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Doing Business In Boulder

by admin on February 19, 2015

in Uncategorized

Boulder is a great city for starting a business. Each year, Boulder wins numerous awards and accmmodations (see the full list here). In 2014 alone, it was named in the Top Ten Best Places to Open a Small Business by Talent Tribune, and the #1 Mid-Sized City for Jobs by Forbes.

If you want to open a business in Boulder, you’ll need to first form your business entity with the Secretary of State’s office. Once your business is officially created, you’re ready to apply for the proper licenses with the City of Boulder.


You can fill out a City of Boulder Business License Application and turn it in to the Boulder Finance Department.

For a Sales and Use Tax License, you’ll pay $25. This applies to businesses in the following sectors: Retail, Restaurant, Wholesale, Contractor, Service and Manufacturing.

If your business sells tickets to customers so that they can attend an event (including nightclubs), there is an Admissions License ($25). If you are operating a business in which transient visitors pay to stay overnight—such as a hotel or a bed and breakfast—you will need an Accommodation License ($25).

Return license application to:

City of Boulder Finance Department
Tax and License Office
PO Box 791
1777 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80302

Boulder Business Taxes

Businesses in Boulder must pay an array of various taxes, depending upon the business. The following taxes are updated for 2015.

City County State RTD Total
Sales 3.86% .985% 2.90% 1.10% 8.845%
Use 3.86% 0 2.90% 1.10% 7.86%
Construction 3.86% .985% 2.90% 1.10% 8.845%
Food Service 4.01% .985% 2.90% 1.10% 8.995%
Accommodation 7.50% .985% 2.90% 1.10% 12.485%
Admissions 5.00% 0 0 0 5.00%

The City of Boulder is considered “home rule,” which means that they collect their own taxes. You must pay city taxes to the Boulder Finance Department.

County, State, and Regional Transportation District (RTD) taxes are paid to the State of Colorado Department of Revenue. The Dept of Revenue encourages businesses to pay their taxes online.

Here is the 2015 City of Boulder Sales/Use Tax Return Form.

When to File City Taxes

If you owe an average of $300 or more per month, you should file every month.

If you owe between $15 and $300 per month on average, you should file quarterly.

If you owe less than $15 per month on average, you should file annually.

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