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New Business Guide

The City of Alamosa welcomes you to our business community

Whether you are expanding an existing business, creating a new one in an existing retail space, or building from the ground up, City staff will be working with you every step of the way. While each situation is unique, we have tried to answer some of the most common questions regarding requirements for starting a business, other related permits and licenses, and different agency responsibilities.

We are opening a new business. How do we make sure we are compliant with City of Alamosa requirements?

While it is the business owner’s responsibility to research applicable regulations and obtain any necessary licenses or permits, staff is here to help.

Please visit Economic Development for more information and support

City Planning and Building staff will help you determine what requirements are needed. Most City requirements are set out in Uniform Development Code and the International Building Code. New construction typically requires more up-front work than does moving into an existing building, however with the changes in regulations through the years, existing buildings may have non-conformities that may need to be addressed in order to lawfully operate.

What is a non-conformity?

A non-conformity is something that was lawfully established under a previous use code but does not meet the current code. It is sometimes referred to as being ‘grandfathered in’. There are many kinds of non-conformities, such as the use, building, signs, parking, etc. Certain kinds of redevelopment may trigger updating a property to other aspects of the code. Never assume that because a certain type of business was previously allowed in your potential location that it is currently allowed to be there as opposed to being grandfathered in.

How do I know that my building is safe to be occupied for the intended use?

Set up a meeting with the Building Official for a walkthrough inspection. If the building is changing occupancy class, you may have to perform work on the building to meet safety requirements.

When do I need a building permit?

You will likely need a building permit for all work except for painting, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, counter tops, and other finish work.

When do I get a Certificate of Occupancy?

You will get a certificate of occupancy if you have changed occupancy class and meet the building safety requirements or if you have pulled a building permit and performed all work to building code standards.

What kind of signs can I install?

Signage is governed by the Uniform Development Code. Most sign installations require you to submit a sign permit application with City Land Use. These permits are free. 

What funding is available from the City to assist with my business?

In most cases, the City does not finance private businesses; however the City does have a façade grant for businesses in certain locations. Other local incentives are available on a case by case review and are subject to approval of the City Council.

Starting a business is exciting and challenging  –  We want you to succeed! 

Who is required to obtain a business license?

All retailers, with a physical presence in the City of Alamosa, are required to have a business license.

Retailers that do not have a physical presence (or have a minimal presence), utilize the Colorado SUTS, and have a state standard retail license, are exempt from business licensing requirements.

Can I renew my business license online?

Yes, renewals can be processed online. Provide link to instructions (Lisa, NEED LINK guidance)

Who is required to have a sales tax license?

Sales tax licenses are needed for any business operating within the city of Alamosa which conducts retail sales. Licenses must be renewed annually through the Finance Office.

How do we file and/or remit our sales taxes?

The City of Alamosa contracts with the State of Colorado for tax filing and remittance.

For sales tax remittance, please visit the Colorado Sales Tax Portal (Lisa, I am questioning this link.. I think there is a more accurate one but need your guidance).

Use tax is filed and paid directly to the City of Alamosa. See form above (instructions for sales tax) - Lisa we need to finalize this component

Instructions for Sales Tax License (to...obtain one? - please clarify)

Retail Sales Tax License Renewal

How do I file my Use Taxes?

Use taxes are filed via paper forms directly to the City of Alamosa's Finance Offices (let's clarify this statement, as there may be option for electronic form?)

Finance Office 
City of Alamosa
300 Hunt Ave, Alamosa, CO 81101
Add link to the form

Use Tax Return Form

For more information, please visit the Colorado Sales & Use Tax Portal 

What is the definition of a retailer?

Any person or entity selling, leasing, renting, or granting a license to use tangible personal property or services at retail.

Includes but is not limited to, any:

  1. Auctioneer
  2. Salesperson, representative, peddler or canvasser, who makes sales as a direct or indirect agent, or obtains such property or services sold from a dealer, distributor, supervisor or employer
  3. Charitable organization, or governmental entity which makes sales of tangible personal property to the public, notwithstanding the fact that the merchandise sold may have been acquired by gift or donation, or that the proceeds are to be used for charitable or governmental purposes
  4. Retailer-contractor, when acting in the capacity of a seller of building supplies, construction materials, and other tangible personal property

Can I serve alcohol?

New liquor licenses may be granted by City Council. If you are moving or expanding your business and already have a liquor license, your license will have to be amended. 

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