Liquor Licenses – An Overview
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Liquor License Hypothetical Scenario
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Okay, all of those rules may sound confusing. Let’s go over an example to show how this might work.

Assume John and his buddy Bill want to open up a bar called Lazy Bones Bar. John is the salesman/marketer and Bill is the bartender and cook. John knows nothing about liquor license law so he comes to and reads this article. He goes to Step 1 from this article and calls his state agency and finds out many of the details about what licenses are available, the costs, and the different classes of licenses. He feels a little overwhelmed but then goes to his state liquor agency’s website and prints off and reads all the info again. He also calls up a buddy of his that owned a bar near the city where he wants to open shop. His buddy tells him some more info.

John takes what he has learned and talks to Bill about what types of licenses and classes they may want. Bill tells them they definitely need a license for beer consumption on premises to the latest times available for all the young professionals that hang around the area where they plan to open up. Bill also wants a wine and spirit licenses on Sundays, as Bill wants to offer wine, mixed drinks, and mimosas with his Lazy Bones Bar Brunch.

John calls back the agency the next day with Bill’s recommended requests. The agent says that in the county where they plan to open business there are no current licenses available. In other words, they will have to wait for an opening. John asks how long this could take and the agent says maybe 3-6 months. In this state, John could also purchase a liquor license on the open market.

John goes back to Bill and tells him the news. John and Bill then put in a request with the state to obtain a liquor license and begin looking to purchase a liquor license on the open market – to increase their chances of finding a license as quickly as possible.

Now, it’s just a matter of business strategy and negotiation. How much do John and Bill want to pay for the liquor license? If they haven’t purchased or rented a building yet, they could consider purchasing a license from another business that already has a license and is closing down in the location where they want to be. As you can see, obtaining a liquor license comes down to business decisions based on how long they want to wait, what they’re willing to pay, and what type(s) and class(es) of licenses they want for their business.

Finally, we’ll conclude our discussion on liquor licenses with some key points to keep in mind.