Starting a Business in Crested Butte

Crested Butte: A National Historic District

Crested Butte: A National Historic District

View Crested Butte Business Opportunities for Sale

Helpful Information for New Business Owners

To contact any of the Town Departments call 970-349-5338.        

Business License
Businesses operating within the Town of Crested Butte are required to obtain an annual business license. The fee for a business license is $100 per calendar year, due in January.  Fees for lodging establishments, including bed and breakfasts and short term rentals, are $10 per pillow in lieu of the $100 business license fee (do not pay both).  Contact Diane Theaker in the Finance Department for a business license/pillow tax application

If you are operating your business in Crested Butte and Mt. Crested Butte, you will need a business license from each town.  Once a business license is issued in one town, an additional license for the other town may be obtained for an administrative fee of $25.

Sales Tax
Crested Butte collects sales tax at a rate of 4% on all retail sales, certain leases of tangible property and the furnishing of certain services.  To obtain a sales tax license, submit a sales tax license application to Tina Curvin in the Finance Department. 

You can find State of Colorado tax information at or by calling the Colorado Department of Revenue at 303-205-8211.  

Zoning & Changes To The Premises 
If you are starting a new business, be sure to check with the Building Department to ensure proper zoning.  All new restaurants and bars will need to visit the Building Department to check both zoning and building codes.  

If you would like to display a sign for your business, you will need to submit a sign permit application.  You can obtain a sign permit application from the Building Department.  Please note that you must apply for and receive approval of your sign permit application before any new sign can be installed.      

Fire Inspections
Upon change of ownership or use, the Town requires that the premises be inspected by the Crested Butte Fire Protection District (CBFPD) to ensure that all fire suppression and exiting requirements are current.  Please call the CBFPD at 349-5333 to schedule an inspection.

Liquor Licenses
Contact Town Clerk Eileen Hughes for information on liquor licensing.  All establishments selling or serving alcohol are required to have a current liquor license.  In fact, you will not be able to purchase alcohol from a distributor without a current liquor license.  Note that a liquor license for a new establishment could take up to three months to process.  To gain a better understanding of the process for obtaining a liquor license please read the Liquor License Application Procedures document which explains the process for both new and transfer liquor licenses.    

Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
The Town allows a limited number of medical marijuana dispensaries to operate in the “C” Commercial zone.  However, there is currently a moratorium on any new permit applications for medical marijuana dispensaries.  Contact Town Clerk Eileen Hughes for more information.  

Food Service Licenses
All food service establishments need to contact the Environmental Department of the Montrose County Health & Human Service Department for inspection in order to obtain a food service license prior to opening.  You can contact the following individuals at the Montrose County Health & Human Services, Environmental Department for assistance:
Katherine Schriner 970-252-5040
Gina Robins  970-964-2492
Vera Stauffer  970-252-5018
Richard Thompson   970-252-5067

The Town requires a license for food and merchant vendors who wish to operate on either public or private property.  There are 4 food vending licenses available and 2 merchant licenses available.  All vendors are required to have a business license, collect sales tax and comply with all rules and regulations associated with outdoor vending.  Contact the Clerk’s Office for an outdoor vending permit application.  

Farmers Market
The Town allows farmers market vending on the Town right-of-way in front of the Chamber of Commerce parking lot on Elk Avenue.  Only produce and food products may be sold at this location.  Businesses who wish to operate are required to have a business license, collect sales tax, provide the Town with insurance and comply with all rules and regulations associated with the farmers market permit.  Contact the Clerk’s Office for a farmers market permit application.    

Business Resource Links:
Colorado Office of Economic Development

Colorado Small Business Administration

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