Things You Should Know Before Trying To Obtain A Liquor License

16 January 2018
 Categories: Law, Blog


One way to increase your business is to sell alcohol. To be allowed to do this, you will need a liquor license. Depending on where you live, this can be difficult and time consuming. It can also be quite expensive. To make things move along quicker, here are a few things you should know so you can be prepared when you go to the licensing department.

Types of Licenses

Not all liquor licenses allow the same type of sales. You may be allowed to sell open containers, such as what is bought at a restaurant or bar, but not allowed to sell packaged goods, such as a 6-pack or full bottle of whiskey the customer takes out of your establishment. You may also get a license to sell beer and wine but not be able to sell hard liquor. Decide what it is you want to sell and in what type of establishment.


Most municipalities have a quota in regards to liquor licenses. It is possible that the area where you want to sell alcohol has already reached its limit. This means you will either need to apply for a different type of license, move your establishment, or wait until another business closes. This can make it very difficult to get a license and you should be prepared to decide how you want to proceed if this is the situation.

Objections by Neighbors

It is also possible for neighboring businesses or families to protest the sale of alcohol in the area. You may need to meet with these people and explain your vision and hope for your business. You may also need to make a few adjustments to your place, such as having a security guard, doing background checks on all employees, and making sure that anyone who will be selling the alcohol has been properly trained on how to do so in a manner that will keep everyone safe.

Up-to-Date Requirements

You will also need to make sure that all your other business licenses, permits, and certificates are current. In addition, check that al your taxes are paid and your insurance policy will cover an establishment that sells alcohol.

Be prepared to wait at least 5 months and quite possibly more than a year before you're able to make alcohol sales. This is definitely a case of slow but sure wins the day. Keep working toward obtaining the license and eventually you will have one. If you even remotely think you may want a liquor license at some point, start the process now. If you decide against it, you can always sell your license spot to another business owner.

For more information about the process, contact companies like Arizona Liquor Industry Consultants.