Whether you want to sell beer from your hotdog stand at the ballpark, open a restaurant which serves alcohol or you’ve just taken ownership of a local bar, there is a process of applications, certifications, laws you need to know and fees to pay in order to obtain your liquor license.
Any instance of selling alcohol to the public requires regulation from the state. You must be 21 years of age to apply for a license. There are two basic umbrellas for a liquor license: wholesale and retail. Then there are more than fifteen various types of liquor licenses under those umbrellas such as Drug Store license, Liquor Store license, Hotel Wine license, Grocery Store license and more.
The first step in obtaining a liquor license is the application, and you will need to apply for either a wholesale liquor license or a retail license.
Legally authorizes the license holder to manufacture, warehouse, and distribute alcoholic beverages to retailers and businesses. Wholesalers distribute.
Legally authorizes the license holder to serve alcohol in bars, stores, and restaurants. Retailers serve to individuals.
Convicted felons are not eligible to apply for a liquor license. Police officers are also not permitted to obtain a license nor someone who has had a liquor license revoked by the State within the last two years. There have been cases where a revocation has been overturned, however, only an attorney can advise if that would be a possibility in a case.
Some establishments across the country who serve alcohol may allow their customers on their premises if they already have an alcoholic beverage. This is known as “Bring Your Own Bottle” or BYOB. This practice is strictly prohibited in the State of New York and no licensed establishment is permitted to give any alcoholic beverage for free to any person.¹
If you are seeking to obtain a liquor license, it is advisable to consult the legal expertise of an attorney whose practice encompasses this area. Although the process has been designed and streamlined in order to make it as self- administering as possible, there are a multitude of subsections within New York State Liquor Laws such as knowing the hours your establishment may serve, the location of dry counties, ownership restrictions, laws that pertain to your license which deal with public intoxication, establishment responsibilities of consumption on their property, renewals and much more.
There are application fees for your license ranging from $100 to $200. There are also non-refundable fees depending on your county or borough in addition to the cost for the type of license you are applying for. State Liquor License fees are subject to change at any time. Here are the fees for various licenses as of 2016:
Drug Store Beer: 3-year license – $330
Grocery Beer Wine: 3-year license – $594
Drug Beer/Wine: 3-year license – $594
Eating Place Beer: 3-year license – $960
Hotel Beer: 3-year license – $960
Club Beer: 3-year license – $750
Ball Park Beer: 3-year license – $576
Restaurant Wine: 1-year license – $480
Hotel Wine: 1-year license – $375
Liquor Store: 2 year license – $4,352
Club Liquor: 2-year license – $1,500
Catering Establishment: 2-year license – $2,902
On-Premises Liquor: 2-year license – $4,352
Cabaret Liquor: 2-year license – $4,352
Wine Store: 1-year license – $640
Microbrewery: 1-year license – $412
Restaraunt-Brewer: 3-year license – $5,850
Supplemental restaurant Brewer: 3-year license – $1,125
Tavern Wine: 1-year license – $576 ²
Before Obtaining a Liquor License, applicants are required to undergo a short Alcohol Training Awareness Program. This program assists applicants of liquor licenses to understand how to comply with Alcohol Beverage Control Laws, (ABC) and how to be aware of underage drinking and sales among other important aspects of holding this license. This program will also require a small fee and must be renewed periodically along with your liquor license.
If you wish to obtain a New York State Liquor License and you feel your application will be easy and straightforward, the Liquor License Authority has forms for download online to get you started. Each year, hundreds of people seek the advice of an attorney when applying for their liquor licenses.
The sometimes complex nature of the many rules and extensive fees that may apply can seem overwhelming and difficult to navigate. It is an extensive process and it is always wise to seek the expertise of an attorney who understands the process and elements of liquor law.
F. (n.d.). New York State Liquor Authority Bring Your Own Bottle. Retrieved from https://www.sla.ny.gov/bring-your-own-bottle-byob
New York State Liquor Authority. (2016). SCHEDULE OF RETAIL LIQUOR LICENSE FEES. [online] Available at: http://SLA Form: Revised 03/11/16.
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