Before a restaurant, store, or other establishment can sell liquor, it has to obtain a liquor license. A liquor license is a document that allows an establishment to legally sell alcohol.

Both federal and state law heavily regulate the sale of alcohol. To get a liquor license, you have to file an application with your appropriate state agency. The type of license you should apply for depends on which type of alcohol you wish to sell and whom you want to sell it to.

What Happens If I Violate the Terms of My Liquor License?

Liquor licensing laws are very rigid. If you violate the terms of your liquor license then you may face disciplinary action. Common liquor license violations include selling a type of alcohol you’re not authorized to sell, and selling alcohol to minors.

If you are accused of misconduct, you will receive a formal document called an "accusation" that will set forth the alleged misconduct and the laws that were violated. You are then entitled to receive an administrative hearing in front of a judge. The hearing will determine whether or not you actually violated the terms of you liquor license. It will also determine what disciplinary actions will be taken if you have violated the terms of your liquor license.

You are allowed to have an attorney at these hearings, so you should strongly consider hiring one.

Do I Need an Attorney to Help Me with My Liquor License Problem?

Liquor Licensing laws are very rigid and complex. If you don’t fully understand the terms of your liquor license you might accidentally violate one of the terms. Having an attorney help you secure the right liquor license and explain the terms of your liquor license can prevent you from facing disciplinary action. If you already have been accused of violating your liquor license, a business lawyer can help you get through the administrative hearing with positive results.

Vea esta página en español: Licencias de Licor o visita para más información legal.