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How to get a liquor license in Florida

Updated: Feb 6, 2020

Purchasing a liquor license in Florida can be a bit confusing. Below are 7 steps and

information on how to start the process. Including: Where to get a Liquor License and what type you need. License documents and requirements needed and how to apply. We also cover the average prices, fees, and how to get a loan.

1. Where to Purchase a Liquor License.

  1. Purchase from an existing holder: This is the most common method for businesses looking to get off the ground quickly. Typically it's best to find a liquor license broker or liquor license financier to help. Price varies per county. The license cannot be transferred from one county to another.

  2. Join the Florida liquor license lottery: The fee for entering is $100 per application, per county. Having multiple entries can increase the odds of winning even if they won't be in a single county.

2. What Type of Liquor License do you Need?

  1. Quota License: This license can be used in a package-liquor store (PS), bar or a restaurant facility (COP) that is unable to meet the SRS requirements.

  2. SRS Restaurant License: A special restaurant license that can be applied for year-round if 51% or more of sales at an establishment is for food and the location meets the size limit and seating capacity regulated by the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing.

  3. Beer and Wine License: A limited license that can be applied for directly from the Florida ABT and can be used in either a convenience store, bar, or restaurant setting.

Additionally, these are broken down into subcategories of licenses, each have a set of rules and terms that may apply based on the type of business you own.

3. License Documents and Requirements.

To apply for a Florida liquor license, you must collect several documents to send with your application. It may help to contact a professional for help.

  1. A Completed Application Form for Transfers: You can find more information on the Application Form 6002.

  2. Right of occupancy documents

  3. Sketch of Premises: A prepared a sketch of the business to submit with your application.

  4. Fingerprinting

  5. Zoning Approval (if applicable): Get a zoning approval document and include it in your liquor license application. Contact the local city zoning board to determine if the location you want to purchase a Florida liquor license for is zoned for serving alcohol.

  6. Clearance from the Department of Revenue

  7. Federal Employer’s Identification Number: Make sure your business is properly registered with the state of Florida. You will need to have a federal employer’s identification number.

  8. Social Security Number (if applicable): Gather the social security numbers for anyone who will be on the liquor license application.

  9. Certified copies of arrest disposition (if applicable): Get a certified copy of arrest disposition if necessary. You may also need to fill out a “mitigation for moral character” form.

  10. Provide a surety bond (for manufacturers and distributors only)

4. Research the Price.

The cost to purchase a Florida liquor license is determined by two things; the type and the county.

If you are looking to purchase from an existing owner, most quota liquor licenses cost between $50,000.00 and $500,000.00 or more. Contact a broker and ask what a license is going for in the county you want to purchase in.

5. Get Financing if Needed.

Starting a new business and need financing for your liquor license? It is fairly easy to obtain, simply contact a liquor license financier to obtain a loan. They typically offer different levels of financing to get a business going.

6. Understand the Fees.

  1. Annual Fee: The annual license fee for an alcoholic beverage retail license ranges between $28 and $1,820. The price varies based on the type of beverage you want to sell and county location.

  2. Transfer Fee: There is also a license transfer fee (not to exceed $5000) when purchasing an existing license from a current owner. This price can vary depending on each license.

  3. Brokerage Fee: With any major transaction involving a broker, there is a fee. This is typically 8-10% of a quota liquor license’s cost.

7. Submit Application Forms.

There are several ways to file an application. Once you have all the necessary documents, submit them in person to the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing for review and approval of your license application.

The application may also be mailed to your local Division office, sent by regular or overnight mail to the Central licensing office, hand delivered to your local Division office, or by making an appointment with the DBPR licensing personnel.

Source of information found at:

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