Retail food - licensing



CDPHE only licenses and inspects restaurants, mobile food units and grocery/convenience stores in the following counties:
  • Clear Creek
  • Dolores
  • Moffat
  • Ouray
  • Park
  • Pitkin (except the City of Aspen)
  • Rio Blanco
  • San Juan
If you want to operate in a county other than those listed above, contact the local public health agency for your area.


Steps to get a license

1. Determine if you're a fixed location or a mobile unit, and if you will be operating in a county we directly inspect and license, then submit the appropriate plan review packet to us and include the $100 fee. Make check payable to CDPHE.


A complete plan review packet includes the following information:
  • Menu and food handling procedures.
  • Facility floor plan and equipment layout.
  • Equipment list by manufacturer and model number. Equipment designated for home use isn't acceptable.
  • Manufacturer's specification sheets for all equipment.
  • Mechanical diagrams, including plumbing, lighting, electrical, and kitchen and restroom ventilation.
  • Interior finish schedule. May include samples of materials, finishes and colors.

Submit all documents to one of the following:


Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Attn: Plan Reviews
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, DEHS A2
Denver, CO 80246
2. Submission of plans requires a $100.00 application fee. Upon receiving your application, an invoice will be generated for payment of the application fee.
3. The department will respond to your plans within 14 days of receipt. Submittal of incomplete/incorrect plans or non-payment of the application fee may delay final approval.
4. When your plans are approved, we will send you an invoice for the cost of the review (not to exceed $580) and license fee. If a license application was not received with your original plan submission, we will provide you a license application and your plan review approval letter.

5. Get a Colorado Sales Tax License from the Department of Revenue. It is required for all retail food establishments.

6. Pay all outstanding invoices.

Received an invoice? Pay it online.

Click on Sign Up first to create an account. You will need your invoice number, starting with EHS.

7. We will issue your permit to operate.  
You can begin construction or operation when you receive your plan approval letter.