Consumption of alcohol is one of the most preferred pastimes of people all over the world. It is a major tool for socialization and because of its huge part in our everyday lives, it is only natural for governments to regulate and control its distribution, sale, and consumption. Despite this, many people still choose to operate a business that manufactures, sells, or distributes alcohol because it is a lucrative industry.
In the United States, there was the Prohibition period in the 1920s which banned the sale and consumption of alcohol in all states. After its lifting, laws were created to ensure that everyone, both the producers and consumers, will be protected.
In Los Angeles, businesses are required to adhere to the guidelines imposed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The ABC rules over California liquor laws and the application of a license to sell alcohol is made through this department.
If you’re a business that operates in this area, you must comply with the rules and regulations created by both federal and local governments. If you’re thinking about serving alcohol without an ABC License Los Angeles, you better think twice because you can be charged civilly or criminally by doing so. Here’s how you can get a liquor license in LA:
Requirements for obtaining a liquor license
Basically, an applicant must comply with these requirements:
- Must be over 21 years of age;
- with proof of lease or ownership over the proposed venue;
- has a Condition Use Permit or CUP (this is a zoning permit);
- has no history of alcohol dependence, and;
- has no criminal record. If a person has a criminal record, he or she is automatically disqualified from acquiring a liquor license.
The process of obtaining a liquor license
Step 1: An applicant must first inquire at the nearest Office of the United States Treasury Department, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau and he or she must determine what type of liquor license his or her establishment needs. There are certain types of liquor licenses that California requires. For a restaurant to serve alcohol, a restaurant liquor (beer and wine) license, which is the most common license used in the state, is required. This means that strong spirits cannot be served there.
For restaurants serving alcohol and food but have sales of 50% liquor, a tavern liquor license is needed. For beer and wine, it is Type 41. For beer, wine, and hard liquor, it is Type 47. The proper licenses are also needed for liquor stores, bars and nightclubs, even if they serve food or not.
They can proceed to get a business permit at any ABC district offices.
Step 2: Securing the required zoning permits is the next step in the process. This is necessary to allow the selling of alcoholic beverages in the establishment. Obtaining the aforementioned may take months and more than a year and cost a lot and entails plenty of paperwork and leg work.
Legal help from alcohol beverage compliance attorneys
It is said that the rules in applying for a liquor license is confusing even though there are forms and guidelines shown in the ABC’s website. However, the California Department’s ABC cannot advice the applicant on the right forms to use because every type of liquor license has a different process of application.
An individual may apply on his own and face the daunting task of determining if what he is doing is proper. It is therefore recommended to get the services of a lawyer who specializes in alcohol beverage compliance. The lawyer will assist the establishment in getting the necessary permits and complying with the federal and state requirements. If you’re looking to get a liquor license in Los Angeles, you will be able to save yourself from headaches caused by non-compliance as well as hefty fines if you’ll deal with lawyers with the experience and expertise you need.