Frequently asked questions
The requirements for securing a liquor license can vary by city and county in California. You’ll need to secure the proper zoning permits and follow local regulations. The ABC can also deny the issuing of a license to an individual who has violated the ACT or has a criminal record that disqualifies them from a liquor license.
There are five basic types of ABC licenses.
On-Sale General: This license type allows for the sale of all types of alcoholic beverages, including beer, wine, and liquor. This license allows for consumption on the premises, and also allows for the sale of wine and beer (in an original, sealed container) for consumption off the premises.
Off-Sale General: This license allows proprietors to sell all kinds of alcoholic beverages for consumption off the premises.
On-Sale Beer and Wine: This license type allows for the sale of beer and wine for consumption both on and off the premises, providing it is in an original, sealed container.
Off-Sale Beer and Wine: This license type allows for the sale of wine and malt beverages for consumption off the premises only.
On-Sale Beer: This allows the sale of malt beverages for consumption both on and off the premises.
The California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control generally takes around 55 to 65 days to investigate a license transfer, and legally the license cannot be issued for a minimum of 30 days. Depending on individual circumstances, there may be a longer waiting period to receive a transfer. It is in your best interest to have approval complete before breaking ground on your establishment.
Yes. It’s a licensee’s responsibility to renew, even without notice from the ABC. There is a yearly renewal fee that must be paid prior to the license’s expiration date. Following a license expiration, a licensee may operate for 60 more days and renew their license by paying the fee compounded by a 50 percent penalty for late payment; if the payment is not made within this 60-day period, the license is canceled. An additional 30-day period allows licensees to reactivate their license, providing they pay the renewal fee and a 100 percent penalty.