Federal and state law requires all new restaurants, bars, or stores to have a liquor license before selling alcohol of any kind. The liquor license is a special license showing you have met all the requirements necessary to safely and lawfully sell alcohol to the general public. Federal and state laws are in place to maintain regulated alcohol sales to keep an even balance on all involved. If you are thinking of opening such an establishment where alcohol is served, there are a few things you need to know to not only apply and be approved for a liquor license but also to keep it.

An application must be filled out and filed with the state. You may need more than one license for each kind of alcohol you want to sell so do not think one license will cover everything. You might want to consider hiring an attorney who has experience with the process to make sure all your bases are covered. It may cost you more but it will be worth it when you see how much trouble you will be saving yourself. They will be up to date on the particular state laws and can assist you in learning more about the process.

Information you need to file an application for a liquor license may be some of the following:

  • The application itself filled out completely.
  • Paperwork showing ownership of the business where you want to sell the alcohol.
  • A criminal background check or the paperwork to allow them to conduct one.
  • A fee for the application
  • A consent form from the town you intend to sell the alcohol in.
  • How close you are to a local school, church, or other buildings that are frequented by children.

  • Copy of your business license.
  • Insurance coverage held for establishments selling alcohol.
  • Floor plan of business.
  • Menu showing prices and types of alcohol sold.

Your particular state may require more information or may not need this much for the liquor license application. Once all the paperwork has been received, expect the wait to be a long one. Do not be surprised if you need to try more than once to obtain the liquor license you want. It will be a long wait but in the end, it will be a profitable venture.

State and federal liquor license laws are very strict and must be followed to the letter or it may be in jeopardy of loosing it. The first strict guideline is that you are not going to be able to sell any alcoholic beverage to minors. This is the one sure way to have that license revoked. Once you have been accused of violating the laws pertaining to your liquor license, proving that you were not at fault may be very difficult indeed. Once you have the license and have gone through all the trouble to get a liquor license, you will not do anything to loose it.


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