A liquor business is one of the hardest businesses to get into because getting a liquor license is a complicated process. Filing for an application and paying application fees does not guarantee that you will get a license. Often, the process involves back and forth between the applicant and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in their state.
No business can sell alcohol without a liquor license, getting one is mandatory.
You can get a liquor license in three main ways. First, you can get one from the government. This is the hardest way. In some areas, a person can buy a liquor license from a bigger business. If you are buying an old business, you can buy their liquor license too. Lastly, there are liquor license brokers who assist in the process of getting a license. The last two options can be very expensive.
Whether you are a small business or a large business it’s important to know why you would need a liquor license lawyer and the process of getting a liquor license.
When You Need a Lawyer
There are several instances when you would need a liquor license lawyer. One of them is for first time applicants. If you are applying for a liquor license for the first time, then an attorney can assist with the application process. They can help fill in the paperwork. This is necessary if you do not understand the laws governing liquor licenses.
You may amend your liquor license by extending operating hours, and adding dancing, pool tables and video games to your repertoire.
Businesses can sell or buy liquor licenses to and from one another. It is important to contact an attorney for either processes.
When you update business owner details such as your Articles of Incorporation or operating agreement changes, an attorney can help by dealing with the paperwork.
If you have been denied a liquor license, you have the right to appeal. A lawyer can help you make an appeal thereby giving you a better chance of winning and getting the license.
If you have been accused of violating your liquor license, then a lawyer will make sure you do not suffer penalties such as losing your license and being charged hefty fines.
It is also advisable to get an attorney that you can consult with throughout the life of your business. This helps avoid violations.
The Process of Getting a Liquor License
Getting a liquor license is not an easy process. Although a lawyer can handle everything for you from start to finish, it is always good to know the process yourself.
It is hard to determine what it will cost you to apply for a liquor license. It could be anything from $250-$3000. The cost depends on the type of business you plan to run, where drinking will occur (off or on the premises), your hours of selling, whether you produce or buy the alcohol, and the kind of alcohol you plan on selling. A lawyer is in the position to give you a good estimate so you can know beforehand how much it will cost you and how long it could take. The standard time is 6 months although some licenses take up to a year.
Once it is gotten, the license is valid for a year. The process of renewal is automatic in most cases unless you have been charged with a violation. This could affect your chances of renewal. Your license could also be revoked all together. Violations include selling to minors of violating the terms of your license contract such as selling out of the time stipulated in the contract.
Once you have determined the kind of business you want to run, contact the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board in your State and file an application with them.
Getting a lawyer involved at the beginning is important because some states require businesses to have several liquor licenses at different levels such as state, federal, county and local.
After getting in touch with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, you will be informed on the type of permit your business requires, the costs involved and permit availability. They can also inform you if another business is selling their license.
After this step, you have to prepare for the application process by ensuring that other permits such as building permits, sales tax permits and alcohol tax permits are in order before filing for an application.
A good attorney will ease the burden of applying for a license and can help make the process shorter.