You’ve checked all of your boxes: You have a liquor license, a solid business plan, and are up to date on all requirements and processes. But what happens when your liquor license expires? It is crucial to ensure that you do not allow your liquor license to expire, as its expiration will have negative ramifications on your business. Keep reading for some key information when it comes to renewing your liquor license in Florida.
When does your liquor license expire?
The first (and simplest) step is to check the expiration date on your liquor license. While this may seem like an obvious step, it is commonly overlooked until the license holder becomes concerned that it will expire. One of the most important responsibilities a license holder has is to renew their liquor license on time, which means that they must be proactive. Think about it–if you check your liquor license and it expires the following day, you will likely not have enough time to prepare the required materials to renew it timely. The moment you receive your liquor license, it is imperative that the expiration date is noted, as well as key dates when you must start the renewal process.
If you are unsure of the expiration date, you can find it on the liquor license itself. In addition, if you have misplaced your liquor license, you can contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to request a copy.
Requirements and Documentation
Now you know when your liquor license expires, but what do you need in order to renew? Depending on the type of license you hold, requirements may vary. Before you begin filling out forms, make sure to review the requirements. It can be helpful to have a list of everything you need to fill out and compile. While there are varying requirements for each type of liquor license, here are some common elements to keep in mind through each process:
- A completed renewal application. Make sure to review the application for accuracy!
- Ensure that you are including all supporting documentation required with your application.
- Take time to pay the renewal fee.
Throughout this process, it can be helpful to reach out to an experienced attorney who can assist with the renewal process. In addition, you can learn more about the types of liquor licenses, and their requirements, on the DBPR website.
Completing Renewal Forms
After you determine what steps and documentation you will need to renew your license, it’s time to start completing the renewal forms. You can obtain these forms from the DBPR website, or by contacting their office. An experienced attorney can also assist you in determining which forms you need.
These forms must be filled out carefully and accurately to ensure that they are considered in a timely manner; errors and incomplete forms may cause delays in the process, with the potential of impacting your business. When completing renewal forms, it can be helpful to have another person, or an experienced attorney, work with you to avoid unnecessary errors.
Compiling the supporting documentation needed can become an overwhelming task–before you start searching for documentation, review the required documents and make a list of what you will need. When it comes to the specific documentation you will need, each liquor license has its own requirements. There are, however, some types of documentation that overlap between the different licenses. You may have to be prepared to gather:
- Proof of liability insurance
- Up-to-date floor plans
- Copies of your current license
- Proof of payment of outstanding taxes or fees
When gathering supporting documentation, make sure that everything is as clear as possible. Documents should be legible, follow any given requirements, and have clear labels so that you can keep your renewal organized. You should give yourself plenty of time to gather required documents – it might even be useful to keep these documents in an organized location so that they are ready during the renewal process.
Before your application is complete, it is important to consider renewal fees. The renewal fees for liquor licenses in Florida vary depending on the type of license you hold, so you must ensure that the fee you pay corresponds with the correct type of license. The fees must be paid in full when you submit your renewal application.
What happens if you do not know what your renewal fee is? You can find the current renewal fees on the DBPR's website.
Submitting Your Application
You have filled out the application, gathered all supplementary documentation, and are prepared with your renewal fee–now what? The next step is to submit your application. Before submitting your application, it is crucial to ensure that all of the information provided is correct and in order. It’s a good idea to have someone else look over your application and documentation for errors and missing information prior to submitting. Working with an experienced attorney can be a great way to avoid errors and lost time.
The process isn’t over once you submit your application. In fact, it isn’t over until you receive your renewed liquor license. Why is that? By keeping track of your application while it is being processed, you can proactively watch for any important notices or changes. Until you receive approval, there is always a chance that an error has occurred; if you notice that something doesn’t seem right, you can reach out to DBPR to check on its status.
As a whole, renewing your liquor license should be a routine event. Being proactive, organized, and prepared go a long way to make the process less stressful. In addition, an attorney with experience in alcohol licensing can simplify the process and assist you throughout the entire renewal. Regardless of how you submit your renewal, ensuring that you do so in a timely manner is crucial to the success of your business. Take time today to check the expiration date on your current liquor license and create a plan for renewal–preparing in advance will save you time and hassle later.