3 Florida Alcohol Regulations You Need to Know About If You Plan to Sell Alcohol

3 Florida Alcohol Regulations You Need to Know About If You Plan to Sell Alcohol

If you plan to obtain your liquor license in Florida, you’ll want to become familiar with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s (DBPR) Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco (AB&T) alcohol requirements. The DBPR-AB&T regulates liquor licenses in the state and has established specific guidelines that businesses like yours must follow if they plan to successfully and legally sell alcohol as a part of their offerings.

In this blog, we’ll explain three major Florida alcohol regulations you’ll need to pay attention to so you can get your liquor license and avoid future bumps in the road that could set your business back financially if you don’t stay within compliance.

1. Florida Has Restrictions on Hours of Sale Based on Location

Typically, the default hours for sale, consumption or service of alcohol are limited to 8 a.m. to 2 a.m. or 7 a.m. to 4 a.m. the following day. However, it’s always best to check with your local governing authorities since it is possible to obtain late-night licenses to operate legally at different hours. For example, in Miami-Dade county, liquor stores are allowed to remain open 24/7

Depending on the county, Florida bars and liquor stores cease sales at varying hours as a part of Florida’s effort to promote responsible alcohol consumption and minimize the risks of alcohol-related incidents such as drunk driving, public disturbances and more. 

Stopping alcohol sales at a specific hour helps limit the amount of time people have to consume alcohol and reduces the potential for problems caused by intoxication. While Florida alcohol regulations range from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. and beyond, the specific time limit for alcohol sales can vary from state to state and even within different counties or municipalities within the same state.

This is important for your business to be aware of so you can ensure you are following the Florida alcohol regulations and avoiding the risk of losing your liquor license due to accidentally serving past the state-mandated timeframes.

2. Florida Regulations On Distance From Schools, Churches, Assisted Living and Other Licensed Establishments Can Vary

Florida alcohol regulations prohibit the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages within 500 (can sometimes me more or less) feet of schools, colleges, universities, churches and other religious institutions. Keep in mind that this includes public and private schools and applies to all levels of education from kindergarten to college.

To determine if your business is within the legal distance, the state measures from the nearest point of a school property to the nearest point of the establishment selling or serving alcohol. Keep in mind that regulations will vary from county to county and even city to city.

This Florida alcohol regulation aims to prevent the sale of alcohol from disrupting religious activities and causing disturbances to children and young adults while they’re learning at an educational institution. 

Businesses with liquor licenses must comply with these regulations to avoid fines and penalties. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in getting your liquor license suspended or revoked, fines and even legal action. This is why it’s critical that you work closely with a professional liquor license consultant to ensure you are in compliance with all Florida state alcohol regulations.

Several bottles of alcohol on the shelf at a bar with dim lighting. Alcohol regulations.

3. Florida Has Additional County-Specific Restrictions to Consider

The liquor regulations in each county in the state of Florida can vary slightly, as some counties may have additional regulations or requirements for businesses that serve or sell alcohol. 

For instance, some counties may have their own specific zoning requirements or regulations that businesses must follow when selling or serving alcohol. This could mean that some counties may require your business to be of a certain distance between residential areas, public parks and other specifically zoned areas if you have a liquor license and are planning to sell/serve alcoholic beverages.  

Additionally, some counties may also require different hours of operation for businesses serving alcohol and/or other licensing requirements. These county-specific nuances make it critical for businesses with liquor licenses (or planning to obtain a liquor license) to work closely with a professional liquor licensor. 

Working with a professional sets you up for success so you can better understand your area’s specific requirements and regulations, avoid fines and penalties, and ensure your business is promoting responsible alcohol sales and consumption.

Do You Need Guidance Obtaining Your Liquor License?

To ensure you’re in compliance with all regulations and restrictions on when and where you can sell alcohol, it’s critical that you work closely with a professional liquor license consultant. With an experienced consultant on your side, you’ll receive the proper guidance and assistance you’ll need in order to obtain and maintain your Florida liquor license.

Ready to begin the process of obtaining your liquor license? Get started with Liquor License Professionals today so you can get your license, start serving alcohol at your establishment and start making your business goals a reality.

The Florida Liquor License Lottery: How it Works & How to Apply!

Florida Liquor License Lottery: How it Works & How to Apply

Applying for a liquor license is intimidating, but did you know that the State of Florida has a liquor license lottery, where they give away a few extra licenses ahead of the annual schedule? Applications open in September, and the drawing happens the following April. You’ll want to be ahead of the game to score one of these competitive licenses!

Want to know more about acquiring a liquor license in Florida? Then go through our team at Liquor License Professionals. For over 30 years, we have been providing knowledge and expertise in the hospitality industry. Our mission is to better help businesses to serve their customers and clients.

What is the Florida Liquor License Lottery?

Any bar or restaurant owner will tell you that liquor licenses are hard to come by. In fact, depending on the county, a license can be sold for anywhere between $75,000 and $500,000. On top of that, there is typically one quota license for every 7,500 people residing in a particular county, so that makes liquor licenses a very valuable commodity for a business owner. 

In order to level the playing field, the State of Florida has a liquor license lottery.

The Florida liquor license lottery is a process in which licenses are awarded to qualified applicants through a random drawing. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is the agency responsible for administering the lottery.

The purpose of the lottery is to ensure that licenses are granted in a fair and impartial manner. Only those who have met all of the qualifications and submitted a complete application will be entered into the drawing.

Applications for the lottery are typically accepted during the entry period in September. Applicants must submit all required documentation, including proof of residency, criminal background checks, and financial statements.

How does the Florida Liquor License Lottery Work?

The lottery itself is typically held in April. All qualified applications are assigned a number, which is then entered into a computerized random number generator. The generator selects winners at random from all eligible applications. Remember, you can only submit one application for the lottery per county in Florida. This is important to remember if your bar, restaurant, hotel, or club is a franchise.

Winners are then notified by mail and must complete a pre-licensing course within 90 days of notification. Once the course is completed, winners must submit proof of completion to DBPR along with the appropriate fee. After that, they will be issued their license. In some cases, it may take up to six months to receive your license due to the backlog of applications. If you are not selected as a winner in the initial drawing, your application will remain on file for one year and you will be automatically entered into any subsequent drawings that are held during that time period.

Don’t Apply Alone-Consult the Experts!

Florida’s liquor laws are some of the most complex in the nation, so it’s important to have an experienced liquor license broker on your side whether you plan on applying for a liquor license, or in the lottery. At Liquor License Professionals, our team has over 30 years of experience helping businesses navigate Florida’s liquor laws and licensing procedures. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you get your business up and running smoothly.

Not only do we help businesses navigate these complex laws, but we also help with a variety of other liquor license procedures. These include buying, selling, and even refinancing liquor licenses. If you don’t win big in the Florida liquor license lottery, then our team of experts at Liquor License Professionals can help you score a new or existing license pain-free.

Nobody understands the laws of each license better than we do. Our competitors will say they know the rules, but all they do is point clients in the wrong direction. Liquor License Professionals’ more significant expertise in this field makes us far more trustworthy.

For over 30 years, we have been providing knowledge and expertise in the hospitality industry. Our mission is to better help businesses to serve their customers and clients.