Buying a Florida Liquor License – Red Flags to Look For

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In March 14, 2018
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There are so many tasks to complete when you are opening a new business. Financials have to be squared away, premises updated and furnished, staff hired, it’s way too much work for one person to accomplish alone. Many new business owners and even some experienced business owners seek outside help and guidance to get their new venture on the ground and running smoothly. Professional consultants do everything from making floor plans to crunching numbers. When you find yourself asking the question of how to get a liquor license in Florida, you can rest assured that there are professionals willing and able to help you through every step of the process.

What Exactly is a Liquor License and How Do You Get One?

Any business that plans to serve beer, wine, or other alcoholic beverages requires a liquor license from the State of Florida in order to operate legally. Liquor licenses come in three forms in Florida, all are regulated and issued by the Florida Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing. There is a quota for liquor licenses and the applications are very particular as to each requirement being met. Because the amount of licenses is restricted, it can be difficult for a new business to obtain one even if all steps are met within each specific time frame. There are three types of Florida liquor licenses.

A quota license is offered annually for businesses who primarily sell alcohol. They are chosen by a lottery system and the number of licenses is determined by the population of the county. Florida also offers another kind of license called SRX, a special restaurant license. These Florida Liquor Licenses are issued year-round for businesses where more than half of the total sales are made up of food items. These can be the right option for restaurants and other establishments where alcohol is sold as a complement to food, instead of being a primary menu item.

While you can apply for one of these licenses at any point in the year, the process of applying can take some time to prepare for. There are 54 subcategories of the SRX license, and the type you will need varies based on the kind of business you operate. The last type of Florida Liquor License is a beer and wine only license. It is a bit easier to get, there is no deadline and is not limited by the county since the alcohol selection is limited.

Of What Should You Be Aware?

It is possible to purchase an existing license from the owner of a current quota Florida Liquor License. Usually one will sell their license if their business has closed or has stopped selling alcohol. Beware of sellers who want to hurry the process, who want to forego legal representation in the process, or do not want to answer a lot of questions about their license. Be sure to check yourself with the Florida Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Bureau of Licensing to find out if the license is valid before you begin the buying process.

Make sure to ask if there is a lien on the license, oftentimes businesses use their license as collateral. Be aware of companies who offer the licensing process very cheaply. The Florida Liquor License is quite pricey and companies who are offering things cheaply are likely scamming people out of money. When in doubt, vet a company with the Better Business Bureau.

A Florida Liquor License will Boost Your Business

Obtaining a liquor license is a prudent step in growing your new business. The process can be daunting and confusing for any person to navigate on their own but there are professionals available with the experience and diligence you need to obtain your Florida Liquor license. The application process is lengthy and there are strict time frames in which each step needs to be completed.

This can be inconvenient for you when you are trying to start up a new business. Take the efficient approach and delegate this process to trusted professionals. With the aid of professionals, you will be able to avoid scams and pitfalls that are commonly found with Florida Liquor licenses.

 

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