IDAHO LIQUOR LICENSE

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.

Obtaining a liquor license is necessary for all establishments selling any alcoholic beverages. These licenses can be obtained through the Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau (ABC) of the Idaho State police. The application for a liquor license can be thorough and will require several kinds of documentation to ensure that you meet the state requirements.

FAQ

Operational

Do my employees have to have for server training and or a certificate?

What are the days that liquor cannot be sold?

Can liquor-by-the-drink, beer and/or wine be sold on election days?

What are the hours of the day that I can sell liquor-by-the-drink?

What are the hours of the day that I can sell beer and wine?

What is the legal age to sell, serve or dispense alcohol?

Can minors under 21 years of age be in a bar/lounge?

 

Alcohol License Qualifications

Do I need beer on my license to sell wine?

What criminal offenses prevent me from getting a license?

Do I need to be a resident to get an Alcohol License?

What do I do if my business is located outside of city limits?

Do I need to have my building inspected before my liquor license is issued?

Alcohol Licensing

How much does a beer license cost?

How much does a Liquor-By-The-Drink license cost?

How long is the application process?

What documents do I need to send in with application?

What is an Idaho seller’s permit?

How far do I need to be from the nearest church or school?

How are specialty and regular liquor-by-the-drink licenses issued?

When must I get new fingerprints for the processing of my application?

 

 

OPERATIONAL FAQ

Do my employees have to have for server training and or a certificate?

Answer: No, Idaho does not require alcohol servers to have any formal server training or certification. Check with your local city or county for any local ordinances requiring such training.

What are the days that liquor cannot be sold?

Answer: Liquor cannot be sold on Sunday, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Your local governing body may choose to otherwise amend these rules to allow for sale of liquor on the days noted.  In order to be sure you will need to check with your municipality to see if they allow liquor sales on these days.

Can liquor-by-the-drink, beer and/or wine be sold on election days?

Yes, beer, wine and Liquor may be sold on election days.  Your local jurisdiction may have different rules, however, that override those of the State.  In order to be sure, check with your municipality.

What are the hours of the day that I can sell liquor-by-the-drink?

According to the State, liquor-by-the-drink can be sold from 10:00am until 1:00am.  Local statutes may allow alcohol to be sold until 2:00am.  These statutes vary by city and must be checked with your local governing body.

What are the hours of the day that I can sell beer and wine?

According to the State, beer and wine can be sold from 6:00am until 1:00am.  Local ordinances may allow alcohol to be sold until 2:00am.  These ordinances vary by city and must be checked with your local governing body.

What is the legal age to sell, serve or dispense alcohol?

Employees serving, selling and dispensing alcohol must be 19 years of age.  If you own a bar or lounge all employees must be at least 21 years of age.

Can minors under 21 years of age be in a bar/lounge?

No.

 

 

Alcohol License Qualifications

Do I need beer on my license to sell wine?

If you want to sell wine only you are permitted to do so.  Even if this is the case, you will need to qualify and apply for a beer and wine license as there are no wine only liquor licenses.

 

What criminal offenses prevent me from getting a license?

If you have criminal convictions in the last 3 years in which you broke a law of the state of Idaho, or of any other state, or of the federal government that pertained to alcohol (the sale, transport, manufacture, etc.) you are not permitted to get an Idaho Alcohol License.  If within 5 years of your intended application, you have completed any jail or prison time, received a withheld judgement or have paid any fine for a felony you will be denied the opportunity to secure an Alcohol License. If you are convicted on any of these crimes while you have a license, your license will be revoked.

 

Do I need to be a resident to get an Alcohol License?

No to get a liquor license in Idaho you are not required to be a resident of the State.

 

What do I do if my business is located outside of city limits?

Most liquor licenses in Idaho are specific to their incorporated cities.  These licenses cannot be obtained and used outside of the incorporated city which they belong.  With this being said, you can still apply for and secure a specialty liquor license which will allow you all of the privileges of regular liquor license only outside of the boundaries of the city.

 

Do I need to have my building inspected before my liquor license is issued?

Yes, all buildings must be inspected before they can be considered for licensure.  Specifically the ABC must inspect your building before you can have your license issued. The ABC does note the desired opening date of your establishment (as detailed in your application) and will work to inspect your building at close to that date as possible.

 

Alcohol Licensing

How much does a beer license cost?

  • Beer only licenses cost $50 a year
  • Wine To Go licenses cost $100 a year
  • Wine for on premise consumption licenses cost $100 a year
  • Keg-to-go licenses cost $20 a year

 

How much does a Liquor-By-The-Drink license cost?

Fees for liquor by the drink licenses are dependent on the population of the city in which they are issued. If you are looking to sell your license you should note that there is a state fee of 10% of the purchase price that will be charged with the transfer of the license.

 

How long is the application process?

Idaho law requires that all applications are processed within 90 days of the reception of the application, but the actual time it takes the Idaho ABC to review a liquor license application depends on the application type and the workload of the ABC.

 

What documents do I need to send in with application?

Each individual application has specific requirements that must be met and with those requirements come specific documents.  It is fair to assume that no matter the license type you will need proof of identification, control of the premise, and proof of US citizenship.

 

 

What is an Idaho seller’s permit?

Seller’s permit is a permit issued by the Idaho Tax Commission.  It is separate from an employer ID number and from a Tax ID number.  The seller’s permit number is used to report Idaho sales taxes to the Idaho Tax Commission.

 

How far do I need to be from the nearest church or school?

Your premise must be located at least 300 feet from the nearest school and church.  The measurement must be taken for your property line to the nearest entrance of the church or school, drawn in a straight line.

 

How are specialty and regular liquor-by-the-drink licenses issued?

Liquor-by-the-drink licenses are issued based on the population of the incorporated city.  The methodology for such a limitation is called a quota system.  Quota systems help to limit the number of licenses per 1000 people.

 

When must I get new fingerprints for the processing of my application?

Fingerprints during the licensing application process may not be required.  This is especially true for people who have had fingerprints taken  and submitted to the ABC in the past three years.  If you do need your fingerprints taken the ABC will notify of this requirement.  For reference, if you have not applied for a license before or have never applied for this specific type of license before it is fair to assume you will need to be fingerprinted.