Obtaining a liquor license is a complicated and lengthy process. There are many state, county, city, and local laws, regulations, rules, and procedures that you must comply with in order to obtain a liquor license. To assist you in this process, it is best to enlist the expertise of a business attorney who is familiar with all of the laws and regulations in your location. You can hire an attorney to work with you in different ways:
- Your attorney can provide you with all of the licensing regulations and forms that you must complete. You can then file these completed forms with the applicable government agencies to obtain your liquor license.
- Your attorney can complete all required licensing forms for you and give them to you for signature. You can then file these completed forms with the applicable government agencies to obtain your liquor license.
- Your attorney can complete all required licensing forms, file your forms, and obtain your liquor license for you.
Here are many of the documents and support papers that you will need to file with government agencies to obtain your liquor license:
Business Plan: You will need a copy of your formal business plan that clearly states your business goals and how you plan to obtain them. This plan states all legal information about your business profile and specifies if your business is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a corporation, or another business structure. This plan should also specify the type of liquor license that you want to obtain and a complete list of the food and drinks that are permitted under that license in your city, county, and state.
Legal Documents: You will need copies of your business license, partnership agreement, articles of incorporation, certificate of title for your building, code compliance certificates, and any other legal documents that define your business. You will also need copies of all other licenses and certificates that you have already obtained for your business.
Food and Beverage Menu: You will need a complete menu of all food and beverages that you plan to serve at your business location. Government agencies grant liquor licenses to many different classes of businesses such as restaurants, taverns, clubs, brewpubs, retail stores, and others. The fee for your liquor license will depend upon the classification of your business.
Architectural Drawings and Photographs: You will need copies of all architectural drawings of your business including a floor plan of the interior and exterior spaces. You will also need photographs of your business as it exists now and any drawings or plans for future expansion. Many government offices need proof that your business complies with all applicable building codes and zoning laws before you are granted a liquor license.
Know the laws in your state, county, city, and locale that pertain to businesses that sell liquor. In that way, you can knowledgeably work with your attorney to complete and file all forms to obtain your liquor license. Be prepared to pay an application fee and licensing fee for your liquor license and to pay a renewal fee for your liquor license each year. With due diligence and the assistance of a good attorney, you can obtain a liquor license and have a fully compliant business.
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