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Licenses for Bars and Restaurants

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What Licenses Do I Need to Operate a Bar or Restaurant?

In addition to a liquor license, which permits a business to sell alcohol to individuals over 21, the following licenses may be necessary for a bar or restaurant, and are commonly issued by city governments:

  • Place of Entertainment License – This license is usually issued by the local government or police department. A business needs this type of license if there is any entertainment provided in conjunction with the service of food or alcohol. The definition of entertainment is very broad, and this type of license is often interpreted as a permit for public assembly.
  • Dance Hall Keeper License – A business will need this permit if they intend to allow people to dance on their premises. If a business does not have one of these licenses and people regularly dance at the establishment, the business can face fines or other penalties.
  • Extended-Hours License – A business needs this type of permit if they intend to be open past 2 AM. The license is required for patrons to remain on site, or be admitted, between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM for any establishment that serves food or alcohol or provides entertainment.

Should I Consult an Attorney?

Because you may not know the advantages or disadvantages of operating a business under certain conditions, you will most likely want to consult a business attorney before you decide the various uses of your bar or restaurant, and what licenses you will need to provide those services.

Photo of page author Adam Vukovic

, LegalMatch Legal Writer

Last Modified: 05-17-2018 07:51 PM PDT

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