The James Firm

Liquor Licensing

 Alcoholic Beverage Licensing

Obtaining a retail license for alcoholic beverage sales in New York involves the submission of a lengthy and complex application. The licensing process can be overwhelming to the unaware or ill-advised, resulting in delays in the application process or denial of the application entirely. Utilizing an experienced liquor licensing attorney can save you time and expedite the application process. Making sure that all of your licensing is in order for optimal business operations is a priority of every restaurant, bar, hotel or club. Our firm handles all of the necessary requirements to obtain a license including the corporate, leasing, and licensing aspects. 

In order for an applicant to obtain a liquor license under Alcoholic Beverage Control Law the applicant must:

  • Be 21 years old or older
  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident
  • Have a valid social security number   
  • Have a valid lease agreement                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The following are disqualifications to obtaining liquor license under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law:     

  • Applicant is a police officer
  • Applicant holds an interest in a wholesale license
  • Applicant has a felony conviction

For further information see our frequently asked questions below or contact us to schedule a consultation.  

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Can I obtain a liquor license if my premises is near a church or school?

It depends. The 200 foot rule restricts the State Liquor Authority (SLA) from issuing liquor licenses to establishments "on the same street or avenue and within 200 feet of a building occupied exclusively as a school, church, synagogue or other place of worship." The 200 foot rule applies if it is a retail establishment where liquor will be sold for consumption on premises or an establishment where liquor and wine will be sold for consumption off premises. It's worth noting that the 200 foot rule does not apply to establishments seeking to serve only wine and beer.  

How long will it take to obtain my license?

It can take approximately three months with normal processing time to obtain an On-Premises license. This process can be expedited with our Attorney-Certification service which can normally reduce the processing time by a month.  The Alcoholic Beverage Control Law requires that the applicant notify their local community board of their intent to apply for an On-Premises license with 30 days advance notice before submission of the application to the State Liquor Authority. Our office practice is to send notice to the community board the same day we're retained, provide a checklist of documents needed to the applicant, and begin completing the application and gathering the necessary documents so we're ready to apply once the 30 days has expired, saving time and keeping the process smooth. 

It can take approximately a month and a half  to obtain an Off-Premises license. This process can be expedited with our Attorney-Certification service which can normally reduce the processing time by two to three weeks. Unlike the On-Premises license, there is no community board notice requirement. Our office practice is to provide a checklist of documents needed in our initial consultation and beginning the application right away. 

How much will it cost?

The cost to obtain your license will depend on several factors, such as, the location of the premises, the type of license you're seeking, and the complexity of your case. The State Liquor Authority provides a schedule of fees on their website. In all instances, however, our firm will provide a flat-fee quote which includes the State Liquor Authority fee, liquor license bond, publication in two newspapers (as required by law), and all diagram drawings and pictures. 

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Have more questions? To schedule a complimentary consultation regarding your liquor license application, please contact us through our Online Contact Form above, by email:, or by phone (212) 845-9909 in New York City, or (516) 858-5887 in Garden City, Long Island.