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Liquor licensing mistakes to avoid

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2022 | Business Law

If you are planning to open a business that imports, manufactures, sells or serves alcohol, one of your top priorities can be to secure your liquor license. If you have yet to do that, it can be crucial to be aware of certain mistakes that can derail your license – and much more.

Mistake: Applying for the wrong license

There are numerous types of liquor licenses for businesses in New York. As explained on the State Liquor Authority website, there are four main groups of liquor licenses, and each group has several different types of licenses within that group.

The proper license for you will depend on factors like:

  • What your establishment is
  • The location of your business
  • What you plan to serve
  • Whether you also serve food
  • Other onsite activities
  • Whether patrons will consume the alcohol on- or off-site

You must consider all these factors before filing an application, as submitting the wrong one can result in costly delays.

Mistake: Waiting too long

It can take up to 26 weeks for the State Liquor Authority to review an application. If you wait too long to file your application, you could be waiting for weeks or months to get the permission you need open or operate your business.

That said, you can still open a business if your application is still under review. You may be eligible for a temporary retail operating or manufacturing permit that will allow you to sell or manufacture alcohol temporarily. However, that can also take about 30 days, so it is crucial to act sooner rather than later.

Mistake: Operating without a license

Selling or serving alcohol without an appropriate license has serious consequences, as does violating any license you do have.

You can face hefty fines and penalties for violations like:

  • Relocating the business without changing your license
  • Providing access to unlicensed areas to serve or consume alcohol
  • Offering unlimited drink specials
  • Maintaining disorderly premises
  • Selling to minors

These actions can trigger citations, license revocation and possible closure of your establishment.

Knowing about these mistakes and taking the steps necessary to avoid them can protect your business now and in the future.

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