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Owning a business such as a bar, restaurant or fine wine and spirits store, can seem like a fun adventure but it is also incredibly hard work and takes a lot of knowledge of state and local laws. Some of the most important laws you must be aware of are the state and local liquor laws

These types of regulations vary from state to state and city to city. Many of them involve things such as operating hours for liquor stores, service hours and regulations for bars and restaurants, and where liquor serving and selling establishments can be located. 

If you own a business that either currently serves or sells alcoholic beverages or if you would like to in the future, consulting and hiring a liquor license attorney to navigate these laws may be extremely beneficial for several reasons.

Obtaining a Liquor License

If you do want to sell alcohol in any way, shape, or form, you first need to obtain the proper license. Rules and processes about sales, service and manufacturing of alcohol are different in every state and may be different in each city or county as well. There may also be different licenses you need to obtain depending on how you are going to be selling the alcohol. For example, in the State of New York, there are four different types of liquor licenses available:

  • On-Site License for restaurants, lounges, bars, hotels and similar places
  • Off-Site License for grocery stores, liquor stores, and other retailers
  • Manufacturing License for sites like breweries and wineries
  • Wholesale License for those that wholesale alcohol in large quantities

With all of the details and regulations involved in this process, it may be wise to have someone like a New York liquor license attorney in your corner. These are attorneys who have experience and a great deal of knowledge about the liquor license process in their respective states, in this example, New York. Hiring one of these lawyers can take a tremendous load of stress and pressure off your plate and ensure you are doing things properly.

Maintaining a Liquor License

Once you have applied for, paid for, and received your liquor license, your duties do not end there. There are a wealth of regulations and guidelines you must follow and operate under while you have a liquor license. Again, these regulations vary depending on where you are. 

Having the guidance of a liquor license attorney can help you to maintain your license without any compliance issues. It is also very helpful when it comes time to renew your license. Depending on location, this may need to be done every couple of years. An attorney can assist you in completing your renewal paperwork and alleviate some of the burden. 

When Things Go Wrong

Of course you hope it never comes to this, but if you ever find yourself out of compliance with your liquor license or facing a violation, having an attorney may save the day. They can give you guidance to get you back into compliance, help you handle the violation and get you back on track. Having a liquor license is vital for so many businesses including restaurants and bars. Having a liquor license revoked can have devastating effects, but having a skilled attorney on your side can prevent this from happening. 

As a business owner, there may be several matters you can handle on your own and not need an attorney for. Liquor license issues are not one of them. Obtaining the assistance of a good liquor license attorney can ensure you obtain, operate, and keep your liquor license in good standing, leading your business to success.  

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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