Whether you run a restaurant, an entertainment venue or a retail store, the sale of beer, wine and liquor can drastically improve your profit margin. Customers will spend a lot of money on alcohol, and customers consuming alcohol may spend more on other items as well, such as food on the menu at a restaurant or bar.
In order to protect the public from a surplus of alcohol vendors and aggressive competition, Colorado carefully regulates the sale and dispensation of alcohol. If you want to sell alcohol for consumption by patrons at a restaurant or venue or want to sell bottled alcohol and liquor to customers in a retail side, you will need to obtain a Colorado liquor license.
Unlike some kinds of business licensing, liquor licensing is often difficult to obtain. Working with an experienced business law attorney can give you an edge in the competitive liquor licensing process for your Colorado business.
You need to get local approval before your state license
One of the biggest concerns with the sale of alcohol is whether the business in question could prove problematic for the local community. For example, restaurants with lax attitudes toward checking the age of its customers could be particularly problematic close to densely populated neighborhoods or within walking distance of schools.
There are also logical concerns on the impact a business will have on local services and infrastructure. Entertainment venues that want to sell alcohol may increase the need for security and support staff at their location, which local governments and police officers may not be able to provide. Businesses of all kinds need accessible parking. High-traffic stores can create a headache for neighbors without proper planning.
By requiring that local authorities sign off on the first stage of the licensing process, the state of Colorado helps avoid issues where the state government approves a license that later becomes problematic for local officials. You need to be ready to plead your case to local government members and to demonstrate that your business will be an asset to the community, not a potential problem.
The application process itself can become complicated quickly
From adequate liability insurance to proper staff training, there are many concerns that will impact your ability to secure and maintain a liquor license in Colorado. Some of the necessary infrastructure or business investment must be demonstrated within your application.
Putting together a clear and straightforward request for a liquor license can often be difficult for the average business person who does not have experience in this area. Partnering with an attorney can improve your chances of navigating the application process and also when planning future changes or expansions to your business' services or goods.