skip to Main Content

Fort Collins Liquor License

Fort Collins Businesses must have a liquor license before they are allowed to sell or distribute alcoholic beverages.

Fort Collins, Colorado Restaurants, Bars and Liquor Stores all must obtain an Fort Collins Liquor License before they can legally sell alcohol beverages. All retail liquor licenses applications are submitted to the City of Ft. Collins Liquor Licensing Authority (“LLA”) which meets generally every Wednesday at 1:00pm, and then ruled upon by the Chief Judge. Liquor license applicants will be required to appear before the Ft. Collins Liquor License Authority for a liquor license hearing before their liquor license can be issued. The Fort Collins City Clerk’s office processes all types of liquor license transactions and applications.

Colorado liquor laws and rules govern the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Any person intending to manufacture, sell, or deal in spirituous liquor in the State of Colorado must apply for a Colorado liquor license.  If you intend to only manufacture alcohol beverages, e.g., a distillery, brewery or winery, you will apply directly to the State of Colorado – NOT the city of Ft. Collins.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Obtain an Fort Collins Liquor License?

No, but it is recommended as the liquor license hearing is a quasi-judicial proceeding, and if your liquor license application is denied, you have a right to appeal.  The liquor license appeal will be based on the record created before the Ft. Collins Liquor Licensing Authority, so if you do not create a proper record, a successful appeal of the license denial will be significantly more difficult to achieve.

Before applying for a liquor license, applicants must review and be familiar with the Colorado Liquor Code and Colorado Liquor Rules and other laws that pertain to liquor licenses and procedures.  an applicant/licensee must also review state statutes, rules and regulations, and local ordinances applicable to their circumstance. While extremely helpful through the process, the Ft. Collins City Clerk cannot answer questions regarding how the rules, statutes, ordinances, and regulations apply to an applicant/licensee’s situation; such questions should be directed to a lawyer.

Also important to consider: LLCs and Corporations may not appear “pro se” in Colorado Courts, with very limited exceptions.  While many licensing authorities permit LLCs and Corporations to represent themselves at liquor license hearings, a very strong argument can be made that this is improper.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Ft. Collins Liquor License?

The liquor licensing process generally takes three to four months (sometimes longer) to complete.  Getting started as soon as possible before your business plans to open is best.

Process for Obtaining a Fort Collins Liquor License

  1. Have properly formed business entity (Colorado LLC or Corporation, for example).
  2. Have an executed lease (for a period of over one year), or own the property to be licensed.
  3. Choose the proper type of Colorado Liquor License for your establishment.
    • Common Ft. Collins Colorado Liquor License Types Are:
      1. Hotel Restaurant License
      2. Retail Liquor Store License
      3. Tavern License
      4. Brew Pub License
      5. Beer and Wine License
      6. Fermented Malt Beverage and Wine Retailer License
      7. Distillery Pub License
  4. Choose the correct permit application from the State.
  5. Get fingerprinted.
  6. Submit the liquor license application to the City of Fort Collins City Clerk
    • The City of Ft. Collins requires liquor license applications to be submitted electronically, in PDF form.
  7. Pay any liquor license fees associated with the liquor license application.
  8. Post a public notice.
    • A Public Notice must be posted conspicuously at the physical location of the premises no less than 10 days before the public hearing.
  9. Petition the neighborhood.
    • The Ft. Collins Liquor Licensing Authority considers the “need and desires” of the adult inhabitants of the neighborhood as evidenced by documentation from residents and/or businesses in the neighborhood of the address to be licensed.
  10. Attend a liquor license public hearing
  11. Applications that are approved by the Ft. Collins Liquor License Authority are forwarded to the Colorado State Liquor Enforcement Division for final approval and issuance.

Fort Collins Liquor License Renewal

Liquor licenses are valid for a period of one year.  Once the liquor license is obtained, it must be renewed annually.  Ft. Collins liquor license renewal applications must be submitted 45 days prior to license expiration date, while Colorado Special Event liquor permit applications must be submitted 60 days prior to the event. 

Liquor License Violations

All Colorado Liquor Licensees are subject to the laws and rules of Colorado that govern the manufacture, distribution, sale and service of alcohol in the State of Colorado.  The most common liquor license violations we see are for failure to pass a compliance check, for the sale of alcohol to a minor.  Even with the best training, mistakes happen.  The key is to understand who is being cited with the Colorado liquor law violation, why the liquor violations occurred and to know your options.

Fort Collins Liquor License Lawyers

Our Ft. Collins liquor license lawyers are ready to assist in obtaining an Fort Collins Colorado Liquor License and defend your brewery, bar, or restaurant against any Colorado liquor license violations.  Whether you need to transfer, modify, or obtain a new liquor license, our 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 Ft. Collins Colorado liquor license needs.

Work With Us

    Latest News

    Clark Hill Combines With Colorado Firm LaszloLaw in Expansion of National Food, Beverage & Hospitality Practice

    International law firm Clark Hill PLC announced today that it has combined with Boulder, Colorado…

    read more

    Areas of Practice

    Commercial & Business

    Our Boulder-based law firm represents companies and individuals in a wide array of disputes.

    Outside General Counsel

    LaszloLaw routinely serves as outside general counsel for businesses of all sizes throughout the country.

    Liquor Law

    We regularly counsel clients on legal issues arising among the “three tiers” of liquor businesses.

    Civil Litigation

    LaszloLaw practices preventative law to address and resolve issues before headed to litigation.

    Back To Top