Use this page as your all-in-one guide for Liquor Licensing. This page contains resources you can use to learn about every aspect of how to get your liquor licenses. If you are interested in getting a liquor license or want to speak to one of our experts for Free please fill out your information below.
What is the first step?
Before even considering the type of liquor license you will want or need for your Highlands County establishment you will need to first get the proper zoning approval from the local (municipal) powers. Generally this means you will need to go to the zoning commission in your town or city. As part of the zoning process your local zoning department will come to your location to ensure that it is zoned for commercial use and that is it the proper distance away from public spaces, such as churches and schools.
Unfortunately, as with many Government related processes, the zoning process can be both tedious and time consuming. Depending on where in Highlands County your premise is located the timeline for zoning approval can be anywhere from 3 to 5 months. After you get your zoning approved you are ready to figure out what type of license you will need.
What type of Highlands County Liquor License do I need?
In order to answer this question you must first ask yourself two additional questions. First, ask yourself, “do I want to sell beer and wine or do I want to sell beer, wine and spirits (vodka, rum, whiskey, tequila, etc.)? Second ask yourself “Do I want to operate as a restaurant/bar or as a liquor store?” Finally if you do want to operate as a restaurant you can ask yourself “Do I meet the qualifications for an SRX license?” See below for a list of license types:
1COP Beer Only
Bar / Restaurant, Annual Fee: $280.00
1APS Beer Only
Liquor Store, Annual Fee: $140.00
2COP Beer and Wine
Bar / Restaurant, Annual Fee: $392.00
2APS Beer and Wine
Liquor Store, Annual Fee: $196.00
3PS Beer, Wine, Spirits
Liquor Store, Annual Fee: $1820.00
4COP Beer, Wine, Spirits
Bar / Restaurant, Annual Fee: $1365.00
Do I need to buy a Liquor License?
Not all licenses in Highlands County need to be purchased. This is because only certain licenses are controlled by what is called the “Quota System”. The only licenses that need to be purchased are the 4COP and the 3PS liquor license. All other licenses can be obtained directly via the state.
If you need a liquor license that is issued directly by the state, it is still highly recommended that you get help securing your license. The ABT tends to offer applicants little to no help with either the application or the process. LiquorLicense.com has operated in Florida for more than 3 decades and is the most experienced in helping clients to deal with the ABT. We know the applications, rules, and processes inside out and will save you time and money. Click below to be directed to our inquiry form.
I need to buy a license, now what?
If you do find that you need to purchase a license, you will have to contact a broker, such as LiquorLicense.com. LiquorLicense.com connects buyers with sellers more frequently than any other brokerage firm in Florida, and for that matter the Nation. We constantly have Highlands County license available for sale. Purchase of a liquor license works as follows.
First, you and the seller will sign a binding contract agreeing to the terms of the purchase. Next LiquorLicense.com will use a closing agent to handle the transaction portion of the process. The closing agent works similarly to an escrow company; they protect both the buyer and seller during the transaction to ensure your Highlands liquor license is clean and transferable. Finally, the closing agent will close on the sale and you will get the bill of sale for your new acquired license.
Closing agents generally cost between $800.00 and $2500.00 depending on the sale and the complexity of the transaction. Financing is available for all buyers who find they need some help to make the purchase.
Now that I have the bill of sale what do I do?
Now that you have the bill of sale you will need to go and apply for the license through the ABT. You will want to apply through the district office that is closest to Highlands County. Upon applying you will want to request a temporary license be issued immediately upon your application being filed. This temporary license allows you to operate as though you have a permanent license, until the permanent license is secured. The ABT process generally takes about 90 days to process a liquor license application.
I’ve gotten my permanent Liquor License, is there anything else I should consider?
Be sure to post your license appropriately in the premise and START MAKING MONEY.