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Types of McKinley County Liquor Licenses

Business owners in McKinley County must secure a proper McKinley County liquor license to sell liquor at their establishments. Located in northwestern New Mexico, McKinley County is home to nearly 72,000 people. Most of these residents live in Gallup, New Mexico, which is not only the largest city in the county but also the county seat. Locals and travelers enjoy spending time at the following places in McKinley County: Rex Museum, Fire Rock Casino, Red Rock Park, Gallup Cultural Center, and Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Each year the Bi-County Fair takes place in Prewitt, New Mexico, with livestock events and exhibits showcasing ceramics, woodworking, and more. The Bi-County Fair encompasses both McKinley County and Cibola County in New Mexico.


To serve or sell alcoholic beverages to your customers at your McKinley County business, we offer online McKinley 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 McKinley 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 McKinley County, New Mexico.
  • RET: Permits all liquor sales -- beer, wine, and spirits -- for off-premises consumption in McKinley County, NM.


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

How to Buy a McKinley County Liquor License

A buyer has two options for purchasing a McKinley County liquor license in New Mexico. One way is to obtain an alcohol license from the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC). Another option is to secure a liquor license through the secondary market using a liquor license broker, such as Liquor License Auctioneers.


Due to the cap on the number of alcohol permits available at any given time in McKinley County, usually, the only way to obtain a liquor license is through the open market. In most cases, a buyer will have to wait until a seller is ready to sell a liquor license to them in McKinley County, NM.


As professional liquor license brokers, this is our area of expertise. Throughout our many years in this field, we’ve gained numerous connections, including business entrepreneurs and lawyers. This network has allowed us to provide exclusive McKinley County liquor licenses on our bidding platform. No other alcohol permit brokerage can sell these same alcohol licenses, which allows us to price them fairly. If you don’t see the exact McKinley County alcohol permit that you need for your business, please let us know. We’ll be happy to track one down for you through our network.


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


  1. Preliminary Review of Application: Once the New Mexico Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) has reviewed the application, if any forms or documents are missing or incomplete, you will be sent a Notice of Deficiencies. This Notice informs you which documents are still missing and need to be submitted to complete the ABC Application for a McKinley County liquor license. Appointed Representative - If the Applicant for a McKinley County alcohol permit submitted authorization with the ABC Application that they are being represented by an attorney, broker, or CPA, then your Representative will be contacted at this time.
  2. Posting Request Sent to Department of Public Safety (DPS): This step is to be completed by the Special Investigations Unit. At this time, your Hearing Officer will send a request, and the assigned Agent will notify you that you must post the Certificate at your place of business. You should post the Certificate for at least 20 consecutive days prior to the preliminary approval.
  3. Notice of Preliminary Hearing: As mandated by statute, the preliminary hearing must take place within 30 days of receipt of your ABC Application for a McKinley County liquor license. You will be served a Notice that has the date and time of your preliminary hearing as well as the name of the Hearing Officer assigned to your ABC Application. Let your Hearing Officer know if you’d rather do the preliminary hearing by phone or in person.
  4. Notice of Publication: The Applicant must also publish notice of the preliminary hearing in a local newspaper that has general circulation. The notice must be published at least 72 hours in advance of the hearing. This gives the public the opportunity to send in letters of support or objection to the New Mexico ABC Application. All of the letters will be sent to the Local Option District. If you do not publish notice of the preliminary hearing and provide proof of publication within 48 hours of the hearing date to the Hearing Officer, the preliminary hearing may either be canceled or rescheduled. The Applicant must publish the notice of preliminary hearing in the legal section for a full day, and written instructions are included. 
  5. Notice of Deficiencies: This Notice of Deficiencies includes all of the items that either need to be corrected or are missing from the ABC Application. The items listed 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 all the necessary information and the correct supplemental documents in the time frame allotted, then the New Mexico ABC Application will be delayed or canceled.
  6. At Preliminary Hearing: The public hearing will take place at this time, and the ABC Application and supporting documents will be read into the record. After the preliminary hearing, you will have 10 days to send any remaining forms that need to be corrected or completed. Following this deadline will help you avoid delays in the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) processing your application for a McKinley County liquor license.
  7. Issuance of Hearing Officers Recommendations: After the closing date of Posting and once the ABC Application has been reviewed by the Legal Department, if required, you will be contacted to send in any documentation that is either still required or needs to be corrected before receiving preliminary approval.
  8. Review of Recommendations by Director for Preliminary Approval: Once the Director has reviewed the ABC Application for an alcohol license in McKinley County, along with the Recommendations, your application will be sent to the local governing body in which you plan 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 and then conduct a public hearing before the local governing body within 45 days of receipt of the McKinley County liquor license ABC Application.
  10. Decision by Local Option District: Once the preliminary hearing takes place with the local governing body, they will have 30 days to send us the signed documents.
  11. Notice to Applicant of Final Deficiencies and/or Licensing Fee: Your Hearing Officer will reach out to you to notify you if there are any documents that they still need. Before being issued the McKinley County liquor license, you must finalize your payment of the Licensing Fee.
  12. Final Approval by Director: The Director will review the submitted documents as well as the ABC Application when the payment is received. Once the ABC Application has been approved, you will receive the official alcohol license along with a packet that includes: the Resident Agent License, McKinley County liquor license, copies of the Approved Floor Plan, and, if applicable, signed application pages, and Mandatory Posters, with a copy of Rules & Regulations and State Statues available and accessible on the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) website. All deposited fees associated with the McKinley County alcohol permit are non-refundable. These 12 steps for the New Mexico ABC Application can usually be completed in 120 to 150 days. 


In order to procure a liquor license in McKinley County, complete the following eight steps with the guidance of our expert liquor license brokers.


  1. Secure the location: Select the location where you would like to run your business. The establishment must be rented, leased, or purchased.
  2. Select your liquor license: Determine which McKinley County liquor license you need for your business. Then, select which way you will obtain the alcohol permit - either from the New Mexico ABC or the open market using an alcohol license broker, such as Liquor License Auctioneers.
  3. Open your escrow account: An escrow account must be opened at this time. Ideally, the account should be created with a third-party company. This escrow account will be where all monetary transactions associated with the transfer and sale of the liquor license are held.
  4. Survey the location: Employ a surveyor to conduct an inspection of your business property. Our experienced alcohol license brokers can complete this step for you.
  5. Complete your ABC Application: When the McKinley County ABC Application is completed, send it to the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) for the review process. Liquor License Auctioneers can help you complete the ABC Application.
  6. Post a notice: When the ABC Application has been approved by the NM ABC, they will mail you a notice of intent to sell liquor, which must be posted for 30 days at your business establishment.
  7. Submit to investigation: After the 30 days have elapsed, the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) will come to your place of business to perform a final inspection. 
  8. Receive the liquor license: After completing the seven prior steps, you will receive the official McKinley County liquor license. The alcohol license must be featured at your business location. 


Adhering closely to the eight steps above will complete the requirements set by the New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (ABC) for obtaining a liquor license in McKinley County. It’s important to see if your local municipal government has its own stipulations for acquiring a liquor license in Gallup, NM. Knowing what these additional requirements are ahead of time can expedite the process of securing your McKinley County alcohol license.


In McKinley County, there are many businesses competing for alcohol permits. At Liquor License Auctioneers, we understand how critical it is for your business to have a McKinley County alcohol license. Trust our years of experience, knowledge of the industry, ethical business practices, fair pricing, and excellent customer service. See all of our available McKinley County liquor licenses for sale, and place a bid now. 

McKinley County Liquor Licenses for Sale

Liquor License Auctioneers was established in 2012 by a previous Investigator of the California Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) with the mission to provide McKinley County liquor licenses for sale. Our online auction platform allows both buyers and sellers to either purchase or list their McKinley County alcohol licenses for fair prices. See all available alcohol permits on our bidding platform - updated in real-time. Make an offer, and purchase a liquor license in McKinley County, New Mexico.

Contact Liquor License Auctioneers

At Liquor License Auctioneers, we know that purchasing a liquor license in McKinley County can be a time-intensive process for a business owner. With the guidance and expertise of our team of liquor license brokers, we can help accelerate the process so you can start selling alcohol to your patrons. Contact us by email, or give us a call at 818.345.2226. We are here to help make the process of obtaining a McKinley County alcohol permit efficient.