Here’s the scenario:
You’ve got a new concept for your business. Then you find a space to rent and have you conceptual plans drafted and you’re now ready to go. Congratulations!!!
Oh wait. You need a liquor license to start ordering your alcohol from suppliers. OH WAIT! The liquor license application is being protested. OHHHHH WAAIIIIITTTTTT!!!! The Conditional Use Permit is being protested. OH THATS IT!!!!! A Variance is now needed because I’m in the wrong zone. I GIVE UP!!!!
That is a possible scenario to an unsuspecting prospective business operator… maybe not to that extent but definitely conceivable. That’s why it's good to know what the possible issues are before applying for a liquor license. In a nutshell, that means DO YOUR HOMEWORK.
Here’s the good news. Just like when you were in high school and didn’t really want to read Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” in its entirety, you grabbed the Cliff Notes version to rummage through the key points. Well friends, we’ve got the get-to-the-point version for you.
And here’s the TOP FIVE REASONS WHY ITS DIFFICULT TO GET A LIQUOR LICENSE:
5. Parking – Welcome to California. Parking is often determined by the size of the business. Have plenty of parking spaces or you’re in a world of hurt.
4. Process & Procedure – You have to draft a detailed description of your business plan, menu, justifiable claims as to why you should be allowed to sell alcohol/liquor. Then you need to have an Environmental Review, draft plans, write more narratives, speak to a planner, then to an ABC licensing representative and a LOT of phone tag in between.
3. Meetings & Hearings – After you’ve written down almost your entire life story, now you have to present your business to neighborhood council groups, city council members, zoning administrators, planning commissions and everyone in between. Not fun if you’re not fond of public speaking.
2. Protests – Don't expect everyone to be in support of your project. There may be protests from residents and neighbors. This can be jarring especially if you’re near the finish line.
1. Patience – You’re racking up expenses for a business yet you can’t operate without a liquor license. Plan ahead and accordingly.