Articles Posted in Liquor License

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Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for above-the-bar-logo.jpgWe are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores resolve various issues related to their liquor licenses as well as obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

FAQ: I am planning to purchase a restaurant which has a current, valid on premises liquor license. In the contract of sale, can I also purchase the liquor license and have it transferred to my name?

In New York State, you cannot purchase a liquor license belonging to someone else or transfer a liquor license from a person or business. The New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) does not allow the “transfer” of a liquor license from one licensee to another. Unfortunately, there is no easy way around the application process. Although you can download an application from the SLA’s website and fill it out yourself, it is a long, complicated application requiring many documents. Our experiences attorneys have helped many businesses a retail liquor license in an expedited manner.

If you are purchasing a business, under certain circumstances, you can apply for a Temporary Retail Permit while waiting for your retail application to be approved. If you live in the City of New York, including the boroughs of Kings, Queens, Bronx, New York, and Staten Island, you may only apply for a Temporary Retail permit if you are purchasing a business which is currently licensed by the SLA. In other words, you can only get a Temporary Retail Permit if you are buying a restaurant which already has a liquor license. The permit will allow you to operate the business without having to wait months for your retail license to be approved.

In order to apply for the temporary permit, the establishment must have been open and operating for at least 30 days prior to your filing the application. You must file the Temporary Retail Permit Application together with your Retail License Application. Once your Temporary Retail Permit is approved, you can engage in the same type of traffic of alcoholic beverages that was permitted under the license which your permit is replacing. For example, if your permit is replacing a license which permits the on premises consumption of beer, you cannot start serving wine. You can only serve beer to consume on the premises.

If you are planning to purchase an establishment outside the City of New York, you can apply for a Temporary Retail Permit even if the premises did not have a liquor license. However, you may not apply for a Temporary Retail Permit for a wine or liquor store and you must still comply with the 200′ and 500′ Rules. For example, if you are opening up a new restaurant or purchasing an existing restaurant in Westchester that doesn’t have a liquor license, you can apply for a temporary retail permit at the same time as you apply for your retail license. However, you must still comply with the 200′ and 500′ Rules.
Temporary retail permits are granted at the SLA’s discretion. Once approved, your permit will be valid for 90 days and can be renewed for an additional 30 days. Keep in mind that you must file for a renewal of the temporary retail permit before your existing permit expires.

Missing or inaccurate information in your Retail License Application can cause significant delay or rejection costing you thousands of dollars. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you get your liquor license approved without delay so that you can focus on getting your business open.
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Published on:

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores resolve various issues related to their liquor licenses as well as obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: I filed an application for an on premises liquor license for my restaurant that I am ready to open. My application was rejected because of incomplete/missing information. Is it worth it to hire an attorney to fill out and file this application?

Unfortunately, missing or incomplete information on your on premises liquor license will result in delay or rejection of your application. You can easily download the application from the SLA’s website and you don’t have to hire an attorney to help you fill out the application. However, we highly recommend it for several reasons. Most of all, you can focus on opening your restaurant while our attorneys take care of getting your liquor license. The on premises liquor license application is extremely overwhelming and involves the gathering of a lot of information, preparation of diagrams, photographs, as well as obtaining various permits and licenses. For example, the following are just a few things to think about when filling out your application:

  • Calculating the Fee. Depending on what type license you are seeking and the location of your premises, the fee will vary. Keep in mind that there is also an extra filing fee for every additional bar you put up in the restaurant as well as a bar filing fee for every additional bar. If your application states that you are going to have 3 bars in your restaurant, and you only submitted a fee covering 1 bar, this will clearly result in delaying your application.
  • If you are a corporation or a limited liability company with less than 10 shareholders, you must list all stockholders, officers, directors, members, and managers on the application. Also make sure you submit a personal questionnaire for each person, as well as proof of citizenship or alien status, copy of photo identification, an original passport size color photo, and fingerprints.
  • Be very careful with the List of Expenses part of the application. The SLA wants to know where the money that you are putting into this business is coming from. If the money is coming from different sources, you must identify all of them. If somebody is lending you money, you must submit a loan agreement, even if the loan is from a family member. If the money is a gift from anyone other than a spouse, you must submit a letter stating that the financing is a gift. Anybody who lends or gifts you money must also fill out a personal questionnaire. This section of the application alone is a good reason to have one of our experienced attorneys file your application.

Our attorneys will guide you step by step through the whole process of successfully getting your liquor license, whether its for your restaurant, liquor store, or wine bar. While you focus on opening your business, our attorneys will make sure that all the documents, including diagrams and photographs which are needed for your application are complete and accurate. Call our New York/Westchester Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you get your liquor license without any worries so that you can focus on your business.
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Published on:

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores resolve various issues related to their liquor licenses as well as obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: While renovating and planning the design of my new restaurant, I realized that my restaurant, which is located on the ground floor, does not have interior or direct access to the basement, where I will be storing beer, wine, and liquor. Do I need to get a Warehouse Permit even though the entrance to the basement is immediately next door?

Yes. If you are going to be using the basement for storage of alcoholic beverages and you do not have interior access from your restaurant to the basement, you must apply for a Warehouse Permit in order to store beer, wine, or alcohol. Even if the entrance to the basement is adjacent to your restaurant’s door, you must obtain a warehouse permit. The fee for a warehouse permit is $788.00 for a period of 3 years and may be prorated depending on when you are filing. Along with the application, you must also submit a diagram of the area for which you are seeking a permit, proof of liability insurance, photographs of the interior and exterior of the area, and a penal bond in the sum of $5,000. The SLA will not issue a Warehouse Permit to certain persons licensed under the Alcohol Control Law unless they fall under one of the exceptions. Our attorneys can determine if you qualify for a Warehouse Permit or one of the exceptions.

Although you can down load the form from the SLA website and fill out it out yourself, we recommend you call our experienced attorneys to ensure that your warehouse permit gets approved without delay. Our attorneys will make sure that when you are ready to open your restaurant, your warehouse permit is also approved.

FAQ: What is the Notice of Publication and when do I have to file it?

After you have submitted your application for an on premises liquor license, you must publish a notice in a newspaper, designated by the County Clerk, once a week for two successive weeks. The publication requirements are different depending on which county you live in. Our attorneys can help you determine which newspaper to print in and how often depending on the location of your premises.

The Notice must stated what type of license you have applied for, what type of alcohol you will be selling, the type of establishment, and the location of the premises. Your name and the Trade Name, or the “DBA,” must be at the bottom of the advertisement. You must make the first publication within 10 days of filing your on premises liquor license application. You need to obtain 2 original copies of proof of publication. You must submit one to the SLA within 15 days of receipt and keep the second copy for yourself. After having filed your on premises liquor license application and being in the process of getting your premises ready to open, you may easily forget to file the Notice of Publication. Be mindful that unless you show good cause, the SLA will not issue a license unless proof of publication is submitted within the 15 day period.

The Notice of Publication is just one facet of the application that makes it complicated and overwhelming especially if you are busy trying to get your restaurant ready to open. Missing or inaccurate information in your application can cause significant delay or rejection costing you thousands of dollars. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you obtain your liquor license in an expedited manner so that you can focus on getting your business open.
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Published on:

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores resolve various issues related to their liquor licenses as well as obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: I own a restaurant with an on premises liquor license. I receive a large number of take out orders from my customers, some of whom would like to order wine or beer with their food. Is my restaurant allowed to deliver wine or beer with food?

If you have an on premises liquor license, you may deliver beer in containers with the food as long as the food order was received at the licensed premises. The order may be placed in person, by fax, or by telephone but must be placed at the premises. Although beer may be sold for off premise consumption, liquor and wine may only be consumed on the premises. The SLA prohibits the sale of wine or liquor for take out or delivery.

FAQ: Many of my restaurant patrons have asked me if they can bring their own liquor to the restaurant? Is BYOB, or bring your own bottle, allowed in New York State under any circumstances?

Although many restaurants permit their customers to bring their own bottle, they are breaking the law unless the alcohol they permit to be brought in is covered under their license and permitted to be brought in by the liquor license holder. In other words, if you don’t have a liquor license to serve alcohol, your customers cannot bring in their own alcohol to consume on your establishment premises.

An important consideration to keep in mind is that if you are a new restaurant or an establishment that has just opened and has applied for a liquor license, you cannot allow your customers to bring alcohol during the time that you are waiting for your license. Doing so could put your application at risk of being delayed or rejected. Call our attorneys to learn how we can expedite the approval of your liquor license.

ABC law does provide one exception to this rule. If a building inspector has promulgated that your restaurant’s maximum capacity is less than 20, then your establishment is exempted from the law prohibiting your customers from bringing in their own alcohol unless you have a valid liquor license for such alcohol. In other words, if your restaurant’s certificate allows a maximum occupancy of less than 20, then your patrons can bring their own alcohol if you allow it.

Our experienced Liquor License Attorneys serve many clients, including first time applicants for liquor licenses, as well as those who filled out applications on their own and were rejected for various reasons. Although you can download an application from the SLA’s website, it’s in the best interest of you business to let our attorneys work on getting your application approved so that you can focus on getting your establishment open in a timely manner. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to answer all your questions about getting a liquor license and to help you get it quickly and without any delays.
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Published on:

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores resolve various issues related to their liquor licenses as well as obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: Are there any restrictions on who I can hire to work at my restaurant at which I have an on premises retail liquor license to serve beer, wine, and liquor?

Along with getting your liquor license and opening up your restaurant, you also have to make many business decisions including who you hire to ensure that your establishment succeeds. Our leading, award winning Westchester County Employment Law Attorneys have provided many businesses with practical, cost efficient solutions and ideas to develop best practices at the start of their business to avoid any future embarrassment, fines and penalties associated with violations, or unnecessary litigation. Our attorneys can help you make sure that you hire qualified employees who are legally allowed to work at your restaurant.

If you are an establishment with an on premises retail liquor license, you cannot knowingly hire a person who has been convicted of a New York State felony or other offense. ABC law §102.2 specifically provides that no person holding any license, other than a license to sell an alcoholic beverage for retail consumption off-premises or a license to sell an alcoholic beverage at retail for consumption on the premises where such license authorizes the sale of liquor, beer and or wine at a catering establishment, hotel, restaurant, club, or recreational facility, shall knowingly hire any person who has been convicted of a felony, or any of the following offenses listed in this section. Call our attorneys to conduct your due diligence when hiring to avoid any potential problems with the SLA. Our attorneys will conduct background checks, see if any exceptions apply, and make sure that your hiring practices are within the confines of the law and do not violate any employment laws.

The section also provides exceptions for persons convicted of a felony who have received an executive pardon, thereby removing any civil disabilities, a certificate of good conduct pursuant to article 23 of the correction law, or other relief from disabilities provided by law, or the SLA’s written approval allowing such employment.

ABC law §102.2 also provides that once the SLA gives written approval to a licensee to hire a person who was convicted of a felony or any offenses listed in this section, another licensee can hire that person in the same capacity without having to get written approval again unless the prior approval was terminated or if the person was later convicted of a felony or other offense.

Our attorneys are experienced with all types of liquor licenses. If you’re not sure what your specific license entitles you to or prohibits you from doing, call our attorneys to help you avoid the high cost of violations. Our attorneys are also experienced in obtaining liquor licenses for your restaurant, wine or liquor store, grocery store, catering establishment, hotel, or any other type of establishment in an expedited manner. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you get your liquor license quickly so that you can focus on opening your establishment.
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Published on:

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: I am planning to open up a restaurant with a bar in Westchester County. Are there any basic conditions I need to meet before I can apply for a license to serve beer, wine, and alcohol?

This is a great question to consider before you invest time and money in opening up a restaurant with the intent of being able serve beer, wine, and alcohol. If being able to serve alcoholic beverages is an important factor in your decision to open a restaurant, make sure you do not fall under any of the following statutory disqualifications to obtaining a retail liquor license:

  • If you are under the age of 21;
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or an alien legally admitted to this country having a permanent lawful residency;
  • If you have been convicted of any felony which involves promoting or allowing prostitution, or the sale of liquor without a liquor license;
  • If you had a liquor license which has been revoked; or
  • If you have a wholesale license.

If any of the above applies to your situation, call our attorneys for more information and to discuss your chances of obtaining a liquor license. Applying for a New York State liquor license can be a very time consuming and costly process if not done accurately and completely. Missing information or documents can lead to delays or rejection of your application. Before you spend considerable time and money, call our attorneys to discuss the process and learn what you will need to get your application approved.

FAQ: The lease for my liquor store is about to expire and I am planning to move my liquor store to a new location. Do I need to file a new application for a liquor store license for the new location or is there a way to transfer my license to the new location?

You do not need to file a new application for a liquor store license if you are changing locations. In order to move your currently licensed premise to a new location, you need to file an application for Petition for Removal, which can be downloaded from the SLA’s website. Similar to applying for a license for a liquor store, the removal application requires many documents, including financial information as well as diagrams and photographs of the premises. You also need to make sure that your new location is not within 200 feet of a school, church or other place of worship.

Although you can download this form from the SLA’s website and fill out it out yourself, it is advisable to call our experienced attorneys to ensure that your application is accurate, complete and not missing any information which can lead to a delay in your application being approved. Until your removal petition is approved, make sure you do not close your original liquor store. Since timing will be extremely important in your move, call our attorneys to help make sure your relocation does not end up costing you time and money.

If you are interested in obtaining a liquor license for your restaurant, wine or liquor store, grocery store, catering establishment, hotel, or any other type of establishment, call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you obtain your liquor license without any delays.
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Published on:

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on questions about the New York State liquor license. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: I recently opened a restaurant and am waiting for the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) to approve my application for a liquor license. In the meantime, can my customers bring their own beer or wine to the restaurant?

BYOB or “Bring Your Own Bottle” is basically where a restaurant allows its customers to bring their own beer, wine, or alcohol to drink at the premises. BYOB is not allowed in New York State at unlicensed businesses. In order to sell or serve beer, wine, or alcohol, you must have a liquor license. Even if you have applied for a license, you cannot allow your customers to bring their own alcoholic beverages to consume at your restaurant. Doing so could put your liquor license application at risk of being denied.

Our attorneys can help you expedite your liquor license application by filing an attorney certification along with your application. Call our attorneys for more information and to discuss how we can help you get your application approved faster.

FAQ: While I am waiting for my liquor license application to be approved, can I get a temporary permit to serve beer, wine, or alcohol at my restaurant?

Depending on your location and the type of license you are seeking, you may apply for a temporary permit. However, you must file the application for a temporary permit before or at the same time you file your application for a liquor license. Once issued, a temporary permit is valid for 90 days and can be extended for an additional 30 days if needed. You must file for renewal of the temporary permit before the existing temporary permit expires or your application may be denied.

If you are purchasing an existing business, the SLA may issue a temporary permit if the premises operated under a retail license within 30 days of the filing of your application for the temporary permit. In other words, the temporary permit would allow you what was permitted under the current license that it is replacing.

If you are purchasing a new business, the SLA may issue a temporary permit provided the application doesn’t fall under certain exceptions. For example, the SLA will not issue a temporary permit for a wine or liquor store, for applications that come under the 500 Foot Rule, and for applicants seeking a liquor license in New York City, which covers the counties of Kings, Queens, Bronx, New York, and Staten Island.

Our attorneys have helped many businesses obtain various types of liquor licenses in an expedited manner. Although you can submit an application on your own, our experienced attorneys can make sure that your application is complete and accurate so as to avoid any unnecessary delay or denial. For more information on how to obtain a liquor license for your business, call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you obtain your liquor license without any delays.
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Published on:

We are pleased to continue our guest blog series on a topic that we have been getting many questions. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

above-the-bar-logo.jpgFAQ: I am planning to open up a restaurant in Nyack, New York and need a liquor license to serve beer, wine, and alcohol. What is the quickest way to get a license?

In order to serve beer, wine, and alcohol at your restaurant, you need to apply for an on-premises liquor license. The New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) allows an attorney who has reviewed an on premises liquor license application and its supporting documents to submit an Attorney Certification Form, which can expedite the processing of your application. In other words, if you submit an Attorney Certification along with your application, your application processing time may be reduced by months. Depending on the facts of your specific application, our attorneys can advise you of the best approach.

FAQ: What is the 200 Foot Rule and how do I measure the distance from my restaurant to a nearby school to determine if I am in compliance?

Before settling on a place to open a liquor store or a restaurant where you plan to serve alcohol, make sure you are in compliance with the 200 Foot Rule. The Rule provides that if the location of your establishment is on the same street and within 200 feet of a building that is used only as a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship, the SLA will not issue certain types of licenses. This Rule applies to any retail establishment where liquor will be sold for consumption on the premises and any retail establishment where liquor or wine will be sold for consumption off the premises.

If the Rule applies to your location, the SLA does not have the power to approve your application, even if the school or place of worship consents to the license being issued. In the event a license was somehow issued in violation of this Rule, the SLA cannot allow it to continue when the license comes up for renewal. The exceptions to the Rule are as follows:

  • The establishment has been in operation since December 5, 1933;
  • The SLA can renew the license and approve applications to transfer ownership if the location was licensed before the school or place of worship was in existence;
  • If a hotel has an existing “RL” (restaurant liquor), it may get a “HL” (hotel liquor) license;
  • If the club seeking the license is affiliated with the school or place of worship, then it may obtain a “CL” (club liquor) license;
  • A legitimate theater operated by a not-for-profit organization; or
  • The SLA may allow a licensee to move a licensed premise that has an exception to another location within 200 feet of the school or place of worship if the new location is not closer than the old location.

Measuring 200 Feet

It is extremely important that you take accurate measurements if you are planning to obtain a license for a premises that is near a school or place of worship. Take the measurement in a straight line, from the center of the nearest entrance of the school or place of worship to the center of the nearest entrance of your restaurant. If the restaurant, school, or place of worship has more than one entrance or exit, use the one that is regularly used to give ingress. For example, if measuring the distance to a school, use the entrance the students regularly use to enter and exit the building, not the emergency or fire exit, or the entrance used for maintenance access. If your restaurant is located on the 3rd floor of a building, then you would measure from the building entrance at street level. Given the significance of this rule, it is advisable that you consult our Liquor License Attorneys to ensure that your restaurant is in compliance with this Rule.

Obtaining a liquor license in New York has become a very complicated matter. The application itself can be very overwhelming. Although you can fill out it yourself, it is advisable to have one of our experienced attorneys guide you through the process. Any missing or incorrect information could lead to delay or your application being rejected. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you obtain your liquor license without any delays.
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above-the-bar-logo.jpgWe are pleased to present you with a guest blog this week on a topic that we have been getting many questions. Our Westchester County and New York Lawyers have helped many applicants ranging from restaurants to liquor stores obtain their liquor license in an expedited manner.

FAQ: I am thinking of opening up a restaurant with a full bar in Westchester County, New York. What do I need to do to get a license to serve beer, wine, and alcohol? Should I hire an attorney to help me obtain this license or can I file the application myself?

Obtaining a liquor license in this state has become a very complicated and difficult procedure. The type of license you are seeking is called an on premises liquor license and would allow your restaurant to serve beer, wine, and alcohol for consumption in the restaurant. Although you can visit the New York State Liquor Authority (“SLA”) website, download an application and fill it out yourself, it is advisable to hire an experienced attorney to ensure that your application is complete and accurate. Incomplete applications or missing information can cause great delay in the approval process. Our attorneys have also filed Attorney Certifications to help many restaurant owners save months of waiting for their application to be approved.

In addition to your application for an on premises liquor license, you must also provide various documents, financial information, fill out personal questionnaires, as well as provide various photographs and diagrams, just to name a few things. Given the extensive nature of this information, this blog will only address a few of the most important considerations prior to filing your application.

If you are a new applicant or a licensee seeking a renewal of an on premises liquor license, you must file a 30 day advance Notification to the Local Municipality or Community Board of the town in which you wish to obtain such license. In other words, at least 30 days before you file your application for an on premises liquor license for your restaurant, you must notify your Local Municipality of your intent so that they can express any objections they might have.

Your restaurant’s location and surroundings are also important factors in determining whether and how long it will take your application to get approved. For example, the 200 Feet rule is an extremely important consideration to take into account before you file an application for an on premises liquor license. The Rule provides that an establishment cannot be licensed to sell liquor at retail if it is on the same street and within 200 feet of a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship. The SLA specifically sets forth how to take measurements for this rule. Given its complexity and importance, it is advisable to hire an attorney to ensure that you are in compliance.

The 500 Feet Rule is another important consideration prior to filing your application. The Rule provides that when applying for an on premises liquor license, if there are already 3 or more establishments with the same type of license within 500 feet of the premises you wish to license, then your license cannot be approved unless the SLA finds that issuing the license would be in the public’s best interests. The Rule requires the SLA to consult with the community board to conduct a hearing to determine whether issuing a license would be in the public’s best interest. Our attorneys have helped many restaurant owners wishing to obtain an on premises liquor license ensure that this rule did not prevent or delay their chances of obtaining a license.

If you’re interested in obtaining a liquor license, whether it is for a restaurant, bar or pub, grocery store, or liquor store and time is of the essence, our experienced attorneys will give you personalized attention to make sure that you application gets approved in the fastest time possible. Call our New York Liquor License Attorneys at Villanueva & Sanchala at (800) 893-9645 to help you obtain your liquor license without any delays.
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