The amount of time it takes to get a Colorado liquor license depends on what type of liquor license you need.  Common Colorado liquor license types are the Colorado Hotel and Restaurant License, Colorado Retail Liquor Store License and Colorado Tavern License (Bars and Pubs).  These Colorado liquor license types require application at the local level, i.e., in the Colorado city or county in which the license will operate.  Because each local Colorado liquor license authority has its own process for approving liquor licenses, the times may vary – however, in our experience, 3-4 months from start to finish is fairly accurate.

Common Colorado Liquor License Types:

    • Colorado Hotel and Restaurant:  Permits restaurants, and hotels with restaurant facilities, to sell malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors to the public for consumption within the licensed premises.
    • Colorado Tavern License: Permits the sale to the public of malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors for consumption on the premises.  A Colorado Tavern License is required to operate a traditional bar that is not a restaurant where hard liquor, beer and wine will be served.
    • Colorado Beer and Wine License: Permits the sale of malt and vinous liquors only to the public for consumption on the licensed premises.
    • Colorado Brew Pub License:  Allows sale and consumption on premises of malt, vinous and spirituous liquors, and permits the manufacture of malt liquor on the licensed premises. Malt liquor which is manufactured on licensed premises may be sold for consumption on the premises, sold to an independent wholesaler for distribution to other licensed retailers, or sold to the public in properly labeled sealed containers “to go.”
    • Colorado Retail Liquor Store License:  Permits the sale to the public of malt, vinous, and spirituous liquors in sealed containers for consumption off the premises.

If you intend to manufacture alcohol in Colorado – beer, wine, cider or distilled spirits – you will need to apply for a Colorado manufacturer’s license.  You can expect the application process for a Colorado manufacturer’s license to take about 3-4 months.  Keep in mind that to manufacture alcohol in Colorado, you will also need a Federal permit from the TTB – this process also takes 3-4 months and can be done concurrently.  For example, starting a Colorado brewery can take about up to 6 months due to Federal / TTB Brewer’s Notice processing times, and 3-4 months for the Colorado Liquor License – so, about 4-6 months total.

Classes of Colorado Liquor Licenses

  • Art gallery permit
  • Arts license
  • Bed and breakfast permit
  • Beer and wine license
  • Brew pub license
  • Club license
  • Distillery pub license
  • Hotel and restaurant license
  • Importer’s license
  • Limited winery license
  • Liquor–licensed drugstore license
  • Liquor–licensed drugstore manager’s permit
  • Lodging and entertainment license
  • Manufacturer’s license
  • Nonresident manufacturers and importers of malt liquor
  • Optional premises license
  • Public transportation system license
  • Racetrack license
  • Removal of vinous liquor from licensed premises
  • Retail gaming tavern license
  • Retail liquor store license
  • Tavern license
  • Vintner’s restaurant license
  • Wholesaler’s license
  • Wine festival permit
  • Wine packaging permit
  • 3.2% Beer License

As with any business, it is important to plan ahead.  Advance planning is especially important when your business will be selling or manufacturing alcohol.  When planning to start a business that will require a Colorado liquor license, we recommend at least six months advance planning prior to opening.

Colorado Liquor License Lawyers of LaszloLaw

Our Colorado Liquor License lawyers are ready to assist in obtaining a Colorado Liquor License.  Whether you need to transfer, modify, or obtain a new liquor license, our Colorado beverage attorneys will start by addressing your needs and continue to provide guidance along the way.  Your goals and bottom line are our priority. Contact the Colorado liquor license lawyers at LaszloLaw today to discuss your Colorado liquor license needs.