Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C.
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How can I apply for a liquor license in Colorado?

Applying for a liquor license in Colorado can be a great way for business owners to expand upon their current enterprises. If you wish to sell adult beverages in your establishment, having a liquor license in place is essential to ensure you remain in full compliance with all pertinent regulations.

The Colorado Department of Revenue outlines the proper steps you must take when applying for a liquor license. Background checks play a significant role in the ultimate approval of your application, but you must first show that a specific neighborhood or locale exhibits a need for a new establishment offering liquor and beer to patrons. This is done on the local government level, which will also be responsible for conducting the above mentioned background check. 

In the event that your establishment is part of a chain seeking licenses for multiple locations, an initial check will be conducted, which will then be applied to all other enterprises. Background checks include a number of considerations, including your past criminal history, which can preclude you from being awarded a liquor license. Your tax history will also be reviewed, as will any violations of the state’s liquor licensing statutes. Because Colorado has a statutory ownership limitation, any ownership interests you have in other establishments holding liquor licenses will be reviewed. 

You should also be aware of important rules and regulations related to liquor licenses in the state. Violations of the liquor code can be both administrative as well as criminal, and violations are typically counted as petty offenses or misdemeanors. However, allowing illegal gambling to occur in a licensed establishment counts as a felony offense under the current law.


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