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Modification of Premises

Colorado Liquor Code Regulation 47-302 provides that, after a liquor or beer license has been issued, the licensee may not make any physical change, alteration, or modification of the premises that materially or substantially alters the licensed premises, or the use of the licensed premises, from the plans and specifications including walls submitted at the time of obtaining the original license without the prior written consent of the local and state licensing authorities.

Steps for Modification of Premises License

  • A licensee must seek approval from the Department of Excise and Licenses and the State Liquor Enforcement Division prior to any material or substantial modification of a licensed premise.
  • Application forms must be submitted thirty (30) days before the proposed construction start date.

Duplicate documentsApplication 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.


     Permanent Modification Documents:

  •   Application 
  •   Diagrams (current liquor licensed premise and proposed liquor licensed premise)
  •   Right of Possession Document (Lease, Deed or Letter of Authorization)
  •    A zone use permit if the proposed modification alters the zoning use. 

   Temporary Modification Documents:

  •    Application
  •    Diagrams (Before the Modification, Proposed Modification, and After the Modification.
  •    Right of Possession Document (Lease, Deed or Letter of Authorization)
  •    A zone use permit if the proposed modification alters the zoning use.


  •  All documents and diagrams must be submitted  on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper with dimensions included for the diagrams.
  •  All diagrams must be outlined in red denoting the liquor boundaries on each diagram. 

License Fees:

$150.00 per change for permanent change

$300.00 for a temporary change (build up/tear Down)

Please make checks payable to the "Department of Revenue".

After application forms and accompanying documents to modify existing premises are completed, the Director of Excise and Licenses will determine whether the modification requires a public hearing or whether the modification can be approved without posting a notice and public hearing.

  • Once all other requirements are complete a public hearing might be scheduled if the modifications are considered “material and substantial”, such as:
    (i) The addition or deletion of a patio or outdoor area;
    (ii) An increase in bar area that lengthens or adds bar space;
    (iii) Any additional levels added to Liquor Licensed establishment;
    (iv) Material change in the flow or control of liquor;
    (v) Non-de minimis increase in seating capacity
  • An area is designated around the proposed location from which residents and business owners/managers can sign petitions and testify at the public hearing 
  • The licensee must post a sign on the premises with notice of the hearing for at least twenty (20) days prior to the hearing.  Upon written request of a relevant registered neighborhood organization, the posting will be extended and the hearing rescheduled, for an additional twenty-five(25) days.
    • The posting sign must follow these guidelines:
      • Be white, sturdy, and measure 35 inches wide by 39 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
      • Content for the sign will be determined 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 modification of premises license.  Read more about petitions.  
  • Public Hearing is held
  • Final decision is issued by the Director of Excise and Licenses

Read more about public hearings.  

  • Development Services (720) 865 2982
  • Denver Fire Department (720) 913-3474
  • Department of Public Health and Environment (720) 865-5401
  • Department of Excise and Licenses (720) 913-1311 (Last inspection - Schedule when all other inspections have been passed.)

Once your inspections are completed, bring your signed card to the Department of Excise and Licenses office.  Your license will be issued when the following actions are taken: 

  1. All documents required for the license are complete and submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses office
  2. All fees are paid in full
  3. 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.


State Statutes

Colorado StatuesColorado Liquor
and Beer Laws

Plan Extra Time!

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Inspections and paperwork can take longer than you expect. Plan extra time to get your license.