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Health Department

How to Start a Food Business

Douglas County regulates Retail Food Establishments (RFE) by issuing licenses for restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, and mobile units. If you are constructing a new retail food space or remodeling an existing space, complete a plan review packet and schedule an opening inspection. 

Click here to view the fee schedule.

Changing Ownership

Retail Food Establishment licenses are not transferrable. If you purchase a facility that already has a food license, you must get a new license under the new owner’s name before operating. Please contact us at 720-643-2400 to begin the licensure process.  

Inspection Prior to Ownership Change

Schedule an appointment for an Environmental Health Specialist to conduct a site evaluation inspection.

Structural and equipment violations requiring correction to obtain a new license will be identified. This information can inform negotiations for the lease or purchase of the establishment.

All violations must be corrected, fees for the inspection and license must be paid, and a Sales Tax License in the name of the new owner must be obtained from the State of Colorado Department of Revenue. The site evaluation inspection fee is the greater of $75 or the time spent on the inspection billed at $60/hour. 

Inspection Following Ownership Change

Schedule an appointment with an Environmental Health Specialist to conduct a change of ownership inspection. Structural and equipment violations requiring correction to obtain a new license will be identified. All violations must be corrected, fees for the inspection and license must be paid, and a Sales Tax License in the name of the new owner must be obtained from the State of Colorado Department of Revenue. Change of ownership inspection fee is the greater of $75 or the time spent on the inspection billed at $60/hour.