DOR Taxation web site

Tobacco Distributor

A tobacco products distributor is a person or entity who purchases any tobacco products from an unlicensed tobacco wholesaler or retailer. A person who brings untaxed tobacco products for personal use is considered a tobacco distributor. Untaxed tobacco products are subject to tobacco product excise tax.


A tobacco products distributor's license is required when a wholesaler or retailer:

  • Brings or causes untaxed tobacco products to be brought into Colorado.
  • Makes, manufacturers or fabricates tobacco products for sale in Colorado.
  • Ships or transports tobacco products to retailers in Colorado for resale.

If a wholesaler operates in two or more locations, a license for each location is required.


A tobacco products subcontractor is a person, firm, limited liability company, partnership or corporation who purchases tobacco products from a licensed Colorado tobacco distributor for resale to a retailer in the state.  A tobacco products subcontractor license is required if a wholesaler purchases tax-paid other tobacco products from a licensed Colorado tobacco distributor for resale to a retailer in Colorado.


How to Apply

A current retail or wholesale sales tax license is required before a tobacco distributor license is issued.  If you do not have a Colorado sales tax license, please see our Sales Tax License Web page for information on how to apply.


To become a Colorado tobacco distributor, download, complete and submit a Tobacco Products Distributor Application (DR 0222) along with the license fee and an Authorization for Electronic Funds Transfer (DR 5785). Additionally, depending on your business, an MSA reporting form DR 1285 or DR 1286 is required. For additional information on MSA(Master Settlement Agreement) reporting please see Publication FYI Excise 18, Master Tobacco Settlement Agreement. 


Send all completed applications to:

Colorado Department of Revenue
Excise Tax Accounting Section
Attn:  Tobacco Distributor Licensing
1375 Sherman Street, Room 237
Denver, CO  80261