How To Get A Liquor License In California


Obtaining A Liquor License In California: What is the application submission process?

The ABC breaks down the application process into three main parts. First, you must inform the ABC, as well as the community in which you plan on opening, of your plans. Next, the ABC will investigate you and your location. Finally, you will be required to complete any documents or fees you are missing. Below is some more detailed information:


Essentially, you must let people in the community know what type of business you plan to open. This means formally notifying the ABC of your intentions, as well as posting a public notice on the location for 30 days saying that you are applying for a license. The ABC will then notify all of the local authorities of your business plans.

From there, community leaders will begin the process of deciding whether they think your new bar, winery, liquor store etc will be a potential public nuisance of any sort. In some cases, the ABC will require further action like notifying nearby residents or posting an announcement in the local newspaper.


Next, the ABC will investigate you and your premises to determine whether your establishment is eligible for a license. They will consider any protests made by local officials and residents. Agents will look into the personal history of the applicant to see if they have a criminal record or input any false information on documents. Finally, they will inspect the proposed real estate to see if the location is too close to buildings like churches and schools, or if they believe the establishment will increase crime.

The ABC can also impose conditions regarding hours of operation, type of entertainment, and more.

Final Review

If you succeed in passing the investigation period, you will continue to the final review. Here, the ABC will delay issuance for any missing or incorrect documentation or fees. If you still owe money to, or require approval from any of the necessary parties, you will be further delayed. Finally, any construction hold ups or hiccups to your building will cause your final review to be incomplete.


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