Relocating your liquor store

If you currently have an off-premises retail license to operate a liquor store and wish to relocate, you do not need to apply for a whole new license. You can instead petition for removal of your existing license to a new location. This usually offers a less burdensome application package to gather and submit. It is also less costly for most. All removal petitions for liquor stores must be presented to the commission. Because of this extra step of full Board review, a removal petition for a liquor store can take 4-6 months. A removal petition can receive attorney certification to fast track the process, or be granted a temporary permit.

Another option is to file a new license application. Now applications can also be expedited via attorney certification and a temporary permit. An applicant will have to weigh the financial benefit of an earlier grand opening against the additional expense of attorney certification and/or a temporary permit. If you chose to file a new application, it might be possible to get a pro rata refund on the unused portion of the existing license, offsetting some of the cost.

If your license will expire during the period when your removal petition is pending, you will also have to do a renewal application. It is important not to delay filing the removal petition, especially given the typical processing time. A licensee should submit the removal application first if it has not yet received the renewal letter from the SLA. When the renewal application comes, the existing license should be renewed as usual listing the current premises address in any municipal notices or required publications. The applicant should advise the SLA in a cover letter of the co-pending removal application when the renewal application is submitted to minimize the confusion of two co-pending applications in different departments (and probably different zone offices across the state).

Working with an experienced liquor licensing attorney can help you though this complex maze of options and keep you in full compliance with state liquor laws.