How to get a Florida Beer & Wine License in 2024

Updated: May 14, 2024

Every business in Florida that sells beer and wine is required to apply for a license issued by the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, Bureau of Licensing.

This is a formal process that requires knowledge of certain rules and regulations in regards to the type of business and the license itself.
These rules and regulations are in place so the right type of license is applied for the alcoholic beverages a business can sell, if it can be consumed on the premise or off-premise, as well as other details that address the use of the type of license.

We have many clients reach out to our team while in the middle of the licensing process. They are often feeling confused and stuck. We tell them, regardless if they are already in the process or simply thinking about getting started, the beer and wine licensing process can be somewhat difficult and confusing.

We have, over the past 30 years, prepared and processed thousands of applications, and it is safe to say that we have both the experience and knowledge of the intricate details of this process. We advise people to keep this in mind when applying for a beer and wine license in Florida.
When we meet with a client for the first time, we talk to them about what type of license they might need. Some of the questions that we might ask include the following:
Details about the business:

  • Is it a restaurant? Is it a nightclub? If yes, is it a new business or a transfer of a license that the client took over?
  • Is it a tavern, a bar?
  • Is it a convenience store?
  • Is it a sandwich shop, a small deli, a supermarket?

Details about the alcoholic beverages a client intends on selling or serving:

  • Is it beer only?
  • Is it beer and wine only?
  • Do you intend to also serve liquor and other spirits?
  • Is it a mixture of all of the above?

Details about the consumption:

  • On the premise?
  • Off the premise?
  • Both?

Answers to these questions provide us the information necessary to assist our customers and clients with the type of license you will need to operate your business After a complete analysis of the business model, we take the steps necessary to successfully obtain a license for a client.

Why Businesses Need a Beer and Wine License

In an effort to maintain a tightly regulated industry, the Florida Beverage Law and the Florida Administrative Code, section 61A-1.017, require an applicant to be of good moral character before being issued a Florida Beer & Wine license.

Licensees who fail to continue meeting the requirements of the good moral character standard will be issued an administrative action to determine whether the alcoholic beverage license should be revoked. Anyone convicted of a felony within the prior 15 years is also ineligible for a license to sell beer and wine in Florida.

Failing to acquire a proper alcoholic beverage license for the sale of beer and wine is a violation of Florida law and is punishable as a second-degree misdemeanor. Getting the proper license is far less than the fines, penalties, and the defense of the administrative and/or criminal charges.

Steps in the Process of Getting a Beer and Wine License in Florida

Gathering information
Before applying for a beer and wine license in Florida, documentation regarding the location, zoning, right of occupancy, and other specific details must be acquired.

This includes but is not limited to items such as:

  • Evidence that the applicant has the legal right of occupancy by way of a lease or deed
  • Approval by the local zoning authority
  • The floor plan sketch of the premises
  • If a corporation, registration with the Florida Division of Corporations
  • The EIN number for the applicant

There is other information that is required for which we can assist in gathering. You are also required to provide personal information to determine whether you have held a license that has been suspended or revoked, whether you have had any criminal charges filed against you in the last 15 years, whether you have been convicted of an offense involving alcoholic beverages or tobacco products within the last five years, as well as whether you meet the standards of the moral character rule.

After application submission to the local DABT district office and the location inspection of the premises, the decision to approve or deny a license is made and mailed to the applicant. Once we outline these steps, it helps us assist customers and clients with what is required and what steps are necessary to secure a license.
Accordingly, it is recommended that you consult an expert like our knowledgeable team in order to:

  • Make sure that you apply for the proper license for your business
  • Ensure that the application for licensure is properly filled out and contains the required exhibits

There are different types of beer and wine licenses in Florida. In order for us to be able to determine what you will need, they include:

2COP Liquor License Florida

This is a license that allows the consumption of beer and wine for on-premises and off-premise consumption. Restaurants, cafés, sports bars, and other similar establishments hold a 2COP license that allows them to serve and sell beer and wine for on-premises consumption as well as package sales in sealed containers, provided that package sales are not prohibited by local municipal ordinance.

A 2COP license can be issued to qualifying applicants without quotas and there is no limit on the number of licenses issued. There are several details that require your attention in regards to obtaining such a beer & wine license in the state of Florida.
They may additionally depend on the local municipality, but we can assist you every step of the way, making sure your license application process moves forward both properly and promptly.

2APS Florida Liquor License

This is a license that allows the purchase and sale of beer and wine for off-premise consumption. Supermarkets, convenience stores, and gas stations most often hold this license. Rules, regulations and placement regarding this type of beer and wine license in Florida may vary depending on the county and the municipality.

Benefits of Getting a Beer and Wine License

There are plenty of benefits to getting a beer and wine license in the state of Florida. Almost all of them stem from the fact that selling beer and wine is profitable, and for many businesses, an integral part of the business model. A restaurant that doesn’t serve wine may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage compared to the one that does.

People like to relax, socialize and slow down during the day, and having a glass of beer or wine is one of the more enjoyable ways to do it.
Inventorying a fine selection of beer and wine license opens up new streams of revenue in other segments. For example, a convenience store benefits a lot from customers that come in for a bottle of wine or a six-pack and they are able to get other items along the way.

Those revenue streams are most beneficial to the retailer as they often entail profitable sales of items that complement the beer and wine inventory. There are many examples where additional revenue streams appear after introducing an enticing selection of beer and wine for your customer.

The economic rewards are quite obvious and undoubtedly justify the expense of getting a beer and wine license. However, there are significant fines and penalties for selling beer and wine without a license. In some cases, we have seen penalties and fines assessed that would cause a business to close.

Business owners that are found violating the statutory requirements may additionally be impaired from being able to hold another alcoholic beverage license in the future. That’s why it is advised that the proper license is secured before introducing beer and wine to your business model.

Why Choose Beverage License Specialists to Help with Your Beer and Wine License?

We have handled thousands of applications for alcoholic beverage licenses including beer and wine licenses with great success. Because of our extensive knowledge of the process, experience in the field, and excellent open communication on both ends, it results in getting the proper license needed within the desired time frame and makes for happy customers and clients.

Navigating through the proper channels is part of our daily routine. We have had clients who made mistakes during the application process or even ones that suffered financial penalties because they lacked a proper license that specifically covers their business.
Avoid pitfalls and delays in getting your beer & wine license.

Feel free to contact us and find out answers to these and other questions relating to obtaining a beer & wine license:

  • What type of license is recommended for your business?
  • How do you apply for a license?
  • How long does the application process take?
  • How much does it cost to get a license?
  • What are the first steps in this process?

Answers to these and many other questions you may have may vary depending on circumstances. The best way for you to start this process is to schedule an appointment and ask these questions directly.

We can provide information particular to your business and outline the way the process works, specific steps, and most important of all, what can you expect regarding time and money. Give us a call today to get started on your Florida beer and wine license application. We look forward to working with you.

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Contact Beverage License Specialists

Address: 1015 NW 9th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33311

Office Phone: 954-369-5858

Toll Free: 800-523-7651

Fax: 954-727-9001

If you are seeking to buy, sell or finance a Florida liquor license, contact Beverage License Specialists today