Get a Florida Liquor License

How Do You Get a Florida Liquor License?

By admin
In July 27, 2017
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When building an establishment in the state of Florida, one of the most common questions we hear asked is ‘How do you get a Florida liquor license’. It’s not a bad question, really, but as with anything else government related, there is some red tape to get around.

If you want to sell beer or wine on your premises, you will need to apply for a liquor license, and the good news, is that there is no limit on licenses on beer or wine throughout the state of Florida.

If, however, you wish to sell liquor, there are a limited number, based upon county population.

A LOOK AT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LICENSES

There are three different types of liquor licenses that you need to know about in Florida, so take a look at our quick reference:

Quota – This is a full liquor license, but it needs to be purchased from an existing license holder. It can be used in the following environments:

  • Package-Liquor Store
  • Bar
  • Restaurant Facility
barrels of liquor

Barrels of liquor

Keep in mind that a Quota license can only be used in facilities that do not meet SRX specifications.

SRX You can obtain an SRX license from the state assuming you meet the correct requirements. These requirements were relaxed in recent years, making it easier for businesses to get licensed without going through the quota system.

Specific criteria required for an SRX license include:

  • Your restaurant must be between 2,500 and 5,000 square feet. This area needs to be permanently covered. This means that temporary outdoor seating is not counted.
  • If you are in Broward County, the restaurant needs to be between 2,000 and 5,000 square feet.
  • You must maintain between 150 and 250 available seats with tables.
  • Full course meals must always be served when liquor is offered for sale.
  • You must not offer packaged liquor to be taken off premises. All liquor sales must be for consumption within your establishment
  • The SRX license covers beer, wine, and spirits.

The yearly licensing fee for an SRX license is $1,850 at the time of publication. This puts it on par with the standard quota license. If you don’t win in the quota lottery, an SRX license will be your next best option.

Beer/Wine As opposed to Florida liquor licenses, this one is much easier to obtain as it only involves beer and wine. That said, it can be used in the following settings:

  • Convenience Stores
  • Bars
  • Restaurants

Determining which license you need can be a matter of difficulty, as you already know, but it all comes down to the type of establishment that you have, for example, if you own a restaurant (think Applebee’s or Outback Steakhouse), then you would need to obtain an SRX license.

Wine getting poured into glass

Wine getting poured into glass

This will permit you to sell beer, liquor, and wine for consumption in the restaurant itself. Keep in mind that to quality, however, the restaurant needs to bring in more than 51% of their sales from food or other non-alcoholic sources.

The Quota license is a bit different, as it is only available in counties that boast 7500 more residents. The interesting thing about this one, is that each time another 7500 residents is added, a new license is created.

At that point, the license can either be purchased, or maybe entered into a drawing. These licenses can be difficult to obtain, because there are so many people competing for them.

STEPS FOR GETTING YOUR LICENSE

It all starts with figuring out what kind of license you need, and if you’ve been paying attention throughout this article, then that’s probably second nature to you by now.

Once you figure that part out, you can decide whether you need to purchase one, or get it directly from the state. Applying for your license will require application through the Division of Alcoholic beverage and Tobacco.

Once that’s done, you’ll be able to move on to the most important part: waiting for approval and selling alcohol.

HOW ABOUT BUYING A LICENSE ON THE OPEN MARKET?

Quota licenses can be legally sold on the open market. However, as a private buyer, you may find it hard to connect with a seller. Liquor License Outlet provides advice and representation when you need to buy a liquor license outside of the standard channels.

Friends celebrating over drinks

Friends celebrating over drinks

We will act as a broker to find you the best deal at a price that you can afford.
This cuts down on the necessary research involved in finding a license.

Because we maintain a database of current sellers, we can get you better prices when compared to doing the process alone. While we recommend exploring quota and SRX options first, purchasing a license may be your only option in some cases.

While the cost of buying a license on the open market can be high, most businesses find that they are able to recoup the costs within a few years of operation. This is because:

  • Liquor sales are highly profitable with low overheads.
  • Offering liquor can increase foot traffic and help to build the reputation of your business.
  • Selling liquor may have a knock-on effect with your standard menu items. For example, a curated wine list could be used for food pairing, helping to drive sales volume of your more expensive main dishes.
  • Liquor sales will keep you competitive. When diners go out to enjoy a meal, they expect that liquor will be served. If you don’t have a license, your competitors will take business away from you.

If you have explored all your options and still can’t find a license, we are here to help you buy a liquor license.

BUYING A FLORIDA LIQUOR LICENSE 

Getting a liquor license in Florida, at least if you’re paying for it, is not cheap. If you’re looking into a quota liquor license, you’re probably going to pay somewhere between $50,000 and $750,000 which means you’re looking at a pretty substantial investment.

Take that into account, and make sure this is what you really want to do. It can be profitable but getting off the ground can be a bit of a challenge.

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

https://www.tampabaynewswire.com/2017/03/21/florida-legislative-changes-to-alcoholic-beverage-laws-make-it-easier-for-restaurants-and-movie-theaters-to-sell-liquor-55090

http://www.gray-robinson.com/docs/recent-legal-changes-make-it-easier-to-qualify-miami-restaurant-liquor-license.pdf

https://codes.findlaw.com/fl/title-xxxiv-alcoholic-beverages-and-tobacco/fl-st-sect-561-20.html

http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/abt/

 

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