California Liquor Licenses and Permits
Brought to you by The American Liquor License Exchange 1-800-711-2114

How To: File a California Liquor License Application

In order to receive a license from the State of California to sell or serve alcoholic beverages, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) requires that you to file a liquor license application with them and provide them with detailed information about the business ownership and operations.

The information that ABC requests in their application paperwork is comprehensive and includes the following:

  • General information about your business entity that will be licensed;
  • A copy of your escrow information, if you are transferring an existing license
  • A description of your proposed business operations;
  • Personal background information profiles on all persons who have an ownership or financial interest in your business;
  • A itemized list of the major expenses relating to the purchase of the liquor license (that is, the cost of the license, cost of equipment for storing and serving alcohol);
  • A description of the sources of the funds for the purchase of the alcohol license;
  • A list of residents within 100 and 500 feet of your business;
  • A list of churches, schools, hospitals and public playgrounds within 600 feet of your business;
  • Diagrams showing the layout of your business and surrounding property.

After you successfully file your application with ABC, you will need to notify the surrounding community that you are applying for a liquor license. ABC requires three forms of notification:

  1. Posting an notification to your building (or property, if vacant land). The poster must remain visible for 30 days.
  2. Mailing an official ABC notification to residents within 500 feet of your business.
  3. Publishing a public notice in a local newspaper.

These notifications provide the surrounding community with an opportunity to be aware of your license application, weigh in on any concerns they may have with your operations or request operating conditions that might help your business better adapt to the needs of the surrounding neighborhood, and in cases where there is significant concern about the quality of the business, block the license application altogether.

Getting Help With Your Liquor License Application

With 35 years experience in helping business become licensed can help ease the paperwork process in one of two ways:

  • Free general help: Provide you with free help in getting a basic understanding the details of filling out the application.
  • Document Preparation Service: If you select this service, we will prepare the all of the ABC documents (other than escrow documents) required by ABC for a complete application. Our trained staff will efficiently gather the required information from you and then carefully prepare your application paperwork for filing with ABC. Following your application with ABC, we regularly interact with the ABC investigator who is assigned to your case to provide regular and informative updates on the status of your application.

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Give us a call today 1-800-711-2114 to discuss your project. Ask for our licensing expert, Jon Mejia, who has over 35 years of experience with California liquor license applications.