Starting a Business

If you're contemplating starting a business in Erie, there are some basic steps to review to get you started on that path. Browse through the list below, review or download the Starting a Business packet, and contact the Economic Development Department with any additional questions you may have.

If you are new, expanding, or relocating your business to Erie, please skip to the bottom of the page to review your requirements or download this PDF of the checklist. This is a resource to familiarize yourself with the Town’s licensing, permits, zoning authorization, and other rules and regulations that a business must adhere to before occupying the space.

More to Consider When Starting a New Business

  1. Research Competition
  2. Business Education
  3. Business Registration
  4. Location Siting
  5. Find Employees
  6. Signs & Marketing
  7. Stay Connected

Before anything else, conducting market research and understanding any competitors in the area is a good place to begin. Ensure there is sufficient demand in the area for your business and whether the demographic in the community will contribute to long term success. 


The Erie Community Library offers two databases available to cardholders that can be used to conduct market research, locate sales leads, locate companies, and more.

  • Mergent Online
  • ReferenceUSA

The State of Colorado offers a variety of databases at Colorado Information Marketplace. Look up businesses registered in the State, demographics, and much more.

The SizeUp online program allows entrepreneurs to learn:

  • How your business measures up to the competition or if starting a business if your projections are reasonable for your market.
  • Find where your customers, competition, and suppliers are located.
  • Where you might want to target your advertising dollars to promote your business.

Checklist for New Commercial Tenants

1. Planning Division: Select a location and verify zoning for permitted land use.

A Site Plan or Special Review Land Use Application maybe required for any improvements or additions prior to receiving a building permit for a renovation (including interior finishes) and is applicable under the following conditions:

  • New business in an existing/renovated building.
  • New business in a partially renovated building or suite.
  • New business in a newly constructed core and shell.
  • Sublease within an existing office space.

In some cases, this Special Review Land Use process may include a multi-step review and public hearing process that may take approximately 2-4 months in addition to the building permit process. 

To ensure the proposed business use is allowed, please contact the Planning Division to verify the zoning of a specific property at 303-926-2770 or

2. Building Division: Obtain appropriate building approvals and permits.

Once you find a location and have verified approved use from the Planning Division, now secure any additional permits or inspections from the Building Division. This applies to:

  • All new buildings, most remodels and interior tenant finishes,
  • Most additions to existing structures,
  • Any change in the use or occupancy of the building or structure.

Commercial businesses must obtain a certificate of occupancy (CO) before opening a business. Contractors, subcontractors, and tradesmen must also obtain a Town of Erie Contractor's License.

A building inspection may be required by the Building Division and Fire Protection District prior to opening your business in a new or existing location. Please call or email the Building Division to confirm if an inspection is required at 303-926-2780 or

3. Economic Development Department: Secure a Town of Erie Business License.

The Town requires all new commercial businesses with a physical location in Erie to apply for a business license and renew it annually. This is required for all businesses in the following industries (without limitation):

  • Contracting
  • Manufacturing
  • Professional
  • Retail 
  • Service
  • Wholesale

The Town also requires you to update your Erie Business License if you are expanding or relocating your existing commercial business to a new physical location. 

Please contact if you have any questions or are looking for additional information.