- New Licenses & Transfers
- Renew License
- Modify License
- Additional Permits
- Important Information and Links
Applying for a New License
Applications for new liquor licenses must be submitted to the City Clerk at least thirty (30) days before a public hearing can be held with the Local Licensing Authority (LLA). The LLA meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 9:00am in City Council Chambers. In addition to this timeframe the State usually takes between sixty (60) and ninety (90) days to process new license applications. Due to these timeframes, we strongly suggest that new license applications be submitted to the City Clerk well ahead of an expected opening date.
To apply for a new license, an applicant must complete form DR 8404 (PDF) and submit it to the City Clerk along with all relative supporting documents. A checklist of all required documents can be found on the second page of the application. Please note that a few of the supporting documents will vary depending on the type of entity applying. If you have any questions while completing the application or about the required documents, please reach out to the Clerk's office.
In addition to the supporting documents required by the State, most new license applications must establish the needs and desires of the neighborhood by submitting a Local License Petition (PDF) to the Clerk's office containing at least 25 signatures in support of the new license.
New License Fees
There are both State and local fees associated with a new license application. These include a license fee, which is based on the type of license being applied for as well as an application fee. The State fees can be found on the first page of the application, while the local license fees can be found on the City of Aspen's liquor license fee schedule (PDF). Please note that the State has two new application fees based on the type of review. The application fee labeled "with concurrent review" allows the City Clerk to submit the application to the State before the Local Licensing Authority's hearing has taken place. This can slightly speed up the overall review process.
Transfers of Ownership
Applications to transfer an existing liquor license to a new entity must be submitted to the City Clerk at least thirty (30) days before a public hearing can be held with the Local Licensing Authority (LLA). The LLA meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 9:00am in City Council Chambers. In addition to this timeframe the State usually takes between sixty (60) and ninety (90) days to process license transfer applications.
The process to transfer an existing license is very similar to applying for a new license. To apply, the transferee must complete form DR 8404 (PDF) and submit it to the City Clerk along with all relative supporting documents. Please refer to the above section on new license applications for more information on these supporting documents and the related fees. Please note that applicants for a license transfer are not required to submit the Local License Petition.
Once an application to transfer an existing license has been submitted to the City Clerk, the transferee may apply for a temporary permit in order to continue service under the existing license type while the transfer application is being processed by the local and State authorities. The initial temporary permit is valid for one hundred and twenty (120) days, but can be extended another sixty (60) days under certain circumstances. There is a $100 fee, payable to the City of Aspen, for a temporary permit.
Liquor License Renewal
Once your State and Local liquor licenses have been approved and issued, you will be responsible for renewing them on an annual basis. Renewals are processed administratively prior to the expiration date of the license.
Renewal Application Process
The State will send your renewal application (DR 8400) approximately 90 days before the expiration date to the mailing address they have on file for your license. This application will be partially filled out with the licensee's information. A fully completed renewal application must be submitted to the City Clerk no later than 30 days before the expiration date. The City Clerk will then review the renewal application before sending it to the State for their review.
For all renewal applications submitted before the expiration date, the State shall extend the license expiration date until they have completed their review and approved the renewal.
License Renewal Fees
There are both State and local renewal fees associated with the annual renewal of your license. These fees are based on your license type and must be submitted to the City Clerk along with the completed renewal application.
The total State renewal fee will be noted in the top right hand corner of your renewal application. This will include the license renewal fee and a renewal application fee. Please note that the State recently increased their renewal application fee from $50 to $125 and will further increase it to $250, effective July 1st, 2024. The State renewal fee can be paid by either submitting a check, made out to the Colorado Department of Revenue, with your completed renewal application or through their online payment portal. If you pay the State renewal fee though their online portal, please include the payment receipt you receive with your completed renewal application.
The City of Aspen renewal fee can be found by referencing the City of Aspen Liquor License Fees (PDF). At the moment, the City of Aspen renewal fee can only be paid by submitting a check, made out to the City of Aspen, with your renewal application or by credit card over the phone.
Liquor License Modification
In the course of business there may be situations that require a modification of your existing liquor license. There are a wide variety of these situations and the most common ones are listed below.
Changes to Corporation, LLC or Partnership
Per Colorado Liquor Regulation 47-304,
- any transfer of capital stock or any change in principal officers or directors of any corporation,
- any transfer of membership interest or any change in managers of any limited liability company or
- any transfer of partnership interest or any change in general or managing partners of any partnership,
- shall be reported to the State and Local Licensing Authority within 30 days after such change. Changes should be reported by submitting form DR 8177 (PDF) to the City Clerk along with all related supporting documents.
Change of Reported Manager
Per Colorado Liquor Code 44-3-301(8), licensees that hold an on-premise license, "shall manage the premises or employ a separate and distinct manager on the premises and shall report the name of the manager to the state and local licensing authorities. The licensee shall report any change in managers to the state and local licensing authorities within thirty (30) days after the change."
A manager is usually reported on the initial license application and any change should be reported by submitting form DR 8442 (PDF) to the City Clerk. Changes to the reported manager for a Hotel & Restaurant, Tavern or Lodging & Entertainment license are subject to a $30 fee, payable to the CO Department of Revenue. There is no fee associated with other license types.
Change of Trade Name or Corporate Name
Per Colorado Regulation 47-306, "No licensee shall use a new business name or trade name without submitting written notice to the local and state licensing authorities, not less than ten (10) days prior to the use of a new business name or trade name. Exterior signage or advertising of the business name or trade name...must accurately reflect the current business name or trade name on file."
To change the Trade Name or Corporate Name associated with a license, the licensee must complete form DR 8442 (PDF) and submit to the City Clerk. There is a $50 fee, payable to the CO Department of Revenue, that needs to be submitted along with the completed form.
Change or Modification of Licensed Premises
Per Colorado Regulation 47-302, "after issuance of a license, the licensee shall make no physical change, alteration or modification of the licensed premises that materially or substantially alters the licensed premises or the usage of the licensed premises from the latest approved plans and specifications on file with the state and local licensing authorities, without application to, and the approval of, the respective licensing authorities." For a list of the different situations that require a modification, please reference CO Liquor Regulation 47-302.
To change or modify the current licensed premises, a licensee must complete form DR8442 (PDF) and submit to the City Clerk. Along with this form, the licensee must submit a diagram of the current licensed premises and a separate diagram of the proposed changes as well as any existing lease that is revised due to the modification. Keep in mind that modifications can be either temporary or permanent. If temporary, the start and end dates of the modification must be noted on the form.
There is a $300 fee, payable to the CO Department of Revenue, for any temporary modification and a $150 fee for any permanent modification.
Change of Location
During the course of business a situation may arise in which a licensee decides to change the location of their business. To change the location of an existing liquor license to a new premises, within the same jurisdiction, the licensee must complete form DR 8442 (PDF) and submit to the City Clerk. As with new license applications, an application to change location must be reviewed and approved by the Local Licensing Authority (LLA). A such, the application must be submitted to the City Clerk at least thirty (30) days before a public hearing can be held with the LLA. Since the LLA only meets on the first Tuesday of each month, it is highly recommended to coordinate with the Clerk's office well in advance of a change of location.
Depending on the proposed new location of the license, the applicant may need to establish the needs and desires of the neighborhood by submitting a Local License Petition (PDF) to the City Clerk containing at least 25 signatures in support of the new license.
Along with a completed DR 8442 form, the licensee must also submit a copy of the deed or lease that establishes possession of the new premises by the licensee as well as a detailed diagram of the premises showing where the alcohol beverages will be stored, served, possessed or consumed.
The State fee for a change of location is $150, payable to the CO Department of Revenue. There is also a local fee of $750, payable to the City of Aspen.
Special Event Permits
The City Clerk may issue a Special Event Permit to a non-profit organization for the service of alcohol at an event. The non-profit applying for this type of permit must be a qualifying organization per C.R.S 44-5-102. Special Event Permits can be issued to a qualifying organization for no more than fifteen (15) days in any calendar year.
To apply for a Special Event Permit, the applicant must complete form DR 8439 (PDF) and submit it to the City Clerk at least thirty (30) days prior to the event along with the supporting documents listed on the second page of the application. Public notice of the event, which will be provided by the City Clerk, must be posted at the event location at least ten (10) days prior to the event.
Retail Establishment Permit
The State recently amended the previously known Art Gallery Permit to include certain retail establishments. This Permit allows the establishment to serve complimentary alcoholic beverages for up to four (4) hours in any given day for no more than twenty four (24) days in a calendar year. There are a number of other qualifying requirements and regulations related to the this permit. Please reach out to the Clerk's office for more information.
To apply for this permit, an applicant must complete form DR8459 (PDF) and submit to the City Clerk at least fifteen (15) days before the first proposed event date. The original application does not need to include all potential event dates, but the addition of any new dates or changes to previously approved dates must also be submitted to the City Clerk at least fifteen (15) days ahead of time.
Takeout & Delivery Permit
Most on-premise liquor licenses are allowed to apply for a Takeout & Delivery Permit. This is a State approved license that can be applied for directly though them. At the moment there is no local Takeout & Delivery Permit. The Permit allows for an on-premise licensee to offer alcoholic beverages, by the drink, as part of a takeout or delivery order. The alcoholic beverages must be in a sealed container that complies with the rules of the State licensing authority. There are also specific volume limits for each type of alcoholic beverage, per order. For more information, please reference CO Liquor Code 44-3-911 or reach out the the City Clerk.
To apply for this Permit, a licensee must complete form DR 8496 (PDF) and submit it directly to the State. Submission instructions are on the bottom of the application.
When applying for an new license, transferring an existing license or reporting changes to a licensed entity, certain members of the entity may need to complete an Individual History Record and submit fingerprints for a background check. To submit fingerprints, please visit IdentoGO to schedule an appointment. The Service Code code is 25YQ6K and the City Code for Aspen is CONCJ6199.
Per section 5.08.080 of the Municipal Code, the City of Aspen requires alcohol awareness training for the manager and 75% of staff serving alcohol for all liquor licensed establishments. This training is valid for three (3) years.