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Special Event Liquor Permit

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 inlcude

  • Non profit organizations
  • Social, fraternal, patriotic, political or athletic in nature (not organized for a monetary gain)

Political candidate who has filed necessary reports and statements with the Colorado Secretary of State or the Denver Clerk and Recorder

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

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:

  1.      1.   The application (signed by President, Secretary or Political Candidate)
  2.      2.   Copy of Exemption Determination Letter from the IRS and/or Certificate of Exemption which is the preferred document. 
  3.      3.   Certificate of Good Standing from the Secretary of State
  4.      4.    Diagrams of proposed liquor licensed area (must be outlined in RED denoting the liquor boundary)
  5.      5.    Authorization documents depending on property use will be as follows:
  •   Street closures require ROWE/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:

  •    All documents must be submitted in duplicate.
  •    Do not mail in Special Event Applications as customer will need to be issued their Posting Notice in person. (The document cannot be mailed)

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

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

  •   Special Event Liquor Application 
  •   Proof of Non-Profit/Tax Exempt Status; for example, an IRS letter stating 501c3 or 501c6 status.etc.
  •   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 
  •   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
  •   Sales tax license

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 the 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.

  • 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 permittee to ensure compliance with permit obligations.



State Statutes

Colorado StatuesColorado Liquor
and Beer Laws

CRS 12-48-101

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.