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License to Chill – ‘Tis the Season for Liquor-serving Establishments to Act Responsibly

May 30, 2006


The season of spring is the first ingredient in the recipe for profit for most bars, restaurants, clubs and lounges. The next few favorably-weathered months will also see an abundance of festivals, picnics and fundraisers, which require special liquor licenses. Following proper procedure for obtaining such permits, as well as strictly adhering to the laws governing them, ensures safety.

Warm weather events often inspire people to pursue Special Licenses, also known as “One Day Licenses” and “Event Licenses.” The Local licensing authorities may issue a license for the sale of wine and/or malt beverages (beer) to a responsible manager of any indoor or outdoor activity or enterprise, regardless whether the organization is a for-profit or non-profit entity. However, the law states that a special license for the sale of all alcoholic beverages may be issued only to non-profit organizations. Thus, if you desire to sell beer and wine at an event, any entity or individual person can apply, but only a non-profit can obtain a special license to sell liquor too. The licensing process can be complicated, and representation is generally recommended regarding the preparation of the application and presentation at a hearing before local authorities.

Special licenses are limited, and the total number of days a person may be granted one can not exceed thirty per calendar year. Additionally, only one license can be issued for a premises at one time. So be sure to coordinate with others planning your special event and eliminate duplication of efforts. The Law also states that if the applicant for a special license has a license pending for an annual license, the licensing authority can not grant the special license…

You may read more at the link below.

by: Julie A. Dialessi-Lafley, Esq.

May 15, 2006

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