What is a Special Event Liquor Permit?
A Special Event Liquor Permit allows the sale, by the drink only, of malt, spirituous, or vinous liquors/beverages for on-premise consumption only.
Do I need this permit for my event?
A Special Event Liquor Permit is required if alcohol is to be stored, sold, or consumed on premises not already licensed, under local and state authority, for the sale, service, or consumption of alcohol beverages.
Who qualifies for this permit?
A Special Event Liquor Permit may be issued to an organization which has been incorporated under the laws of the state of Colorado for purposes of a social, fraternal, patriotic, political, or athletic nature, and not for pecuniary gain (nonprofit); OR, which is a regularly chartered branch, lodge, or chapter of a national organization or society organized for such purposes and being nonprofit in nature; OR which is a regularly established religious or philanthropic institution; OR to any political candidate who has filed the necessary reports and statements with the Colorado Secretary of State.
How many events dates may be included on one application?
The Special Event Liquor Permit may include up to 15 event dates in one calendar year. All events included on one application must be in the same location and must use the same diagrams.
What about private parties such as block parties, weddings, graduation parties, etc.?
Private parties are just that ... private. The liquor code only specifies how alcohol beverages may be sold or served to the public; therefore there is no statutory reference for a private party.
So what is a private party? Think of a dinner party in your home. You decide whom to invite for a specified event and you provide food and alcohol at no charge. A large event may be a private party, but it will still have the same components as a party in your home.
Consider the following when deciding if your event will be a private party:
- Is the event open to the public? The answer must be no. An event is clearly public if it is advertised in any public venue, such as newspaper, radio, television, social media or flyers/posters in public places. It also qualifies as public if a person not on the original guest list can acquire an invitation through purchase of a membership, ticket or any other item that gains them admission to the event.
- Your guest list must contain names of specific individuals and be limited in number. While this number may be large, you as a host are still required to know the names on the list and to ensure that only those invited attend the event.
- If a person who is not on the invited guest list contacts you and asks to be invited and you agree, or they show up and are allowed access, then the event has just become open to the public.
- Your invitations may be directed to a particular individual only, an individual plus a guest, or an individual plus specified guests. An example would be a company holiday party, where employees and their families are invited. You as a host have an expectation of how many guests an employee may bring.
- You may not charge for alcohol in any way. This includes accepting donations, charging for admission, or a cash bar.
Alcohol beverages may be served (not sold) at PRIVATE, INVITATION-ONLY (persons personally known to the host/hostess) parties that are NOT advertised and are not open to the public.
If a business does not have a liquor license or a Special Event Liquor Permit (nonprofit, political candidate, or club such as Elks), they may not serve complementary spirits, wine or malt liquor to customers, either during business hours or after closing. This also applies to grand openings and holiday parties/picnics.
Applications for a Special Event Liquor Permit shall be made no sooner than (90) days and no later than thirty (30) days prior to the date of event. Permit applications are paperless, submitted online, using the link below. The online application form shall be verified by oath or affirmation of an officer of the organization or the political candidate making the application. The clerk's office will take no action until the application is complete to the satisfaction of the office.
The following supporting documents must be attached and uploaded with the online application for a permit to be issued. These documents are required by the State of Colorado for liquor permits.
- Diagram of the area to be licensed, not larger than 8-1/2" x 11", reflecting bars, walls, partitions, ingress, egress and dimensions. If the event is to be held outside, indicate evidence of intended control, i.e., fencing, ropes, barriers, etc.
- Copy of deed or lease for premises; OR
- Written permission from the owner for use of the premises;
- If event will take place in a city-owned park, submit your Park Permit issued by South Suburban Parks & Recreation when you complete their Special Event Request Form.
- Certificate of good corporate standing (for nonprofits) issued by secretary of state within last two years; OR
- If not incorporated, a nonprofit charter; OR
- If a political candidate, attach copies of reports and statements that were filed with the secretary of state.
Are your documents already on file with the Littleton City Clerk's Office?
If you have been granted a Special Event Liquor Permit for a similar event at the same location in the past 24 months, the required documents may already be on file with the Littleton City Clerk and do not need to be submitted again. However, if it is found that previously-submitted documents are incorrect or out-of-date, new documents will be required before application can be processed, which may delay the permit.
The Special Event Liquor Permit fee is $100 per application. One application may include up to 15 event dates in one calendar year. All events included on one application must be in the same location and must use the same diagrams (see Document Checklist above).
The fee is payable to City of Littleton with a debit or credit card at the time of application; OR a check, in person or by mail, after application has been submitted. Secure payment by debit or credit card is made through PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account pay with a debit or credit card.
The city clerk's office cannot take credit card payments in person, and will not begin processing the application until payment is received. All mailed or in-person payments must be submitted directly to the Littleton City Clerk, 2255 W. Berry Avenue, Littleton, CO 80120. Submitting payment to any other city department may cause delays.
Review of application form and documents
The Littleton City Clerk’s Office will review the application form and accompanying documents for accuracy and completeness. Failure to correct identified problems with the application will result in a delay in processing the desired permit. In reviewing an application, the office shall apply the same standards for approval and denial applicable to the state licensing authority.
Pursuant to Colorado Liquor Code 12-48-106(2), public notice of the proposed permit and of the procedure for protesting issuance of the permit shall be conspicuously posted at the proposed location for at least ten (10) days before approval of the permit by the local authority, i.e. City of Littleton.
If an event is cancelled, the application fees and the day(s) are forfeited.
If you have questions about the Special Event Liquor Permit, contact the Littleton City Clerk’s office at 303-795-3780 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
C.R.S. § 12-48-102 (2016)
(1) A Special Event Liquor Permit issued under this article may be issued to an organization, whether or not presently licensed under articles 46 and 47 of this title, which has been incorporated under the laws of this state for purposes of a social, fraternal, patriotic, political, or athletic nature, and not for pecuniary gain, or which is a regularly chartered branch, lodge, or chapter of a national organization or society organized for such purposes and being nonprofit in nature, or which is a regularly established religious or philanthropic institution, or which is a state institution of higher education, and to any political candidate who has filed the necessary reports and statements with the secretary of state pursuant to article 45 of title 1, C.R.S. For purposes of this article, a state institution of higher education includes each principal campus of a state system of higher education.
(2) A Special Event Liquor Permit may be issued to any municipality owning arts facilities at which productions or performances of an artistic or cultural nature are presented for use at such facilities, subject to the provisions of this article.