Skip navigation

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

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.

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 July 1, 2020 will be exempt from these proximity restrictions.

Please download our Tobacco 21 Fact Sheet 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

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 Public Works 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.

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.

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.

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:

  • A valid Denver address
  • A 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.

  • A Possession of Property Certificate 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.
  • 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

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!