Obtaining A Liquor License

A frequent question I get is “what does it take obtaining a liquor license” when starting a bar, nightclub, or restaurant? This is a loaded question. The answer quite simply is, it depends.

Liquor laws are different in every state, therefore, Buying a license is a procedure that varies from State to State. They are all different. Why is obtaining a liquor license different in every State? Quite frankly, it is a little antiquated in this day and age. But the reason is this.

Every State has what they perceive their own morals and idea of how they perceive alcohol consumption. Yes, I know it may sound a little corny, but it’s true.

You will find some States that are wide open and believe in “free enterprise” and have no restrictions. Their idea is may the strong survive. And there are States that believe consuming alcohol is bad and they don’t want their State filled with bars.

So they put restrictions on obtaining a liquor license. They will tell you that in order to have a liquor license in our State, you must own a restaurant and sell at least 40% of your sales volume in food, or they will shut you down. They do not want bars in their State, just restaurants.

In addition, once obtaining a liquor license, you are limited to where you can use it in many cases. So you better know if it’s allowed to go where you want it to before you buy.

Not only can the State Liquor Laws determine where the license can be used, but your local codes will also determine that. So, what you need to do is read the information provided by the State, and then go to your local Zoning Office.

Once you get this information, you will be able to determine what locations are available to operate a licensed establishment.

The best thing I can do to give you information about obtaining a liquor license is to provide you the link below so you can look into the laws of your individual State.

*ABC means Alcoholic Beverage Control

United States-State Authorities:

Alabama Liquor License

ABC Board www.abcboard.state.al.us

Alaska Liquor License

ABC Board www.dps.state.ak.us/abc

Arizona Liquor License

Department of Liquor LicensesandControl www.azliquor.gov

Arkansas Liquor License

ABC Division
www.arkansas.gov/dfa/abc_administration /abcadm_index.html

California Liquor License

Department of ABC www.abc.ca.gov/

Colorado Liquor License

Liquor Enforcement Division

Connecticut Liquor License

Liquor Division

Delaware Liquor License


Florida Liquor License

Division of Alcohol Beverages and Tobacco

Georgia Liquor License

Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit

Hawaii Liquor License

Office of Liquor Control

Idaho Liquor License

ABC and Idaho Liquor Dispensary www.liquor.idaho.gov/

Illinois Liquor License

Liquor Control Commission

Indiana Liquor License

Alcoholic and Tobacco Commission

Iowa Liquor License

Alcoholic Beverages Division

Kansas Liquor License

Division of ABC

Kentucky Liquor License

Office of ABC

Louisiana Liquor License

Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control

Maine Liquor License

Bureau of Liquor Enforcement

Maryland Liquor License

Alcohol Tobacco Tax Bureau

Massachusetts Liquor License

ABC Commission

Michigan Liquor License

Liquor Control Commission

Minnesota Liquor License

Liquor Control Division

Mississippi Liquor License

Office of ABC

Missouri Liquor License

Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control

Montana Liquor License

Liquor Licensing

Nebraska Liquor License

Liquor Control Commission

Nevada Liquor License

Department of Taxation

New Hampshire Liquor License

Liquor Commission

New Jersey Liquor License

Division of ABC

New Mexico Liquor License

Alcohol and Gaming Division

New York Liquor License

Division of ABC, State Liquor Authority

North Carolina Liquor License

ABC Commission

North Dakota Liquor License


Ohio Liquor License

Division of Liquor Control

Oklahoma Liquor License

Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement Commission

Oregon Liquor License

Liquor Control Commission

Pennsylvania Liquor License

Liquor Control Board

Rhode Island Liquor License

Liquor Control Administration

South Carolina Liquor License

Alcoholic Beverage Licensing

South Dakota Liquor License

Special Tax Division

Tennessee Liquor License

Department of Revenue

Texas Liquor License

Alcoholic Beverage Commission

Utah Liquor License

Department of ABC

Vermont Liquor License

Department of Liquor Control

Virginia Liquor License

Department of ABC

Washington Liquor License

Liquor Control Board

Washington D.C. Liquor License

ABC Board

West Virginia Liquor License

ABC Administration

Wisconsin Liquor License

Department of Tax and Revenue

Wyoming Liquor License

Department of Revenue

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Filed Under: Starting a BarStarting a NightclubStarting Your Bar/Nightclub Business


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  1. Carol Ann says:

    So If i do not own a restaurant i can not get a liquor License what it I own a store like a clothing store can I use the tax Id to get license. I live in state of Huntsville, Alabama.

  2. says:

    You will need to consult a local lawyer which is familiar with the law in your state and city.

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