Liquor Licenses Overview
- Obtaining a liquor license in the City of Boulder is a privilege and not a right.
- Liquor licenses are issued by "dual" licensing authorities. All applications are submitted to the local authority and must be approved before being forwarded to the State of Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division.
- Boulder Business Recovery: Temporary Outdoor Expansion Program for Restaurants, through Oct. 31, 2021.
- All liquor applications can be submitted and paid online.
- The State Liquor Enforcement Division has waived renewal fees through Dec. 7, 2021 (Except Retail Liquor Store & FMB Off-Premise Type Liquor Licenses).
- Electronic training is accepted for renewals through July 1, 2021.
Liquor License Process Timeline
The liquor license process generally takes three to four months or longer to complete.
The first step is to obtain Zoning Location Analysis Approval through the Planning and Zoning Department prior to scheduling your application intake appointment. The instructions are included in each license application packet requiring this approval. Therefore, you must plan accordingly and communicate with the Licensing Division far in advance of your anticipated opening date. Failure to file applications in a timely manner will most likely result in a delay.
- New licenses are granted based upon demonstration that the surrounding neighborhood "needs and desires" the issuance of a new license and that the moral character of the applicant is acceptable to the local and state licensing authorities.
- Transfer of Ownership licenses are granted based upon the moral character of the applicant.
- Permanent Modifications are granted based upon the neighborhood “needs and desires” for the proposed change to the licensed premise.
Who Can Get a License?
- Colorado liquor and beer licenses may be issued in the name of natural persons, corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Applicants and other persons involved with partnerships, corporations, or limited liability companies, must be at least 21 years of age. Persons under 21 may be involved with an established trust as long as the trustee is at least 21 and the person under 21 cannot benefit from the trust until that person reaches the age of 21.
- All corporations and limited liability companies must be registered with the Colorado Secretary of State's Office and authorized to do business. Foreign corporations and foreign limited liability companies must also register with the Secretary of State and be authorized to do business in Colorado.
- Applicants do not have to be a United States citizen or a Colorado resident to acquire a liquor or beer license and the existence of a criminal record does not preclude a person from licensure. However, applicants with criminal records must be able to provide evidence of rehabilitation or they may be denied a license.
Applicants unfamiliar with the lengthy and detailed application process may want to consult an attorney. All necessary application forms and instructions are available online from our website.
For information about the liquor licensing process or upcoming meetings of the Beverage Licensing Authority, contact the licensing office at 303-441-4192.
How to Apply for a Liquor License
Complete Application Packet
Locate the requested Liquor License Application Packet in the Liquor License Application Documents section below.
Please note that specific instructions for each application type will be located within the packets.
Apply & Pay Online
The Regulatory Licensing Division holds virtual application clinics every Wednesday morning, which you may attend via call in to ask questions;
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for Liquor license application questions
Call: 720-593-3714 and enter conf ID: 247 686 993#
Microsoft Teams meeting
Join on your computer or mobile app
Or call in (audio only)
+1 720-593-3714,,247686993# United States, Denver
Phone Conference ID: 247 686 993#
Beverage Licensing Authority
The city's Beverage Licensing Authority (BLA) hears and rules upon applications for licenses for the sale of fermented malt beverages and liquor. The BLA can suspend or revoke such licenses for cause.