You are required to apply for a temporary liquor license as early as a month before the event so that your license is issued in time for the event.
When Do I Need a Liquor License for My Special Event?
If you are planning to host an event where liquor will be sold such as a wedding or graduation party, then you will first need to get approved for a liquor license before you inform your guests that you’ll be serving their favorite alcoholic drinks. If the drinks will not be on sale, a temporary liquor license is not necessary.
A liquor license is also required for special events such as charity parties where liquor will be provided, and money is received directly or indirectly for the liquor.
Not all State Laws on liquor are the same, and there are some states like Arizona that require any event where alcohol will be purchased, stored or served to be licensed.
In Oregon, any event that is admitting guests at a fee and will be serving alcohol requires a special events permit.
The number of permits you are required to get depends on the variety of drinks you will be serving and the type of event. The State of New York requires a temporary permit if you are serving beer, cider and/or wine. There is a different permit if the event is a charitable one and yet another one if it will go on through the night. If a club is catering the event and will be serving alcohol, they will need to get a temporary liquor license for that. Catering companies also require catering permits. The Alcohol Beverage Law of NY states that a specific location can have a maximum of 4 permits for wine, beer, and cider.
How Do I Apply for a Temporary Liquor License?
You may apply for a temporary liquor license either physically or online depending on the availability of online application in your state.
Some states have online portals that are exclusive to special events permits. To know if your State is one of these you can consult the services of a temporary liquor license lawyer.
The process of applying for a special events permit is simpler and shorter than applying for a permanent liquor license. In some states, it might take 10 days while in other states it could take 30 days. Knowing the limit is critical so that you can apply for and get your liquor license in time for your event.
How Long will My Temporary Liquor License Last?
You may apply for a permit for the duration of your event. The expiry time for your permit varies by state and county.
Temporary permits in the State of Ohio last until 1 AM on the day after the event is scheduled to end.
Is There a Limit to the Number of Temporary Permits You Can be Issued in a Year?
There is usually no limit to the number of licenses you can be given in a year in most states. However, if the location of your event has the reached the maximum number of permits acceptable, then you will not be given a permit.
Some states like California require you to contact your county to check whether a permit is required at a county level. If you do not comply with county requirements for special permits, the State will not issue you with a permit.
There is a limit to the number of licenses that can be issued for a specific amount of money. In Georgia, for example, you may get 6 licenses issues in a year for $25. Any permits beyond that will attract additional fees.
Do I Risk a Penalty if I Don’t get a Temporary Liquor License?
Yes, you risk a penalty if you sell or serve alcohol at an event without a liquor license. If you are a catering company that has a permanent liquor license, then chances are that you do not need to apply for a temporary liquor license.
Penalties include fines and being blacklisted for a period of time where you will be denied temporary liquor permits.