Obtaining an alcohol license involves a tedious process with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (“DABT”) and extensive application requirements. Aside from the alcohol licensing process, there may be ancillary permits or approvals that may be required from other Florida agencies and local municipalities.
1 – The Cost and Process of Obtaining a License
There are various types of alcohol licenses available in Florida. The type of required license depends on the alcoholic beverages the business operator intends to sell, where the business will be located, and the type of business proposed. Various licenses are available through a direct application with the DABT while others need to be purchased from an existing alcohol licensee. The cost of a quota liquor license which does not require food sales varies per county. For advice and help, speak with a liquor licensing attorney at Spiritus Law today if you're not sure what kind of license you require.
After you’ve confirmed the type of license needed, keep in mind that the alcohol licensing process will require the qualification of your business and its owners and shareholders. The qualification process requires disclosure of other business interests in the alcohol industry as well as extensive personal disclosures and background history information for individual owners, shareholders, managers, and directors.
2 - Zoning and Your Business Location
Business owners must also determine if the location is approved for the sale and service of alcoholic beverages. Before you move forward with purchasing or leasing a commercial location, confirmed the permitted uses at the property. Please note there may be additional permitting requirements for any proposed entertainment or outdoor seating. Lastly, please keep in mind that there are various dry counties in Florida that prohibit the sale or service of alcohol within their jurisdiction.
3 – On or Off Premises Consumption?
Another vital thing to consider is whether your business will sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption (bar or restaurant) or off-premises consumption. This is another crucial factor that will determine the type of license you need to apply for and whether the proposed location is properly zoned. An establishment that sells alcohol for on-site consumption is referred to as an on-premise establishment. Off-premise establishments refers to locations that sell packed alcohol products intended for consumption off the premises.
4 - Food Service
Will your business serve food, limited snacks, or not offer food at all? Food service will require additional licensing from the Florida Division of Hotels & Restaurants as well as additional local permitting and inspections. Additionally, the level of food sales will impact your ability to obtain a special food service alcohol license from the DABT and/or whether you will need to purchase an alcohol license from an existing licensee.
5 - Hours of Operation
Have you considered what your intended hours of operation will be? Generally, for alcohol sales, each local ordinance sets the regulations regarding permitted hours of operation. Additional permitting or special approvals may be needed for late-night operating hours.
Need Help With The Process? Contact a Spiritus Law Beverage License Attorney Today!
Working with an Alcohol Beverage License Attorney may save time and money in completing the tedious alcohol licensing process. Spiritus Law attorneys have extensive experience in the field, assisting businesses and organizations with alcohol and business permitting. Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We recommend you seek the advice of counsel prior to proceeding with any business plan.