The Sunshine State offers several options of clubs, bars, and restaurants where both residents and tourists can go to have fun. Many business owners need a liquor license to operate, especially in the entertainment and hospitality segments.
Do you know how to get a liquor license in Florida? Read on to find out.
How Can I Get a Liquor License in Florida? – Understanding the Process
In Florida, several types of liquor licenses apply to different business needs. A license allows a business to sell beer, wine, or liquor (spirits) and establishes specific conditions for consumption.
The first step to apply for a liquor license in Florida is to file the appropriate forms with the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. Once the application is properly filled out, the next step is to submit it by mail, in person, or online with the required fees.
The application fees vary from one county to another, as well as the type of license you want to obtain.
Types of Liquor Licenses in Florida – An Overview
Obtaining a license to sell only beer or wine is not hard. In such cases, it is possible to file for a package license or a consumption-on-premises license.
A package license allows the licensed merchant to sell liquor in the original package, as long as it is not consumed on the premises where sold. A consumption-on-premises license allows the licensed merchant to sell liquor as long as it is consumed on the business’s premises.
Restaurant owners in Florida often apply for special food service (SFS) liquor licenses, as most of their sales derive from food. This type of license is available for restaurants that meet the following requirements:
- The company’s premises must have over 2,500 square feet of space
- The space must have the capacity to serve over 150 customers at a time
- Over 51% of the company’s gross revenue must derive from the sale of foods and non-alcoholic beverages
If you want to sell bourbon, scotch, vodka, or other intoxicating liquor, the process can be complex and time-consuming.
Quota Licenses in Florida – How to Get a Hard Liquor License
Obtaining a license to sell hard liquor is a more challenging task. In such cases, business owners must obtain a quote license, a permit allowing the merchant to sell and serve several variants of liquor at the company’s premises.
The chances to get a quota license depend on the population of the county where the business is located. Generally, the number of licenses available is around a single license per every 7,500 people in a county.
You have two ways to get a quota license, which are applying for a new license in the annual quote license lottery or purchasing a license from an existent licensee. In most cases, it is faster and more efficient to buy an existing license from a merchant who is going out of business or no longer wishes to sell liquor.
While purchasing a quota license is an effective solution, it is often hard to find licenses available for sale, and they are expensive. The costs involved in a standard purchase include a $10,750 one-time fee plus an annual licensing fee.