A liquor license can be important for many businesses in California. For that reason, business owners seeking a liquor license should understand how to obtain one and be familiar with the steps in the process of obtaining a liquor license.
The process of seeking a liquor license is as follows.
The first step in the process is to complete an application for a liquor license with Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Alcoholic Beverage Control will conduct an investigation and the applicant will need to provide required information for that investigation to be completed.
The applicant has certain notification requirements that must be met including:
- Post a public notice of application on the premises for 30 days;
- Additionally, the applicant may also be required to publish notice of the application in the newspaper, mail a notice to anyone living within a 500-foot radius of the premises and obtain proof that the zoning for the premises permits an ABC license.
ABC notifies local officials
Alcoholic Beverage Control will notify local officials of the application and they will have the opportunity to object to the liquor license being sought. Objections may include that granting the liquor license would create a public nuisance; would lead to crime in the area; or be contrary to local zoning ordinances.
ABC conducts an investigation
Alcoholic Beverage Control will conduct an investigation and the applicant will need to provide required information for that investigation to be completed. Alcoholic Beverage Control may reach a finding that the applicant is not qualified or the premises is not suitable for a variety or different reasons that applicants should be aware of.
Headquarters at Alcoholic Beverage Control makes the final determination if the liquor license applied for will be granted or not.
It is important for business owners seeking a liquor license, such as bar owners or restaurant owners, to understand the applicant and premises requirements and how to meet those requirements. Understanding the application steps when seeking a liquor license can help the applicant better navigate the liquor license application process.