The Ins And Outs Of Liquor Licenses

Many businesses rely on the revenue generated by alcohol purchases to stay afloat. Each state has different rules and regulations that govern the distribution of alcoholic beverages, but all states require businesses to obtain a liquor license before making any public sales.

Obtaining a liquor license is a labor-intensive process that requires careful attention to detail. You need to know the ins and outs of liquor licenses before you begin the application process so that you can expedite the approval of the license your business needs.

License Classifications

Not all liquor licenses are created equal. Many businesses waste valuable time and money applying for the wrong type of liquor license. Liquor licenses are divided into different classifications based on the reasons why an establishment wants to sell alcohol.

If you intend to generate most of your income from alcohol sales, then a tavern license is your best option. A beer and wine license allows you to sell alcohol to accompany the foods that you provide for your customers. If you need your new business to have the ability to sell hard liquor, then you will need a restaurant or nightclub license.

Knowing your required classification will help you eliminate any problems in obtaining the liquor license your business needs.

On-Licenses and Off-Licenses

In addition to narrowing down the license classification that will best meet your needs, you will need to determine if you want to apply for an on-license or an off-license.

An on-license only authorizes you to sell liquor that will be consumed on your business' premises. Clubs, bars, and some restaurants can get by with an on-license.

An off-license is issued when a business wants to sell alcohol that a customer can consume at home. Some restaurants sell wine by the bottle, which many patrons will take home to drink later. If you plan to sell full bottles of specialty wines or liquors, then you will need to pursue an off-license.

License Quotas

You must consult with a representative from your local Alcohol and Beverage Control Board. Many states put a quota on the number of liquor licenses that can be issued within a specified geographic region.

You will need to determine if any licenses are available in your area before you begin the application process. If all licenses have been issued, you may need to take legal action to try and obtain the liquor license you need for your business.

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