Possessing a liquor license certifies your permission to sell alcoholic beverages. These liquor permits vary state by state, and some cities and counties may have their own guidelines as well. Typically, different types of liquor licenses are required to sell beer and wine versus hard liquor; or to sell versus serve on the premises, etc.
Everybody who sells alcohol needs a liquor license, including restaurants, bars, taverns, night clubs, package stores, grocery stores, convenience stores, and any other business that sells or serves alcoholic beverages.
Each state regulates the number of liquor licenses available, which means that they tend to be valuable assets. The state will generally hold lotteries to determine which businesses are awarded new liquor licenses. However, most do not issue new licenses in large numbers -- or even any at all. Most businesses must turn to liquor license brokers like Liquor License Auctioneers to buy their alcohol permit on the secondary market.
Although they’re issued on the authority of each state, nearly all liquor licenses are restricted to sales in a single county or municipality. Check with your local zoning authorities before purchasing a liquor license to ensure that you’ll be able to use it at the location you want to.
Liquor licenses only expire if you let them lapse by failing to pay the renewal fees on a yearly basis. Once you’re awarded a liquor license, you own it until you let it lapse or fail to abide by the rules and regulations of state law. At that point, the state could revoke your license to sell alcohol.