Main types of Liquor License
3 Main types CA Liquor License
License Type 41: ON SALE BEER & WINE – EATING PLACE
(Restaurant) Authorizes the sale of beer and wine for consumption on or off the premises where sold. Distilled spirits may not be on the premises (except brandy, rum, or liqueurs for use solely for cooking purposes). Must operate and maintain the licensed premises as a bona fide eating-place. Must maintain suitable kitchen facilities, and must make actual and substantial sales of meals for consumption on the premises. Minors are allowed on the premises.
License Type 47: ON SALE FULL BAR – EATING PLACE
(Restaurant) Authorizes the sale of beer, wine and distilled spirits for consumption on the licenses premises. Authorizes the sale of beer and wine for consumption off the licenses premises. Must operate and maintain the licensed premises as a bona fide eating-place. Must maintain suitable kitchen facilities, and must make actual and substantial sales of meals for consumption on the premises. Minors are allowed on the premises.
License Type 48: ON SALE GENERAL – PUBLIC PREMISES
(Bar, Night Club) Authorizes the sale of beer, wine and distilled spirits for consumption on the premises where sold. Authorizes the sale of beer and wine for consumption off the premises where sold. Minors are not allowed to enter and remain (see Section 25663.5 for exception, musicians). Food service is not required.
If you’re planning on opening a bar, tavern, cocktail lounge or nightclub in California, you will need a California Liquor License Type 48. Type 48 licenses differ from Type 41 and Type 47 licenses in that they are designated for establishments that are not primarily eateries. This means that there is no stipulation under the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) that states that a certain amount of your gross sales must be generated from the sale of food.
California Liquor License Type 48 licenses are typically issued for bars and nightclubs, or other adult venues where minors will not be present. The California Liquor License Type 48 permits the holder to serve liquor until 2:00 AM. The facility can only admit entry those 21 years of age and older. Unlike the Type 41 and Type 47 licenses, the California Liquor License Type 48 is designated as an on and off-premises license. Liquor, beer and wine may be sold for on-premises consumption, as well as beer and wine for off-premises consumption.
*Bona fide eating-place: it means that your restaurant must include a suitable kitchen equipped to serve ordinary meals (versus only appetizers to accompany drinks), and show that a minimum of 51% of your gross receipts are from food sales.
Obtaining a liquor license process:
You want to get in touch with your state’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) agency. They are in charge of your liquor license. Here are some of the things they’ll tell you:
- What kinds of liquor you can sell.
- What hours you can sell it.
- Your limitations.
- The qualifications you must have to get a liquor license.
- The cost of your liquor license.
Secure Property: While it takes at least 90 days for the California ABC to approve a license there is one sure-fire way to get a rejection, not having Secure Property to obtain California Liquor License. It is one of the strictest California ABC liquor license application requirements that every license be tied to a physical location. This means you must take steps to Secure Property to obtain California Liquor License
Locate a liquor license: One can file for a new license to sell liquor or buy ABC liquor license for sale in California. There are benefits to both options, as well as drawbacks. For new licenses the application requirements for California liquor license are perhaps the toughest hurdle. Not only does one need capital to secure property, lack a criminal background, and jump though a bunch of local and federal hoops, but they must provide extensive documentation to the ABC. On the other hand, the process to buy ABC liquor license for sale in California has many base requirements covered, and the transfer process is much simpler. The types of liquor licenses for sale at any given time may be limited.
Open escrow: For secure liquor license buying and selling, a third party entity will need to hold money or escrow during the transaction. There are many different benefits of opening an escrow during a liquor license transaction.
Submit Application: Once you know the type of Liquor license your business requires, you also need to address the California ABC application requirements to get a liquor license to sell alcohol.A major part of how to obtain a liquor license is seeking the advise of a licensing specialists. Doing this will ensure that all California ABC application requirements to get a liquor license to sell alcohol are met and that the proper application is filed for the license required.
Schedule final inspections: Putting in your application and securing property is only part of what needs to be done. The ABC final inspection to obtain a California liquor license requires compliance with all the federal and local rules. You will need to post a letter of intent for the business that allows the public a chance to have a say before the license will be granted.
Qualifications you need:
- You must be 21. You can only sell alcohol if you’re old enough to drink it.
- Sometimes you’ll encounter residency requirements meaning you have to live somewhere for 90 days before applying for the license.
- If you have a criminal record, the odds of you getting a liquor license are slim.
- Get a seller’s permit from your State Department of Revenue first.
- You’ll often have to take a responsible beverage server training course before you get your license.
What If your license gets denied?
Your license can be denied or revoked if you don’t comply with the liquor laws of your state, if you have excessive complaints or a failure to pay the annual licensing fee.
There are some options if your license is denied or revoked:
- If you’re denied for criminal activity, ask someone to partner with you who can hold a license.
- If it’s a zoning issue, research avenues for getting the ban lifted or find a new location.
- Pay your licensing fees and fines on time and in full.
Have questions about starting a Bay Area restaurant business in the San Francisco Bay Area? Interested in growing or enhancing the brand of your restaurant?
Contact us today to schedule a free consulting session to review how we may be able to help. Piedmont Avenue Consulting is a San Francisco Bay Area based business development and marketing consulting firm who creates brand awareness, strengthens customer loyalty, and increases lead generation through leveraging new technologies and streamlining business processes.