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Arizona Liquor License Application FAQs

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Arizona Liquor License Application Lawyer

If your business is looking to join the more than $2 billion alcohol industry, you will need to purchase an Arizona liquor license. Knowing which permit to file and when can make the difference between being able to open on time or not. Any error in filling out the forms can lead to further delays or even rejections of your application. To help you better understand the liquor license application process, we have provided some answers to these frequently asked questions (FAQs).

To ensure that you comply with city, county, and state laws, you can rely on the services of an Arizona liquor license application lawyer who can handle your application process.

Arizona Liquor License Application FAQs

Who Handles Applications and Protests in Arizona?

In Arizona, applications and protests for liquor licenses are handled at the state level through the Arizona Department of Liquor. You must also comply with city and county laws pertaining to the sale of alcohol. There are no dry counties in Arizona because state law prohibits any municipality from outright banning the sale of alcohol.

Certain liquor permits are applied for at the local level. For example, Maricopa County requires a special county permit for:

In addition to your state-level application for alcohol, your Arizona liquor license lawyer can ensure that all city and county permits, if any exist, are ready in time for your business to sell liquor or liquor products.

How Does the Application Process Work?

It can take around 60 to 105 days to receive your liquor license if the application forms were properly filled out. Before you apply for your liquor license through the Arizona Department of Liquor, you must have your seller’s permit. Your liquor license application attorney can help you through that process as well.

One important area that your lawyer can assist you in navigating is determining which permit to apply for. Some can be surprisingly similar. For example, the liquor board differentiates between special events and festivals or fairs. Applying for the wrong permit could mean that regulators might fine your business or revoke your license.

Once you have applied for the state liquor license, your business must post a notice of your application for 30 days. You may even be required to notify neighbors or the community. The post is one way for the city to ensure that your business is selling alcohol in an area that is zoned for that purpose.

Depending on which type of license you apply for, you may be waiting for two months or even over three months. Be sure to build this time into your plans. With the help of your lawyer, your AZ liquor license should be approved within that estimated timeframe. Remember, your license must be renewed every year. You will have to pay the renewal fee on time, or your license will expire. The license will remain expired until the fee is paid.

How Do Neighborhood Protests Work?

One reason why state liquor law requires businesses to post notices of applications for liquor licenses is to allow area residents to protect the application. Anyone located within a mile radius of the location must file their written protest with the state within 60 days of the license application being received by the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. Towns, cities, and counties can also protest a liquor license application. In those cases, the state liquor board must hear those cases.

How Do Dept. of Liquor Licensing and Control (DLLC) Protests Work?

The Department of Liquor Licensing and Control protests use the same process as neighborhood protests. While the complaint may arise at the neighborhood level, the city can take up the complaint by supporting it, and the final decision must be made by the liquor board.

When determining whether a business is not appropriate for the sale of spirituous liquor, the board may examine whether the liquor is connected to the primary purpose of the business. By this standard, a children’s bookstore may not be an appropriate venue for the sale of alcohol. Our law firm provides consultations on whether your business plan constitutes an appropriate avenue for liquor sales.

State law allows for the hearing to be conducted by an administrative law judge. This judge may work at the request of the board. The judge makes findings and recommendations that the board uses to deny or grant a license. Typically, the judge issues a report within 20 days. The board may reverse, affirm, adopt, modify, reject, or amend the report in part.

What Happens at Arizona Liquor Board Hearings?

Members of the state liquor board work independently of the department of liquor license and control. They also work independently of the director. The board members will review:

  • Appeals related to the director’s decisions
  • Recommendations of disapproval from a local governing body
  • Protests from the director
  • Public protests

The board is a quasi-judicial body. The seven members are appointed by the governor.

Can Bartenders Drink on the Job in Arizona?

Bartenders and servers cannot consume alcohol while serving customers. If they are off work that day or if their shift is over, then they can consume alcohol at their place of work. The same goes for the owners. Bartenders who are 19 or older can serve alcohol.

What If I Need a Totally Different License?

You will need to start that application process over. There are times when a business changes its goals for selling alcohol. As your needs change, our attorneys can file whatever paperwork you need. After opening your restaurant, you may realize that you want to organize outdoor events that sell alcohol. For that, you will need to apply for a specific license with the help of Boesen & Snow Law.

Schedule Your Liquor License Application Consultation Today

The application process for a liquor license can be complicated. Businesses often cannot afford unexpected delays or rejected applications. Hiring a liquor license application lawyer from Boesen & Snow Law can provide assurance that the application process can be handled correctly the first time. Once you have been approved, renewing your license is a much simpler step.

To schedule your Arizona liquor license application lawyer consultation, contact our office today. We have helped many bars, restaurants, and retail stores successfully apply for this important license.


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