How to Get a Business License in Colorado

Updated on December 20, 2023

Colorado offers a diverse environment for businesses. Understanding the licensing requirements is critical whether you’re starting a sole proprietorship or an LLC. The Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) divisions provide a variety of licenses, registrations, and permits, covering numerous fields.

Steps to Obtain a Business License in Colorado

  1. Determine Your Business Type: DORA typically oversees most business licenses in Colorado. To see if your business needs a license through DORA, view the full list of businesses.
  2. Local Business License Laws: Check with your city or county for any specific licenses needed. This varies across different local governments.
  3. Gather Required Information: Be prepared with your personal details, business information, and supporting documents.
  4. Submit Application and Fee: Applications can typically be submitted online, via mail, or in person. The cost can range from $25 to several hundred dollars.

Starting Your Business

  • Register Your Business: Register with the Colorado Secretary of State.
  • Formation Steps: This includes holding a first meeting of directors/shareholders and possibly filing a trade name.
  • Financial Planning: Create a business plan, establish a bank account, and understand tax implications.
  • Marketing: Develop your marketing and distribution plans.
  • Local Regulations: Check local zoning laws and obtain any special licenses.
  • Insurance: Obtain appropriate insurance coverages for your business.
  • State and Federal Compliance: Ensure compliance with state and federal regulations, including labor laws.
  • General Management: Decide on management structures and verify employee eligibility.

State-Regulated Businesses

If your business is state-regulated, register with the Department of Regulatory Agencies.


Obtaining a business license in Colorado involves several steps, from understanding state and local regulations to submitting the necessary paperwork and fees. By following this guide, you’ll be well on your way to legally operating your business in the state.

Additional Resources

[Note: The information provided is for general guidance and does not constitute legal advice. Always consult with a professional for specific inquiries related to your business.]

Priyank Singh

Priyank Singh, co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at Stilt, specializes in technology-driven financial solutions. He is having experience of starting FinTech Company, understanding regulations and coming up with creative solutions to solve difficult problems.