If you own a restaurant, you may want a liquor license so that you can boost your profits. However, you might not know much about the process. Here are three things you've got to know if you are planning to seek a license to sell alcohol in your restaurant.

There Might Not Be Any Licenses Available

You might assume that a liquor license is like a business license and that everyone who wants to buy one can get one. However, you may surprised when you head to your city or state liquor board and are told there are none available. That's because many cities and states limit the total number of liquor licenses that are in circulation at any given time. Sometimes, there are only a few left. For instance, at one point in 2015, there were only 13 of 200 licenses available in the city of St. Paul. Sometimes, there are no licenses left at all.

You Might Not Be Eligible for a Liquor License

If you find out that there are indeed liquor licenses still available in your city, you may breathe a sigh of relief and seek to purchase one right away. However, you will need to fill out a lengthy application before you are approved to buy a license. Some information you'll need to provide may include: 

  • Employment history
  • Criminal history for all owners and possibly spouses
  • Floor plan of your restaurant
  • Restaurant tax returns
  • Fingerprint scans

Once you've filled out the application, the city or state will investigate your claims and notify you if something makes you ineligible to seek a license. If you have some kind of criminal history, for instance, your application may be rejected.

The Liquor License Fee May Be More Than You Expect

As a restaurant owner, paying for permits and licenses may not be new to you. However, you might not be prepared for the high price that you need to pay for a liquor license in your city. Prices typically depend on the size of the city you're in and other factors, but bear in mind that if you're in a big city you could be looking at a purchase price of over 1 million dollars. Know how much you'll be expected to pay before filing your application.

Now that you're more aware of how challenging it can be to get a liquor license in your city, it's important to know that you can get help for this process. Consult a beverage license consultant from a company like Alcoholic Beverage License Service to get the assistance you need to obtain the license you want.