If you own a portion of a business that plans to sell alcoholic beverages, then you will be required by your state or municipality to apply for a liquor license. This is a process that thousands of businesses go through every year, but that doesn't mean it is easy or simple. In fact, just gathering the required documents can take a substantial amount of time and effort. To make things easier, read below for more information on three of the most important kinds of documents you'll want to get together before you apply for a commercial liquor license.
Personal Background Checks and Affidavits
Many states and municipalities will ask all individuals with an interest in the business to provide a background check. Be sure to verify specific requirements with your state or city offices since many will define business "interests" differently in terms of ownership percentage. For example, one city may require background checks be provided only by individuals with an ownership stake of ten percent or greater, while others may require less. Even spouses of those who have an interest in the business may have to complete and submit an affidavit as well.
In addition to personal documents, you'll also have to gather several documents related to the business itself. Regardless of your location, these documents almost always include the lease to the property on which you are establishing your business, as well as a financial disclosure form that transparently lists all the sources that have provided funding. At least one applicant will also have have to submit a document that outlines the structure of your business: a corporation, limited partnership, sole proprietor, or other.
Once you have all of your most important general documents gathered, you should turn to collecting documents that are specific to the sale of alcohol. These usually include various certificates such as a certificate of liquor shop insurance and a certificate that shows someone with an interest in the business has completed an alcohol training and education program. If you plan to sell food alongside liquor, then you will likely need to provide the official menu of your establishment too.
Don't make the mistake that many new business owners do and start a liquor license application without all the documents you need. The more prepared you are at the start, the more easily you will be able to complete the process successfully.
Contact a local service to learn more about liquor licensing.