If you, like so many others around the world, have the ambition of owning and operating your own pub, bar or restaurant, then something that we are sure you will already be more than aware of are all the rules surrounding the issue of liquor licenses. The requirement of a liquor license is absolutely non-negotiable for any business owner who wishes to sell or supply alcohol to their customers at any time of the day, and failure to follow these legal rules can result in punishments including heavy fines or even prison time depending on the severity of the problem.
Of course, if you want to avoid all and any of these problems, then all you need to do is follow the recommended application process from start to finish! With this in mind, here are some of the key steps to tick off the list during the liquor license application process.
From start to finish, the process of applying for a liquor license in California will usually take somewhere in the region of 90 days. This isn’t an overnight process, and you need to factor that in when planning out the schedule for your grand business opening.
For liquor licenses in California and other states, it is a requirement to have a seller’s permit for the purpose of sales tax. Essentially this means that you need to apply for the seller’s permit before you can apply for a liquor license. Failure to do this can result in fines or incarceration because selling alcohol without a seller’s permit is classed as a misdemeanor in the state of California.
Anything to do with the selling and supplying of alcohol is one of the most regulated parts of business in the United States, and you will more than likely need a stamp tax or federal permit in order to operate legally. This is one of the easier parts of the process, as all you need to do is file your business with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau so they can approve your application before the liquor license kicks in.
Alongside the federal regulations, there will also be a number of city or county specific regulations that you will need to adhere to as well. The easiest way to check that you are not breaking any of these smaller rules is by contacting your local officials to make sure there is nothing that you are missing.
And finally, arguably the most important part of the entire process is making sure you apply for the correct license for your type of business! The most common licenses are categorized as follows:
Type 41 - this is a beer and wine license for restaurants, known as the ‘On-Sale Beer and Wine - Eating Place’ license.
Type 47 - this is for beer, wine and distilled spirits for restaurants, known as the ‘On-Sale General - Eating Place’ license.
Type 48 - this is for beer, wine, and distilled spirits for bars and nightclubs, known as the ‘On-Sale General - Public Premises’ license. This license does not require you to operate food service alongside your alcohol sales.
Hopefully, you can learn these steps and make sure to check them off of your own personal process to avoid any obstacles further down the road. If you have any more questions and queries about liquor licensing in California specifically, then you can head over to this web page which has lots of information about the topic.