Serving Clients Nationwide.

Schedule A Consultation


Restaurant Liquor Licensing Lawyer

Home /  Arizona Liquor Law Attorney /  Restaurant Liquor Licensing Lawyer

Restaurant Liquor Licensing Attorney

The ratio of food to alcohol sold at any restaurant is closely regulated by the state. If a restaurant that serves alcohol fails to earn at least 40% of gross revenue from the sale of food, that restaurant can lose its liquor license. Keeping up with state laws and guidelines regarding the sale of alcohol in Arizona can be extremely complicated, which is why many restaurant owners rely on the services of an Arizona restaurant liquor licensing lawyer.

The team at Boesen & Snow Law understands liquor laws and how to keep restaurants in compliance. Failure to follow state laws regarding alcohol can lead to civil penalties or even criminal charges. In many cases, violating a state liquor law can lead to the revocation of your liquor license.

Best Restaurant Liquor Licensing Lawyer

Do I Need a Liquor Licensing Lawyer?

Opening a restaurant in Phoenix or anywhere in Arizona can be an expensive and uncertain undertaking. Hiring an attorney may seem like an unneeded expense, but the consequences of failing to properly complete a liquor license application can lead to serious setbacks for your restaurant. There are many laws governing businesses that sell alcohol. A few of the more common legal restrictions include:

  • Bans on employees consuming alcohol to the point of intoxication while on duty
  • Prohibitions on serving customers who are intoxicated or appear intoxicated
  • Laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Rules requiring restaurant owners to provide records for lawful inspections in a timely manner

Many laws governing alcohol sales deal with firearms. Minimum age requirements must also be strictly enforced. Selling alcohol to a minor is a crime, even if the waiter had reason to believe the customer was 21 years of age or older. Arizona requires any patron who orders an alcoholic beverage to present a qualifying unexpired government license that contains a photo and date of birth.

A liquor law attorney can prevent the occurrence of any legal infraction or violation of a regulation. If your restaurant is found in violation of a city or state law, one of our attorneys can provide legal counsel and even legal representation in a courtroom.

How Do I Apply for a Restaurant Liquor License?

One of the first steps when applying for a liquor license is determining which type of license you require and whether you are eligible for that license. Arizona governs more than 20 liquor licenses that allow hotels, restaurants, bars, events, governmental groups, and more to sell alcohol.

Understanding which liquor license to apply for isn’t always straightforward or easy. State laws, for example, differentiate between fundraising events that sell alcohol and charity events that raffle off bottles of wine. Applying for the wrong license could lead to legal trouble later on. As with other highly regulated industries, compliance with alcohol laws is strictly enforced, and second chances are rarely afforded.

Your liquor license attorney will learn about your business needs before choosing the correct liquor license to apply for. Your lawyer can provide details about pricing and how long the application process will take (usually 60 to 110 days). Criminal background checks are part of any application, so the owner of the establishment cannot have a felony conviction within the past five years. Knowing basic information like this can prevent unexpected application errors.

Before completing the application form, your liquor license attorney will ask questions for basic information that will include:

  • The applicant’s name
  • List of directors who own 10% or more of the company
  • The name of the individual who will manage the premises
  • Fingerprints of all managers, applicants, and controlling persons
  • A sworn statement that the establishment will not be within 300 feet of a church or school

Your liquor license attorney can provide guidance for your business about potential problems that could lead the license to be revoked. Applicants cannot renew an existing license within a year of that license being revoked, for example. Financial statements must be made ready for examination upon request.

During the application process, the business must post a notice that it is applying for a liquor license in compliance with city and state guidelines. If an application is found to be incomplete, the applicant can update and correct the application form. If the application is rejected, your liquor license attorney can protest that decision. If the application is granted, the restaurant may proceed with selling liquor and alcoholic beverages as long as those actions are in compliance with city and state rules and laws.

Can a Restaurant Liquor Law Attorney Help Me in Court?

Any business can potentially become entangled in civil litigation, but there are unique reasons that a restaurant may find itself in legal trouble. The main reason is because there are so many civil and criminal laws surrounding alcohol sales and consumption.

Even the most cautious business owners who have well-trained staff can find themselves in unexpected legal trouble. One reason may be due to an intoxicated customer who later injures themselves and blames your establishment.
It can be difficult to gauge whether someone is intoxicated, and there is no easy way to know whether that customer consumed alcohol before entering your place of business. A liquor law attorney can investigate the claim and gather evidence to show that your restaurant was not at fault. Ideally, these cases would be dismissed.

A restaurant owner may find that they are being investigated by a governmental agency. Violations of state alcohol laws could lead to fines or even the suspension of the restaurant’s liquor license. Legal representation can reduce the risk of steep penalties. A liquor license attorney understands state liquor laws and can argue on your behalf that your restaurant was and remains in compliance with regulations.

Like any business that hires and fires employees, contractual disputes can arise. Our attorneys are well-versed in healthcare-related contract law, and they can help your restaurant draft contracts or litigate on your behalf in the event of a contract dispute. Whatever your legal needs, the attorneys of Boesen & Snow Law bring many years of experience to your defense.


Q: How Much Is a Restaurant Liquor License in Arizona?

A: Any restaurant that wishes to apply for a liquor license must pay the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control up to $2,000 for the first full year. Annual renewal fees apply after that. Late fees for renewals are $150. These fees are similar to the license fees for bars in Arizona ($1,575). Hiring an attorney to handle your Series 12 liquor license application can greatly improve the odds that your application will be approved in time for your business to sell alcohol during your opening day.

Q: What Are the Rules for Alcohol in Arizona?

A: Sales and manufacture of liquor are regulated by the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. Liquor stores must maintain current licenses. Any store that sells liquor cannot operate within 300 feet of a school. Customers who wish to buy or consume alcohol may be asked for an unexpired form of government identification. State criminal laws prohibit public intoxication and driving with BAC above the legal limit. Violations of those laws can lead to fines, jail time, and driver’s license suspensions.

Q: Do Servers Need a License to Serve Alcohol in Arizona?

A: Servers are not required by state law to undergo training to serve alcohol. Many employers prefer job candidates who have taken Title 4 training. The main reason is that employees who better understand laws are less likely to break those laws. The certification expires three years after the date of issuance. Business owners who want to run safe, legal services should consider hiring candidates with Title 4 training to lower the risk of civil liability if a patron is overserved or if a minor is served.

Q: How Long Does It Take to Get a Liquor License in AZ?

A: Approval times vary, but the average time that it takes to receive your liquor license in Arizona is 60 to 105 days. You can speed up the process by submitting the application online. This can be done via Arizona’s e-licensing system. Make sure that you have met the requirements for including all the documents required. If you have concerns about properly filing this paperwork, an experienced liquor licensing attorney can handle the paperwork for you.

Work With an Experienced Restaurant Liquor Licensing Lawyer

Arizona’s liquor laws are complicated. Everything from proper government identification to storage and documentation of sales is governed by laws, rules, and statutes. Violating one of these laws even once can lead to the suspension of your liquor license. Whether you are opening a restaurant, renewing a liquor license, or needing legal representation to combat a civil claim, our attorneys are here to help.

We understand Arizona’s liquor laws and can provide robust legal counsel to ensure that your company remains fully compliant with state laws and regulations. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our liquor licensing lawyers.


Schedule a Free Consultation

Fields marked with an * are required

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.