Special Event Licenses and Permits

Guest business blogger and awesome Horseshoe volunteer, Kara Lundquist, wrote this blog last year before our October Market. We've had lots of questions from vendors about taxes and licenses so we thought we'd repost this to answer some of your questions. Hope this is helpful for all of you vendors as you're getting your preparations under way for the markets!

We promise that this blog won’t be a major downer as one could assume by the title! It’s good to have all your ducks in a row when it comes to what the government requires, particularly for being a vendor at Horseshoe Market and collecting state and city sales tax on your items.

Here’s the info from the City of Denver and State of Colorado about special event tax licenses that are required for the Horseshoe. We hope this information will be helpful as you plan for your successful day at the Market:

If you don’t already have a tax license for either the City and County of Denver and/or for the State of Colorado, you’ll need to apply for these licenses to collect the total 6.52% sales tax.

State of Colorado Special Event License
-You can apply for either a single ($8) or multiple (usually $16 but now $12 and valid through end of 2011) event license. If you plan on vending at Horseshoe next year, it may be to your advantage to apply for the multiple event license that will cover you for as many events as you need over a two year period.
-Colorado State Tax: 2.9%
-Questions? 303-238-7378
-Still more questions? You can attend a FREE tax class!

City and County of Denver Special Event License:
-This application has a $5 fee per event and is required to collect the 3.62% owed to the City and County of Denver.
-Questions? Call 720-913-9446.

It’s important to do your research with the State and City to make sure you have everything required of you as a vendor. We’ve provided some numbers above, so if you have any doubt, give them a call!

Once you have the license, how will you keep track of what you need to pay in taxes back to Colorado and Denver? As you are pricing your treasures, you may want to include tax into the price so that on the day of the Horseshoe you won’t have to spend precious time with your calculator and you can focus on showing off all your hard work!

We’d love to hear from some seasoned vendors out there about getting all the paperwork together for the fairs and markets they’ve previously attended. Let us know if you have any tips or tricks!

Kara Lundquist is a Colorado native that made her way back to Denver after some time in sunny Santa Barbara, CA and rainy Seattle, WA. She lives here with her husband and little yorkie pup, Mochi. She's currently working on her MBA in Marketing at Regis University but also enjoys time outside of schoolwork with embroidery, quilting and collecting fabric.


  1. My tip: I make an inventory sheet, which lists the different kinds of products I have. I make tally marks next to the sold items. In one corner of the sheet, I have the following boxes: Total Sales, Market Fee (for markets where I have to pay a percentage of the day's sales), and Retail Tax Collected. A box for "change to start the day" should be added for this year. That way, I don't need to keep track of every sale amount--I just total up my sales for the day, multiply it by the tax rate, and then put that money aside for tax time.

  2. Sorry - I might be completely wrong here - but isn't the CO State Sales Tax now 2.9%?

  3. Yes, Erin! Good catch. Thanks! We just updated this page.