How to Complete a Florida Liquor License Application
If you're aspiring to open a bar, restaurant, package liquor store, or any other establishment that sells alcoholic beverages, you need to get a Florida beer and wine license or a Florida liquor license.
Failure to apply for an alcoholic beverage license will impact your ability to legally purchase and sell alcoholic beverages.
Learning how to get your liquor license ensures that you stay on the right side of the law, avoiding costly fines and penalties, as well as potentially barring you from securing a license in the future.
There are numerous steps involved, which can make the process a bit complicated.
Breaking down the process into individual steps can make it a bit easier to follow.
If you still have concerns, are short on time, or are worried that a mistake may hold up or delay your application, think about hiring a professional and qualified third-party licensing service, such as Beverage License Specialists.
Types of Liquor Licenses Available
If you need to get a beer and wine license, Florida has a few options available.
For starters, you need to determine what type of business you wish to operate as well as whether you want to offer only beer and wine or beer, wine and spirits.
Beer and wine licenses can be obtained by submitting a complete application to the state.
Liquor licenses can be a bit harder to obtain, especially if you want to sell the liquor for on-premise consumption.
If you are in need of securing a quota alcoholic beverage license for on-premise or off-premise consumption, they are only made available based upon quota increases in population within the county.
As such, there are only a limited number available for use in the county.
You can only obtain these licenses by purchasing one from an existing licensee or by applying through the annual state quota license lottery.
The precise number of licenses available at any given time depends entirely on the growth of the population of the county involved.
For instance, one license is made available for each 7,500 person increase in population within the county.
Restaurant owners who can meet the statutory requirements for a special food service (SFS)_ license can apply directly with the state of Florida, thereby not necessitating the need for a quota liquor license.
These licenses are only made available to establishments that meet certain statutory requirements, such as square footage, seating and 51% or more of the gross revenue being derived from the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
State Liquor Licenses vs. Purchased Liquor Licenses
All beer, wine and liquor license applications must be filed with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing.
These include applications for the sale of beer and wine, as well as those that provide for the sale of liquor at restaurants.
If, however, you will need a quota liquor license, you can only secure one by purchasing from a current license owner in the marketplace.
Once purchased, you will need to apply for the transfer of ownership of the license with the state of Florida.
Prices of licenses purchased in the marketplace vary based upon the supply and demand that exists within the county.
There may be additional quota license transfer fees assessed by the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco for the transfer of the quota license.
Paying for the Application
There may be fees associated with each application type. It is important to be sure that you prepare and file the correct form, as these fees may be non-refundable.
If you are confused or need guidance, consider contacting a professional licensing service for assistance.
If you apply for the issuance of a new license while your application is being reviewed for permanent issuance, there is an option to request a temporary license from the DABT.
The fees for a temporary license can be $100.00 or $455.00 depending upon what type of license you are applying for.
The fee to apply for a license through the quota license lottery is $100.00 per application and must be submitted with your lottery application at the time you apply.
Completing the Application
There are several complex steps involved in completing the application. The precise ones you need to take depends on the type of application you are filing.
For example, if you will be preparing and serving food, you need to get health approval from the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants.
Those that will not be preparing or serving food will need approval from the Florida Department of Health or the Florida Department of Agriculture.
Each application form may contain overlapping information. In general, you will be expected to provide the following information:
- Proof of fingerprinting
- The social security number of all applicants
- Your business registration number and federal employer’s identification number
- A sketch of your business space (not an architectural rendering)
- Copy of arrest disposition if you have a criminal record
- Personal questionnaires for all officers, directors or shareholders
- A lease or deed providing right of occupancy
Each one of the application types is available online at the Division’s website.
The time it takes for the Division to approve your application depends on several factors.
The biggest one is the type of application you filed. For example, some types of licenses require additional exhibits and take longer to review than others.
The way you prepared and filled out your application also plays a role in processing times.
Applications that are completed with all the required information are approved much faster than others.
Once you receive approval, you can begin selling alcoholic beverages to include beer, wine and liquor in accordance with your license.
Make sure you carefully review the rules and laws associated with your type of license to avoid being charged with non-compliance.
You should keep a copy of your license in a conspicuous location with your other operational licenses for your organization or restaurant.
Alcoholic beverage licenses come with several obligations you must meet, including, but not limited to, verifying the age of all patrons and refusing to serve those who appear to be intoxicated.
How We Can Help
If you are wondering how to get a liquor license or that of a beer and wine license in Florida, contact Beverage License Specialists today.
The process and steps involved in obtaining beer and wine licenses and liquor licenses can be incredibly complex.
The licensing experts at Beverage License Specialists know just how to navigate and simplify the process so that your license can be issued in a timely manner.
Avoid wasting your precious time and money by using our services. We have been in business for over 30 years. You can trust us to provide you with excellent customer service and an easy process.
We pride ourselves by keeping abreast of legislative changes that occur and are always sure to submit the correct and proper forms, supporting documentation, and accompanying fees each and every time.
We offer a free and courteous consultation to each one of our customers and clients.
This enables us to get to know you and your specific needs, and making sure that the right type of license is applied for each time.
Each one of our licensing experts is knowledgeable, experienced and skilled in providing you with the license you need and in the desired time frame.
We work hard to save you time and reduce the costs associated with each application.
When you contact us, you won’t need to worry about costly or inconvenient delays, as you may encounter when you file your own application.
Give one of our licensing specialists a call or send us an email today to find out how we can help you.