What Business Licenses & Permits are Needed in Colorado?
Starting a in Colorado will mean potentially registering with a number of federal, state, and local agencies. Let’s take a look at common licenses and permits a will register for in Colorado.
Before applying for any licenses, the of the will need to be established. Learn more about the differences between the , general partnership, corporation, and (LLC)
Related: Comparison of Entities
Also see: Steps to Starting a Business in Colorado
There is no general state of , however, many cities require businesses to be licensed in order to operate. vary depending on location and what the does. Below are a few cities that have .
Denver – The of Denver requires several types of businesses operating in to register, such as auto parts recyclers, caters, ice cream vendors, and many more. Denver licenses can be obtained through the Denver Center.
Colorado Springs – Businesses such as concrete contractors, excavators, pawn brokers, tree services, and others need to obtain a from the .
Aurora – The of Aurora requires any operating within to obtain a . The cost of the is $15 and an initial filing of $26.
Fort Collins – Any operating within needs to obtain a Sales and Use . There is no cost for the Sales and Use . Additionally, bowling alleys, contractors, establishments serving liquor, pawn brokers, and more will need additional .
Lakewood – The of Lakewood requires all businesses operating in to register for a Sales and Use . The cost of a Sales and Use is $15.
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Building & Zoning Permits
Zoning – Depending on the location of the , it’s important to verify whether the needs an occupancy or has specific zoning regulations to follow. Depending on requirements at the or level, home-based businesses may need to apply for a .
– A may be needed from the or building and planning department if there is any construction or renovations to a facility.
Signage – Some municipalities require a before adding signage.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Many businesses will register with the Internal Service (IRS) for an EIN (or FEIN or Federal Employer Identification Number). The EIN is the equivalent for a Social Security Number for an individual. Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Sole Proprietorships with employees will all need to register for one. Sole Proprietorships without employees can use the owner’s Social Security Number.
There is no cost for an EIN, and it only takes a few minutes to get.
Most businesses in Colorado selling a product and some services will need to register for a (sometimes referred to as a reseller’s of ., a vendor’s , or a resale certificate) with the
Businesses purchasing merchandise to resell will usually want to obtain a Colorado Exemption Certificate in order to not pay for merchandise that is being resold to customers.
A variety of professions in the state are regulated and need to be registered before offering certain services. A few common professions that require in Colorado include; cosmetologists, massage therapists, plumbers, and many more. Additional information, fees, and for professions are available from the of .
While most licensing is handled through DORA, a few other types of businesses are licensed by other agencies. A few of these industries include:
Trade Name Registration
While not a , Sole Proprietorships and Partnerships operating under a name that is different from the full name of the owner(s) must file the Statement of Trade Name (also known as a Doing of State. As or DBA) with the
These are some of the most common licenses, but there are far too many licenses and permits for us to keep track of. Before starting your , be sure to check with the MyBiz Colorado Small Navigator, Hall, Clerk, Chamber of Commerce, and/or Economic Developer in your area to get more information regarding .
For some additional peace of mind, companies like IncFile or CorpNet can do the research and ensure you have all of the proper federal, state, and local licenses to start your .