Retail & Hospitality Licensing & Compliance

Serving Solutions & Delivering Results

The restaurant and hospitality industries are constantly innovating and adjusting to advances in technology, new global competitors, and operational obstacles, especially following the novel coronavirus pandemic. We strive to focus on the specific needs and long-term goals of our clients by tailoring exceptional operational guidance and licensing plans that serve both business objectives and regulatory compliance concerns. Our representation is customized to provide clients with as much or as little support as needed from project development and planning through complete regulatory permitting, opening and post-opening operations.  We focus on transparency in our work, status tracking, and organization of all regulatory processes and permit filings.


Immersive. Passionate. Creative.

  • Provide comprehensive licensing and permitting including alcohol, entertainment, special event, food service, and hotel facility state and local business permitting.
  • Identification of land use and zoning regulations, obtaining required use approvals and filing for modification of restrictions and hours of sale.
  • Review of online sales platforms and third-party delivery agreements.
  • Assist third-party delivery providers in review of alcohol licensing requirements and permitted service fee arrangements.
  • Analysis of complex ownership structures and investment funds for review of limited disclosure options and compliance with state and local ownership disclosure regulations.
  • Comprehensive project development tracking and completion of all state and local permit filings including coordination of filing requirements with local contractors on new build and renovations projects.
  • Draft legislative and statutory amendments for creation of special alcohol licenses and municipal code amendments for exceptions to land use requirements and restrictions.
  • Review of permitting requirements and completion of regulatory filings for ancillary amenities and services including entertainment permits, spa and massage therapy licensing, fitness studio licensing, pool permitting, ancillary bar permitting, and certificates of use.
  • Draft operating and facility management agreements.
  • Maintenance of permits and licenses in good standing, including renewal tracking and corporate updates.
  • Trade practice, advertising and social media guidance, and promotion reviews.
  • Location specific operational protocol summaries and regulation tracking.
  • Multi-jurisdiction license tracking, regulatory updates and license transfers following corporate restructuring and mergers or acquisitions.
  • Defense against federal and state administrative complaints for alleged violations of zoning regulations and Florida’s food and beverage laws.

What’s Trending?

  • On-line alcohol sales skyrocket but direct-to consumer shipping and delivery laws present regulatory hurdles.
  • To-Go cocktail privileges offered a lifeline for restaurants and bars during the coronavirus pandemic; but will the privilege remain after re-opening?
  • Delivery service providers struggles with limitations on permissible service and delivery fees for alcohol orders.
  • Multi-use entertainment facilities are growing in popularity, but local zoning regulations present operational obstacles.
  • Restaurants and bars look toward themed concepts and private label alcohol offering to complement brand image.
  • Social media advertising becomes the go-to marketing preference for alcohol retailers, but available guidance is voluminous and varies between jurisdictions.


We SUPPORT our Clients Through the Good, the Bad and the Worst…

  • Drafted emergency and pandemic closure protocols for various restaurants, bars, hotels, and movie theaters during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Developed re-opening social distancing protocols and floor plan models for various on-premise establishments and provided multijurisdictional tracking of emergency orders and regulations impacting re-opening operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Assisted with lease and alcohol license financing agreement re-negotiations and payment abatement for businesses impacted by coronavirus pandemic closures.
  • Represented national and international movie-theater chains in national integration of alcohol service including multi-state license tracking, state and local approvals, and development of facility operational compliance protocols.
  • Assisted with record setting industry mergers and acquisitions in the entertainment and hotel industries with transfer and filing of alcohol and business operating permits, ancillary service licenses, and corporate update regulatory filings in coordination with closing timelines.
  • Representation of commercial developers and landlords in securing alcohol use allocations for large retail and entertainment centers.
  • Assisted national liquor store chain with new location expansion in Florida and reviewed alcohol purchasing and warehouse distribution options for self-distribution of alcohol inventory.
  • Represented grocery stores and pharmacy chains in integration of alcohol product inventory and creation of neighboring liquor stores to complement traditional grocery store operations.
  • Reviewed alcohol service options for grocery stores offering on-premise food service and café amenities.
  • Reviewed alcohol and purchasing models for cruise lines including analysis of free trade zones and options for use of alcohol products purchase outside the U.S.
  • Development of online concierge services and alcohol sales and delivery models.
  • Represented various sports teams and stadiums in review of alcohol sponsorship agreements and marketing programs for compliance with advertising regulations.
  • Served as special alcohol regulatory counsel in Cineworld Theaters acquisition of Regal Entertainment Group, valued at over $3 Billion USD, and completed multi-jurisdictional license tracking, license transfers and corporate updates resulting from change in ownership.
  • Provided on-site alcohol marketing training for various sports teams and hospitality venues with a focus on permissible use of social and digital media for alcohol related promotions.
  • Assisted various nightclubs and bars with review of drug prevention policies and provided on-site training.
  • Comprehensive licensing and permitting of concessionaire kiosks and food stands at train stations, sports stadiums, conference centers and other entertainment venues with third-party food catering services.
  • Assisted with drafting legislation and statutory amendments in Florida for creation of special licenses for train station facilities and on-board consumption.
  • Served as special counsel and consultants for restaurant expansion and national roll-out projects including multi-state license tracking, completion of regulatory filings, and development on internal protocols for alcohol service compliance.
  • Defended various retailers including restaurants, stadium operators, and bars against Federal and State administrative complaints for alleged trade practice and sponsorship promotions during the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau’s (TTB) joint task force operation with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco between 2017-19.


Photo of Halsey W. Beshears

Halsey W. Beshears Governmental Relations & Lobbying Team Leader, Non-Attorney 305.224.1003

Photo of Marilyn Coizeau

Marilyn Coizeau Senior Paralegal & Team Coordinator 305.615.1519

Photo of Loy A.

Loy A. "Tony" Haynes Regulatory Consultant Teammate, Non-Attorney 305.224.1003

Photo of Anqueisha Jones

Anqueisha Jones Senior Licensing Team Paralegal 305.809.8124

Photo of Robert F. Lewis

Robert F. Lewis Founding Attorney & Team Manager - Alcohol Industry Group 305.615.1044

Photo of Marbet Lewis

Marbet Lewis Founding Attorney & Team Manager - Alcohol Industry Group 305.417.6559

Photo of Evadne Maxwell

Evadne Maxwell Senior Licensing Team Paralegal 305.501.2075

Photo of Debra Pender

Debra Pender Regulatory Consultant Teammate, Non-Attorney 305.224.1003

Photo of Dominic “Nico” A. Romano

Dominic “Nico” A. Romano Attorney Team Leader, Real Estate Group 305.407.1678

Photo of  Yasmin Tabatabayi

Yasmin Tabatabayi Senior Paralegal Team Administrator 305.396.8872

Photo of Zamani Thomas

Zamani Thomas Of-Counsel Teammate 305.224.1003

Spiritus Law has created pricing and budgeting guidelines designed to provide transparency in our fee structures and efficient cost accounting and planning. 

We understand the importance of cost management, and we continually identify alternative billing structures that can accommodate both large projects involving various service and permitting needs and as well as small focused projects. 

Our vast knowledge in the industry has always allowed us to create a competitive rate structure and alternative fee arrangements. This allows us and our clients to examine and consider the most effective billing method for their project. Our fee arrangements may include any of the following:

  1. Traditional Hourly Billing with monthly invoicing;
  2. Flat Fee per project billing for routine licensing matters;
  3. Monthly retainer billing for ongoing consulting services;
  4. Fee caps for special limited projects; and
  5. Quarterly billing arrangements based on project scope.

Interactive and collaborative client communication is a primary focus of our project management and enables us to promptly identify issues that may increase projected budgets or require the need of additional legal services. We routinely produce work plans so our clients can see what we will be doing in addition to what we are doing.

While each matter and each client’s goals are unique, we strive to identify and streamline standard processes and document requests to ease the burden various regulatory filing processes can impose on your in-house team and reduce the risk of unexpected legal fees.