For businesses in the restaurant and hospitality industry, liquor licenses can increase sales and the number of customers to push your business to new levels. While you may apply for your license on your own, it is beneficial to seek the advice and experience of the skilled liquor license attorneys at KJK.

As attorneys serving the restaurant and hospitality industry, we assist clients with the challenge of obtaining all necessary liquor licensing in the state of Ohio for whatever type of facility or venue you own. Whether you are a new restaurant or hotel bar or have been in the business a while and need to renew or defend a liquor license, the KJK legal team can help you get results and understand and avoid issues that can complicate the process.

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Working with regulatory organizations

At KJK, we help restaurant and hospitality clients work with two important regulatory organizations when applying for the right to serve alcoholic beverages. Our team can help you apply or renew your license at the state level and assist you at the federal level through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.

Ohio Liquor Commission

Every state, including Ohio, maintains a specific office for alcohol control that regulates the retail sale of alcoholic beverages. In Ohio, you can get your liquor license from the state at the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control. 

The Ohio Liquor Commission issues new liquor licenses, approving license transfers and renewing them annually. Our liquor licensing attorneys help you navigate the legalities and documentation requirements of the Ohio Liquor Commission, getting you your license promptly.

Federal Licensing Through the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau enforces federal Alcohol Administration Act provisions and ensures those in the alcohol beverage industry are qualified. Businesses involving distilled spirits, beer and wine need to file an application with the TTB for commerce operations. KJK can help you determine whether you must work with the TTB and guide you through the licensing process.


Common Mistakes Restaurateurs Make Regarding Liquor Licensing

With all the responsibilities and activities involved in restaurant and hospitality planning and administration, mistakes surrounding liquor licensing applications and regulations often occur. Knowing how the process can go wrong helps you prepare for what’s ahead.

 Avoid making the following common mistakes when getting, transferring or renewing your liquor license.

Being Unaware of the Current, Local Liquor Licensing Market

Being aware of the local liquor market can help you achieve the best possible licensing outcome. One of the biggest mistakes those in the restaurant and hospitality industry make is not knowing local market processes and regulations before, during and after applying for a license.

Ohio doesn’t offer a one-size-fits-all approach for liquor licensing. Multiple permits exist, and the correct one for you depends on your type of business and what you intend to sell. Restaurants and nightclubs may choose to apply for permits to sell beer, wine, cocktails and spirits for consumption on the premises or takeaway. Special permitting allows sales to continue later than the 1:00 a.m. cut-off time. For others in the hospitality industry, such as hotels and casinos, different permits are available.

At KJK, our team can help ensure you understand all the legalities surrounding your local liquor laws and assist you in determining which permit you should apply for.

Not Knowing the Logistics of Applying for a Liquor License

Planning goes into everything you do as a restaurateur, including applying for and receiving an Ohio liquor license. A common mistake when applying for a liquor license is underestimating the time and costs required.

It can take as little as 15 days and up to 12 weeks to receive approval for a new liquor license in Ohio. To renew, you must apply in time, and you could face complications if you miss the deadline.

The application process can be long if you are not prepared. The team at KJK has extensive experience with the liquor licensing process in Ohio and can help you successfully prepare and plan for the timeframe and costs involved.

Lack of Understanding of a Liquor License’s Specific Requirements

You want to provide your customers with the best service possible while also keeping them safe. If you don’t understand your liquor license’s specific requirements, you may make mistakes that can lead to losing your license and facing other legal repercussions.

License requirements often include avoiding serving those underage and over-serving, as well as whether guests can consume alcoholic beverages only on the premises or carry them out. Each license has specific requirements you must follow. When you go through the application process, your KJK lawyer makes sure you have a thorough understanding of your license requirements and potential legal consequences. 

Owners and operators of hotels may have different requirements than restaurateurs, depending on the type of license they receive.

Fail To Plan and Act in a Timely Manner

It’s essential to prepare before you begin the liquor licensing process. Often, restaurateurs will jump in unprepared and have to scramble to meet all the needs of the process. This often leads to failure, wasting valuable time and effort.

You need to know what is involved, develop a timeline and have space in your budget for the application fees.

Resist rushing when you don’t understand what it is you need, but don’t delay getting the process started once you have the financial and plan details in place.

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Getting Your Liquor License Back After Losing It

Several factors such as serving minors, violating the times you are allowed to serve alcoholic beverages, excessive complaints or failure to pay the annual fee can result in losing an Ohio liquor license. If you lose your license, you must stop all beverage sales for which you were previously licensed. This can adversely damage your sales and also your reputation if not handled swiftly and correctly.

 To get your license back after losing it, you must follow several steps, depending upon the revocation circumstances. This is a time-consuming process and begins with gathering all relevant information surrounding the revocation, including police reports and video recordings. You want to ensure you have all the evidence so you know the best way to proceed.

You may need to correct problems in your business, like training staff or acknowledge the mistake and prepare for an appeal with your KJK lawyer. 

If an appeal is a next step, you need to petition the licensing board for a hearing if you want them to reinstate your liquor license. Your appeal will go before the Ohio Liquor Commission, where KJK lawyers can act as your legal counsel.

If an appeal is not possible, you need to comply with fines and penalties as soon as possible. If an appeal fails, you may be able to re-apply for a new license.

Losing a license requires quick action. Consult with KJK liquor license attorneys to find the best method for resolving the issues that led to the revocation. 

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Contact KJK Today about your Liquor Licensing Needs

Whether you’re new to the restaurant and hospitality industry or have been working in it for years, applying for and keeping a liquor license can increase revenue and help you keep your customers happy. KJK is here to assist you with every aspect of liquor licensing, providing the legal advice and support your business needs.