In order to facilitate this request, the licensee must submit along with their renewal application a written notification to their local licensing authority and state licensing authority.

● If you have recently submitted a renewal application, the state licensing authority or local licensing authority will be in contact with you so that you can communicate your preference in writing.

● When you receive renewal paperwork from the state licensing authority 90 days prior to license expiration, this letter will accompany your renewal paperwork reminding you of this change.

● Submit your renewal application to your local licensing authority first . Notify them in writing of your selected licensing preference.

Your license will not be renewed until this information is conveyed to your local licensing authority.


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 for a penalty fee.

Late Application Fee:  $500.00 made payable to the Manager of Finance

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


Renewal Policies

Department of Excise and Licenses inspectors will attempt to locate and notify business license holders of the approaching expiration date.  However, failure of an inspector to notify a delinquent licensee that its license has expired does not excuse the licensee from any applicable late penalty.