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.

Starting a business is exciting and challenging  – 

We want you to succeed! 

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 & 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.

For businesses seeking information on access to capital programs, help with workforce development concerns, or general guidance, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Small Business Navigator is an excellent resource

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.

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.

Building Permit
A permit authorizing construction or work on a building issued by the City of Alamosa Building

Department Certificate of Occupancy
A document stating the structure is safe, habitable, and approved for the intended use

International Building Code
A model code the City adopted for construction and structures

An aspect or use of a property that was previously established but does not meet the City’s current land use code

Occupancy Class
The classification of a structure based on the use for the purposes of building and fire code enforcement

Uniform Development Code (UDC)
Chapter 21 of the Alamosa Code of Ordinances that governs land use, zoning, and development

The classification of the use of a property according to the UDC. Not to be confused with occupancy class

The designation of land by the City for the purposes of development where specific uses are permitted


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. More information is available here

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 
Use tax is filed and paid directly to the City of Alamosa. 

Instructions for Applying and Renewing Sales Tax License 

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

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 

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. 

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

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. 

male in business attire, seated and glancing at the camera, depciting entrepreneurship, courtesy: adib-hussain-P47hmlNogco-unsplash

Colorado’s Small Business Association is a great resource if you’re thinking about starting a new business or expanding your current business.  They’ll walk you through creating a Business Plan and will also provide other information and resources crucial to explore prior to an investment.  

Our local Small Business Association office is currently growing and changing.  In addition to their current office located at the Train Depot in Alamosa, they are expanding to open an additional office in cooperation and support of Adams State University.  Keep an eye out for more information.  In the Interim, you may contact Erin Keck, Alamosa Chamber Executive Director, for these resources.  

For businesses seeking information on access to capital programs, help with workforce development concerns, or general guidance, the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Small Business Navigator Hotline is available Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm MT or online at Contact SBNavigator

Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade Logo

Accessibility Toolbar