If you’re thinking of opening a new business or relocating to Central Florida and you plan on selling alcohol, this handy guide can help you navigate the Central Florida Liquor License process. Even if you’re already in Central Florida, but plan on expanding your services, make sure you’re setting yourself up for success before you even start the application process. There are some important things to know that can help the start-up phase run smoothly.
Beginning the License Application Process
Central Florida is a hub for many tourist attractions, so expect many out-of-state travelers as customers. In fact, Central Florida is the largest tourist area in the United States and includes major attractions such as Disney World, LEGOLAND, Daytona Speedway, Cape Canaveral, Sea World, and Universal Orlando Resort. Central Florida generally encompasses these counties:
- Orange County: Includes the cities of Orlando, Winter Park and Ocoee
- Osceola County: Cities include Kissimmee and St. Cloud
- Polk County: Lakeland and Winter Haven are located here
- Lake County: Leesburg, Mt. Dora and Clermont are major cities
- Volusia County: Daytona Beach is the dominant municipality
- Brevard County: Melbourne and Cocoa Beach are major coastal cities
Each municipal jurisdiction (cities and counties) within Florida may have their own specific liquor license regulations and requirements which may necessitate additional applications being filed within the municipality having jurisdiction over your intended location. As you begin the application process, you’ll need several forms of documentation to obtain a liquor license. These forms are consistent on the state level, so they will work for each county that you are seeking to operate. Before starting an application, make sure you have the following pieces of documentation:
- Municipal zoning approval
- Personal information for all principals including Social Security number, phone numbers, and addresses
- Any criminal records
- Right of Occupancy
- Contracts for management
- Sketch of floor plan for the establishment
- Sales and Use tax registration from the Florida Department of Revenue
- Document registration number from the state of Florida
- Federal employer’s identification number
When this documentation has been gathered and the application has been filled out, our team at Beverage License Specialists is standing by and ready to help. Let us know if you have questions before submitting your application.
Different Types of Florida Alcoholic Beverage Licenses
There are a wide variety of available licenses and permits for alcoholic beverages available through the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. These licenses vary depending on what type of business you run. Some examples of the variety of businesses that can sell alcoholic beverages include the following types of operations:
- Full-service bars and restaurants
- Packaged beer and wine for off-premises consumption
- Consumption on premises for beer and wine only
- Culinary education programs
- Hotels and motels
- Transportation establishments such as railroads, boats, buses, airplanes or other passenger vessels
- Event centers and performing arts facilities
- Lodges, fraternal order groups, athletic clubs and golf clubs
- Specialty and temporary permits
Choosing the Right Liquor License
Navigating the vast array of available permits can be daunting. Consulting an advisor at Beverage License Specialists can help you determine the best type of license for your establishment. Even if your business only serves beer and wine on premises, you may have business expansion ideas for the future that include different types of alcohol sales. Choosing a permit that allows your business to evolve and change may be more appropriate from the get-go rather than re-applying for a different license down the line.
Nightlife establishments that generate 49% or more in total revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages require a Quota License. If a business generates 51% or more of their total revenue through the sale of food and non-alcoholic beverages, they may qualify for a 4COP/SFS license. There are an unlimited number of these types of licenses available while Quota Licenses are only available on a limited basis based on the population of a given county.
Let Us Help You Navigate the Process
No matter what type of license your Central Florida business needs, we are here to assist so that you can save time and focus on your business, operations, and advertising. Contact us today.
Our customer-focused, deeply knowledgeable team is available by phone at 954-369-5858