Ciancio Ciancio Brown, P.C.
Book Now

Denver (303) 395-4773 Broomfield (303) 872-8919

Breckenridge (970) 285-3077 Toll-Free (800) 746-3560

Denver (303) 395-4773 Toll-Free (800) 746-3560

Leaders in Litigation

What licenses you need to open a restaurant

There are numerous people in Colorado who think it would be fun to open up a restaurant or bar. However, it takes a lot of work and planning to set up the establishment correctly. Failure to obtain the proper permits and licenses may prevent a restaurant's opening and/or result in fines and other penalties. 

According to The Chron, obtaining a business license is often the first order of business for those who want to open a dining establishment. This may include both a state and federal license. If the restaurant is going to serve beer, alcohol or wine, a liquor license is necessary. The specific type of license will vary depending on whether the bar will only serve beer and wine or also liquor. A special license is also necessary for catering gigs or offsite events that serve liquor.

Most restaurants play music over the sound system. Owners need a music license if they play copyrighted songs in any form. This license is not necessary if the music comes from the radio or television, there are six or fewer speakers and the space is smaller than 3,750 square feet.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment outlines some other licenses restaurant owners may need. A new license is necessary every time ownership changes. All owners need a retail food license as well as a sales tax license. A sales tax license for the city and/or county in which the restaurant operates may also be a requirement.   

Other requirements needed to run a restaurant are not necessarily licenses. A federal tax ID number is necessary for tax reasons, and a new buildout or remodel requires permits and plan reviews.


Email us your case details

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Westminster Office
8704 Yates Drive
Westminster, CO 80031

Toll Free: 800-746-3560
Phone: 303-451-0300
Map & Directions

Denver Office
1660 Lincoln Street
Suite 2000
Denver, CO 80264

Toll Free: 800-746-3560
Phone: 303-395-4773
Denver Law Office Map

Breckenridge Office
106 North French Street
Suite 230
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Toll Free: 800-746-3560
Phone: 970-285-3077
Breckenridge Law Office Map

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters.