If you have recently decided to open a restaurant in New York state, then you may understand that alcohol sale can add up to a huge part of your overall revenue. Most restaurants typically try to make sure that alcoholic beverages equal about 30% of their revenue, and drinks are priced accordingly. While this is a good business plan, you will need to obtain a liquor license. For some people, the application, licensing, and permit process can be confusing. Working with a lawyer can help you to get through some of the licensing hoops a bit easier. Before you start the application process, there are a few facts you may want to know about.
You Must Be Over 21 To Get A License
Each state has their own rules when it comes to age requirements for selling liquor. While some states allow liquor to be sold by anyone 18 years or older with supervision, others allow this only if they are supervised by someone who is 21 or older. Also, you may be able to serve beer if you are 18, but you must be 21 to serve hard liquor. This is the case in Colorado.
In New York state, the employees in your restaurant can serve alcohol if they are 18, but they must be under the supervision of someone who is 21 years or older. You also need to be 21 to apply for and receive a liquor license. This may not be surprising. However, if you have a partner for your restaurant, then every owner or partner must also be over the age of 21, even if they are not serving alcohol in the establishment. For example, if you have a 19- or 20-year-old brother who is a silent partner in your restaurant, then you will need to wait until he turns 21 before you apply for a liquor license. However, if you have a corporation or an LLC, then only the managing partner has to be 21.
While it may be disappointing that you cannot apply for a liquor license if you or one of your business partners is not over the age of 21, the good news is that most new applications for restaurant liquor licenses are approved in an average of 76 days in New York. This means that you can expect a quick approval when you are ready.
Of course, you should keep in mind that there are some other stipulations that must be met before a liquor license can be given. For example, you must have a felony free record, and you need to be a citizen of the United States.
You Need To Fill Out An Application
Like almost every other license or permit, you will need to fill out and file paperwork before you can receive your liquor license. Forms can be found online, and you will need to locate the proper paperwork for your business. Keep in mind that there are different applications for simple retail establishments, chain restaurants, and restaurants that brew beer on site. Also, off-site licenses and event liquor licenses require their own specific applications. While applications are fairly simple so that most business owners do not have difficulty filling them out, you will need to provide supporting documentation with the application. This may be confusing, so speak with a lawyer about what you need to gather. Also, speak with a professional about the fees associated with the application. These fees change depending on the type of establishment you own.
All applicants need to be sent to the New York State Liquor Authority when they are completed. It is wise to mail the application, especially since paperwork and fees must be submitted with the original application. To learn more about how to get a liquor license, check it out.