If you have always dreamed of opening your own full-service restaurant and bar, you're not alone. There are over 1 million restaurants across the United States. While anyone can open a restaurant, not just anyone can serve alcohol in their establishment. This is because of the liquor laws that every state and many counties, municipalities, and jurisdictions impose on the sale of alcohol. Before you get too far into planning your dream restaurant, here are four liquor licensing questions you should answer first.
Is Liquor Allowed In Your Area?
Federal Prohibition may have ended more than 85 years ago, but that doesn't mean alcohol is legal everywhere. Some states have dry counties, which means alcohol cannot be purchased or sold at all in the entire county. If your dream has always been to open a fine-dining restaurant with world-class wines, make sure you don't buy in a dry county or your dream could turn into a nightmare.
Can You Sell Alcohol On Sunday?
While most counties are not dry, there are still many states, especially in the American Southeast, that have what is known as "blue laws." Blue laws are laws that prohibit certain activities on Sundays. In many areas with tight alcohol restrictions, it is illegal for alcohol to be sold on a Sunday.
Some areas may allow only off-premise alcohol sales, meaning the alcohol can be drunk at home but not at your establishment. Others allow the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday but only if you pay extra money for a supplemental liquor license.
Some blue laws don't allow restaurants to be open at all in order to protect their residents from having to work on Sundays. Other blue laws will allow a store or restaurant to open only after noon, allowing people plenty of time to go to church.
How Much Will A Liquor License Cost?
In some states, the cost of a liquor license is nominal, such as a few hundred dollars. In other areas, a liquor license may cost thousands of dollars. A prospective restaurateur definitely needs to have a clear understanding of the costs associated with procuring a liquor license before they purchase any real estate.
Are Liquor Licenses Available?
Even if you don't live in a dry county or a state with blue laws doesn't mean you will automatically be awarded a license once you turn your liquor license application in. Many areas have quotas, which means they only give out so many liquor licenses, and once they are gone, that's it.
Because the laws are so complicated and varied, consider hiring a consultant to help you decipher the liquor license laws and liquor license application process in the area you are considering opening a business. This can help you avoid disappointment down the line. If you want more information on liquor licensing, you can find out here or on other sites.Share
24 June 2019
When I quit my job to become an entrepreneur, I decided to open a business in the same industry I had worked in for 20 years. I thought I would automatically make a great business owner due to my experience alone. However, I quickly learned that I was neglecting skills that are needed by a business owner, especially money-management skills. Even though I had many happy customers, I stayed "in the red" for months. I then hired a business consultant who helped me learn how to reduce supply costs and even consolidate my business loans to keep my business afloat. Soon, I began not only "making ends meet," but actually earning a great income from my business. I am eager to share the business tips I learned with other business owners and operators on my new blog!