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Types of Lea County Liquor Licenses

In Lea County, it’s essential that business entrepreneurs attain a proper Lea County alcohol license to sell or serve liquor to their patrons. Located in the southwest corner of New Mexico, Lea County is home to about 70,000 people. Most of these residents live in Lea County’s largest city, Hobbs, while others reside in Lovington, which is the county seat. Tourists and locals enjoy visiting Lea County attractions, such as McAdams Park, Green Meadow Lake, Zia Park Casino Hotel & Racetrack, Lea County Museum, and Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame. Every year, the Lea County Fair & PRCA Rodeo takes place in Lovington, NM, with livestock shows, rodeos, arts and crafts, food, carnival rides, and entertainment.


To offer liquor at your Lea County business, we offer online Lea County liquor license auctions for the following permit types:


  • Dispensers License: Permits restaurants and bars to sell all liquor -- beer, wine, and spirits -- for consumption on and off-site in Lea County.
  • Inter Local Dispenser: Permits restaurants and bars to sell all liquor -- beer, wine, and spirits -- for consumption on and off-site. Once a Dispenser liquor license has transferred out of the original Option District (LOD), it becomes an Inter Local Dispensers license and can no longer be used to permit off-site or “to-go” alcohol sales in Lea County, New Mexico.
  • RET: Permits all liquor sales -- beer, wine, and spirits -- for off-premises consumption in Lea County, NM.


Each New Mexico liquor license grants the holder the right to sell in a specific New Mexico county, such as Lea. Liquor licenses are not transferable between counties. They are, however, transferable between owners, which means you can legally buy or sell any Lea County ABC liquor license.

How to Buy a Lea County Liquor License

There are two options for acquiring a Lea County liquor license in New Mexico. One way to obtain an alcohol license is through the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC). The alternative route is to purchase a Lea County alcohol license through the open market using a liquor license broker, like Liquor License Auctioneers.


Due to the limited capacity of Lea County alcohol permits available, often, the only way for a buyer to secure an alcohol license is to go through the secondary market. Even then, the buyer will have to wait for a seller to sell a liquor license to them in Lea County, New Mexico.


This is where we specialize. As experienced and professional liquor license brokers, we’ve been in the business for years. During this time, we’ve gained numerous connections with lawyers and business entrepreneurs. This network of connections allows us to have the opportunity to offer exclusive Lea County liquor licenses for sale on our online auction platform. Since no other alcohol permit brokerage can sell these same alcohol licenses, we are able to price them fairly. If you need a specific type of alcohol license in Lea County, please reach out to us. We can check with our network to locate the Lea County liquor license.


How to Apply for a Liquor License in Lea County, New Mexico:


  1. Preliminary Review of Application: After the ABC Application for a Lea County liquor license has been reviewed, the New Mexico ABC will send you a Notice of Deficiencies that explains what information is missing or needs to be corrected if you didn’t provide all of the documents initially. Appointed Representative - If the Applicant for a Lea County liquor license submitted authorization with their application that they are being represented by a broker, CPA, or attorney, then your Representative will be contacted on your behalf.
  2. Posting Request Sent to Department of Public Safety (DPS): This step is completed by the Special Investigations Unit. Your Hearing Officer sends a request, and the assigned Agent will reach out to you, informing you that the Certificate must be posted at your business location for 20 consecutive days before preliminary approval.
  3. Notice of Preliminary Hearing: The preliminary hearing will take place within 30 days of receipt of your ABC Application as mandated by statute. You will be served a Notice that includes the time and date of your preliminary hearing, and you will also be told the name of the Hearing Officer who is assigned to your ABC Application. At this time, you can let the Hearing Officer know whether you’d rather have the preliminary hearing done in person or over the phone.
  4. Notice of Publication: The Applicant must publish a notice of the preliminary hearing in a local newspaper with general circulation at least 72 hours before the public hearing. The Notice of Publication gives the public the ability to write letters of support or objection regarding the Lea County alcohol license ABC Application. These letters will be sent to the Local Option District. If you fail to publish notice of the preliminary hearing or provide proof of publication within 48 hours of your hearing date to your Hearing Officer, this may result in your hearing being canceled or rescheduled. The Applicant needs to be sure that the notice is published in the legal section of the newspaper for at least one full day. Written instructions are included.
  5. Notice of Deficiencies: The Notice of Deficiencies is a list of all the items that must be corrected and included when submitting the ABC Application for a Lea County liquor license. All of the items included in the Notice of Deficient Documents should be provided ahead of the preliminary hearing, if possible, and no later than at the final review. Note: If the ABC Application is not submitted with the supplemental documents within the provided time period, the ABC Application may be delayed or canceled.
  6. At Preliminary Hearing: The public preliminary hearing is when the ABC Application for a Lea County alcohol permit and the supplemental documentation will be read into the record. After your hearing, any items that need to be corrected must be submitted within 10 days. This step helps you avoid even more delays in the New Mexico ABC processing your application.
  7. Issuance of Hearing Officers Recommendations: After the closing date of Posting and after the ABC Application for a Lea County liquor license has been reviewed and approved by the Legal Department, if required, you will be asked to revise or supplement the documents that are still needed before you can receive preliminary approval.
  8. Review of Recommendations by Director for Preliminary Approval: Once the Director has reviewed the ABC Application and the Recommendations, your ABC Application for a liquor license in Lea County, New Mexico, will be sent over to the local governing body where you propose to run your business.
  9. Application Forwarded to Local Option District and Public Hearing at Local Option District Level: The local governing body must publish a notice of the hearing at the local governing body. Then, they must have a public hearing before the local governing body within 45 days of receipt of the ABC Application.
  10. Decision by Local Option District: Once you’ve had the public hearing with the local governing body, they have 30 days to send over the signed documents to us.
  11. Notice to Applicant of Final Deficiencies and/or Licensing Fee: Your Hearing Officer will notify you if there are any pending forms or documents that they still need to review. You will also be asked to finalize payment of the Licensing Fee before being issued the Lea County alcohol permit.
  12. Final Approval by Director: When the ABC Application for a Lea County alcohol license has been completed and payment is received, the Director will review all of the documents. After the New Mexico ABC Application is approved, you receive a packet including the Lea County liquor license, the Resident Agent License, copies of the Approved Floor Plan, signed application pages, and Mandatory Posters, with a copy of Rules & Regulations and State Statutes available and accessible on the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) website. All deposited fees are non-refundable. This ABC Application process can take anywhere from 120 to 150 days to complete.


Complete the following eight steps with the assistance of Liquor License Auctioneers to obtain a Lea County liquor license.


  1. Secure the location: The business location where you will be serving alcoholic beverages must be leased, rented, or purchased.
  2. Select your liquor license: Choose which type of Lea County alcohol license you need for your business, and decide which way you will obtain an alcohol permit - through the NM ABC or the secondary market using a liquor license broker, like Liquor License Auctioneers.
  3. Open your escrow account: Create an escrow account where all financial transactions associated with the sale and transfer of the Lea County liquor license will be placed. We recommend opening an escrow account with a third-party company.
  4. Survey the location: Have a surveyor come to your business location to conduct an inspection of your business property. The team at Liquor License Auctioneers can complete this step for you.
  5. Complete your ABC Application: When you have completed the ABC Application for a Lea County alcohol permit, send it to the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) for approval. They will review your application at this time. Let our liquor license brokers assist you in completing the ABC Application.
  6. Post a notice: Once the ABC Application is approved, the New Mexico Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) will mail you a notice of intent to sell liquor. This notice will need to be displayed at your establishment for at least 30 days.
  7. Submit to investigation: After 30 days, the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) will perform a final inspection of your business premises to make sure that all their requirements are met.
  8. Receive the liquor license: When you pass the final inspection, the New Mexico ABC will send you the official liquor license for Lea County. Upon receiving the alcohol license, you are instructed to post it at your business location.


Following these aforementioned eight steps meets the standards set by the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) for securing a Lea County alcohol license. It’s a good idea to check if your local municipal government has additional regulations for obtaining a liquor license in Lovington, New Mexico. If you are aware ahead of time of what these stipulations are, then you can receive your alcohol license in Hobbs, New Mexico, in a timely manner so you can begin selling liquor to your customers.


In New Mexico, there is a lot of competition among businesses seeking liquor licenses. In order to be sure that your business obtains one of those Lea County alcohol licenses, choose to work with the best in the business. At Liquor License Auctioneers, you can trust our expertise, ethical business model, knowledge of the field, and honest prices. See which Lea County liquor licenses are currently available and place a bid.

Lea County Liquor Licenses for Sale

Liquor License Auctioneers was started by a former California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Investigator in 2012 with the mission to provide buyers and sellers with a bidding platform for Lea County liquor licenses for sale. Buyers and sellers can either purchase or list a Lea County alcohol license. Check our online auction platform to see all of the Lea County alcohol permits available - updated in real-time. Make an offer, and buy a liquor license in Lea County, New Mexico.


Contact Liquor License Auctioneers

Obtaining an alcohol license in Lea County can be a time-consuming endeavor. Choose Liquor License Auctioneers for our expertise and quality customer service. We have the knowledge and experience to assist you in securing a Lea County liquor license in an expedited manner. Call us at 818.345.2226, or send us an email to get the process started.