January 08, 2020 4 min read
5 Simple Steps To Liquor Licensing
Liquor licensing can be a big step for anyone to take in their career and business. It involves things that most people have never heard of like Radius Maps, Public Noticing, ABC-207, ABC 247, ABC 251 forms, etc. There is no reason to make it a daunting or scary process. It’s actually not a difficult series of steps if you know where to go and who to talk to. Let’s take a look at what you will need to do:
Step One – The Initial Filing
The first thing to do is to find your nearest Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) District Office. This easy link will show all the District Offices by City and by County:
Once an office is selected, a staff member at that office with ask you some questions that will determine they type of license you will need. The staff member will then advise you on what forms/fees are required to file the application.
Note: In some cases, an applicant must first obtain approval from zoning officials, open an escrow or go to the office of the County Recorder for a certified copy of a Notice of Intended Transfer before filing an application with the ABC.
Step Two – The Notification Process
It is your responsibility to:
In some cases, the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) may require you to do one or more of the following:
Notification to Local Officials
ABC will mail a copy of the application to your local officials as required by law. If this is within the city, a copy will go to the police department, city council and the city planning department. If your location is within the county, a copy will go to the police department, board of supervisors and the district attorney. In the event that there are concerns about the license issuance, they may request or impose restrictions on the business operation or them may file a protest.
The most common concerns are:
Note: If you land on #4, the City Council or Board of Supervisors has 90 days to determine this and notify the Alcoholic Beverage Council (ABC). If the City Council or Board of Supervisors does not decide within 90 days, ABC by issue the license if the applicant shows ABC that issuance would serve public convenience or necessity. This is commonly referred to as Governmental Red Tape.
Step Three – Investigation
The ABC will go through a thorough investigation to determine if you and the premises qualify for a license.
Note: Any person may protest this process. To do this, they must file a protest in writing within 30 days of either:
If your retail license application has been protested and the Department has recommended approval of the license, the ABC may issue an Interim Operating Permit upon your written request.
Note: These are some of the reasons for protest or denial of a license:
License conditions are special restrictions placed on a license. They may limit hours for sales of alcohol, the type of entertainment you can provide or other things. These may eliminate the need to deny your license or may cause the protesting person to withdraw their protest.
Step Four – Final Review
The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will now do their final review. There are things that may delay them form issuing your license:
Step Five – Issuance of a License
After the final review is completed. The ABC will issue you your license.