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Short-Term Rental License Overview

Often facilitated by peer-to-peer websites such as and, short-term rentals are residential properties available for rent for a period ranging from 1-29 days.  Pursuant to the D.R.M.C. the City and County of Denver requires hosts to obtain a license in order to offer a short-term rental (STR).  


To be compliant with the Short-Term Rental ordinance you must complete all 3 steps listed below.

  • You must be legal residents of the United States.
  • The property must be your Primary Residence.
  • Written permission must be obtained from Landlords or Owners. Please make sure this document is filled out completely and uploaded with your online application if your landlord is allowing you to apply for a STR license.
  • Verify that your rental is insured. STR licensees must carry a minimum of $1 million worth of liability insurance for the property being used as a STR. Licensees have two options for this coverage: they may obtain an additional policy or rider, or they may conduct all transactions through a hosting platform with at least $1 million worth of coverage.
  • STR licensees will be required to notify their regular home or apartment insurers of their plans to turn their dwelling into a short-term rental. They are also required to notify their Home Owners Association (HOA).
  • Your STR must have an operable smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector and fire extinguisher.
  • Obtain your Lodger's Tax ID; Hosts are responsible for collecting the 10.75% Lodger's Tax.
  • Obtain your Business License and post the Business File Number (BFN) in all online listings.
  • Adhere to Zoning Code Requirements.
  • STR licensees must submit any changes to the name or contact information for a "Local Responsible Party" (required by ordinance) to the Department of Excise and Licenses within 30 days of the change.

Looking to rent a 2nd property or commercial-zoned unit?  Apply for a Lodging Facility License.





  • You must have your current Lodger's Tax ID in order to start this process. See Step 1.
  • The STR Business License annual fee is $25.
  • All new applications must be submitted online by logging in to or creating an account.
  • For assistance with Step 2 see our Business License Application Guide or contact Excise and Licenses at 720-913-1311 
  • All renewals must be submitted online by logging back into your account.
  • If you are no longer operating please submit an Affidavit of Surrender
  • Below is an example of what the license will look like when it is emailed to you. The Business File Number (BFN) that you need to reference on your ad is in the top left corner of the license. 




You must list your short-term rental Business File Number, or BFN, on all advertisements and online platforms.

  • Your BFN is on the face of your Business License (from Step 2) which will be emailed to you.
  • Are you an Airbnb host? Learn how to post your business license number by visiting the Denver help page.
  • A rental packet with applicable city rules and restrictions, as well as pertinent unit safety information, must be provided to guests upon each booking.  Check out our Rental Packet Template to get started!



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Advisory Committee

The Short-Term Rental Advisory Committee meets regularly to provide guidance and recommendations to Excise and Licenses on administration, enforcement, and other Short-Term Rental licensing policies.

For STRAC meeting Agendas, Minutes, and updates:




At the behest of a City Council committee led by Councilwoman Mary Beth Susman and in response to community interest, Denver’s departments of Excise & Licenses and Community Planning & Development proposed a new citywide licensing and enforcement system that allows short-term rentals while limiting unwanted effects on Denver’s residential neighborhoods.

The Short-term Rental ordinance underwent a public review draft, multiple public presentations, and town hall meetings in January and February of 2016 (all of which are available on the STR Advisory Committee webpage). The process culminated with Denver City Council review and approval of the proposal in the spring of 2016.