Before delving into the surprisingly complicated world of alcohol licenses in the state of Florida, you should now what you are getting yourself into. For starters, you need to know that it can be a hefty investment, so you should be sure that it is the right decision for your business. Also know that there are different types of licenses and you want to be sure to get the correct one. For instance, a beer and wine license florida may not cover the full scope of what you’re looking to do with your business. Let’s take a quick look at what to expect from this process.
What Type of License Does your Business Need?
There are many types of liquor licenses in Florida, but the most common are:
If you are a fully functioning restaurant, as defined by Florida statute, then you will need a 4COP-SRX, this license will cover your restaurant selling: beer, wine, and spirits for consumption on premises. You would be in violation if any of your customers were allowed to leave with an alcoholic beverage.
If you are not a bona fide restaurant under Florida law, but a smaller establishment such as a deli or taco joint, you will need a 2-COP. This allows you to sell closed containers of beer and wine on the premises. Again, consumers may not leave the premise with an alcoholic beverage.
A grocery or a convenience store wishing to sell alcohol will need a 2APS. This is what you see in use anytime you go to an establishment in order to buy alcohol for the purpose of private consumption.
There are many other types of specialty beer and wine licenses. If the type of license you are looking for does not appear in the above descriptions, you may find a list of very specific licenses here.
How Much Will it Cost?
This question is almost impossible to answer because there are many factors. Such factors are: type of license, county of license, population of county of license, and license availability. You read that last one right; certain licenses are restricted to a quota such as x amount of liquor licenses per y population.
Florida is one of only seventeen states that limit the number of liquor licenses per county based on population. As such, Florida conducts a lottery every year to see who is granted the liquor licenses in each county. The licenses are transferable, so even if you don’t win the lottery in the county in which you wish to conduct business, you can still purchase a license second hand. This has created a lucrative market for second hand liquor licenses.
What Will I Need in Order to Apply?
Even if you are buying a used license, there are still very strict requirements that you must meet. They include, but are not limited to: finger prints, arrest disposition, moral character, right of occupancy, a sketch of premises, health department approval, SSN, and could possibly include much more depending on the type of license you are applying for.