Tobacco Products Retailers

License

A retailer who purchases excise-tax paid tobacco products for sale to the end consumer must have a retail sales tax license when purchasing product from a licensed Colorado tobacco wholesaler/distributor or distributing subcontractor and will collect and file the sales tax with the Department of Revenue. The retailer is NOT required to have a tobacco tax license.

If the retailer has a business location (site) in a home-rule city, the retailer is required to contact that city to comply with the city's licensing and tax requirements. See the publication DR 1002 for a list of Colorado home-rule cities.

  • If your business purchases tobacco products from a Colorado licensed tobacco products distributor who already paid the Colorado tobacco products excise tax, then you do not need to apply for a tobacco products distributor license. See Tobacco Products web page for more on the definition of tobacco products.

  • If your business purchases tobacco products from an unlicensed distributor, then you are required to obtain a Colorado tobacco products distributor license, and are responsible for the tobacco products excise tax due. Refer to Licensing Requirements in the Distributors section above for more information on obtaining a tobacco products distributor license.

All retailers selling cigarettes, tobacco products, and nicotine products within Colorado are now required to obtain a Cigarette, Tobacco Product, or Nicotine Product Retailer License through the Liquor and Tobacco Enforcement Division. Apply for the license at SBG.Colorado.gov.

Renewing a License

Along with the renewal form and payment, documents required for license renewal include:

  • Any unfiled MSA documents Licensed Distributor Reporting Form (DR 1285) or Tobacco Distributor's Certificate of Exemption (DR 1286)
  • Any unfiled tax returns
  • Payment of outstanding debt(s) due to the department
  • A valid sales tax license, if tobacco products are sold directly to consumers and/or sold at wholesale to retailers.

Sales Tax

Retailers must charge the state sales tax on all retail sales of tobacco products and file a Colorado sales tax return. All sales of tobacco products are also subject to county, city and special district sales taxes. Review the Sales & Use Tax web pages to learn more.

Retail Cigars, Hookah & Other Tobacco Products

If the store purchases tobacco products, tax-paid, from a Colorado licensed tobacco products distributor, then a Colorado tobacco products license is not necessary. List of Licensed Distributors is updated by the department within seven days of a change to the report.

If the store purchases tobacco products from unlicensed distributors, then a Colorado tobacco products distributor license is required, and it is responsible for the tobacco products excise tax due. Refer to Licensing Requirements in the Distributors section above for more information on obtaining a tobacco products distributor license.

Hookah Bars

If the bar acquires hookah (shisha) from a Colorado licensed tobacco products distributor who has paid the excise tax, a tobacco products distributor license is not needed. List of Licensed Distributors is updated by the department within seven days of a change to the report.

If the bar orders its hookah (shisha) from an out-of-state, unlicensed distributor or manufacturer, then a Colorado tobacco products distributor license is required, and it is responsible for the tobacco products excise tax due. Refer to Licensing Requirements in the Distributors section above for more information on obtaining a tobacco products distributor license.

No Excise Tax to Report

Tobacco products tax returns must be submitted by the due date of the return. A tobacco products tax return not remitted to the Department is subject to a penalty of twenty-five dollars. A zero filing or payment by EFT does not change the requirement that a return must be submitted for each period. Missing tobacco products tax returns may cause delays in the annual renewal of a tobacco license.

Excise Tax Due for Orders Made Over the Internet or by Mail-Order

Complete Tobacco Products Tax Return for Unlicensed Activity (DR 0225) and remit, with payment, within 30 days of receipt of the product.

Signs & Warning Posters

Contact the Department of Revenue Tobacco Enforcement Division, 303-205-2300 for your information packet.

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