Liquor Licenses: More Complex Than You Think

Opening an establishment that serves alcohol should be easy, right? After all, there are plenty of small local bars and restaurants in just about any town. Unfortunately, the process can be more arduous and time-consuming than you might expect. Depending on how you intend to serve liquor, you may need one of several different license types.

Like many small business issues in the United States, liquor regulations also vary significantly from state to state. This inconsistency adds another layer of complexity to the process. Because there are so many potential details, it's often a bad idea to go through the process alone, especially if you don't have prior experience selling alcohol. 

Can Consultants Help?

Liquor license consultants specialize in helping small business owners. Working with a local consultant means that you'll be able to take advantage of legal advice and expertise for your state's specific laws. Consultants will usually assist you throughout the entire process, helping you to understand your costs and other obligations along the way.

Still, some entrepreneurs may balk at the idea of adding another expense to their start-up costs. Liquor license application fees may already be high, so paying a third-party to assist might be a difficult decision to make if money is tight. While you may be able to deal with your application independently, working with a consultant comes with many other benefits.

How Experts Can Expedite the Process

In many states, you'll face two immediate challenges for liquor licenses: choosing the correct class and meeting all regulatory requirements. Liquor license classes vary between jurisdictions, but they typically limit the type of alcohol you can serve and may also only apply to certain types of businesses. Some states may even require multiple licenses or may require your employees to hold server licenses.

Since license classes often cover different types of establishments (such as bars vs. restaurants), you'll need to ensure that you meet all requirements for your license class. Depending on your state, you may need to have additional paperwork, licenses, or permits in place for your application to qualify. Failing to meet these requirements on your first try can make the process more time-consuming and expensive.

Working with an experienced consultant can reduce or eliminate the odds that the state will reject your application. They can help you choose the correct license or licenses for your business and work with you to confirm that you meet all requirements. The time you spend on this preparation means that you can rest assured the state will approve your application, and you can get on with running your business. Contact a company like Arizona Liquor Industry Consultants for more information.