Find and Prepare Your Business Location

Ensure any new construction or renovation related to your business location complies with local laws.

Gather location-specific information for your business

Applicants with businesses physically located in Golden, CO need to provide the following on page 2 of the Sales & Use Tax License Application:

  • Business hours
  • Information on whether they report hazardous materials under EPCRA or 112R
  • Location of onsite hazardous materials inventory list, storage plan, and safety data sheets
  • Building and business square footage
  • Details on alarm systems (monitoring company, phone #, account #)
  • Number of employees
  • Owner/officer information (name, phone, email, address)
  • Vice president, secretary, and treasurer information (name, phone, email, address)
  • Name of previous business owner
  • Emergency contact information (name, phone numbers, address) for at least 3 people
  • Note: additional information may be requested of home based businesses

Understand Regulations on Business Activities for Home-Based Businesses

Home occupations are small businesses run by residents out of their homes. These operations must be secondary to the use of the dwelling as a residence. The regulations ensure home-based businesses don't change the residential character of neighborhoods. 

  • Home occupations are defined as uses conducted mainly within a home that are incidental to the home's use as a residence.
  • Prohibited home occupations include things like vehicle repair shops, animal hospitals, restaurants, large daycares, medical marijuana facilities, etc.
  • Home occupations must follow restrictions like limiting parking, customers, employees, equipment use, outdoor storage, noise, fumes, etc.
  • Home occupations can only be run by residents of the home plus one non-resident employee.
  • No more than 3 customers can be at the home at one time.

These regulations aim to allow small home businesses that fit into residential areas, while prohibiting types of businesses that would disrupt neighbors. For a comprehensive view of Home-Based Business (Home Occupation) regulations in the city of Golden, see Municipal Code Chapter 18.42.

Understand Zoning Implications

To find a place to operate your business in Golden, consider the following zoning regulations: 

  • Community Mixed Use Zone Districts (CMU) are designed for multi-family residential uses, local businesses, and a mix of uses. Buildings should be located towards the sidewalk with parking in the back.
  • The CO Zone District permits public and private open space, wildlife preserves, cemeteries, golf courses, and agricultural uses. Home occupations and short-term rentals are also allowed if they comply with the Code. 
  • The AG Zone District permits agricultural uses, cemeteries, one household dwellings, keeping of household pets, and public and private stables.
  • Utilize this Planning Map to verify Zoning.
  • The City of Golden has an incentive program for commercial, office, and manufacturing development, expansion, and upgrade.
  • If you move your place of business, you must notify the finance director in writing. Remember, the design of your business and its location must be approved by the Department of Planning and Development and the Director of Public Works.

Source: Municipal Code 18.28

Sidewalk Seating Permit

What is a Sidewalk Seating Permit?

A Sidewalk Seating Permit is an application for a public sidewalk or parking lane sales, service, and display permit that must be filed with the director of community and economic development. It allows for outdoor seating, sales, service, and display in the parking lane or sidewalk.

Why do I need a Sidewalk Seating Permit?

These permits are designed to regulate the use of public spaces for commercial activities. They ensure that these activities are conducted in a manner that does not obstruct pedestrian or vehicular traffic, maintains public safety, and is in harmony with the city's architectural and aesthetic standards.

How do I apply for a Sidewalk Seating Permit?

  1. File an application with the director of community and economic development.
  2. Accompany the application with a nonrefundable fee of $50, written consent from all property owners with frontage along the sidewalk or parking lane, a detailed site plan, and information about the type of goods or services to be sold or displayed. 
  3. Provide current proof of comprehensive general public liability and property damage insurance with limits which equal or exceed the maximum liability. The policy shall name the city, its officers, employees and agents as insurance.  A current proof of liability insurance is required upon yearly renewal.
  4. Ensure that the proposed area for the permit does not unreasonably restrict or obstruct the flow of pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk or vehicular traffic in the right-of-way.
  5. If modifications or alterations to existing, or planned, public right-of-way improvements or landscaping are necessary, bear the full cost of such modifications or alterations.
  6. Maintain the area within and in the proximity to the permitted area in a neat, clean, and hazard-free condition.
  7. Indemnify, defend and save harmless the city, its officers, employees, and agents against any and all claims arising from any occurrence occasioned by the permitted use.
  8. Pay an annual fee of $50.00 upon permit approval and annually thereafter upon renewal.
  9. Comply with other provisions of the Golden Municipal Code as may be applicable.
  10. Use the permitted area only in a manner consistent with the site plan and materials which are submitted with the application.
  11. Apply for renewal at least 30 days prior to the permits expiration if you wish to continue using the permit.
  12. Remove all structures or improvements from the permit area and restore the area to its condition prior to the issuance of the permit upon termination of any permit.

For more information, see Municipal Code Chapter 4.90 or contact

Signs and Signage Regulations

What are Signage Regulations?

Signs are allowed on public and private property in the City of Golden according to the terms of the ordinance. A sign permit is required for the installation or construction of any temporary or permanent sign, except for signs excluded from regulation by Municipal Code Chapter 18.32.

Why are there Signage Regulations?

The purpose of these regulations is to maintain the aesthetic appeal of the city, ensure safety, and prevent visual clutter. They also help in identifying businesses and services, and provide information about products or activities.

How do I apply for a Sign Permit?

  1. Determine if your sign is allowed on public or private property according to the terms of the ordinance.
  2. Apply for a sign permit for the installation or construction of any temporary or permanent sign, unless it is excluded from regulation by this chapter.
  3. Ensure your sign conforms to the general regulations, including restrictions on size, location, and illumination.
  4. Measure your sign according to the guidelines provided in the sign measurement section.
  5. If your sign is in a residential area, follow the specific regulations for residential signs.
  6. If your sign is in a nonresidential area, follow the specific regulations for nonresidential signs.
  7. Ensure your sign meets the design and construction requirements.
  8. If your sign is in the downtown area, follow the specific regulations for downtown area signs.
  9. If your sign is in a PUD district, ensure it meets the standards of Chapter 18.32 of this ordinance.
  10. If you are a regulated marijuana store, comply with all city ordinances regulating signs and advertising.
Contact for additional information.

Overview about Planning vs. Building Departments in Golden

The Planning Department is a municipal body that oversees the development and use of land within the City. The Building Department is a municipal body that reviews and approves plans for structures before issuing a building permit.

What is the difference between the two departments?

The Planning Department and Building Department are two separate entities within a city's municipal structure that handle different aspects of urban development and construction. The Planning Department, as per the provided facts, is primarily concerned with zoning regulations, use and density regulations, parking and loading requirements, economic incentives programs, temporary lodging regulations, and interpretation of use. The Building Department, on the other hand, deals with contractor registration, registration changes, registered contractor responsibilities, and exemptions.

Why are these departments structured like that?

These departments exist to ensure that all construction and development within the city are carried out in a safe, orderly, and legal manner. The Planning Department ensures that the city's land use and zoning regulations are adhered to, while the Building Department ensures that all contractors are properly registered and follow the city's building codes and regulations.

How do I construct a building with both of these entities?

If you want to construct a building, you would first need to check with the Planning Department to ensure that your proposed use of the land is permitted in the zone district where you plan to build (Sec. 18.28.010). If your proposed use is not specifically provided for in any zone district, you may be allowed to proceed if the director determines that your use is similar to and compatible with uses allowed within a specific zone district (Sec. 18.28.010). Once you have approval from the Planning Department, you would then need to register as a contractor with the Building Department. As a registered contractor, you would be required to notify the building official of any changes in name or address, always have a current registration certificate when performing contract work within the city, and obey any order or notice issued under the authority of the building official (Sec. 15.01.060). 

Know what types of modifications require a permit

What modifications require a permit?

A permit is required for modifications that involve special uses in various zoning districts (R1A, R1, R2, R3, RC, M1, AG, PUD) as per the city's planning and zoning regulations. Special uses can include construction or expansion of buildings, changes in land use, and other alterations to properties.

Why are these permits required?

These regulations are in place to ensure that modifications to properties align with the city's planning and zoning guidelines, maintain the integrity of different zoning districts, and do not negatively impact the surrounding community or environment. They also ensure that the modifications meet safety standards and other city ordinances.

How do I obtain a permit?

To obtain a permit for a modification, the property owner or their designee must follow a specific procedure. This includes attending a neighborhood meeting, submitting a non-refundable pre-application fee, and filing an application that includes a site plan, a written description of the proposed special use, an application filing fee, and certification of notice to mineral estate owners. The application is then reviewed by the planning commission in a public hearing, and the permit is granted if the proposed usage does not violate any city ordinances.

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