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Transfer of Ownership

A business entity seeking to obtain ownership of an existing liquor license must go through the process of applying for a transfer of ownership. 

An applicant may request a temporary liquor permit authorizing the applicant to continue selling such alcohol beverages as permitted under the permanent license during the period in which an application to transfer the ownership of the license is pending.

You must apply for the Transfer of Ownership before you would be eligible to apply for a Temporary Liquor Permit. 

How to Submit an Application

There are a variety of ways that you can submit your New or Renewal application to the Department of Excise and Licenses. If renewing, please make sure to include your Business File Number (BFN) with the submittal.

1.      In an effort to protect public safety, in-person customer service at Excise and Licenses is being offered by appointment only. Please visit our appointments website to make an appointment. 

2.      All license applications not available online can be submitted via email,, during this health crisis. Please visit our email application process page for more information on submitting email applications.

3.      You may also mail in your application with fees to:

City and County of Denver
Department of Excise and License
201 W Colfax Ave, Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202

Make checks payable to: Manager of Finance

You may also pay for your applications online or via phone once you have submitted your application to Excise and Licenses. We will send you an invoice and you may pay virtually. Please visit our online payment process page for more information on how to submit payment for your applications.

For questions, please email or call 311.

Excise and Licenses will not offer fingerprinting services on site. This website offers information on fingerprinting services authorized by Colorado Applicant Background Services.

How to Apply for a Transfer of Ownership

  • Transfers or changes of financial interest in a license must be reported to the Colorado State Liquor Licensing Division within 30 days.


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. 

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

  • Please make sure that no staples are in the documents when submitted to the Department of Excise and Licenses.
  • Colorado Liquor Retail License Application  same form as the application form for a new liquor license
  • Tax Check Authorization, Waiver, and Request to Release Information
  • Tax Certificate (from Department of Treasury) stating that no personal property taxes are due from the City Sales Tax Department
  • City Tax License
  • State Tax License
  • Wholesaler Affidavit of Compliance - statement on a form provided by the Department acknowledging that applicant may be held responsible for any pending disciplinary actions against the former owner and may be responsible for any days of suspension being held in abeyance.
  • Acknowledgment of Transfer of License Subject to Past, Pending, or Possible Future Disciplinary Action
  • Zone Use Permit
  • Right of Possession Documents (Lease or Deed). The lease must be valid for at least 90 days from the date the application is submitted.
  • If a public hearing is held, appropriate closing documents
  • 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.
    • The floor plan that is submitted must match the previous owner's floor plan that Excise and Licenses has on file. If it does not match, you will be required to submit a Modification of Premises application as well.
    • 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.
  • Affidavit that each wholesaler that has sold alcoholic beverages to the transferor has been paid in full for all alcoholic beverages delivered to the transferor. 

 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 Officers, Directors, and Stockholders of the Parent Corporation (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

State Application Fee:  $1,550.00 + all other applicable fees

City Application Fee:  $750.00 + all other applicable fees

Fingerprinting:  $38.50 per person for full set of fingerprints

State fees made payable to Colorado Department of Revenue

City fees made payable to Manager of Finance

Fingerprinting Required

Persons new to the corporation or limited liability company who have not previously been qualified must be fingerprinted.

Liquor License Applicants require fingerprints for the following people:

  • All officers and directors
  • Members and shareholders who own 10% or more of the business entity

See Fingerprinting Process


If an officer or manager of a licensee has already been qualified and is only changing positions within the licensee entity, that person will not have to be re-qualified, and no fee will be charged unless the Department has reason to suspect that there has been a change in the record of the individual since the last qualification.



The Department may investigate the accuracy of information and/or documents submitted; the fitness of the applicant to conduct the business for which a license is sought; the character, record or reputation of the applicant or its officers or directors relating to the likelihood that violations of the liquor code may occur.

The Department will send a notification of a new application to the Denver Police Department, Division Chief of Patrol, for review.



The Department will issue written findings to the Applicant that address the following:

  • Complete and accurate application
  • Qualification or disqualification of the application


  • The Department will only undertake a public hearing on the transfer application if issues related to unsatisfactory character, record or reputation are uncovered in the application or investigation.
  • In such an event, a Show Cause Order will be issued by the Director and a hearing will be scheduled.
  • The hearing will be conducted by a Hearing Officer.  The Hearing Officer will issue a recommended decision and the Director will issue the final decision.


Closing Documents

A copy of appropriate closing documents must be submitted to the Department prior to issuance of the license.

  • Development Services (720) 865 2982
  • Denver Fire Department (720) 913-3409
  • 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.)

Notify the Department of Excise and Licenses, at, that you would like your license emailed to you when all of the steps below have been completed.  

  1. All documents required for the license are complete and submitted to the office.
  2. The background check, if applicable, is accepted and approved.
  3. Fees are paid in full.
  4. All required inspections, if applicable, are passed.
  5. 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.

How to Apply for a Temporary Liquor Permit

Duplicate documents

PLEASE NOTE: An applicant applying for a Liquor-Licensed Drugstore for a merger and conversion is NOT eligible for a temporary permit. (Effective 1/1/2017)


All documents must be submitted in duplicate – one copy for the City of Denver and the original copy for the Sate of Colorado.  Documents must be printed in black ink or typewritten.  Photocopies are accepted.

  • Request for a temporary liquor permit submitted to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses in writing
  • The application for a temporary permit must be filed no later than thirty days after the filing of the application for transfer of ownership

The applicant submits the request for a temporary liquor permit along with the application for change in ownership.

The application is reviewed by the Department and subject to investigations.

A temporary permit, if granted, by a local licensing authority will be issued within five working days after the receipt of such application and will be valid until the application to transfer ownership of the license to the applicant is granted or denied or for one hundred twenty days, whichever occurs first. 

If the application to transfer the license has not been granted or denied within the one-hundred-twenty-day period and the transferee demonstrates good cause, the Department may extend the permit for an additional period not to exceed sixty days.

City:  $100.00


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.