Operating a Funeral Business in Colorado
All business entities must be registered with the Secretary of State.
Sales of vaults, urns, caskets, etc., are subject to state and local sales tax.
All funeral homes and crematories must be registered with the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). Colorado does not license funeral directors or embalmers. Application forms and instructions can be found online at the DORA web site.
Mortuary science laws can be found in Colorado Revised Statutes, Title 12, Article 54. Unlawful acts include: To embalm and or make final disposition of a body where a crime is suspected without first contacting the coroner. To discriminate in services because of race, creed, color, or national origin. To refuse to release dead human body or cremated remains to custody of person with legal rights regardless of whether or not costs have been paid. Informing person a casket is required when immediate cremation is desired. To embalm or cremate without permission of person who has the right to control disposition. Some cities and counties may require permits or special zoning review for mortuaries and/or crematories. Check with each city and county where you will be doing business.
Effective September 2021, a business that performs or provides natural reduction of human remains must be registered with DORA Division of Professions and Occupations as a Funeral Establishment.
Because the State of Colorado does NOT license individual practitioners, you may apply for a job directly with a registered Funeral Establishment or registered Crematory.
Employment criteria will vary depending upon the employer. You may be required to provide information about previous employment, licenses, disciplinary action, internship, education, and submit to a background check.
No examination is required to practice in Colorado, although some firms may require formal education from an accredited mortuary science college and passing the National Board Examination.
In a state that does not license funeral service practitioners, credentialing by the Colorado Funeral Service Board is an important distinction that identifies individuals who have committed to a professional career in funeral service and have pledged to uphold high standards of practice and ethics. CFSB credentialing is voluntary and not required to work in funeral service in Colorado. The CFSB Credential is NOT a license to practice.
Individuals who maintain the CFSB Credential hold themselves to a higher standard through education, supervised training and internship, subscribing to uphold laws and ethics, and ongoing professional development. Funeral establishments often prefer to hire CFSB certified professionals for these reasons.
The Colorado Funeral Service Board is administered by the Colorado Funeral Directors Association.
Before moving body, you must ensure a death certificate has been issued. (25-2-110 and 111, C.R.S.). A funeral director or person acting as such must request a final disposition permit from local county health department. Permit must accompany body and be returned to originating authority after final disposition of body.
Register with Office of State Registrar
Colorado Revised Statute section 25-2-110 (8) states "Every funeral establishment shall maintain registration with the Office of the State Registrar." The registration process is simple: the person fills out a form with basic contact information and a central listing is maintained at the State Office that is shared with local offices. When someone comes in to file a death certificate, the office checks to see if they are on the listing. If not, they are required to register at that time.
Colorado Electronic Death Registration System
Any person or business that sells or offers to sell prepaid funeral contracts must be licensed as a Preneed Contract Seller through the Colorado Division of Insurance. (C.R.S. 10-15-101 thru 121). If you sell or offer to sell advance funeral arrangements through a prepaid contract or insurance policy, you must be licensed as a Preneed Contract Seller by the Colorado Division of Insurance.
Verify license status with DORA at:
Many small businesses are likely to produce hazardous wastes that require disposal under state Health Department regulations. Anyone opening these types of businesses (or others you may believe may be generating hazardous waste) should contact the Waste Management Division of the Department of Public Health & Environment. Non-household generators of infectious waste must develop and implement an on-site infectious waste management plan appropriate for their particular facility. This plan must be available to the hauler of the waste, to the disposal facility, and to the licensing or regulatory agency. The plan must include the designation of infectious waste, provisions for the handling of that waste, staff training, contingency planning for spills or loss of containment, the designation of a person responsible for implementation of the plan, and provisions for appropriate on and off-site treatment or final disposal. [25-15-403 CRS]
Manufacturing and business procedures frequently release chemicals, solvents, and particulate or smoke emissions into the air. If the emissions are above specified levels, Air Pollution Emission Notice (APEN) is required. Annual fee based on emissions. Any business that produces air emissions should contact the Technical Assistance Program at 303-692-3320 to determine if they are subject to APEN requirements.
Crematories are subject to APEN requirements.
Pollutant discharge permits required for ALL discharges into water.
OSHA enforces a variety of health and safety requirements related to workplace exposure to hazardous and toxic substances, i.e., chemicals present in the workplace which are capable of causing harm. In this definition, the term chemicals includes dusts, mixtures, and common materials such as paints, fuels, and solvents. OSHA currently regulates exposure to approximately 400 substances. There are many resources related to accident prevention as well as compliance assistance on the OSHA web site. OSHA has developed the blood borne pathogen rule in 29 CFR 1910.1030. This applies to all employees who may reasonably anticipate being occupationally exposed to blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials.
OSHA Region 8: https://www.osha.gov/alliances/regional/region-8
All funeral establishments are required to comply with the Funeral Rule enforced by the Federal Trade Commission.
The Funeral Rule gives consumers the right to: Buy only the funeral arrangements you want. You have the right to buy separate goods (such as caskets) and services (such as embalming or a memorial service). You do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want. Get price information on the telephone. Funeral directors must give you price information on the telephone if you ask for it. You don’t have to give them your name, address, or telephone number first. Although they are not required to do so, many funeral homes mail their price lists, and some post them online. Get a written, itemized price list when you visit a funeral home. The funeral home must give you a General Price List (GPL) that is yours to keep. It lists all the items and services the home offers, and the cost of each one. Receive a written statement after you decide what you want, and before you pay. It should show exactly what you are buying and the cost of each item. The funeral home must give you a statement listing every good and service you have selected, the price of each, and the total cost immediately after you make the arrangements. Make funeral arrangements without embalming.
Read more about the other rights granted by the Funeral Rule
Cremated remains may no longer be sent domestically or internationally via Priority Mail Service through the United States Postal Service. Priority Mail Express is the only option for sending cremated remains via the USPS.
Permits are required for transferring remains out of the state.https://faq.usps.com/s/article/Shipping-Cremated-Remains-and-Ashes