How to Sell a Liquor License in Florida

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By Burdun Iliya scaled

Sell a Florida Liquor License

Updated: June 18, 2024

In the state of Florida, there are several options for alcoholic beverage licenses, each one suited to a specific scenario and type of business. But while there are many resources that explain how to buy a liquor license in FL, it can be more difficult for individuals who are selling a liquor license to find information.

As one of the leading licensing brokerage firms in Florida, Beverage License Specialists has extensive experience in navigating the complexities of the processes to buy and sell Florida liquor licenses. We’ve created a guide to selling liquor licenses in FL, designed to help you gain a better understanding of the proper steps and regulatory requirements.

How to Sell a Liquor License in Florida

Before you begin attempting to sell your business’s liquor license, it’s important to note that it can be a complicated process. For that reason, the large majority of business owners avoid taking on the task on their own. Instead, most partner with professional license brokers to ensure the most cost-effective, seamless experience possible.

Regardless, it’s absolutely useful to have a general idea of how the selling process works. We’re going to break down the basic steps of how to sell an FL liquor license, walking you through the general experience of one of our typical clients.

1. First, determine if selling your liquor license is the best course of action.

There are many reasons a business might sell its FL quota liquor license. A quota alcoholic beverage license is a valuable asset, whether or not your business is currently operational. But if you are in a situation where you no longer need the license, selling the license often makes sense financially.

For example, let’s say you no longer plan to serve alcoholic beverages at your restaurant, event venue, hotel, or another similar business. Or, perhaps you are going to be retiring and closing your bar. In cases like these, selling the license is logical. Depending on the type of license, you can often resell it on Florida’s open market. Because many Florida liquor licenses have limited availability, the market value of an FL liquor license can fluctuate – which means yours may have appreciated in value!

However, if you consider selling your liquor license because you need to secure or refinance a loan, there may be another option. Our FL liquor license brokers can help you learn how to use a liquor license for loan collateral, should that end up being the better alternative for you.

Not sure if you should sell your license? That’s a question that our team is happy to help you answer. We’ll sit down with you to discuss your specific situation and work with you to outline the next steps that align with your needs and goals.

2. Next, be clear about what type of license you have.

There are various licenses for liquor sales in Florida, so it can be easy to be confused about exactly which type you have. But before you can move forward with selling yours, you’ll need to be prepared with an understanding of exactly what you have.

Here are a few of the most common types:

    • Florida SRX/SFS Liquor License: These FL liquor licenses are for restaurants and/or food-service establishments and permit these business types to serve alcoholic beverages. There are various requirements for this type of license, and if your business no longer meets them, you will need to switch to a quota liquor license instead.
    • Quota – 3DPS / 3CPS / 3BPS / 3APS / 3PS: FL quota liquor licenses allow businesses to sell packaged beer, wine, and liquor for off-premises consumption only.
    • Quota – 8COP / 7COP / 6COP / 5COP / 4COP: These quota liquor licenses permit FL businesses to sell beer, wine, or liquor by the drink for on-premises consumption. Alternatively, businesses with these license types can also sell beer, wine, or liquor by the drink in sealed containers for off-premises consumption (unless a local ordinance prohibits it).

As part of our role within the industry, Beverage License Specialists closely monitors the FL liquor license inventory. So, not only are we experts in the types of FL liquor licenses, but we are also consistently informed of the current inventory and market. For our clients, this can be a significant advantage, especially for those selling their license.

If you still aren’t sure to figure out what type of liquor license you are in possession of, a quick call to Beverage License Specialists will help.

3. Conduct research into the regulations for sale of FL liquor licenses, current comparative selling prices, and other details.

Did you know that not all FL alcoholic beverage licenses can be transferred from county to county? Only licenses to sell beer and wine are eligible, while licenses to sell liquor specifically must remain within the same county. This is due to limitations imposed on the number of licenses allowed in each county, and is just one example of the many requirements to be aware of when selling liquor licenses in FL. You want to be completely confident that the sale of your Florida liquor license meets all regulatory requirements for transfer upon sale – that way, you can avoid any unexpected obstacles along the way.

Additionally, only a qualified buyer can purchase your liquor license. So, you’ll need to promote your license to the right “market” of buyers and be prepared to effectively negotiate according to the regional marketplace, current market conditions and trends, and more. Otherwise, you might not be able to achieve the highest possible selling price and end up leaving money on the table.

Unless you have done extensive research on the topic, it can be overwhelming to consider all of the moving parts involved in the selling process. But there’s good news: you don’t have to do it alone.

4. Partner with a trusted FL liquor license brokerage firm.

In the state of Florida (and virtually every U.S. state), transactions involving the purchase or sale of a liquor license should ideally be completed with professional assistance. Specifically, you should look for a provider that has expertise in the requirements of transferring a FL liquor license so that they are adequately equipped to serve as a closing/escrow agent. It can feel impossible for a business owner to determine where to start in the sales process. So, why not set yourself up for success by putting your license in the hands of an experienced, knowledgeable professional?

With a broker on your side, you’ll have the benefit of accurate, up-to-date information. But beyond that, you also want a professional with the qualifications needed to streamline the process and help you get the best possible sale price for your liquor license. Not all license brokerage services are created equally, so it truly matters who you choose to work with.

Beverage License Specialists works to provide highly accurate valuations for FL liquor licenses, as well as services to help you prepare your license for sale, promote it as needed, and select a qualified buyer. Then, we will negotiate on your behalf to secure an excellent selling price in line with the current market and your region.

Let Us Help You Sell Your FL Liquor License with Ease

For answers about buying and selling FL liquor licenses, as well as professional services to support you at every stage of the process, look no further than Beverage License Specialists.

Get more information and a personalized, no-obligation proposal for your license sale when you contact us today.

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