Skip navigation

Retail Liquor Store

Sale of beer, wine, and liquor by the package for off-premises consumption.  

Retail Liquor Stores may sell non-food items related to the consumption of liquor (e.g. soft drinks and mixers; tobacco products; coasters, glasses, stir sticks, etc.) 


  • Sale, service and consumption of beer, wine, and liquor in sealed containers for off-premises consumption
  • May sell any nonalcoholic products as long as the annual gross revenues from such sales do not exceed 20%. (effective 7/1/2016)

Retail liquor stores may be open seven days a week between 8:00 a.m. and 12:00 Midnight.

Multiple ownership is not allowed with retail liquor store licenses except in an arts license or an airline public transportation system license or ownership of up to two total retail liquor store licenses which meet legal requirements. (effective 1/1/17)

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

A 1,500 foot distance restriction from another retail liquor store or liquor-licensed drugstore. (Effective 7/1/16)

Application Fees:

City -   $1,000.00

Additional fees will be calculated at the time the application is submitted.

There will be state application fees as well. They are on the state application form.


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.

  • Colorado Liquor Retail License Application (The Colorado application also serves as the City and County of Denver's application)
  • Sales Tax License
  • Right of Possession Document (Lease or Deed)
  • 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 
  • Cabaret License Application  if any form of entertainment is being offered 

Fingerprints for the following:

Additional Documentation by Form of Business Entity

Corporate Applicants

  • Certificate 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

The names of all managers of Retail Liquor Store licenses must be provided to the local and state licensing authorities whether a principal to the licensee or someone else manages the licensed premises.


State Statutes

Colorado StatuesColorado Liquor
and Beer Laws


Plan Extra Time!

Date Icon

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