Yes and no. Technically, guides do not need licenses in Colorado to provide guiding services for fishing and hunting trips. However, unlicensed guides must be employed or contracted by licensed outfitters. Outfitters must be licensed in Colorado if they are providing outfitting services on land that they do not personally own. So really, yes, there must be a license involved somewhere in order to guide in Colorado.
Outfitters and their guides in Colorado are regulated by the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA). For outfitters establishing their business, DORA has several requirements related to how those business are conducted within the state of Colorado. In addition to rules on advertising, guarantees, and insurance requirements, DORA requires Outfitters to have certain provisions contained in their contracts that they use to provide outfitting and guiding services to consumers.
DORA requires Outfitting contracts to have six specific provisions. These provisions are: 1) The types of services to be provided, 2) Dates the services are to be provided, 3) Transportation arrangements and whether or not transportation is to be provided, 4) Actual costs of the services, 5) The ratio of clients to guides that will be maintained on the trip, and 6) The outfitter’s own policy on cancellations and refunds on deposits or costs.
While there are no specific requirements for each of these provisions and what they must look like, they absolutely must be contained in your contract in some form. Failure to include these provisions in your contract for outfitting services will prevent you from being able to maintain any action to recover funds owed to you under that contract.
Nate Gilbert, attorney in Colorado, has worked with these specific provisions provided by DORA on both ends: preparing compliant contracts and documents for Outfitters revamping or just starting up their business, as well as helping Outfitters respond to complaints from DORA regarding outfitting contract deficiencies. Scheduling a consultation with Nate regarding your outfitting services contracts BEFORE you violate these rules will help your business run more smoothly and efficiently as well as keep your outfitting compliant with Colorado law.