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

How To: Find a California Liquor License

In order to sell alcoholic beverages to the public, the State of California requires that you apply for a liquor license with the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. If you want to serve or sell a complete line of alcoholic beverages, (and in some cases, if you want to sell off-sale beer and wine), you must buy your license from a private seller.

Locating a Liquor License

Because hard liquor licenses are no longer issued by the state of California, getting a hard liquor license requires finding someone in your county who is willing to sell their license to you. A liquor license broker, such as our company, can help you find a license, or you can try to negotiate the purchase of one directly from a private seller. We have an extensive inventory of available licenses throughout the state of California.

Opening an Escrow for a Liquor License

Whether you buy your alcohol license through a broker or directly from a private party, the state of California requires an escrow to be opened for the transfer of the liquor license. Be aware that a liquor license escrow is not the same as a real estate escrow, with an entirely different set of escrow requirements from the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Be sure to use an escrow company that is familiar with ABC requirements to help ensure a smooth transfer.

An average escrow fee is around $900.00 per transaction. We recommend asking your escrow officer for a flat-fee escrow in order to assist in your budgeting and to avoid surprises when you review your statement at the close of your escrow.

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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 34 years of experience with California liquor license applications.