The City Clerk's Office handles the following licenses for the City of Durango:
Twofold Application Process
Liquor licensing requires twofold approval, which is initiated at the local level and is submitted for state review and approval once the Durango Local Licensing Authority has granted approval.
Two tests must be met to qualify as the holder of a liquor license:
- First is the good moral character of the applicant, which is proven through fingerprinting and background investigations conducted at the local, state, and federal levels.
- The second is the needs and desires of the designated neighborhood, which is proven by the circulation of petitions prepared by the clerk's staff.
Forms & Fees
Local and state application forms are available in the Clerk's Office. It takes approximately 120 days to complete the application process.
Fees vary depending on the class of license sought. Liquor licenses are issued for a 12-month period beginning on the day of issuance of the state license.
Contact the City Clerk's Office at (970) 375-5010 for additional information.
Marijuana business licensing requires both City and State approval, which is initiated at the local level by first obtaining a Limited Use Permit (PDF) (LUP) from the City of Durango Community Development Department, 1235 Camino del Rio, Durango, CO 81301, phone (970) 375-4850.
Steps for obtaining an LUP:
1) Schedule a pre-application meeting with Community Development staff.
2) Go through the LUP process and receive a Limited Use Permit from the Community Development Department for the proposed location.
Once you have received the LUP, proceed through these additional marijuana licensing application steps:
3) Apply for and complete the State of Colorado Marijuana licensing application process.
4) Apply for and complete the City of Durango Marijuana licensing application process. Incomplete applications will not be accepted in the City Clerk's Office.
5) Appear at a scheduled hearing before the Durango Local Licensing Authority.
Land Use & Development Marijuana Business Guidebook (Limited Use Permit) (PDF)
Retail Marijuana Ordinance O-2014-32 (PDF)
Medical Marijuana Ordinance O-2014-36 (PDF) (excludes MU-N)
Medical Marijuana Ordinance O-2014-27 (PDF)
Durango Local Licensing Authority Ordinance O-2014-28 (PDF)
Marijuana Fees Resolution R-2014-24 (PDF)
For Further Information
Contact the Durango City Clerk's Office at (970) 375-5010 for additional information.
Colorado Department of Revenue Marijuana Enforcement Division website
Sales Tax Licensing
The City of Durango collects 3.5% in city sales tax. Both a city and a state sales tax license are required to sell retail merchandise anywhere within the city limits. City sales tax licensing is administered by the City Clerk's Office. Sales tax licenses must be renewed annually to remain active.
A Durango sales tax license is required for any business involved in selling, leasing, storing, use, consumption, and/or delivery within the City of Durango, including:
Every vendor (such as hotels, motels, inns, VRBOs, and Airbnb ) engaged in the business of providing temporary lodging must obtain a lodger's tax license and remit lodger's tax to the city. The current tax rate (in addition to the 3% sales tax) is 2%. As with the sales tax license, city and state licensing is needed for a lodgers' tax.
State Sales Tax License
The Colorado Department of Revenue collects state and county taxes. For state applications and general information regarding conducting business in the State of Colorado, see the Colorado Secretary of State Business Center or phone (303) 894-2200 and press 2.
How to Apply for a Special Events Liquor License
If you wish to apply for a special events liquor permit, please complete the City's Special Event Permit application form (PDF) and contact the City Clerk's Office at (970) 375-5010 for any necessary further assistance. The State of Colorado is involved in this process; read the State's special events permit PDF for more information.
Notes re: related types of permits:
- A Special Activities Permit is a different type of permit; click on this link re: applying for that.
- If you are wanting to apply for a permit to close a street for a special event, please contact Parks and Recreation community events at (970) 375-7325.
Special Event Resources
Business / sales tax licenses expire on December 31 of each year, and must be renewed by January 31 to avoid a late fee. Liquor licenses expire a year after the date they were issued. Medical marijuana renewals must be completed and submitted by December 1 of each year.
Posting & Exhibiting
The current license must be posted in a conspicuous place at the business location for the full term of the license.
Lists of current business licenses issued by the City of Durango
The City Clerk's Office produces two lists every four months, listing (as of the date of the report) current licenses held by businesses inside the city limits, and (in a separate list) held by businesses outside Durango that do business within the City. The lists are not exhaustive, due to the dynamic nature of the licensing, but can be useful for searching businesses licensed by the City.
Business & Sales Tax License Fees
Every business applicant pays the city a $30 application fee. This also applies to an existing business which changes its location within the city limits; the application fee is waived if the move is within the same building. The Planning and Fire departments may charge additional fees for their required inspections and reviews pertaining to city code and zoning.
The amount of the business license fee is based on the number of employees, whether full- or part-time. The number of employees is determined by the monthly average of employees during the preceding year. The license fee for a new business shall be based on the estimated monthly average number of employees for the next ensuing 12 months.
License Fee Schedule
|Number of Employees
|5 or fewer
|6 to 10
|11 to 20
|21 or more
Additional License Information & Fees
- Event Business License Fee: $25 for 0-15 events and $50 for over 15 events.
- Lodger's Tax License: The city charges a one-time processing fee of $25 on applications in this category.
- Nonprofit Organizations: No license fee - just the application fee and whatever fee the Planning and/or Fire departments charge for review and inspection.
- Sales / Use Tax Only License: $25 - this category is for businesses located outside Durango, that only deliver into the city using a common carrier.
Specialty licenses may have additional licensing fees. These relate to:
- Carnival and circuses
- Cross connection control technicians
- Merchant patrol / private investigators
- Pawnbrokers / second hand goods dealers
- River rafting companies
- Tree trimmers
Business and sales tax licenses expiring on December 31 must be renewed and fees paid annually by January 31. The city assesses a $30 late fee on renewals completed after January 31. Licenses not renewed by March 1 will be cancelled.
All activities engaged in or caused to be engaged in with the object of gain, benefit, or advantage, direct or indirect.
Engaged in Business
Performing or providing services or selling, leasing, renting, delivering, or installing tangible personal property for storage, use, or consumption. Engaged in business in the city includes, but is not limited to, any of the following activities by a person:
- Directly, indirectly, or by a subsidiary maintains a building, store, office, sales room, warehouse, or other place of business with the jurisdiction
- Sends one or more employees, agents, or commissioned sales persons into the jurisdiction to solicit business or to install, assemble, repair, service, or assist in the use of its products or for demonstration or other reasons
- Maintains one or more employees, agents, or commissioned sales persons on duty at a location within the jurisdiction
- Make more than one delivery into the jurisdiction within a 12-month period
Persons working within the city for remuneration under the control and direction of an employer.
A vendor operating within the city limits at authorized events. An event per day activity. For example, the Farmers' Market would consist of 24 to 48 events (six months times one or two days per week).
Any activity conducted for financial gain as an accessory use, in a residential structure inside City limits, that is secondary to the principal residential use.
A corporation in which no part of the income or profit is distributable to its members, directors, or officers. The corporation may be organized for any lawful purpose, including, without being limited to, any one or more of the following purposes:
- Animal husbandry
- Commercial association
- Industrial association
- Professional association
- Trade association
For additional information, please contact City Clerk Faye Harmer by calling (970) 375-5010. For business licensing requirements, please view the business licensing webpage.