New Jersey has some of the harshest and most complex regulations regarding the lawful production, distribution, and sale of alcohol. The industry is subject to oversight from the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) within the state executive branch, and each municipality generally has its own liquor licensing board that businesses must work with.

Having help from a New Jersey liquor license lawyer might simplify the process of applying for and purchasing the liquor your business needs. A dedicated business formation attorney could help you create a comprehensive application, guide you through the renewal process, and even represent your best interests in the event of disciplinary action from the ABC.

Types of Liquor Licenses in New Jersey

There are three broad categories of liquor licenses for businesses, each of which applies to different liquor-related business activities. Companies seeking to manufacture alcoholic beverages, such as wineries, distilleries, brewers, and bonded warehouse bottlers, must obtain a Class A license to operate lawfully. Conversely, Class B licenses are for companies that sell alcohol exclusively through business-to-business transactions, primarily wholesalers and state-licensed beverage distributors.

Selling Liquor to Customers

The most common category a local attorney could assist a business in obtaining is the Class C license, which authorizes businesses to sell liquor directly to customers. Different subtypes of Class C licenses are required for different businesses, the range of which includes:

  • Hotel and motel licenses
  • Seasonal and plenary retail consumption licenses, including those with theater exceptions and Broad Package Privilege
  • Limited and plenary retail distribution licenses
  • Club licenses

Class C licenses are generally the only liquor license that can be sold and/or transferred between different licensees. They are also generally available in fixed quantities within particular areas based on population cap restrictions. An attorney in New Jersey could offer advice about what specific liquor license a business might need, as well as irreplaceable assistance with pursuing the correct license.

Basic Liquor License Requirements

To qualify to apply for a Class C liquor license, an individual must be at least 18 years old, have no history of convictions of any “crimes of moral turpitude,” and must not have had a prior license revoked within the past two years. Additionally, they cannot have any ownership or executive interest in any New Jersey-based alcohol wholesaler or manufacturer, must disclose all beneficial interests they might have from the license in question, and cannot have interests in two or more liquor licenses except as permitted under New Jersey Revised Statutes §33:1-12.

An applicant who meets these criteria must also do the following:

  • Submit to extensive background checks
  • Pay a $200 application fee and a percentage of annual renewal fees
  • Submit a thorough application packet signed in triplicate alongside additional documentation regarding relevant permits, notices, and license amendments.

Assistance from a seasoned lawyer in New Jersey could be a necessity to help ensure the paperwork is in order and that all necessary qualifications are met.

Talk to a New Jersey Liquor License Attorney Today

Liquor licenses are far from simple to obtain in New Jersey, especially if you are trying to start a new business within a saturated local market. Fortunately, hard-working legal professionals who have helped individuals just like you are available to assist.

An initial conversation with a New Jersey liquor license lawyer could give you answers to important questions and put you on track toward getting the authorization your business needs. Call to schedule an initial meeting today.