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The NYS liquor license process

Obtaining the right to sell liquor in New York is complex and expensive. Renting the right location could cost several thousand dollars per month. Depending on the location, purchase of real estate for your business could prove cost prohibitive. You will need to buy several thousand dollars of inventory each week that you need to sell. And you will have to hire a trustworthy staff.

Yet you can’t even begin selling liquor without having the correct license in place. A license is difficult to obtain. Suspensions of liquor licenses due to employee misconduct, sales to underage drinkers, intoxicated customers and crimes taking place on premises are common.

Applying for a liquor license

The New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) has a number of definitions for license classes. This includes licenses for consumption of liquor “off-premises,” and consumption “on-premises.” The licensing fees greatly vary. And the type of license you require depends on the sort of business you are pursuing.

The application for an on-premises license is 30 pages long. This application requests background information regarding the individual requesting the license. It asks for significant detail regarding funding of the business. This includes estimates of expenses, cash assets and the borrowing of funds. Finally, it requests a number of details concerning the setup of the premises including the interior and exterior of the business.

There are individuals ineligible to hold a license. The application asks a number of questions concerning past arrests, indictments and summonses. Convicted felons (absent special circumstances), police officers and individuals under the age of 21 are not eligible to apply. The eligibility requirements apply to all owners listed upon the application.

The right to obtain professional consultation in liquor license matters

The NYSLA allows for you to obtain consultation and business advice from attorneys when it comes to obtaining or retaining a liquor license. Considering how difficult it is to obtain a license and how vital a license may be to business growth, it is important to have the entire license process go smoothly. The licensing process is time consuming. Yet a liquor license can be extraordinarily valuable. Without a license, businesses such as hotels, restaurants and grocery stores may not remain competitive.

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