It's always important to check with the official city government website for the most up to date information. For the most accurate information it is imperative to contact an official who can explain licensing situations. You can find the Denver Short-Term Rental government site here.
To operate a Short-Term Rental in Denver County, you must be a legal resident of the United States, and the property must be in your primary residence. You will have to apply with an online application to continue with a Short-Term Rental and be able to verify that the rental is insured. A smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher will also need to be available in the unit.
You can find the Short-Term Rental application here.
Another important thing you will need to obtain is your Lodger's Tax ID. A Host will be responsible for collecting the 10.75% Lodger's Tax. Along with this tax ID, you will need a business license and this Business File Number (BFN) will need to be posted in all online listings. Also, you will need to adhere to the Zoning Code Requirements.
Short Term Rental Business License
- Building and Housing Standards
- Check the building and fire code for the city and county of Denver, CO.
- Link - https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denver-developmentservices/contact-us.html
- General Inquiries - 720-865-2705
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- License Requirements - Managed by the city and county
- Short-Term Rental Business License
- 1. Must be your primary residence to be used as a Short-Term Rental (STR)
- Primary Residence - “A residence which is the usual place of return for
housing” and a person can only have one primary residence, per Denver
- IF you are NOT the property owner, you need permission for the property
owner to operate STR.
- Master Lease Agreement with ability to sublease must be in written lease
- If renting for 30+ Days, no license is required. Must be included in any
calendar of any online advertisement.
- 2. IF renting for less than 30 consecutive days, you need a STR license.
- 3. Lodger’s Tax ID from the City of Denver
- Lodger’s Tax ID - https://www.denvergov.org/content/denvergov/en/denverbusiness-licensing-center/business-licenses/short-term-rentals/short-termrental-new.html
- Initial fee of $50. Also need to pay $50 every two years to renew the license.
- 4. Short-Term Rental (STR) Business License
- Initial fee of $25. Annual renewal fee of $25 to keep an active license.
- Documentation that proves the listing is the primary residence
- A valid Colorado drivers license
- A state-issued ID
- Tax documents
- Utility Bills
- Proof of voter registration
- Copy of the lease and documented permission from the owner of the
property if you do not one the property.
“NOTE - Excise and Licenses will strive to review any application for a new short
term rental license within 7 business days. The application review process may
take longer if the application is found to be incomplete or inconsistent. If an
application is incomplete or inconsistent, it can significantly extend the amount of
time it will take to process an application completely.”
The application process for a new short term rental license is as follows:
1. The applicant submits an application online.
2. Excise and Licenses will review the application and supporting documents for
completeness and consistency. If the application is found to be incomplete, an
email will be sent to the applicant allowing 14 days for corrections.
3. If the applicant is found to be eligible for licensing, a copy of the short-term rental
license will be emailed to applicant. Be sure to read and follow all conditions
printed on the license.
4. The licensee should read the section below titled 'Once You Have Your License'
and adhere to each of the requirements of licensure.
Action Items (In executable order)
1. Read the ordinance and rules to ensure this license is right for you.
2. If you are a renter, get a “master lease agreement with the right to sublease for
short term rental” from your landlord to use the property as a short-term rental.
- RLA With Right to Sublease (Attached)
- Possession of Property Certificate (Attached)
3. If you have an HOA, notify your HOA of your intent to use the property as a short-term rental.
4. Verify that your hosting platform (i.e. AirBnB, VRBO, etc.) provides you liability
insurance coverage for at least $1,000,000 - or obtain your own insurance. Airbnb
has $1,000,000 insurance coverage. Coordinate with property management
company about what platforms they will be using and assume proof that we are in
compliance with the insurance minimum.
5. Make sure that the property is equipped with proper smoke detectors, carbon
monoxide detectors, and a fire extinguisher. Confirm with the original owner.
6. Identify a Local Responsible Party aka "General Manager" who will be able to
address issues at the property if you are unavailable.
- STR Brochure Template (Attached)
- Click “Step 1: Apply for a Lodger’s Tax ID”
9. Ensure that you have all the "Required Documents" listed below. All documents
must be uploaded as part of the online application.
• A valid Colorado drivers license
• A state-issued ID
• Tax documents
• Utility Bills
• Proof of voter registration
• Copy of the lease and documented permission from the owner of the
property if you do not one the property. - Possession of Property
Certificate - Attached
- New Account
- Create Username, email, password, security question and answer
- Update contact information
- Log In
- Click “Business Licenses” and accept the terms and conditions.
- Select “Short Term Rental License”
- Proceed with steps 1 through 5
11. Sign the affidavit if STR license is acquired and an affidavit is required.
You are required to list a valid Denver business (STR or Lodging Facility) license
number on any Airbnb listing.
1. How to include your business license number on your listing:
2. Go to Manage Listing > Calendar > Location (under Listing section)
Enter your license number in the License or registration number field
Note: The format for a valid Denver business license is: YYYY-BFN-XXXXXXX (example:
There are a number of operational requirements Denver requires of short-term rental
hosts. Maintain these requirements to make sure your license remains in good
You need to have general liability insurance to receive a Short-Term Rental business
license. Check the Denver Short-Term Rental Licensing page to learn about additional
local insurance requirements.
According to Text Amendment #8: Short-Term Rentals of the Denver Zoning Code,
Short-Term Rentals can’t be used for commercial events. The Denver Zoning Code
also states that only one rental contract is permitted at any time in a short-term rental.
Check the zoning code to learn more.
All short-term rentals must provide a rental packet containing contact information for
the host and a local responsible party, safety information, as well as relevant rules and
restrictions. Denver provides a template for what your rental packet should include.
Denver requires every listing to have an operable smoke detector, carbon monoxide
detector, and fire extinguisher.
Review the Denver General Tax Information Booklet to learn how different taxes apply
to your situation. Airbnb collects and pays the Denver’s Lodger’s Tax on your behalf.
The 10.75% tax applies to the listing price and any cleaning fees within the first 29
nights of any reservation.
The Denver Treasury Division has more detailed information about taxes for short term
Other contracts and rules
As a host, you need to understand and abide by other contracts or rules that bind you,
including leases, co-op rules, HOA rules, or other rules established by tenant
organizations. You should be able to find out more by contacting your housing
authority (such as a community council) or landlord. Your lease (or other contract)
might also have specific details.
Cohost does not provide legal guidance in these posts in our knowledge hub. We do provide support for our Hosts by assisting with these processes and acquiring the correct legal documents for your property.