Felons and Florida Liquor Licenses

What is the Florida Liquor Lottery?

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In November 25, 2018
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Florida Liquor Lottery

While Florida is known as the sunshine state, alcohol is known as a universal language providing a common ground for people to gather in a social setting, and allowing them to unwind, relax and let go of the daily stresses of their lives. If you are opening a restaurant, lounge or nightclub and would like to serve popular alcoholic drinks like Caipirinha, Margarita or Negroni you should consider getting a Florida State Liquor License for your business.

Many business owners and first-time entrepreneurs do not know where to start or even begin when obtaining a liquor license. We can help by answering all of your questions about purchasing a liquor license for your business. Additionally, we will walk you through the proper steps to take when inquiring about the Florida Liquor Lottery and all the details of obtaining a 4Cop license in Florida.

At Liquor License Outlet, we’ve made it our business to help Florida companies navigate the complex licensing system. Liquor License Outlet connects buyers and sellers on the resale market, ensuring that startups and established companies have access to quota licenses.

How To Obtain A Liquor License In Florida

If you own a business in Florida where you’re planning to sell liquor, wine or beer, you are required to have a Liquor License. There are two ways to obtain this type of license.

  • Lottery: Every year, the state of Florida holds a lottery for everyone who wishes to obtain a Florida State Liquor License for their business. You can pay a set price, and complete the required paperwork to gain a place in the lottery. Additionally, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old, have no felony convictions, disclose the social security numbers of anyone you want to include on the license, have a zoning approval document, and agree to get fingerprinted.
  • Buy an existing license: In some cases, when a business owner is shutting down their business or discontinuing alcoholic drinks and no longer needs their liquor license, they will sell their license to another business owner. Some sellers also buy licenses specifically to sell to those who need them outside of the lottery application period.

If you would rather buy a license directly instead of entering the lottery and hoping your name is drawn, you can buy from a seller, or through a dealer. Either way allows you to get the license you need without having to wait.

How Much Does The Florida Liquor License Cost?

Florida Alcohol LicenseAccording to information from the Tampa Bay Times, a resold license could cost you as much as $300,000. In heavy tourism counties, business owners can end up shelling out as much as $500,000 for a license. However, if you win a license from the state’s annual liquor lottery, your costs can be much lower.

A Florida issued liquor license through the lottery will cost you $10,500. Some people choose to enter the liquor license lottery solely because selling the licenses is so lucrative. If you win a license in the lottery, you’ll be able to begin selling alcoholic drinks on your property.

Why A Florida Liquor Lottery?

You may be wondering why you need to enter a lottery to obtain a 4Cop license in Florida. Why doesn’t the state just sell them to anyone who wants a license for their business? This is a great question.

The lottery system was put in place to limit the number of licenses in effect in Florida at any one time. The acceptable number of licenses available increases by one, for every 7,500 people living in the state. Thanks to this limitation, the lottery is the best way of distributing licenses throughout the state.

While you might not feel lucky regarding the lottery, you should remember that entering the liquor license lottery gives you a better chance of winning something of value than entering the ordinary lottery, where the chances of winning are about the same as getting hit by lightning. The odds of winning the liquor license lottery vary by county, but the Tampa Bay Times reports that the odds of winning a license average 1 in 450.

For business owners who depend on getting a liquor license to operate, winning the lottery means a smaller investment to open a bar or establishment. If you do choose to buy a liquor license from another individual, it is essential that you do your homework. You want to make sure that the license is clean and that you can start selling liquor after you buy the license.

Is It Better To Obtain A Non-Quota License?

Licenses that are offered through the quota system come with a price premium. Some business owners may initially look at the cost and find it to be prohibitive. However, it’s important to look at the benefits of a quota license, especially when compared to a non-quota license, such as the 4Cop-SRX license.

With a quota license:

  • You won’t have to meet the requirements for business size and turnover.
  • You don’t need to maintain a minimum amount of seats and tables for dining.
  • Your license can be resold and transferred. It becomes a real business asset.

Compare this to a non-quota 4Cop-SRX license, which comes with significant restrictions.

  • The business must have permanent floor space between 2,500 square feet and 5,000 square feet. Temporary cover (such as outside seating) doesn’t count.
  • You must derive 51% of your revenue from food and non-alcoholic items.
  • You must have seating to serve at least 150 people at a time.
  • A non-quota license can’t be resold or transferred between businesses.

Looking at these points, it’s quite clear that a non-quota license is restrictive. If you operate a club or bar where the majority of your sales are derived from liquor, you will not qualify for a non-quota license. You will have a couple of options in this case. You could drastically alter the nature of your business, potentially alienating your clientele, or, you could purchase a license on the resale market.

It’s worth noting that it’s also possible to obtain a license to sell beer and wine in Florida, but this license is often too restrictive, as it leaves out spirits, a high-demand and profitable area of the market.

Buying A Liquor License Is An Investment

You don’t have to enter the lottery to get a valuable quota liquor license in Florida. Plenty of people who win the lottery will choose to sell their licenses to businesses in need. Other businesses that hold a license, but no longer need one, can also sell on the resale market.

Get A Florida Liquor License At An Affordable Cost

Your license might be a significant investment, but it’s also a significant asset. As more businesses are formed in Florida, the demand for quota licenses is increasing. You could use your license today to operate your business. When you no longer need it, you can sell it for a profit.

If you don’t have immediate funds to purchase a license, you can get liquor license financing. As you pay off your business loan, you will be building equity in your license.

Find A Seller With Liquor License Outlet

At Liquor License Outlet, we’ve made it our business to help Florida companies navigate the complex licensing system. We connect buyers and sellers on the resale market, ensuring that startups and established companies have access to quota licenses.

If you don’t have time to wait for the lottery, you can talk to us today to begin the process of buying a license in Florida.

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