California Liquor License


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Whether you are buying or selling a California liquor license, it is important to consider that the process is often costly, complicated and time-consuming. To ensure that the sale or purchase of a California liquor license goes smoothly, it is important to know the ins and outs of how the open market works, and how to navigate the requirements of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Without this knowledge, you risk losing valuable time and money – as a buyer or a seller.

At Liquor License Agents, we pride ourselves on our skills in finding qualified buyers and sellers for liquor licenses, as well as consulting, brokering and facilitating liquor license applications with the ABC. Our NALCP-certified agency has over 10 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is up to 30% cheaper than our competition. Whether you are in the market to buy a liquor license, or you are thinking of selling one that you already own, we guarantee that our services will make the process simple and stress-free.

California liquor licenses are managed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Depending on the type of business that you are running, there are many different kinds of permits. So, when buying a California liquor license, it is important to take into consideration the different types of permits available as they relate to your specific business. For example, some licenses require no less than half of your income to originate from food sales. Other licenses are designated for only selling closed containers to be consumed off the premises.

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Type 20 & 21 Liquor License

Both Type 20 and Type 21 licenses are designated for the sale of alcohol for off-premises consumption. Minors are allowed on the premises of businesses that are issued this type of license. The Type 20 license is issued for the sale of packaged beer and wine, while the Type 21 is designated for the sale of general packaged alcohol, including spirits and liquor.

Type 41 & 47 Liquor License

Probably some of the most common types of liquor licenses, the Type 41 and Type 47 licenses are specifically designated for businesses that primarily serve food. The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control states that, in order to be issued a Type 41 or Type 47 license, your facility must be a “bona fide eating place.” 51% of the total sales should come from food.

Type 48 Liquor License

Type 48 licenses differ from Type 41 and Type 47 licenses as they are used in establishments that are not primarily eateries. Type 48 Licenses are typically issued for bars and nightclubs. The Type 48 license permits the holder to serve liquor until 2:00 AM. Unique to this license, the Type 48 allows closed containers of beer or wine to be sold for “off-premises” consumption.

California Liquor License Facts

When obtaining a California liquor license, be aware that the process can take up to 4 months. After applying, a notice will be served in the area that you intend to open your business to inform the local population that you anticipate serving alcohol. They will have 30 days to submit a complaint about your intention of serving alcohol. On the off chance that there are no noteworthy complaints to your application by the general population, then the ABC will start an examination of the people listed on your application, the area of your business, and the business in general.

However, depending on your budget and location, your California liquor license may not come from the ABC at all. Come counties in California are oversaturated with licenses. Therefore, you may have to purchase yours on the open market. This option is a more expensive rout to follow, however, it may be your only choice, given the market you intend to operate in. It is also important to remember that your city or county may require a separate application to serve alcohol, so make certain to check with the local government body or seek advice from a consultant.

Regardless of whether you intend to obtain your California liquor license from the ABC or from the open market, we at Liquor License Agents can help you through the entire process.

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