Starting a Business in Boulder
In this section...
City of Boulder
Business / Sales & Use Tax Licensing: The City of Boulder requires that anyone operating a business in Boulder be licensed. The license is called a Sales and Use Tax License, and a tax return must be filed each year, even with no sales tax revenue. The City’s Tax and Licensing division manages business licensing, sales tax, use and other tax filings, construction use tax reconciliation returns and various tax auditing functions.
Regulatory Licenses: The Regulatory Licenses section manages licensing for the following: auctions, dog tags, circus and carnivals, itinerant merchant for door to door sales, liquor, medical marijuana businesses, Business / Sales & Use Tax Licensing recreational marijuana businesses, mobile food vehicles, second hand dealer/pawnbrokers, and special event liquor permits for non-profits.
Planning and Development Services
Planning and Development Services coordinates all of the development-related functions for the City of Boulder. The department works to ensure the successful implementation of the City of Boulder’s planning and development regulations. Please see the 2021 Schedule of Fees through the City of Boulder for building permits fees, inspection fees, taxes, utility fees, impact fees, contractor license fees, development fees, application fees, etc.
Boulder County has information on property taxes, codes, licenses and energy efficiency programs. Restaurant and Food Vendors that handle and serve food must get a restaurant and vendor license through Boulder County Public Health.
State of Colorado
Businesses operating in Colorado will work with the various state agencies to meet all the requirements for doing business in the state, including:
- MyBizColorado, a single path to interact with multiple state agencies, cutting red tape and expediting the process to start a new business.
- Registering Trade Name: A business (other than a nonprofit entity) or an individual transacting business in the state of Colorado under a name other than the person’s true name is required to file a trade name with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
- Colorado Business Express: An online registration site that allows you to register a business with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment in order to establish a Colorado Unemployment Insurance Employer Account and with the Colorado Department of Revenue for wage withholding account and sales tax account. Site is only for businesses that have not registered for these accounts.
- Sales Tax: A sales tax license is proof that a business is registered with the Colorado Department of Revenue. If your business will be selling, renting or leasing tangible personal property, you must get a license. Businesses will also file sales tax returns and monitor accounts through the Revenue Online portal at the Colorado Department of Revenue.
- Professional and Business Licensing: Certain occupations require a license, examination and/or approval from the appropriate state agency before you may open for business. Check out the licensed professions and businesses through the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA).
Trademarks and Patents
To protect intellectual property, businesses may register a trademark or file for a patent. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office now has a satellite office in Denver, where companies may:
Trademarks may also be registered through the Colorado Secretary of State if your trademark is used only in Colorado. Registering in Colorado does not protect it against a federal trademark or copyright.