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Special Event Liquor Permit

A Special Event Liquor Permit must be applied for 30 days in advance of your event, no exceptions

Special event liquor permits the sale by the drink only of Malt, Vinous and Spirituous liquor,  or fermented malt beverages (3.2 Beer) , on premises that do not hold a liquor license or is to be sold by a qualifying organization or club or arts liquor licensed premises.

Qualifying organizations include:

  • Non profit organizations
  • Social, fraternal, patriotic, political or athletic in nature (not organized for a monetary gain)
  • State Agencies
  • The Colorado Wine Industry Development Board
  • An instrumentality of a municipality or country
  • Political candidate who has filed necessary reports and statements with the Colorado Secretary of State or the Denver Clerk and Recorder

How to Apply for a Special Event Liquor Permit

By way of example, special event liquor permits are required when a qualifying organization or political candidate:

  • Has an event and wants to sell alcohol beverages
  • Has an event that is open to the public and alcohol beverages are available
  • Has an event where there is a cash bar
  • Has a public event where donations are requested
  • Has a public event where admission fees are required

  • Sandwiches or food snacks must be available at all times that alcohol beverages are being sold.
  • A special event permit may not be issued to the same applicant for more than fifteen (15) days in any one calendar year.

  • The application packet must include the following:
  • The application (signed by President, Secretary or Political Candidate)
  • Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State 
  • Diagrams of proposed liquor licensed area (must be outlined in RED denoting the liquor boundary). Need to also notate where posting notice will be placed.
  • Authorization documents depending on property use will be as follows:
  • Street closures require a ROW/Public Works Permit.
  • Events held in a park require a Parks and Recreation Permit.
  • Events held within the confines of a building require a Lease, Deed, or a Letter of Authorization from the property owners.   

Need to know points:

  • Do not mail in Special Event Applications as customer will need to be issued their Posting Notice in person. (The document cannot be mailed)
  • Do not email in Special Event Applications as all fees will need to be received before application can be processed.
  • The application needs to be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the event, no exceptions.

Duplicate documentsApplication forms and business entity documents are required for the applications process. Documents must be printed in black ink or typewritten.  Photocopies are accepted. 

All documents are submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. 

  • Special Event Liquor Application 
  • Right of Possession Document (Lease or Deed or sub-lease or assignment of the lease or rental agreement). 
  • Diagram of premises that depicts the bar and alcohol service areas (outlined in RED). Need to also indicate where posting notice will be placed.  
  • A Certificate of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State within the past year, a nonprofit charter, or copies of reports and statements filed with the Colorado Secretary of State if a political candidate.
  • Federal EIN number

Application fee: $100.00

Licensing fee per day:

  •  Malt, Vinous, and Spirituous:  $25.00 per day
  •  3.2% Beer:  $10.00 per day

Note: Make checks payable to The Manager of Finance. 

          All credit cards are accepted with the exception of American Express.

  • The Department will review application forms and accompanying documents for accuracy and completeness. 
  • The Department will determine if the premises is already licensed and, if so, whether any exclusions apply.


Please bring all required items to:

Department of Excise and Licenses

201 W. Colfax Ave. #206, Denver, CO 80202

  • The Department of Excise and Licenses will be the final approver for all Special Event Liquor Permits. We no longer send to the State for their approval.
  • If the application is approved, once the posting for the Special Event Liquor Permit has been passed, the permit will be emailed to the applicant.

  • As a holder of the permit, the special event licensee must purchase liquor to be served and/or sold at the event only from a licensed wholesaler or a licensed retail liquor store.
  • A special event permit is authorized only for the benefit of the non-profit organization or political candidate who holds the permit.  Proceeds from the event must benefit the non-profit organization or the political candidate.
  • Holders of a special event permit may also employ event managers to handle the event for a fee that reasonably compensates their work.  The "fee" of an event manager may not be the revenues from the event.
  • The Director may require examination of the books and records of a special event to ensure compliance with permit obligations.



State Statutes

Colorado StatuesColorado Liquor
and Beer Laws

CRS 44-5-101

Plan Extra Time!

Date Icon

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


Colorado StatuesColorado Liquor
and Beer Laws


CRS 12-48-101


Date Icon

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