Liquor you can have with a liquor licenseWhat liquor license do I need?

If you would like to start a new business, or currently have one, and want to involve the sale of alcoholic beverages in your business it is important that you learn about the many types of alcoholic beverage licenses.  Every state will have its own laws for the sale of beer, wine, and liquor.  You must apply for the correct alcoholic beverage license, also known as a liquor license, in order to legally sell or distribute spirits, wine, or beer.  The following is an explanation of the types of liquor licenses you may need.  For help with applying for your alcoholic beverage license, contact our liquor licensing attorneys at Dunlap Bennett & Ludwig.

Picking the Right Alcoholic Beverage License

Each state has an alcohol beverage control office that has ruling over the licensing and order of alcohol distributors and producers for that state. The Alcohol & Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau controls it at the federal level.  What you will need when it comes to a liquor license will depend on your state.  It is important that you check your state’s laws and speak with a licensed attorney for help putting in an application for your license.

In Washington, D.C., alcoholic beverage license types include:

  1. Manufacturer: A business that makes wine, spirits, or beer;
  2. Wholesaler: A business that sells an alcoholic beverage to other ABC licensed businesses for resale;
  3. Off-premises retailers: Retailers who sell alcoholic beverages for drinking off their property only, this could include online sales;
  4. On-premise retailers: Retailers that sell alcoholic beverages and allow drinking on the licensed property. This can include restaurants, bars, hotels, nightclubs, etc.

These are just a few of the possible types of alcoholic beverage licenses that you may need.  The different licenses are given by class, and your license type will decide the kind of alcoholic beverages you can sell.  License classes in Washington, D.C. include:

  • Off-premises Retailer Class A: Allows a store to sell beer, wine, and spirits for drinking off property;
  • Off-premises Retailer Class B: Allows only the sale of beer and wine for drinking off property;
  • On-premises Retailer Class C: Allows the sale, service, and drinking of spirits, beer, and wine at a restaurant, bed and breakfast, nightclub, tavern, and multipurpose location, with licenses, explained more by the type of business.

Searching for the right liquor license for your business can be a long and sometimes challenging process.  Speaking with liquor licensing attorney is always helpful. They can also look to see if you are following all state and federal alcohol laws correctly.

Learn more about liquor licensing by clicking here.

Posted in: Business Law, Licensing