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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.

 

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