Start, Move, or Expand your Business

Starting a New Business 

Thank you for choosing Lyons to locate your business. To help you to understand the role of municipal government in your business, the Town of Lyons has provided the regulations in the Lyons Municipal Code (LMC) that are relevant to conduct your business. Please use the following list to help you do business in the Town of Lyons. Licensing for a new business can take 6 to 8 weeks to process, so please submit your applications and other required documentation early. 

 All new businesses must follow these steps: 


Step 1: Fill out a New Business License Application and pay the licensing fee
Step 2: Determine what other type of licensing you need. If you need a license that is not listed below, please contact the Town Hall. 
  1. Retail Food License: this process is through Boulder County. Please contact Boulder County Public Health with questions. You will need to show either your passing Retail Food License inspection report or your final license in order to receive your business license. See Boulder County's Restaurant & Food Vendor Licensing webpage for more info.
  2. Liquor License: if you intend to serve or sell alcohol, please contact the Lyons Town Clerk's office to start the application process. You will need to complete the steps for your liquor license before you are issued a business license. 
  3. Marijuana License: if you intend to sell marijuana products, please contact the Lyons Town Clerk's office to start the application process. You will need to complete the steps for your liquor license before you are issued a business license. 
Step 3: Determine whether or not you will be doing any renovation or improvements to the building that will house your business. 
  1. If you are not doing any construction, you must fill out a Change in Use/Occupancy (No Work) Permit, pay the permit fee, and schedule a business license inspection.  
  2. If you are doing construction/improvements, you must contact the building department to determine what permitting you need.

Moving your Business or Expanding into another Unit

If you are currently a licensed business in Lyons and you want to move your business to a new location or expanding into a neighboring unit, please follow all steps listed above. You will need to resubmit a business license application for your new location, work with Boulder County and/or the Town of Lyons to transfer any additional licensing to your new address, and work the building department to complete renovations and to receive a Certificate of Occupancy for your new space. 

Planning Department

Do you know what zoning district your business is in? Different uses are allowed, allowed through conditional or special use process, or not allowed in different zoning districts. You can check your building's zoning district using the map here. If you are not sure if your proposed use is allowed in your zoning district, please feel free to contact communitydevelopment@townoflyons.com.

Are you planning any new construction or additions to your building? Your zoning district also determines dimensional standards like building height and setbacks. You can review uses and dimensional standards for your zoning district in Section 16-3, Division 2 of the Lyons Municipal Code.

It’s a good idea to reach out to the Planning Department before starting any significant building project because the Town’s Municipal Code may require Site Plan or Development Plan review for your project prior to application for a building permit. If you’re not sure what type of review your project needs, please contact communitydevelopment@townoflyons.com, and take a look at the form here


Building Department

Change in Use/Occupancy (No Work) Permit

A Change in Use/Occupancy (No Work) permit is available when a new business is preparing to move into an existing building/tenant space when NO WORK that requires a permit is being done to that space and the occupancy type remains the same. The last permitted occupancy type must be the same occupancy type as the new business. The permit has a five-business day review period after it is accepted through the check in process. Building, Fire, and Planning review this permit. Once the permit is issued, the Building and Fire Divisions conduct life safety inspections on the property/space. Once all inspections are approved, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued, and the space can then be occupied.

Tenant Finish/Interior Alteration Permit

A tenant finish permit is necessary when a new business moves into an existing building/tenant space and work that requires a permit is performed and/or the occupancy type is changing form the last permitted occupancy type of that building/tenant space. This is to ensure that the space/building meet the minimum safety standards and that construction meets local building and zoning requirements for the proposed occupancy type. Please contact building@townoflyons.com to start this process. 

What does tenant finish mean?

Tenant finish/remodel projects are often the result of a change in how an existing building space is being used, for example to accommodate a new business or tenant. Some projects of this type are subject to additional requirements that are identified in the zoning code “change of use” and/or the building code “change of occupancy” requirements.

Tenant finish and remodel projects include the alteration or reconfiguration of existing commercial structures. This type of project may occur within or outside of a structure but does not include the construction of any new structures or the expansion of existing structures.

Business License Inspection

New businesses are required to schedule a business license inspection with the building department and to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy before a business license can be issued.. The purpose of this inspection is to ensure that the building is safe for its intended use and occupancy. If you have already filed permits to complete work, then this inspection will be conducted after the work is complete.

Please contact building@townoflyons.com for more information.

Other information

Check with the Building Department for environmental and sustainable building practices.
Hiring an Electrician, Plumber or Contractor?  Call the Building Department, 303-823-6622, to find out if they are licensed to do business in Lyons. Any electricians and/or plumbers you hire must be currently licensed by the State of Colorado. Contractors must maintain liability insurance to ensure these specialists are qualified to safely perform work in your commercial building.
Contractors Registrations (LMC 6-3)

Utilities Department  

Backflow and Cross-Connection Protection

The Town of Lyons adopted the Backflow Prevention and Cross-connection Control Program (Ordinance 1007) in 2016. This BPCCC Program, in compliance with the Colorado State Regulation 11.39, was put in place to protect our drinking water from possible contamination. All water systems experience conditions that could allow for the unintended reverse flow of liquid. This is known as “backflow” and these events may be acute and could pose an immediate health risk to the public. Some common cross-connections found in buildings include: fire sprinkler lines, irrigation sprinkler lines, boilers, automatic soap injectors, hose bibs, display fountains.

If your commercial or multi-family connection currently has a backflow preventer installed, you are responsible to have these assemblies/devices/methods inspected annually (LMC 13-6-60) by a State-certified tester. You can find a list of certified testers HERE. Once the tester has provided a passing test, the results may be submitted via email to pretreatment@townoflyons.com, mailed or dropped-off at Town Hall, 432 5th Ave., or mailed to PO Box 49 Lyons, CO 80540.

Grease Traps

Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) are a major issue for the Town’s sewer system. Food service establishments (FSE) are a significant source of FOG due to the amount of grease that is used in cooking and other food preparation. Transportation service establishments (TSE) are also a significant source of oil and grease. When poured down the drain, FOG hardens inside of pipes, constricting wastewater flow and clogging pipes. This can lead to sewer backups into your business. Cleaning clogged pipes and responding to sewer backups is costly to business owners and the Town.

Lyons Municipal Code 13-4-140 requires the installation and maintenance of pretreatment devices in all food and transportation service establishments. The ordinance was passed to protect not only the collections and wastewater treatment systems, but the health, safety and welfare of residents, business owners and the environment. Below are a few basic cleaning requirements of the ordinance:

  • All inline under the sink grease traps must be cleaned a minimum of once a week. 
  • All grease interceptors must be cleaned quarterly at a minimum – more frequently when deemed necessary at time of inspection. 
  • Grease Trap Reporting Form and any applicable documentation must be submitted to the Town of Lyons quarterly, and all pertinent cleaning documentation must be kept on site for a minimum of three (3) years and available for inspection at any time.

Food service establishments are required to submit grease trap compliance reports quarterly.

  • If you use a contractor to clean your grease traps, please submit a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) WG-2 form to pretreatment@townoflyons.com
  • If you do not use a contractor, please fill out a Grease Trap/Pretreatment form with the Town of Lyons. The Town of Lyons may require additional inspections.

Contact Information

Business Licensing: licensing@townoflyons.com
Planning Department: communitydevelopment@townoflyons.com
Building Department: building@townoflyons.com 
Utilities Department: pretreatment@townoflyons.com
Lyons Town Clerk: dvasquez@townoflyons.com 

Relevant Codes

Town of Lyons Sales Tax (LMC 4-4)
Peddlers, Vendors and Solicitors (LMC 10-9)        
Streets and Sidewalks (LMC 11-1) 
Non-Residential Zoning Regulations (LMC 16-3)         
Contractors Registrations (LMC 6-3)
Grease and Sand and Oil Traps Required (LMC 13-4-140)