ACV facts & figures
In Colorado, car dealers must obtain a license to ensure they meet basic ethical and financial standards, tax regulations, and other requirements. This system sets the grounds for fair business practices, reduces fraud risks, and protects consumers from possible fraud and other unethical behavior from car dealers.
In this article, you will find all the information you need to apply for your dealer license in Colorado.
Considerations Before Applying
Colorado’s car dealer licenses are issued by the Auto Industry Division (AID), a Colorado Department of Revenue branch. Aspiring dealers need to be in good financial standing before applying for a dealers license in Colorado.
1. Statement of Financial Condition
All dealers must prove they have at least a $100,000 personal net worth. To calculate this, you need to list all your assets, such as the value of your home, cars, money in the bank, and other property. Then, you have to list your liabilities, such as any loans, mortgages, and other debts you may have. The difference between your assets and liabilities establishes your net worth.
If your business will be a partnership, corporation, or LLC, each partner or business associate must submit a financial condition statement (form DR 2114).
In addition, you must have a credit score over 700. These requirements are set to ensure dealers are solvent and financially responsible. Dealer applications from people not meeting these requirements won’t be approved.
2. Pre-Licensing Training Course and Auto Industry Mastery Exam
Before applying, attending a pre-licensing training course and passing an auto industry mastery exam is mandatory. The pre-licensing training course is offered by the Colorado Independent Automobile Dealers Association (CIADA).
The auto industry mastery exam is taken online at the State of Colorado Motor Vehicle Board’s website.
Once you have completed the pre-licensing training, you will obtain a certificate of attendance that you will have to include attached to your dealer application. Besides, after you pass the Mastery Exam, you will have to fill out form DR 2097, “Examination Affidavit,” and submit it along with your dealer application.
3. Certificate of Good Standing and Criminal Background Report
You will also need to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State to certify that your business entity is considered in “Good Standing” with the state of Colorado, with no pending issues that must be resolved before obtaining your license.
It’s essential to note that during the application process, the AID will conduct a background check for all candidates. Therefore, all prospective dealers must disclose whether they have pled no contest or been convicted of any misdemeanor or felony offenses in the last 10 years. It’s also crucial to report any other events that may have occurred before, as they can affect the approval of your license. Additionally, the AID will collaborate with the Colorado Division of Child Support to identify non-compliance cases, which can delay or put the application processes on hold.
Finally, you and every stakeholder owning more than 5% of the business must conduct a fingerprint verification and complete a DR 2197 form.
4. Business and Tax Registration
The final step before applying for your car dealer license is registering your business with the Colorado Department of Revenue. You can access all the necessary information for tax registration and the form CR 0100AP through the state’s MyBizColorado portal.
Applying for Your Colorado Car Dealer License
Once you have met the requirements described above, you are ready for the final steps in your Colorado license application.
Dealer Application Form
To submit your application, you will need to complete a DR 2109 form. If your business will be a corporation, partnership, or LLC, you must also fill out a DR 2109-B form for each owner, stockholder, partner, LLC member, director, or officer owing 5% or more of the business.
Secure Verifiable Identification (SVID)
Along with your application, you must include a copy of a valid ID issued by the state of Colorado, like a driver’s license, for all owners, including yourself and everyone listed in the additional DR 2109B forms. If you are a sole business owner, you only need to provide a copy of your ID for identity verification purposes.
Restriction on Public Benefits Form
All applicants and individuals owning 5% or more of the business must submit form DR 4679. This form is required because, according to the state of Colorado, obtaining a car dealer license is considered a benefit granted by the state, and these types of benefits are only for U.S. citizens or people with a legal residence or who comply with U.S. residential laws.
Place of Business and Operation Information
When applying for your car dealer license, you must have an established place of business and a business name. Besides, you will need to provide some information about your business operation, and corporations and LLCs must supply additional information. In this section, you will find what paperwork related to your business is required when submitting your application.
You will have to establish where you will be running your business. This means that you must buy, lease, or rent a property meeting your county’s local zoning before applying for your dealer license. The location must comply with these requisites:
- Dealer’s Office: The property must have a permanently enclosed office with reasonable space for comfortable operation.
- Safe Storage Space: The place must have a secure area to store books, sales records, and other sensitive information, always accessible for inspection.
- Restrooms: The property must have suitable restrooms according to the business size.
- Showroom: There must be enough space to comfortably display one or more vehicles.
- Ownership or Leasing Certificate: If you are purchasing the property, you must submit the deed or proof of ownership. If it will be leased or rented, you must submit a copy of the leasing contract that doesn’t expire before the license does.
- Exclusive Business Use: The property cannot be a residential address; it can only be used for the car dealership.
- Business Signs: Affixed signs displaying your business name are required. In case you don’t have them ready yet, you can install temporary signs, but only if you submit proof that permanent signs have been ordered.
- Visibility: The signs must show the dealer’s license name and be visible from the nearest roadway.
- Hours of Operation: The business is required to be open at least three days a week, four hours a day between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. This information must be posted and visible.
- Electrical Service: The business must have electrical service, and you will need to provide details about your electric service provider when filling out your dealer application.
- Business Photos and Place of Business Affidavit: When submitting your application, you must send “Place of Business Affidavit” form DR 2044, which will include all the information above. You must also send photos of the main entrance, signs, building, and bathrooms.
As part of the application, you must also prepare and submit a comprehensive business plan, including information about your staff, hours of operation, sales projections, inventory purchases, floor-planning, financing plans, and/or lines of credit, among other relevant details.
Partnerships, Corporations, LLC, and LLP Additional Documents
Partnerships, Corporations, LLCs, or LLPs must submit these additional documents:
- A copy of the bylaws, partnership, or operating agreement.
- LLCs must provide copies of the organization, incorporation, and association articles.
- A registration statement and a certificate of limited partnership.
- A copy of the trade name (DBA) registration if the business operates under a name different from its legal entity name.
Requirement for New Vehicle Dealers Only
If you will be selling new vehicles, you must present a franchise agreement with the automaker you will be working with, an intention of purchase letter, or any other document that proves that you are authorized by the brand to run a dealership under their name.
The last step before submitting your application is hiring a surety bond of $50,000 for new and used auto dealers or wholesalers and $5,000 for trailer dealers that weigh up to 2,000 pounds. A surety bond ensures your customers and the state of Colorado that the affected parties will always be compensated if you or your business fail to comply in case of conflict.
The good thing about surety bonds is that you don’t have to deposit all that money upfront; you only pay an annual premium of about 1 to 3 percent of the total, depending on your credit score, and the bonding company acts as your warrant to the state of Colorado.
You must hire a surety bond from a reputable bonding company on behalf of your business and send a copy of the policy or certificate of coverage along with your application.
Submitting Your Colorado Dealer License Application
Once you have gathered all the documentation, received your sales tax number, and obtained your business location, you are ready to submit your dealer application by mail to the Colorado Department of Revenue Auto Industry Division. Along with your application, you must send a check for the licensing fees under the name of the Department of Revenue.
The department’s website also has information about current licensing fees.
This is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions about dealer licensing requirements, please seek the assistance of legal counsel.
Partner With ACV Auctions After Receiving Your Colorado Dealer License
Once you’ve obtained your dealer license, ACV Auctions can help you source used car inventory in Colorado. We are an online auction, which means we have inventory nationwide. ACV has no membership fees, and our transparent vehicle condition reports give dealers everything they need to bid confidently on inventory. Sign up with ACV today!
Colorado Auto Dealer License Guide. JW Surety Bonds.Retrieved on September 22, 2023, from https://www.jwsuretybonds.com/states/colorado/auto-dealer-license
How to Get a Colorado Dealer License. SuretyBonds.org. Retrieved on September 22, 2023, from https://www.suretybonds.org/blog/how-to-get-a-colorado-dealer-license .
Aug 30, 2023