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Liquor Licensing



Boulder Business Recovery: Temporary Outdoor Expansion Program for Restaurants

The City of Boulder recognizes the significant impact COVID-19 has had on the local restaurant community. To support local restaurants and simplify the process of reopening, the city has established the Boulder Business Recovery Temporary Outdoor Expansion Program in conjunction with an emergency order allowing restaurants to expand outdoor seating. This program streamlines the permitting process for restaurants to expand outdoor seating areas on public and private property. The intent of the program is to protect restaurant patrons and employees, while reopening dine-in service under the state’s new Safer at Home restaurant guidelines.

For more information and application links please visit:

Boulder Beverage Licensing Authority

The City of Boulder Beverage Licensing Authority hears and rules upon applications for licenses for the sale of fermented malt beverages and liquor. The Authority can suspend or revoke such licenses for cause.

Monthly Public Hearings

Beverage Licensing Authority Hearings are currently held virtually:

Please visit the Beverage Licensing Authority page for further information.

Please note that written and in-person public comment may be given at the hearing by the applicant and residents and business manager and owners from the designated neighborhood, and that door-to-door petition results using the petition forms included in the above hearing items may be submitted by persons who wish to petition for or against such applications with signatures obtained going door to door in the designated neighborhood.

For applicant/licensee and neighborhood written letters for or against applications, public participation at hearings, and submittal of door to door petition results, please see the Petitioning pages in the hearing packet and the petition information linked to the right.

Licensing Process

Know First

  • Obtaining a liquor license in the City of Boulder is a privilege, and not a right.
  • Licenses are issued by "dual" licensing authorities.
  • All applications are submitted to the local authority and must be approved before being forwarded to State Liquor Enforcement Division.
  • In our efforts to be a greener department, we will begin scanning most application materials, please do not staple any application materials-paper and binder clips only and make sure all documents are single sided only.

How Long Does it Take

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.

Decision Guidelines

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 on-line from our website. For information about the liquor licensing process or upcoming meetings of the Authority, contact the licensing office at 303-441-4192.