New York Liquor License FAQs - Part 1 - BARDAZZI Law (2023)

What are the four basic types of liquor licenses granted by the New York State Liquor Authority?

The New York State Liquor Authority (commonly referred to as the NYSLA) and the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (commonly referred to as the ABC Law) allow for the following basic types of liquor licenses:

  • On-Premises Liquor: it is the standard bar and restaurant license. Allows on-premises consumption of liquor. Food must be served at the premises and at least one customers’ bathroom is required.
  • Beer&Wine License for restaurants. Allows restaurants to sell only beer & wine, no liquor.
  • Grocery Beer/Wine: allows grocery stores to sell beer for off-premises consumption. Food should account for more than 50% of the inventory. Alcoholic beverages cannot be more than 25% of the inventory.
  • Catering Permit: authorizes currently licensed on-premises retailers to provide alcoholic beverages at specific, private events located off the premises. Only active on-premises retail licensees can apply for this type of license.
  • Liquor Store License: allows for the sale of cider, liquor and wine (no beer) for off-site consumption. Only one license is allowed per person (corporation, partnership, etc.).

May a New York Liquor License be sold, transferred, assigned to another owner?

Contrary to other states such as Florida and New Jersey, New York State does not allow for liquor licenses to be sold, transferred, given or assigned from one person or company to another. Whether you are buying a business that already holds a license, or you are setting up a brand-new establishment that is not currently licensed, in both cases, you have to go through the same application process.

Do you need to notify the NYSLA if you want to sell your business? Do you need NYSLA approval?

New York State Liquor Authority’s approval is required any time prior to changing the ownership structure of the corporation or limited liability company, or prior to any change in the stock held by any of the shareholders or members. Approval will not be required if there are ten or more shareholders or members and: (i) the change involves less than 10% of the interest in the business; (ii) none of the existing shareholders or members with less than a 10% interest increase their interest or shares in the company to 10% or more.

If the license is held by a corporation or limited liability company, the New York State Liquor Authority approval is also required prior to adding or removing an officer or director of the corporation; or adding or removing a managing member of the limited liability company.

If you hold an on-premises license (meaning any type of license that allows consumption of any kind of alcohol on-site) in New York City (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and Staten Island), the local Community Board should be notified prior to filing any application to make a “substantial corporate change”, which means a change of 80% or more of the officers and/or directors and or managers of the company, or a transfer of 80% or more of shares of a corporation or membership interest in a limited liability company.

What are the Community Boards?

Community Boards are autonomous neighborhood committees that represent a certain local district or community and are required to provide their opinion on several matters in regard to permits or licenses to be granted by other authorities, such as applications for new liquor licenses, upgrades of existing ones and corporate changes. The opinions issued by the Community Boards, though, are not binding, i.e. the New York State Liquor Authority retains the ultimate decision regarding the approval or disapproval of a liquor license application. However, typically NYSLA is not inclined to depart from the Community Board’s recommendation. Therefore, obtaining a favorable opinion from your local Community Board is crucial to the successful outcome of your NYC liquor license application and you should be represented by specialized attorneys such as Bardazzi Law Pllc.

What is the 500 foot rule?

The application of the “500 foot rule” may result in the rejection of your application. It is therefore essential to know whether or not the rule applies to your specific case.

Typically, under the 500 foot rule no more than three on-premise full liquor licenses (those that allow to sell spirits in addition to beer & wine) are permitted within 500 feet of each other. The restriction dictated by the 500 Foot Rule, however, is not absolute and may be overcome by showing, at a special hearing referred to as the 500 foot hearing, a specific public interest that may allow more than 3 premises in possession of a full liquor license to coexist within 500 feet of each other.

The New York State Liquor Authority will consider the following factors when determining whether or not a “public interest” exists in connection with a given application: (i) type of establishment the applicant is seeking to operate (restaurant or bar or pub etc.), (ii) number, classes and types of businesses licensed within 500 feet of the proposed establishment; (iii) applicants’ prior violations or complaints at same or other establishments; (iv) issues relating to quality of life in the neighborhood, such as anticipated increased traffic, parking problems and increased noise level.

Arguments in favor and / or against the existence of a public interest in connection with a given application may be heard at the 500 foot hearing, held at the New York State Liquor Authority, where people and groups may appear on behalf of their neighborhood to raise questions and /or oppose or support the granting of a license.

What is the 200 foot rule?

The “200 Foot Rule” prohibits liquor licenses from being issued to establishments located “on the same street and within 200 feet of a building that is used exclusively as a school, church synagogue or other place of worship.” The 200 Foot Rule applies to wine stores, but it does not apply to establishments that are licensed for on-site consumption of wine and beer only.

How long does it take to obtain a liquor license in New York?

If the application involves the sale of liquor, the 500 foot rule applies and the proposed establishment is located in Manhattan, it may take up to 8-10 months for the license to be granted.

Is it possible to obtain a temporary permit to sell alcohol while the application is pending?

Yes, it is possible to obtain a temporary permit while the main application is pending, but only outside New York City, unless you are buying an existing business which is already licensed at the time of the purchase and has been operating within 30 days prior to the date of your application. A temporary permit is granted at NYSLA’s sole discretion for a period up to 90 days subject to extension.

Is BYOB (customers to bring their own bottles of wine or other alcohol) allowed in New York while the application is pending?

The BYOB practice (Bring Your Own Bottle) is not allowed in the State of New York while the application for the liquor license is pending.

Is there a way to speed up the NYC Liquor License application process?

Yes, via the Attorney Self-Certification Program. This program allows attorneys filing retail applications to certify that statements and documents provided in the application are true and accurate and that the application meets all statutory requirements. The attorney self certification speeds up the review of applications, as the New York State Liquor Authority will rely on the information certified by the attorney, so that the review of each single document submitted will not be necessary. The Attorney Self-Certification program is limited to attorneys. Thus, expeditors or any other kinds of representative may not self-certify an application on behalf of the applicant.

Does the license expire once the licensee’s establishment ceases to exist?

Yes. If the establishment ceases to operate the New York State Liquor Authority needs to be alerted and the license certificate must be returned. Prepaid licensing fees may be refunded to quitting licensees for their unused portion.

How does a NY liquor license get renewed?

In order to renew a liquor license in New York State a renewal application must be filed with the New York State Liquor Authority at lest 20-30 days before the expiration date. If the premises are located in New York City, the local Community Board must be notified in advance.

What are the annual fees to maintain a liquor license in the State of New York?

As of 2018, a Restaurant Wine (RW) licensee pays $960.00 every two years to maintain its liquor license. If the license is to sell spirits in addition to wine and / or beer for on-premises consumption (OP), the tax amounts to $4,352.00 every two years. Outside New York City, the above fees are considerably lower.

What are the statutory requirements to obtain a liquor license?

In order to obtain a liquor license, an applicant must be:

  • US citizen or green card holder.
  • 21 or older.
  • not a convicted felon (unless in possession of a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities)
  • not a police officer with arresting powers.

May citizens of foreign countries obtain a liquor license in New York?

Yes, to the extent that their country maintains special friendship or commerce treaties with the United States, those that allow the citizens of a certain country to apply for an E-1 or E-2 US Visa for international traders or investors. However, a citizen of a foreign country who does not plan on residing and working in the United States need not apply for an E-1 or E-2 visa in order to obtain a NYC Liquor License (the only requirement, as said, is just to be a citizen of a country which nationals are allowed to obtain an E-1 or E-2 US Visa). See New York State Liquor Authority advisory opinion #2015-21. For further information regarding the process to obtain E-1 and E-2 Visas for the United States read our article: Immigration to USA. E-1 Visa and E-2 Visa.

For more information on how to start a restaurant business in New York read our article: .

Keep reading about liquor licenses applications in New York in our next article New York Liquor License FAQs – Part 2 here.


Being represented by specialized liquor license attorneys such as Bardazzi Law throughout the process of obtaining a liquor license can make the difference between the approval and the refusal of your application.

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What is the maximum fine that New York State Liquor Authority? ›

CIVIL FINE – A monetary penalty of up to $10,000 per violation may be imposed. BOND CLAIM – A claim for payment is made against the bond filed with the license application.

What is the 500 foot rule for NYS liquor Authority? ›

The 500 Foot Law prohibits the Authority from issuing an on-premises retail license for the sale and/or consumption of liquor to any premises which is within 500 feet of three establishments that are currently operating with on-premises liquor licenses.

Can a felon get a liquor license in NY? ›

Eligibility to Hold a License

Individuals with a felony conviction in New York State or another state or federal jurisdiction are not eligible to hold a license, unless they have a Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities, have received a pardon or have been issued a Certificate of Good Conduct.

What is the 200 foot rule for NYS liquor Authority? ›

Pursuant to the New York Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (ABC), the State Liquor Authority (SLA) is prohibited from issuing liquor licenses to establishments “on the same street or avenue and within 200 feet of a building occupied exclusively as a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship.” Proposed premises ...

How do I lose my liquor license in NY? ›

NYS Liquor Authority Violations can cause a NY liquor license to be suspended or cancelled.
This type of NYS liquor authority violation occurs when organizations with an on-premises license allow any of the following:
  1. Use or sale of controlled substances,
  2. Fights,
  3. Prostitution,
  4. Lewd conduct,
  5. Excessive noise.

What is Article 86 of the New York liquor Code? ›

Article 86 of the New York State Liquor Code. defines the circumstances in which a bar patron should be refused alcohol or '86ed'. during the depression of the 1930s, soup kitchens would often make just enough soup for 85 people. If you were next in line after number 85, you were '86ed'.

How many drinks can a person have at the same time in NYC? ›

New York does not regulate a maximum number of drinks at one time, but vendors may have their own discretionary rules.

Can you serve alcohol without a liquor license NY? ›

If your business deals with the importation, manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol in New York, you need a liquor license. The NY State Liquor Authority issues licenses for selling alcoholic beverages.

How many liquor stores can you own in New York? ›

A licensed wine store or liquor store owner may only own or have an interest (direct or indirect) in one wine store or liquor store in New York State.

Can a felon live in a house with guns in NY? ›

Federal law and New York State law both prohibit an individual with a felony on their record from getting a permit to possess a firearm. Also, people in New York who are convicted of domestic violence crimes are prohibited from getting firearms.

Can you own a gun if you live with a felon in NY? ›

Someone with a class A-1 or violent felony conviction is never allowed to own a gun in New York, but the state might withhold the right to own a gun even from those with lesser convictions. A person concerned about restoring all of his/her rights should make sure to contact an attorney for help filing an application.

Can a felon live with someone who owns a gun in NY? ›

As a convicted felon you cannot own or possess a firearm. Even though the firearms may not be yours, if you are residing in the household with those firearms then arguably you are possessing them.

What is the zero tolerance policy in NY? ›

Zero Tolerance Law

In New York State, the penalties for an alcohol or drug-related violation include the loss of driving privileges, fines, and a possible jail term.

What is New York zero tolerance policy? ›

Zero tolerance policing is said to begin in New York during the 1990s under Police Commissioner Bratton and Mayor Guiliani. Guiliani was elected Mayor in 1993 and Bratton was appointed as Commissioner soon after. Guiliani's electoral campaign had centred around 'reclaiming the streets' of New York.

How much is a liquor license in NY on-premises? ›

Liquor license cost in New York City

$960 for beer and cider (plus a $100 filing fee) $960 for wine, beer and cider (plus a $100 filing fee) $4,352 for on-premises liquor (plus a $200 filing fee) $5,850 for restaurant-brewer (plus a $200 filing fee)

How long is NYS liquor license good for? ›

If you have a retail license to sell only beer for on-premises or off-premises consumption, your license lasts for three years. Off-premises liquor and wine licenses (liquor and wine stores) are also issued for three years. On-premises wine and liquor licenses are issued for two years.

Is a liquor license transferable in NY? ›

Most people think of a liquor license transfer as the process of transferring a liquor license from one person to the next. This most commonly occurs when a business with a liquor license is sold to another person. However, by law there is no such thing as a liquor license transfer in NY state.

How long does it take to get a liquor license in NY? ›

The review process currently takes approximately 22-26 weeks for most types of applications; however, most retail businesses and all manufacturing businesses are eligible to apply for a temporary retail operating permit or to apply for a temporary manufacturing permit that allows many applicants to be open and ...

What is NY Civil Rights law 51? ›

NY Civil Rights Law §§ 50 and 51 protects the non-consensual use of a living person's name, portrait, picture or voice for purely commercial gain. However, the law does not prohibit every use of the name, portrait, picture or voice of every living person.

What is New York Civil Rights law 79 1? ›

(a) All records, findings and results of any genetic test performed on any person shall be deemed confidential and shall not be disclosed without the written informed consent of the person to whom such genetic test relates.

What is NY CIV Rights law 52? ›

Any owner or tenant of residential real property shall have a private right of action for damages against any person who installs or affixes a video imaging device on property adjoining such residential real property for the purpose of video taping or taking moving digital images of the recreational activities which ...

How many drinks is .08 for a man? ›

For every one drink, your BAC goes up by about 0.02 percent, so reaching a BAC of 0.08 percent takes about four to five drinks.

Can you fail a breathalyzer 12 hours after drinking? ›

In some cases, the breathalyzer may detect alcohol for up to 12 hours. In other individuals, the breathalyzer test may work for twice that long. Although the average person metabolizes about 1 alcoholic drink per hour, this rate varies.

Can I drive after 2 beers? ›

The American Beverage Institute says a 150-pound man would be over the 0.05 limit after two beers, while a 120-pound woman could exceed it after a single drink, though that can be affected by a number of factors, including how much food has been consumed, according to a report by The Associated Press.

Is BYOB legal in NY? ›

No, BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle) is generally not legal in New York State. Applicants awaiting a liquor license may jeopardize their chances for approval for permitting such practices.

Can you bartend in NY without a license? ›

So long as he or she is at least 18 years old, the state of New York does not require a bartender to be certified and have a bartending license. However, a certified bartender does have a leg-up on a non-certified bartender when it comes to competition.

Can you return beer in NY? ›

New York State Law prohibits the return of alcoholic beverages for any other reasons. No Cash Refunds. The State Liquor Authority authorizes package stores to accept the return of liquor or wine from a customer only if the merchandise is defective in quality.

Can you have an open bottle of alcohol in your car in NY? ›

In New York State, it is against the law to drink from or have an open container of alcohol in a public place. This law does not apply to residences or business establishments with liquor licenses, but it does prohibit drivers and passengers from possessing or consuming an open container of alcohol in the car.

Can you sell alcohol from a food truck in New York? ›

Liquor License in New York

In most states, food trucks cannot obtain a full liquor license. The best they can do is to get short-term liquor licenses for special events, but selling alcohol regularly should not be part of your New York food truck business plan.

Can you sell beer at a liquor store NY? ›

The New York State Liquor Authority (or “SLA”) allows a liquor/wine store to open and sell alcohol to the public Monday through Saturday until midnight. On Sundays, a liquor/wine store can sell only from noon until 9:00 p.m. Grocery stores and drug stores cannot sell beer on Sundays from 3:00 a.m. until noon.

Can a convicted felon own a gun after 10 years in NY? ›

In New York, individuals convicted of a felony or other serious offense lose their firearm privileges. Those with convictions for violent felonies or Class A1 felonies are barred from gun rights restoration. The state offers two different types of certificates that can restore gun rights in some cases.

Can you have a loaded gun in your house in New York State? ›

NY Penal Law § 265.03(3) makes the possession of a loaded firearm a felony unless, (1) with some exceptions, possession takes place in a person's home or place of business, or (2) the possession falls with the exemptions in NY Penal Law § 265.20.

Can a felon be around someone with a concealed carry? ›

Generally speaking, felons are still allowed to associate with or be around someone who owns a gun. However, this can be complicated if the gun itself is around, or if the person who owns the gun lives with the convicted felon.

What weapons can a felon own in NY State? ›

Under federal law and New York State law a person who has been convicted of a felony or has an active order of protection against them is a prohibited person who may not possess a pistol, handgun, rifle or shotgun.

Can a felon be around someone who owns a gun? ›

Felons are allowed to associate with or be around someone who owns a gun, but these laws can get tricky. A convicted felon may be found guilty of “constructive possession” of a firearm if they knew that a firearm was in a home or residence and they could maintain control of the gun.

Can you have a pistol in your home without a permit in NY? ›

You would need to obtain a concealed carry license. You cannot legally carry a concealed pistol or revolver outside of your home in New York State if you only have a premises license, which only allows you to possess a pistol or revolver in your home or place of business.

Can my wife own a gun if I'm a felon in California? ›

Under PC 29800, it is illegal for you to have knowledge of, access to, and the right to control the firearm if you have a felony conviction. Depending on the licensing of the firearm, as well as your ability to access it, your wife may be able to keep her gun.

What happens if a felon is caught around a gun? ›

A felon charged with possession of a firearm may face a prison sentence of up to 25 years, depending on the felony class. As with other crimes, the more prior felony convictions a person has, the longer the prison sentence prosecutors will seek.

When can a felon own a gun in New York? ›

In New York firearm privileges are lost upon conviction of a felony or other “serious offense”. The only way to restore this right is by a pardon, or by a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities or Good Conduct. Firearm rights are effectively restored if restoration language is specifically included in the certificate.

What is NY implied consent law? ›

If you are arrested for an alcohol or drug-related violation, the police officer will likely request that you submit to a chemical test. Under New York's "Implied Consent" law, when you drive a car in this state you are considered to have already given your consent to take this type of test.

What is the legal limit in NY? ›

If you are pulled over by law enforcement in New York and your BAC is above the state's legal alcohol driving limit of 0.08%, you could be charged with DWI.

Which of the following offenses is a felony under New York state laws? ›

Fraud, theft, robbery, burglary, and manslaughter in special cases are Class D Felonies in New York State.

How much is a DWI fine in NY? ›

Penalties for Alcohol or Drug-Related Violations in NYS
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Impaired by a Drug (DWAI-Drug)$500 - $1,0001 year
Second DWI/DWAI-Drug violation in 10 years (E felony)$1,000 - $5,0004 years
Third DWI/DWAI-Drug violation in 10 years (D felony)$2,000 - $10,0007 years
17 more rows

What are examples of zero-tolerance policy? ›

Typical examples include the honor-roll student being expelled from school under a "no weapons" policy while in possession of nail clippers, or for possessing "drugs" like cough drops and dental mouthwash or "weapons" like rubber bands.

What is zero tolerance late policy? ›

Zero Tolerance

Like the zero-tolerance absence policy, a zero-tolerance tardiness policy means that you will discipline the employee if they are X minutes late for work (even on the first offense).

Is it difficult to get a liquor license in NY? ›

Obtaining a liquor license is required if you wish to sell or provide wine, beer or liquor. The application process has been simplified, but you still must comply with many notice requirements and a lengthy application form. Working with an attorney who is familiar with the process may be helpful.

How much is a liquor license for a bar in NY? ›

Learn all about how to apply for a liquor license in New York, plus the different types of liquor licenses, and all the costs and fees you'll need to pay.
How much does a liquor license cost in New York?
License NameCostLink
Liquor License$4300 - $10000New York State Liquor Authority

Do you need a liquor license to serve alcohol at a private party NY? ›

You MUST have a license or permit to sell/serve beer, wine or liquor to the public. Venues without a license or permit may not allow patrons to “bring their own” alcoholic beverages for consumption. In addition, owners of businesses may not give away alcoholic beverages to their patrons.

What is the maximum fine for a bar attendant or individual for selling or giving liquor to a minor in Qld? ›


What is the maximum fine that a retail permit holder may be required to pay per charge in Indiana? ›

Maximum penalties

The commission, pursuant to section 2 of this chapter, may impose upon a permittee the following civil penalties: (1) An amount of not more than four thousand dollars ($4,000) for each violation if the permittee is a brewer or distiller.

What's the maximum fine the licensee and the server can receive for supplying alcohol to a minor Vic? ›

Penalties. The maximum penalty for allowing a young person in a licensed place, serving alcohol to a person under 18 or buying alcohol for someone underage, is 60 penalty units. An employee who serves alcohol to someone under 18 can be fined up to 10 penalty units.

What's the maximum fine the licensee and the server can receive for supplying alcohol to a minor in South Australia? ›

If you sell alcohol to a person under the age of 18, you can be fined up to $20,000 for a first offence and up to $40,000 for a second or subsequent offence unless: you can prove you required the purchaser to provide their date of birth at the time of sale, or it had been supplied before.

What is the maximum fine for a staff member be for supplying liquor to a minor on licensed premises in Queensland? ›

Penalties for irresponsibly supplying alcohol to a person under 18 at a private place. You could face court and be fined up to $11,500 for supplying alcohol to an under 18 year old while at a private place, if you're not their responsible adult and providing responsible supervision.

What type of laws hold servers and bartenders liable? ›

These laws are often referred to as “Dram Shop” laws, which hold those serving alcohol liable for the acts committed by the intoxicated person(s) they are serving.

What is the fixed penalty fine for the sale of alcohol to any person under the age of 18 in UK? ›

A person committing this offence may be fined up to £5000 or serve up to 51 weeks imprisonment.

Can we drink alcohol on Saturday? ›

Avoid drinking alcohol on Saturday as it welcomes unwanted problems and issues in life. Moreover, it is considered harmful for the natives who possess malefic Saturn in their horoscope.

What is the maximum fine imposed for a first offense for a minor who has purchased alcohol in Texas? ›

If you're a minor who buys, attempts to buy, possesses or drinks alcoholic beverages — or if you're intoxicated in public or misrepresent your age to get alcohol — you'll face the following consequences: Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500. Attendance of an alcohol awareness class.

Can a 20 year old go to a bar and not drink? ›

In the US you have to be 21 to enter a bar, even if you don't drink.

How to fake drinking at a house party? ›

If you have a drink with alcohol, keep a water, soda, or tea bottle nearby. Take a sip of the alcoholic drink, but hold it in your mouth without swallowing. Keep it there for at least 30 seconds, then pretend to drink from the other bottle, instead backwashing the alcohol into it at the end.

What is the maximum fine per violation for sale to a minor of alcohol in the state of Michigan? ›

According to Michigan law, it is a crime for any person to sell or furnish alcohol to a minor. Possible penalties include a $1,000 fine and up to 60 days in jail for a first time conviction.

How much alcohol is 1 standard drink? ›

A standard drink is always equal to 10 g of pure alcohol.

Who is liable for the violation if you served alcohol to a person under 21 because your coworker had checked the ID? ›

What if someone else checked the ID? The seller is the one liable for serving the minor. As a bartender or server, you are responsible for checking the IDs of your customers, even if another person has previously checked it.

What does the fine for a licensee exceed for supplying liquor to an intoxicated patron in Victoria? ›

It is also an offence for other persons to obtain alcohol or aid and abet an intoxicated person, with a maximum fine exceeding $2,000.

Can a server be held liable for an illegal alcohol sale only in jurisdiction that have dram shop liability laws? ›

A server or seller can be held liable for an illegal alcohol sale only in jurisdiction that have Dram Shop Liability laws. Your employer has a legal responsibility to protect you from legal penalties in the event that you serve or sell alcohol illegally.


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