Now that you have already thought of forming an LLC or incorporating a business in the state of Colorado, it is important to ask: does your establishment require a business license? The state does not have a general business license but some of the cities and counties may require businesses to procure a local general business license in order to conduct business in that region.
It is important to note that a business license in Colorado pertaining to a specific industry is issued or regulated by agencies related to that industry, for example restaurant businesses require “Retail/Food Licenses”, which are regulated by the Department of Public Health & Environment while licenses for gas stations are regulated by the Department of Labor and Employment, Division of Oil and Public Safety.
Types of Business License in Colorado
Where and how do you apply for a business license in Colorado? In order to understand how to apply for a license or permit, you need to understand the types of licenses that are regulated or issued in the state.
License for Regulated Industries
The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) is responsible for regulating various industries, professions and businesses that require licenses or permits. The licenses or permits are issued and renewed by DORA’s Divisions with assistance from various Boards and Commissions. Let’s look at an example to understand this well:
If you are setting up “Wholesale Drug Outlets” in the state then you will require a Colorado company license to conduct business. The issuance authority for the license is DORA Division and State Board of Pharmacy. Your firm or drug store will have to meet statutory requirements for licensure.
The type of pharmacy license you will apply for is dependent on the type of entity. For example “Hospital Satellite Pharmacy (HSP)” License Application will be different from “In-State Manufacturer of Prescription Drugs”.
It is important to note that a pharmacy business license will expire on October 31 of even-numbered years.
Sales and Use Tax License
This is another type of Colorado company license that a business entity based in the state will require.
In the state of Colorado, there are different types of sales tax license and businesses will have to apply for the type of business license that is most applicable to them. In other states, this type of license is also known as a vendor’s license, reseller’s license, or even a resale certificate. This type of license is issued by the Colorado Department of Revenue and is valid for a two-year period. You have to renew this license at the end of each odd-numbered year. Here is a list of some of the most common licenses:
- Standard Retail License: This type of business license is also known as “Sales Tax License”. This license is issued to those businesses that have a retail sales counter or store and it is in a permanent location. Some business entities may be involved in both retail and wholesale sales. In such a scenario, you can use the standard retail license for both instead of applying for separate wholesale licenses.
- Wholesale License: This is a business license in Colorado that is meant for those business entities that are involved in selling to other licensed vendors.
- Special Event License: There are two types of special event license: single and multiple. The single license comes with 2 year validity and is meant for businesses conducting a single event from a temporary location. The multiple licenses are for one or more events and have 2-year validity as well.
Some of the other business license in Colorado that fall under this category includes Exempt Certificate for Non-profit, Charitable, School, Religious or Government Organizations, Exempt License for Contractors, and license for Small Home Businesses.
The fee for the above license vary according to the type of license and according to the location i.e., different for businesses inside Colorado and those outside.
Additional Permits or Licenses
Apart from the above mentioned license types, the state of Colorado also requires businesses to acquire permits or licenses relevant to the nature of specific services. The license fee and conditions related to the issuance of such Colorado company license will vary. This is just like the license fee for Manufacturer/Distributor in the gaming industry which is $3,700 while the license fee for Original Auto Dealer is $ 519. Specific services or businesses that require additional permits and licenses include:
- Beer and Wine Licenses
- Bingo and Raffle Licenses.
- Plumbing Permits
- Auto Industry