The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

How to Get a Liquor License in Los Angeles

So, you'd like to obtain a liquor license in Los Angeles? Perhaps you're opening up a restaurant to cater to the high and mighty of Hollywood's elite. Or maybe you just want to own a cherished local dive.

Well, you can't serve alcohol without a liquor license and if you want to do so, you better get the ball rolling ASAP. Los Angeles has many applicants for liquor licenses, so you need to have your items in order if you want the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to move fast on your application.

The process could take months. But here is some useful information to help you move things along and show you a bit about how to get a liquor liscense in L.A.

The first step in obtaining a liquor license in Los Angeles is to locate the nearest office for the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Luckily, we’ve pinned down the address for the central Los Angeles branch of the ABC at 888 S. Figueroa Street, Ste.320, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

Once you’ve located the office, you’ll need to go there in person.

Make sure you have all of your papers in order. You will likely need to present your business license, a valid form of government issued ID and any other business related documents. If you recently purchased the business, you should have records detailing the purchase. If you’re in the process of purchasing the business, you need to have escrow records.

If the building was previously used to sell alcohol, then you may be in the clear as far as any zoning regulations go. You should still contact the local municipality to make sure that the building is zoned for alcohol sale and you need to verify whether or not you need a local permit. You should also have a copy of any tax documents, including a seller’s permit from the Sales Tax Division of the State Board of Equalization.

You will also need to check with the Board of Equalization’s Excise Taxes Division to see whether you need to register. This will likely be the case of you are trying to obtain a non-retail alcoholic beverage license.

Have your checkbook ready. You might have to pay some steep fees to obtain your liquor license in LA. Click here for a list of the fees.

It’s also very important to contact the nearest Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to determine if there are any additional federal requirements you need to be aware of.

Good luck. We raise a glass to your successful new venture!

This post is part of FindLaw’s Legal U series. We are working to help you learn what to do in your city to cope with some of the legal problems, questions, or issues that come up in daily life. Please come back to learn more from future posts in this series.

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