Retail food: restaurants and grocery stores


The Mission of the Retail Food Program is to provide effective means for the prevention of foodborne illnesses in Colorado. The vision of the program is to promote and protect public health through education and partnerships to advance food safety.

Apply for a retail food license
Restaurants, grocery/convenience stores, catering operations, food trucks and push-carts must have a retail food license.
House Bill 16-1401 simplified and adjusted the fee structure for retail food establishments. For more information, and what to expect, see the memo regarding Increases in Retail Food Establishment license fees. You can also view an unofficial copy of the Food Protection Act.
Remodeling a retail food establishment
Remodeling, increasing seating, and making changes to your menu or equipment may require a plan review.

Changing ownership
Licenses are specific to the owner and location, and are not transferrable.

Get a sales tax license
This will take you to the Colorado Department of Revenue. Sales tax licenses are required to operate a retail food establishment.

Regulations, food safety signs and regulation explanation documents.

Additional licensing may be required.
Depending on the type of business, you may need some or all of the license types below:

Business License
Contact your local city office.

City/County sales tax license
Contact the local city/county taxation office.

Liquor License
Colorado Department of Revenue

Federal tax ID number (TIN, EIN, ITIN, etc.)
Internal Revenue Service or visit your local IRS office.

Building permit

Contact your regional building department.