Legal Issues for Bars and Restaurants

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Most Common Business Law Issues:

Health and Safety Issues

Serious health issues may result when bars and restaurants do not properly handle food or drinks. In addition to the possibility of food poisoning, customers can be burned or injured by broken glass in a restaurant environment.

In order to help keep customers safe, laws are enforced regarding how food should be handled and stored, how surfaces should be cleaned, and much more. Restaurants and bars are subject to health inspections to ensure proper guidelines are followed.

Although state laws differ, most restaurants will be subject to two surprise health and safety inspections per year. Chain restaurants with 20 or more locations may be subject to different regulations than restaurants with only a few locations. For example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act includes menu labeling regulations.

Permits and Licenses

Depending on the state and local laws, a new restaurant may need any or all of the following licenses: food service establishment permit, an alcohol beverage license, a general business license, and a food safety permit.

Restaurants and bars frequently have legal problems involving liquor licenses and selling alcohol to minors. Even the general process to obtain a liquor license can become highly complex.

Other Applicable Types of Law

Should I Consult an Attorney?

An attorney can help you meet all the deadlines and fulfill requirements needed to open a restaurant. He or she may also be able to help you decide which legal issues are most pertinent to your business, and work though possible strategies for the best legal protection.

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Last Modified: 10-03-2016 09:29 PM PDT

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