Navigating The Path To A New York Liquor License
Whether you are opening a new establishment or hope to expand services at an existing one, obtaining a liquor license or permit can be more complicated than you expect. Having a knowledgeable attorney by your side to help you navigate the many rules and requirements can smooth the path ahead.
At Tarshus Law Firm, we assist businesses of all sizes throughout Western New York, including many eating and drinking establishments. Our dedicated and experienced attorney, Andrea A. Tarshus, understands what your business needs to succeed and she wants to help you get there.
Understanding Your Options
The New York State Liquor Authority (NYSLA) oversees the application process. They separate the license categories into on-premises (OP) and off-premises licenses. OP licenses are for establishments that serve patrons who consume the liquor on site. Off-premises licenses are for liquor stores, grocery stores and drug stores that sell alcohol to customers who take it elsewhere to consume.
If you have a tavern, restaurant or hotel you will need a license for serving alcohol on the premises and you must serve food in order to serve alcohol. Taverns serve some basic food options, while restaurants serve full entrees. The NYSLA offers the following:
- Eating place beer – Restaurants and taverns that only serve beer can apply for these.
- Restaurant wine or tavern wine – Both types of establishments can serve beer and wine with this license.
- On premises – This is a full liquor license that covers all types of alcohol. Both taverns and restaurants may qualify for these.
Many other establishments may apply for specialty licensing targeted for their businesses, such as hotels, catering companies and ball parks.
The process can take from 22 to 26 weeks, but you may be able to apply for a temporary permit that allows you to serve alcohol within about 30 days while you wait. By using our services, you receive the added advantage of an attorney certification for your application. The NYSLA will expedite the applicate approval process when we self-certify your application, shortening the approval time by several weeks.
Requirements For Applicants
Before you begin, you should make sure you meet the application criteria. Applicants must meet certain basic requirements, including:
- Age – You must be 21 years or older.
- Citizenship – You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien.
- No felonies – You cannot have any felony convictions on your record.
- No police officers – You cannot be a police officer with arresting powers.
- No revocations – You cannot have had a liquor license revoked within the past two years.
In addition, your location must also meet certain requirements, such as not being located within 200 feet of a school or place of worship. If you have any concerns about these requirements, discuss them with Ms. Tarshus right away to explore your options.