Clinking glasses with alcohol and toasting, party.

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.