Applying for a Liquor License

In order for the owner of an establishment to be eligible to sell malt, vinous or spirituous beverages, the following documents must be issued by the appropriate authorities:
  • State Liquor License: Issued by the State of Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division
  • Local Liquor License: Issued by the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder
  • State Sales Tax License: Issued by the Secretary of State
  • Federal Tax Stamp: Issued by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearm Tax Processing Center
  • Food Service License: Issued by the Pitkin County Health Department (when applicable)
Applying for a New Liquor License
  1. Obtain from the Clerk's Office a "new liquor license" packet, which includes the application and several other forms to complete.
  2. All applicants must be fingerprinted and a criminal history check will be conducted.
  3. Please use the check-off list on the back of the green application (DR8404) to ensure that all required documents are submitted.
  4. A petition must be circulated in the surrounding neighborhood of the proposed licensed establishment. The petition must contain at least 15 signatures of representatives of the neighborhood in support of the license.
  5. Once completed, contact the Clerk's Office to set up an appointment to return the completed application. The Clerk's Office will need:
    • The original, completed application packet with all accompanying documents
    • One copy of this complete set
  6. At the appointment, the clerk will review the submitted documents (application, deed, diagrams, articles of incorporation, etc.) and determine if any additional items are necessary.
  7. Upon receiving the completed application, the Clerk's Office will schedule a public hearing. An application is considered "received" when the submitted packet is complete. The hearing must take place no sooner than 30 days after receipt of the application.
  8. Prior to the public hearing, the applicant must post a sign on the premises to be licensed that gives notice of the hearing. The sign is provided by the Clerk's Office and must be posted at least 10 days prior to the hearing.
  9. At the public hearing, bring the signed "Affidavit of Posting" document.
  10. At the public hearing, the applicant will appear before the Board of County Commissioners and be prepared to show why there is a need and desire to have an establishment selling alcohol in the proposed neighborhood.
Approved
If the Board of County Commissioners approve the liquor licensing of the establishment, the Clerk's Office will forward the application to the State of Colorado Liquor Enforcement for review. This review takes approximately 3 weeks.

Not Approved
If the Board of County Commissioners denies the liquor license application, the check payable to the Colorado Department of Revenue will be returned; the county fees are retained. The fees are used to pay for items related to the approval process including advertising, staff time, the public hearing, etc.

Applying for a Transfer of Ownership
If the applicant is purchasing an establishment that already has a valid (not expired) liquor license, one should apply for a transfer of ownership. When applying for a transfer of ownership, follow steps 1 through 3, 5, and 6 above under "applying for a new liquor license".

Affidavit
The previous owner and the new applicant must complete an affidavit, provided by the Clerk's Office, to be submitted with the transfer application, affirming who is responsible for payment of any outstanding accounts.

Not Required

A petition is not required. A posting is not required. A public hearing is not required. and there is no requirement that the application be held for 30 days before being presented to the Board of County Commissioners.