Do you want to start a liquor store business in USA? If YES, here are state requirements to get a liquor store license in USA and how to go about the process. If you are thinking of opening a bar or restaurant in the United States of America, before you proceed further, it is advisable that you think of obtaining a liquor license. This is because no business is allowed to sell liquor or alcoholic beverages of any kind in the country without a license.

You have to know that requirements for applying for liquor license in the US vary from state to state, and while some states have very stringent policies, others are quite laid back. In this article, we will provide you the basic information on how to obtain liquor licenses from the various states in the US.

How to Get a Liquor License in USA – Specific State Requirement

1. Alabama

In Alabama, liquor licenses are overseen by the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board. In order to get a liquor license in Alabama, you will need to do a couple of things, but first, you will need to contact the Enforcement district office for your county for information on applying for a license. Some of the requirements you have to provide when applying for liquor license in Alabama include;

  • A copy of the lease or deed.
  • A copy of corporation, LLC, LLP or association’s paperwork (if applicable). Corporations formed in Alabama must provide the probated document that includes the Book/Instrument Number, Page, Date & County where incorporated. Out of state corporations must provide the Certificate of Authority to do business in Alabama issued by the Secretary of State.
  • Provide the State Sales Tax number to include a copy of the Revenue form
  • A sketch of the premises to include patio area. Sketch is only required when alcohol is consumed on premise.
  • A legible color copy(s) of identification of all individuals. Acceptable identification includes a valid state driver license, valid state ID, passport or military ID.
  • Pay a $50 filing fee
  • A copy of the power of attorney paperwork (if applicable). Individual will be photographed, and ID will be required.
  • Liquor liability insurance for a minimum of $100,000 coverage for all ABC alcohol locations.
  • Letter of Approval from the local governing body. etc.

2. Alaska

Liquor licenses in Alaska are overseen by the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Applying for a new or transfer liquor license is a long process, involving approval from the ABC Board, Local Government and other state agencies in Alaska.

Fingerprints must be submitted with each application along with the $48.25 per person processing fee per fingerprint card. Cards cannot be submitted electronically to AMCO. Applicants must use an approved agency to obtain fingerprints.

Basic requirements to obtain a liquor license in Alaska include;

  • New Liquor License Application (Signed and notarized)
  • Posting Affidavit (Signed and notarized after 10-day posting of application)
  • Proof of Advertising (Publishers affidavit from newspaper or radio)
  • Proof of Right, Title Or Interest (Lease, rental contract, or recorded property deed in applicant’s name)
  • Statement Of Financial Interest (Signed & notarized)
  • Certificate Of Incorporation (If applicant is a corporation) OR Certificate Of Organization (If applicant is a Limited Liability Company)


  • Partnership Agreement (If applicant is a partnership)
  • Detailed Diagram Of Premises To Be Licensed
  • Fingerprint Cards (Required of all applicants, affiliates {spouse or significant other of an Individual applicant}; persons owning 10% or more shares/membership of an organized entity {Corporation; Limited Liability Organization}; officers/directors/managers of an organized entity)
  • License Fee
  • Application/Filing Fee ($100)
  • Alcohol Server Training Certification
  • Menu

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board new license fee is US $100.00. Alaska is a state with a strictly enforced Liquor License Quota system that prevents the density of licenses from exceeding one license to every 1500 residents for restaurants, and one to every 3000 for all other types of licenses (including beverage dispensary licenses). Each business is required to go through the state mandatory training before license can be issued.

3. Arizona

The Department of Liquor License & Control (DLLC)is responsible for issuing licenses in the state. The Department of Liquor License & Control (DLLC) can take between 65 up to 105 days after the initial filing to complete. Arizona requires that each first-time application for a liquor license have an agent or broker attached. Agents act as liaisons between the applicant and the Department of Liquor Control and the applicant.

The cost of obtaining a liquor license in Arizona can range from $3,000 to $300,000 depending on the license and location of the business. The most expensive place to request a liquor license in the state of Arizona is in Maricopa County for a Series 9 license intended for liquor stores. The state of Arizona has 21 different series of liquor licenses. A fingerprint is required to obtain any kind of liquor license.

4. Arkansas

In the state of Arkansas, liquor licenses are regulated by the Alcohol Beverage Control Division (ABC) office of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration. You are not required to apply for your license by applying online; you must do that at their office. Before you do that however, you must ensure that you have no criminal records or you application will never be approved.

After the application process is complete, it is brought before a hearing where it is approved or denied. There are 75 counties in Arkansas and more than half of them are “dry.” This means that normal alcohol sales are prohibited, but you can still get your license by following all the rules.

Note that you cannot get a liquor license in Arkansas if your business;

  • Does not meet health, safety, or sanitation codes
  • Is operated in conjunction with certain businesses (pertains mainly to off-sale)
  • Does not have the required level of police protect, is not in the best interest of the public
  • Is within the 1000 feet of a church or school
  • Includes the name wholesale in the name (for retailers)
  • Does not have enough restrooms
  • Is connected to private residences

5. California

The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control states that any person wishing to obtain an alcoholic beverage license should apply at the nearest office of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. One of the most important prerequisites is that you obtain the proper zoning permit, as mandated by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The following are some of the documents needed to get a liquor license in California;

  • Your business entity status
  • Escrow information in case of license transfer
  • Personal background profiles
  • Sources of your funds
  • List of license expenses
  • Lists of residents, churches, schools, hospitals, and public playgrounds in the business’ vicinity

You are also required to notify residences around your vicinity of your intention to open a pub. You can do this by spreading a written note at your location, putting up a newspaper public notice and sending letters to all residents within 500 feet.

If you plan to sell, or produce wine and beer only, you can apply directly with the ABC. However, if you want to sell hard liquor, you will first have to buy the license from a private seller or a broker, because the ABC is no longer issuing these licenses. An escrow meeting the requirements of the ABC will have to be opened for the transfer of the license, which usually costs under $1,000.

The cost of a liquor license can vary, starting from a few hundred dollars to upwards of $300,000. The most expensive of these licenses are generally full on-sale liquor licenses, which include the sale of beer, wine, and liquor for consumption on premises. The price of these licenses can reach an excess of $400,000. Note that in California liquor licenses must be renewed every 12 months.

6. Colorado

Liquor licensing in Colorado requires retailers to first obtain license approval at the local government level. Thereafter, they would have their backgrounds reviewed for criminal history, liquor license violations, ownership interests in other liquor industries and tax payment history.

Basic requirements to obtain a liquor license in Colorado:

  • Complete the application form in the appropriate packet
  • Pay appropriate fee (depends upon the type of need).
  • Mail the application to your local city or county office that processes the initial request or if  you are an out of state applicant you can mail the application directly to the Lakewood Division at:

Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division

1881 Pierce Street #108

Lakewood, CO 80214

303-205-2300 (Main Number)

303-205-2341 (Fax Number)

Applications are submitted by mail. In Colorado liquor licenses are overseen by the Colorado Department of Revenue Liquor Enforcement Division. The amount of time it takes to get a Colorado liquor license depends on what type of liquor license you need.

7. Connecticut

To make your application, you have to start by getting a location. Once that is settled, you need to take a snapshot of the location, and make sketches of the property. While doing that, you have to note the type of license you need before making your application. The license you are required to have vary depending upon your business. Manufacturers, distributors, bars and restaurants all operate under different licenses.

The application must be accompanied by a check or money order for the filing fee, which will vary depending on the type of license you selected in the previous step. You can submit the application by mail or in person at the Connecticut Liquor Control Division. The address is 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut. Questions can be answered by the Liquor Control Division by calling (860) 713-6210.

8. Delaware

The Office of the Delaware Alcoholic Beverage Control Commissioner (OABCC) grants or denies applications for liquor licenses. License fees to make, import and sell alcoholic beverages are set in §554 of Title 4 of the Delaware State Code. With some exceptions, if any application for a license requires any investigation or a hearing by the Commissioner, the applicant shall pay an application process fee of $1,000 in addition to any other required fees.

To get a liquor license from the state of Delaware, first you have to contact the alcohol commission and present a certificate of compliance from the city or county where the establishment will be selling liquor. This certificate of compliance confirms that your business is zoned properly, that you have all your permits and that you have been approved by the local government.

You then have to submit the names and addresses of everything within 200 feet of the property where you will be selling the liquor. You also need to submit a floor plan of your establishment, and acquire a copy of the ABC’s rules for selling liquor in the state of Delaware which costs $50. All these documents are then to be taken to the commission for a .

9. Florida

To sell liquor, beer or wine in Florida, you must apply for a license from the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing. When completing your application, you will be expected to provide the following information:

  • Proof of fingerprinting
  • The social security number of all applicants
  • Your business registration number and federal employer’s identification number
  • A sketch of your business space (not an architectural rendering)
  • Copy of arrest disposition if you have a criminal record
  • Personal questionnaires for all officers, directors or shareholders
  • A lease or deed providing right of occupancy

You can get the forms to apply for a Florida liquor license through You’ll apply using a printable application and submit the forms at a district office in person or by mail, or access the online application system if available for the specific business or profession.

Depending on the license you applied for, the annual fees can range from just $28 to $1,820. The beverages you want to sell and your location are factors that contribute to the pricing. Furthermore, you need to pay a one-time fee of $10,750, as accorded by the Hughes Act. This one-time fee goes toward alcohol and drug abuse treatment and prevention, including education and other programs.

10. Georgia

According to, “Georgia requires three types of licenses/permits to sell alcohol: a local alcohol license, a state alcohol license, and a Federal Basic Permit. There are also many different types of licenses, such as Brewpub, Broker, Farm Winery, etc.” You must first apply for your local license with local authorities, and then you can apply for your state license through the Georgia Department of Revenue.

The Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR) handles state alcohol licenses and all applications must be made to them. Be sure to check with your local authorities about the requirements needed for your local alcohol license because each jurisdiction could alter slightly from their neighbors.

11. Hawaii

The City and County of Honolulu’s Honolulu Liquor Commission in responsible for issuing liquor licenses in Honolulu. Its website contains license forms and information on liquor laws and rules. The cost of an annual license can range from $150.00 to $1,200.00 depending on the class of license issued. The $50.00 application fee paid at the start of the process will be applied to the cost of the license.

The $5.00 online service fee is non-refundable. Applicant for liquor license in Hawaii must attend two hearings and submit floor plans, tax maps and other documents and certificates. It can take about three to four months to get a license, assuming no issues arise during the licensing investigation or at the hearings. Applicants need to go to to get forms, review liquor laws and rules so they are adequately prepared for the hearing.

12. Idaho

Liquor license can be obtained in Idaho from the Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau (ABC) of the Idaho State police. Idaho law requires that all applications are processed within 90 days of the reception of the application, but the actual time it takes the Idaho ABC to review a liquor license application depends on the application type and the workload of the ABC.

The application for a liquor license can be thorough and will require several kinds of documentation to ensure that you meet the state requirements. In Idaho, Liquor cannot be sold on Sunday, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and liquor-by-the-drink can only be sold from 10:00 am until 1:00 am.

13. Illinois

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) is the governing body that issues liquor licenses at the state level. The cost of an Illinois Retail Liquor license is $750.00. In connection with the state application, you must provide a photocopy of your local liquor license, Sales Tax number/Illinois Business Tax (IBT) number, and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

Additionally, a certificate of insurance is required for licensees with on-premise consumption or a combination of on/off-premise consumption. The application can be found on the website, in the ILCC’s section. To apply for a license, you just need gather your documents, write and submit an application to the Illinois Liquor Control Commission’s offices in Springfield or Chicago. If you’ve done your paperwork correctly, the process should take 3 to 5 days.

14. Indiana

Producing and selling liquor in Indiana is regulated by the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. If you want to engage in these activities, you will need to obtain an Indiana liquor license from this authority. According to the Indiana liquor license laws, there are about 80 different license types that you can apply for, and the license types are separated according to the alcohol being produced or sold – for beer, wine and other liquor.

Once you identify a license that you can use, you can start with completing the Indiana liquor license application. You can get the documents from the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. The licensing process is rather complicated and takes between 10 and 12 weeks. It is regulated with the Indiana Code Title 7. For some license types, you need to provide a liquor bond.

This is a type of surety bond that guarantees you will pay all due taxes on liquor sales that you owe to authorities. If you fail to make these payments, you can face a claim on your bond. Though there are a lot of license categories, about 99 percent of the licenses are already taken, that is why a lot of businesses opt to buy old licenses. If someone is looking to get out of the business, you can make an offer on their license. If they’re willing, contact the ATC for an application of transfer of ownership.

15. Iowa

The Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division (ABD) is responsible for issuing liqour license. On their portal, you can find information on how to get a liquor license, review liquor laws, search license records, view fee information, and more. The first step is to complete and submit a license application through the Iowa ABD website. This application must be submitted online.

In that application, you will provide general information about the type of license you are requesting, information on the type of business requesting the license, premises information and general information on each owner or corporate officer. The second step is to work with the local authorities and provide whatever documentation they require in order to get license approval.

The third and final step is to get approval from both City Council and the Iowa ABD. After you have completed steps one and two, then your application will be placed on the City Council agenda, and the Council will decide whether it has been approved or rejected. If it is approved by City Council, then the City Clerk will notify the Iowa ABD and they will give their final approval and send out the official license.

16. Kansas

The state of Kansas lets you apply for your liquor license online via the Kansas Department of Revenue’s Alcoholic Beverage Control department. Their extremely helpful website explains how to apply for a license, processing times, how your license will be delivered, when you’ll need to renew it, and more. To apply for a license, you need to request a Kansas liquor license application packet from the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

The packet includes a checklist of items you need for your application as well as instructions to adhere to. Determine the type of license you require for your business. Provide proof of property ownership or lease arrangements. Create a diagram of your business for your application. Pay the license fee, registration fee and tax bond.

Your license fee will range from $50 to $1,600, depending on the type of business you want to have. Double-check for errors and submit your application for your liquor license in Kansas. You can mail it, fax it or deliver it in person. The ABC has up to 30 days to grant your license.

17. Kentucky

The Commonwealth of Kentucky issues 44 different types of alcoholic beverage licenses, according to the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Each type of license requires the applicant to pay fees when the applications are submitted and for renewal. These fees range from $10 for a Micro Out-of-state Producer to $7,730 for an Entertainment Destination Center License.

Retail package licenses cost $570 and a limited restaurant license is $780. To apply for a beer and liquor license in Kentucky, you must be a U.S. citizen, a Kentucky resident for at least the previous year and 21 years old. Applicants with any misdemeanor charges related to drugs or alcohol in the prior two years or a felony conviction in the previous five years are not eligible.

If your business has multiple owners, each owner must meet these requirements. ABC applications and forms may be printed, filled out, and submitted to ABC via mail or fax, and the department strongly recommends that all new applicants simultaneously file their applications with state and local administrators.

18. Louisiana

The state of Louisiana has several different types of liquor licenses (Class A, B and C), depending on the type of alcohol you want to sell and the type of organization you want to run. The Louisiana Office of Alcoholic and Tobacco Beverage Control is responsible for issuing liquor licenses.

To start, you have to completely fill out the application packet and provide the necessary documentation, depending on the type of license and business. Mail the completed application to the Louisiana Office of Alcoholic and Tobacco Beverage Control, with the specified fee for your license type.

Wait one to three months for your application to be reviewed. In most cases, it will take up to 35 days for your application to reach the processing stage. You will be notified by the state if you application is approved.

19. Maine

Liquor licenses are issued by the Maine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages. In order to complete your application for an On-Premise License, the municipality must approve of your application. If the municipality or county requires that your application have a public hearing, you will be asked to pay the municipality or county for the cost to advertise its pending application.

If the location of your business is in an unorganized township in Maine, you must pay the $10.00 application fee directly to the County. Once the application is completed, it is to be submitted to the Division together with a check for the appropriate application fee. Failure to submit the application fee will result in the rejection of the application and ultimately delay you in starting your business.

The processing of liquor applications may include a background investigation on the applicant by the Division and will include an inspection of the proposed premises. If all requirements are met, the State Liquor Licensing Inspector will issue the applicant a temporary license allowing purchases and sales of liquors as applicable to the license.

20. Maryland

You can obtain your liquor license application either on the state of Maryland website or by contacting the Liquor License Board. The various counties have different application procedures, so check with your county to get the most accurate information. Once you have gotten the application, you have to post a notice of your establishment in a place that is clearly visible to the public.

This notice must be posted for 10 consecutive days. This is to inform the public that you are applying for a license. The state of Maryland will likely send out an inspector to make sure you have completed this task. The board will also run a background check and an inquiry into your finances and your business reputation. You will not be granted a license if the board feels you may abuse the privilege. Your license will be granted if they deem you fit for it.

21. Massachusetts

The Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission is charged with enforcing the liquor laws that are housed within Chapter 138 of Massachusetts General Law. These laws govern everything from discrimination in licensing to pricing. The state of Massachusetts has a portal for liquor license applications and information. Depending on which city your business is in, you may be able to apply online.

22. Michigan

The Michigan licensing and regulatory affairs are responsible for issuing liquor licenses in the state. Their website contains all information you need for your application plus frequently asked questions.

Some of the documents you require when applying for a liquor license in Michigan include; include photographic identification (e.g. driver’s license, passport, state identification card), any immigration-related documentation, if applicable, copies of original income tax returns for the past three years;

(forms 1040 and 1040a, Schedule C, and W-2 withholding statements), bank books (savings and checking), savings bonds, other securities, any other financial documents for funds being used in the transaction, the fully executed purchase agreement and any addendums, attachments, or amendments (for license transfers), the property document for the proposed licensed premises, a diagram of the business premises, and a copy of a menu (for businesses requiring a full-service kitchen).

23. Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety manages liquor licenses, which can vary based on the type of establishment. Liquor licenses are governed under Minnesota Statutes 340A.404 subdivision 5.

The League of Minnesota Cities has a great memo of all the information you need to file for a liquor license in Minnesota. This includes state requirements as well as municipal instructions, which are key to obtaining a liquor license in Minnesota.

24. Mississippi

To start your application process, you have to visit the Mississippi State Tax Commission, Alcoholic Beverage Control division website and go to the “Forms” section. Download the application package for a new Alcoholic Beverage Retailer’s Permit.

This provides more than 25 pages of instructions, information and application forms for liquor licensing in Mississippi. Fill out the basic application included in the documents package honestly and completely. Take your fingerprint cards to your local police station and get fingerprinted. The fee is usually only $5 to $20 in most areas.

Gather required documents, including copies of the last three years of business tax returns in Mississippi, a copy of your business lease or property deed, a floor plan of your business, a menu if you are running a restaurant or other food service company and a copy of a $5,000 surety bond from your business insurance company.

Get your application forms notarized by two witnesses. Mail your payments, document copies and required forms to the address noted in the form instructions. It will take about four to six weeks to learn the status of your Mississippi liquor license application.

25. Missouri

To get a liquor license in Missouri, you have to first determine the type of liquor license that you need, then you identify the district that your business operates in. Contact the Agent of your district to obtain the necessary application forms. The agent will need to read and sign the application to help prevent any oversights before it reaches the ATC office.

The completed application, along with a check or money order for the required fees, will need to be submitted directly to the Supervisor of Liquor Control, Jefferson City, MO, 65101. The amount of the fees may vary from one district to another. Then wait for your approval. The commission will approve your application if they are convinced of your conduct.

26. Montana

The Montana Department of Revenue manages the alcohol beverage licenses for the state. In any major city in Montana, a license can cost as much as a $1,000,000, and rarely will cost less than $500,000. This is because Montana has a “quota system” which severely restricts the number of liquor licenses in each county.

They are in fact one of the only states in America still operating such a regime, that is why price of licenses are so prohibitive. Again, the state rarely issues new licenses, and so there are only a few dozen licenses in existence. When you want to open a restaurant or bar in Montana you are required to purchase a liquor license from a private party who already owns one.

27. Nebraska

The Nebraska Liquor Control Commission issues liquor licenses in the state. All applications are required to be mailed, faxed, or emailed. However, renewals are available for submission online. Basic requirements to obtain or renew your liquor license in Nebraska include:

  • By Mail:

Complete the application form which is provided in PDF format. Mail the payment and application along with any other documents requested to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission.

  • In Person:

If you wish to bring in an application to the Nebraska Liquor Control Commission in person so that it may be reviewed before you leave, they request that you call to set an appointment. Appointments are made only between the hours of 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. You can download and fill the application form and bring it along with you.

28. Nevada

To apply for liquor license in Nevada, you have to first determine which of the three types of Nevada liquor licenses you should apply for on behalf of your business. Obtain an application for the type of liquor license that your business requires. Complete the liquor license application that’s relevant to your business and submit it to the appropriate regulatory authority.

Wholesale and supplier license applications should be submitted to the Nevada Department of Taxation with the appropriate fees and retail applications should be submitted to the licensing authority in the county in which the retail establishment is located.

29. New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, you must first fill out a form to request an application for a liquor license. Based on the type of entity you run, there will be different processes—fortunately, they have guides for each and every one of them.

30. New Jersey

New Jersey has very restrictive laws when it comes to obtaining a liquor license. The licenses are issued based on population, which limits their number. A license must be sold in the municipality where it was originally issued.

Sales of these licenses are private – and therefore the amounts are unknown – but the executive director of the New Jersey Licensed Beverage Association believes one license is sold for as high as $1.8 million. The director estimates the average for a liquor license to be $350,000 in 2017.

31. New Mexico

The Alcohol and Gaming Division (AGD) is responsible for regulating liquor licenses in the state. New Mexico is what’s known as a quota state, meaning it has a limited number of liquor licenses. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. The Licensing Department suggests you employ a liquor license broker in your area to assist you. You can find more information on their website.

32. New York

The New York State Liquor Authority oversees the issuing of liquor licenses in this state. You can file the liquor license application online, or have an application sent to you by calling 518-474-3114.

As of the time of publication, the non-refundable basic license fee is $100 for a beer-only license and $200 for most liquor licenses, but other fees depend on the type of facility and location. Note that only people aged 21 and over and citizens or permanent residents of the united states are eligible to hold a liquor license.

33. North Carolina

In North Carolina, the Alcohol Beverage Control Commission oversees not only the sale and purchase of alcohol, but also the transportation, manufacturing and consumption of beer, wine and liquor. The North Carolina ABC issues 13 different types of permits.

The type of permit you need depends on what type of liquor you plan on selling and what type of establishment you will be selling it in. Applicants for a North Carolina liquor permit must be a North Carolina resident and at least 21 years old. Note that NC requires FEIN-SSN verification, as well as fingerprinting.

34. North Dakota

The office of the Attorney General oversees liquor licenses in North Dakota. The official portal of the North Dakota Commissioner links you to all appropriate applications for obtaining a liquor license in the state.

35. Ohio

If you want to apply for liquor license in Ohio, you have to obtain an application by calling the Division of Liquor Control’s Licensing Office, visiting the Ohio’s Division of Liquor Control website or writing to the Licensing Office. When you obtain the application, complete it properly and have it notarized.

Send the completed application back to the Division of Liquor Control’s Licensing Office along with the application fee. Wait to see if you are eligible to receive a liquor license. Eligibility will depend on the number of licenses already in the area where you are seeking yours.

36. Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, liquor licenses are overseen by the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission (ABLE). Applications can be submitted in three ways: by mail,  online and in person. Basic requirements to obtain a liquor license in Oklahoma:

By Mail

  • Complete the application form (link opens in new window).
  • Pay the appropriate fee (depends upon the type of need – see the form) and
  • Mail the application to the Main Office in the Oklahoma City District


  • Create an account with ABLE at (opens in new window)
  • Follow the on-screen instructions

In Person

Visit the closest ABLE District Office and fill out an application

37. Oregon

Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) oversees the issuing of liquor licenses in the state. Local governments are required under Oregon law to make recommendations on state applications for liquor licenses for businesses located within their jurisdiction. Information about how to apply for liquor licenses is available at the state agency.

38. Pennsylvania

If you’re interested in applying for alcohol permits or licenses through the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), you must first register to use the PLCB+ system using an access code provided by the PLCB—anyone without an access code can email to obtain one. Then, the PLCB+ portal will be your one-stop shop to liquor licensing and resources for good.

  1. Rhode Island

In the state of Rhode Island, liquor licenses are issued and enforced by the Department of Business Regulation. Within that Department is the Division of Commercial Licensing and Regulation, which is responsible for liquor enforcement.

To start, you have to determine what type of liquor license you will need, make sketches of your property, and then submit an application to the “Department of Business Regulation, Division of Commercial Licensing and Regulation.” You also have to Place ads in the local newspaper, and attend your public hearing before you can receive your license. The process is indeed long, but not unachievable.

40. South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Revenue regulates liquor licenses for the state. See their website for a list of license types and their specifics, as well as renewal schedules and a license directory.

41. South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Revenue instructs you to contact your county auditor for license availability, the cost and what the local process is for obtaining a license. Alcoholic beverage licensing is governed by South Dakota Codified law (Title 35) and city ordinance (Title 2).

Each license must be renewed annually. Any transfer in ownership or location must be approved by City Council for a transfer fee of $150. In addition, any application for a new license or transfers of a license must pay a publication fee of $40.

42. Tennessee

Tennessee does Liquor-by-the-Drink licensing, meaning you can get a license specific to the type of alcohol and business type. Liquor-By-the-Drink (LBD) licenses or On-Premise Consumption licenses may be issued to restaurants, hotels, private clubs and other establishments that are eligible under the Tennessee law. The Tennessee Alcoholic beverage commission oversees the issuing of licenses and they now only accept online applications.

43. Texas

Liquor retailers are required to go through the county’s branch of the Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission (TABC) to obtain a license prior to initiating any alcohol sales. To start the process, you need to obtain a licensure packet from your local Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission office.

Then you post a notice in a conspicuous location on the outside of your business establishment to notify the public that you have applied for a liquor license. You also have to attend your licensing interview in your local TABC office, and pay the required fees.

You can apply for liquor permits in Texas online through the TABC portal. You also need to certify sellers/servers through this site as well. Attend your licensing hearing at the county courthouse, and then wait to know whether you have been given a license or not.

44. Utah

A person must be at least 21 years of age to purchase, consume, or hold any kind of alcohol license in Utah. Licenses and special use permits are issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission, a part-time governing board that meets only once a month.

Because of this, you must submit your application(s) to the Licensing & Compliance Division by the 10th of the month to allow sufficient time for processing for that month. Once your application and supporting documents are complete, you will be notified of the meeting date and time that your application will be considered by the Commission.

45. Vermont

Vermont is one of the few states that practice alcohol control. Control States are jurisdictions that directly control the distribution and sale of beverage alcohol within their borders. The Vermont Department of Liquor Control (DLC) is tasked with the licensing of Manufacturers of malt and vinous beverages as well as Distillers of spirituous beverages and Wholesale Dealers.

All applicants will need to produce a copy of the following:

  • Federal Basic Permit
  • Insurance bond in the amount of $1,000.00 (for the first year, amount is subject to change every year depending on sales)
  • Trade name registration which is obtained through the Secretary of State’s Office.
  • Your Federal employee identification number (FEIN)
  • Your sales and use certificate, from the Vermont Department of Taxes
  • Proof of training in regards to Vermont’s liquor laws, rules and regulations through the Department of Liquor Control
  • A copy of your lease and/or proof of ownership of the property to be licensed
  • If you have employees you will need to provide proof of Workman’s Compensation Insurance
  • If applicable, a copy of your naturalization certificate

46. Virginia

You’ll be able to get a license in Virginia if you attend the mandatory training, find the nearest Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control office, and file your application. With regional offices throughout Virginia, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverages Control offices are easy to locate. It’s not that complicated. Visit the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control office website for more information.

47. Washington

In Washington, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board is in charge of liquor licenses. In Washington, a liquor license is obtained by getting a liquor endorsement on your business license, which is managed by the Washington State Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service. This means that you’ll be dealing with two separate but related entities throughout the process.

48. West Virginia

You need to get the list of alcohol license applications and forms to determine which your business might need. If you need further assistance contact the Licensing Division between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. for information or assistance at 304.356.5500 or

49. Wisconsin

According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, to apply for a liquor license, you must “contact the clerk for the city, village, or town where you wish to do business.” The clerk will assist you with applications and information, and then the licensing authority (city council, council licensing board, town board, etc.) will have a say on your application.

50. Wyoming

County Commissioners issue liquor licenses in Wyoming. The Wyoming Department of Revenue, Liquor Division, reviews all applications for compliance with sales tax and dispensing regulations. Liquor licensing is done online through Wyoming’s Eliquor 2.0 portal.