Liquor licenses are not that easy to get. Most governments only give out a few and have long waiting lists. There are major restrictions on getting one (for example, the neighborhood you are in and what type of alcohol you wish to serve). In some densely populated areas, it is often much easier to buy a liquor license off another business owner than to try to get one issued from scratch. But that can be costly.
When do you need legal help related to obtaining, keeping or selling a liquor license? Consider getting help when you are:
- Completing and filing the required paperwork for a liquor license, if you do not understand it or are applying for zoning changes or exceptions.
- Buying or selling your liquor license
- Appealing your denied liquor license.
- Defending a charge for violating your license that may result in heavy fines or losing your license.
- Updating any business ownership information that may affect your liquor license, such as changes in your Articles of Incorporation, stock updates, LLC operating agreement changes, or any Secretary of State changes.
- Completing the required paperwork for later hours of operation, single sales, live amplified entertainment, dancing, video games, and pool tables.
Once obtained, a liquor license is a valuable asset. Sometimes it is the most valuable asset of a small restaurant operation. It should be jealously guarded with good policies and procedures, and with good legal advice, to avoid forfeiture.