Before You File for a Liquor License in San Diego

liquor license in riversideWhether your dream is to open the number one night club in Southern California or if you’re hoping to create a romantic atmosphere in a world famous 5 star restaurant, you’re going to need a liquor license before you can sell wine or spirits (liquor). But do you know where to start? This week, we explore a few of the California-specific compliance issues for securing a liquor license in San Diego.

As you might expect, a properly prepared liquor license application is required by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). It must be thorough, accurate and detailed. Not only that, but there is a requirement in California that mandates notifying the community in which the bar or restaurant will operate. Those notifications must:

  • Include a posting that lets the community know the purpose the building or property will serve. This must be visible at all times, in a window of the building or as a sign on a vacant piece of property you’re hoping to build on. This must be in place for at least 30 days.
  • You must also mail an ABC notification to any resident within 500 feet of where you operate your business. The form must have ABC approval prior to your mailing.
  • Further, a public notice must be filed in the local newspaper within the community your business with operate.

While this may seem a bit intrusive, the notifications are important and allow business owners to address potential problems so that the residents and business can co-exist in the same area. If there are legitimate problems voiced by the residents, it could present a problem for you and your business partners. A proactive mindset allows you to address those problems early on so that you can get back to the business of running your bar or restaurant.

It’s difficult to cite exact fees for a liquor license in San Diego or the wait period for approval. There are many factors that play into every application process; however, securing proper licensing for your needs could be a few thousand dollars and up to $50,000 or more if you’re buying an existing license. Not only that, but approval can take anywhere from 90 days up to a year or longer. If you’re planning on serving liquor, this should be the first task you address.

For these reasons and many more, the services of a business formation lawyer in San Diego can help pave the way so that potential roadblocks are better navigated. Forming a legal entity is one of the first hurdles in filing your application to obtain or transfer a liquor license. We can help you with the application process as well as any problems that invariably arise. They’re more common than what you might think.

Once you’ve secured your liquor license there are bound to be future legalities associated with your business and we can provide a smooth transition when they do. We can help ensure your business plan covers all of your proverbial bases, we will help with the process of legally registering your business name, all of your insurance needs, funding issues and all of your other business and finance compliance requirements on local, state and federal levels.

Owning a business truly is the epitome of the American dream. Many people find the process daunting; after all, most of us see a thriving and successful bar or restaurant and while you know the details are what defines it, it can become overwhelming. The right legal representation provides peace of mind as you take your dreams and turn them into a reality.

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