If a Premises Does Not Have a liquor License, Can it Serve Free Beer and Wine to Customers or Allow BYOB?

Only if the premises has a maximum occupancy of 19 or less persons.  Business owners who permit consumption on their business premises without a liquor license are in violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law.  If caught, the chances for receiving a license are jeopardized.

A premise with occupancy of less than 19 persons does not need a license to serve alcohol or permit BYOB (liquor, wine or beer).  It does not matter what type of premises it is to fall within this exception (restaurant, art studio, bar, etc.).

The statue (64-b) states it shall be unlawful for any person, partnership or corporation operating a place for profit or pecuniary gain, with the capacity for the assemblage of 20 or more persons to permit a person or persons to come to the place of assembly for the purpose of consuming alcoholic beverages on said premises, with alcoholic beverages either provided by the operator of the place or assembly, his agents, servants or employees, or are brought onto said premises by the person or persons assembling at such place, unless an appropriate license has first been obtained from the SLA by the operator of said place of assembly.