Hospitality business – the process of obtaining liquor license

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For many years now, businesses operating in the hospitality industry such as restaurants, bars, taverns, clubs and delicatessens have required a liquor license to sell alcohol on their premises. In the US, the selling of alcoholic beverages is strictly regulated, so obtaining a license is a difficult process. This is why businesses that need to sell alcohol need to apply for a license at least two or three months prior to the grand opening. What is more, each state in America has its own regulations concerning liquor licenses, so the application and issuing processes differ from state to state and sometimes even from county to county.  For instance, in Florida liquor licenses are not issued unless the number of population rises significantly, which means that bars restaurants and liquor stores owners need to purchase the license from other bar owners. The liquor license application process involves several steps.

Establish what kind of license you need


Depending on what type of alcohol you wish to sell, you will require different types of licenses. If you need to sell wine and beer, a consumption-on-premise license or package license would suffice. If you need to sell liquor, a quota license will be required, but keep in mind that their number are limited. The type of license depends on your business profile as well. For instance, restaurants that wish to sell alcohol will need to obtain a SRX, a special license that is not limited by the population, but comes with certain restrictions.


Complete the application form


All liquor licenses in Florida and across the US are obtained only after completing the application form. The applications can be found online, but they can also be mailed and picked up from the Division. Business owners need to complete the form carefully and read the checklist of requirements for the type of license they wish to obtain. The application form will need to be submitted at the local division afterwards. Additional documents might be required depending on the state where you plan to operate.


License fees


Before submitting the application form, businesses need to pay all fees and taxes as instructed. The annual license fee that must be paid by the end of the year of else the license gets revoked. The one-time Hughes Act fee also needs to be paid in order to obtain a license from the lottery.

September 2021