Before selling alcoholic beverages at your establishment of any kind, it is critical that you obtain the proper licensing and permits. These permits are available at all different levels, with the primary two distinctions being: On-Premises Sales & Consumption and Off-Premises Sales. A Florida On Premises Liquor License – or “on license” allows for the consumption of alcoholic beverages only on the property of the licensed establishment. This is ideal for bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other entertainment businesses within the hospitality industry. Conversely, a Florida Off Premise Liquor License or “off-license” allows for the customer to purchase alcohol at your establishment, and then leave with it. Examples of this are grocery stores, convenience stores, and liquor stores.

Application Process

The application process must be filed with the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) – Division of Alcoholic Beverages & Tobacco. The process requires full disclosure of all parties associated with the applicant entity. This includes all partners, directors, officers, stockholders, and any other individual with substantial ownership or financial interest. These individuals must include extensive information including a copy of the lease, a detailed sketch of the premises in which they will do business, personal information, background history and for new license holder’s fingerprints.

In addition to this information, the applicants must also obtain a zoning sign off from their local municipality or county. To do this, the applicant must determine the appropriate jurisdiction over the premises and have them sign off on their application. Many of these jurisdictions may have requirements of their own, so it is important to follow them closely.

After your zoning sign-off, you must also have your application signed off by the appropriate health department. This is essential for any establishment that sells food or beverages. If food is served, your business will be regulated by the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. If you do not plan to sell food at your establishment, you will be regulated by the Florida Department of Agriculture or the County Health Department. The third agency, The Florida Department of Agriculture, regulates all other food service establishments such as grocery stores, delicatessens, bakeries, and convenience stores. Like local municipalities, each of these different agencies will have their own requirements which may include health inspections and additional approvals.

Finally, the applying establishment must receive clearance from the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR). A certificate of registration from the Department of Revenue indicates that your establishment is registered to pay sales tax.

It is important for hopeful business owners to perform their due diligence and research these requirements prior to applying with the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation. These processes can often be complex, are ever-changing, and can be extremely difficult to navigate alone. Liquor License Professionals specialize in assisting our clients through these complex processes. Our goal is to protect your interests aggressively and intelligently and help them to forge the establishment of your dreams. Contact Liquor License Professionals today to get started with your DBPR application process. To learn more about Liquor License Professionals visit our Linkedin page.


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