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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.

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