If you are currently making plans for a new business venture that involves either the selling or supplying of alcoholic beverages, then the one thing that you absolutely cannot afford to skip is the fact that you need an appropriate license for your activities. California, just like all other states, has strict rules and regulations when it comes to any financial/business operations surrounding alcohol, and in order to make sure that you don’t run into any problems along the way, you need to stay on the correct side of all relevant paperwork and permit applications.
To help you with the sometimes painstaking and time consuming process, here is a brief but effective guide to applying for a license to sell or supply alcohol in California state.
- Start The Process Immediately
The very first thing that you need to realize about this entire process is that it can take up to 90 days from start to finish. The worst thing that you can do is wait until the last minute to get the ball rolling, because not having the correct licenses in the run up to your intended opening date will cause nothing but trouble.
- Seller’s Permit
For regulation of liquor licenses that are held within the State of California, it is a requirement to have a seller’s permit before you start the actual application process for the liquor license itself. It is very important to make sure that you do these things in this specific order, because selling alcohol without the addition of a seller’s permit is classed as a misdemeanor in California that could lead to heavy fines or even incarceration.
- Federal Permits And Stamp Tax
As you might imagine, the selling and supplying of alcohol is one of the most heavily regulated businesses in the United States. You will most likely need a federal permit or stamp tax on top of the other licenses you are applying for. This can be relatively easily by filing your new business with the Alcohol and tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, who will need to approve your application before you can move on to the stage of actually selling alcohol at your business.
- Adhere To Local Regulations
Alongside all of the federal requirements, there will also be a number of county or city specific requirements that you will need to meet as well in order to correctly use your California liquor license. These differences are often very small and easy to adhere to, but they are important to be strict with as they can sometimes affect things like retail insurance or small business insurance. The best way to check that you are following everything you need to be following is to double check with the officials of your chosen city.
- Apply For The Correct License
To save you a lot of hassle, make sure that you put an application in for the correct type of license for your business:
- Type 41 – this is a beer and wine license for restaurants, known as the ‘On-Sale Beer and Wine – Eating Place’ license.
- Type 47 – this is for beer, wine and distilled spirits for restaurants, known as the ‘On-Sale General – Eating Place’ license.
- Type 48 – this is for beer, wine, and distilled spirits for bars and nightclubs, known as the ‘On-Sale General – Public Premises’ license. This license does not require you to operate food service alongside your alcohol sales.
Hopefully, this guide will be enough to set you on the right course for your own application process, but if you have more questions that you need answers to, then head over to this page for much more information about the availability and details of plenty of Los Angeles based liquor licenses.