New York State Liquor Authority Advisory 2022-29

The SLA issued Advisory 2022-29 changing its policy about when a method of operation change is required when the change involves managers and the use of security.

The Advisory clarifies that anytime the Full Board or municipality issued limitations/stipulations on the licensee concerning managers or security, a method of operation change application will be required. Any licensee that went to the Full Board shall presume it must seek approval to modify its method of operation with regard to managers or security. This applies to most liquor and wine stores. This does not apply, however, where the Full Board only required managers or security “as needed.”

Going forward, licensees will not need to seek approval (currently taking 6 to 8 months to obtain) where it:

  • changes managers,
  • changes whether the businesses daily operations are primarily under control of the principals or hired employee managers, or
  • whether security guards are used.

However, if adding security guards, the rules requiring licensed security guards employed by a licensed security guard agency or the licensee business having its own proprietors security guard license still apply.

On a recent matter, we did discover that this ruling is not as clear as it may seem. In a case where we had applied to withdraw an application for a corporate change based on this Advisory, we discovered that it did not apply if the “manager” had signing authority for the business. Thus, licensees will need to assess the authority delegated to any person called a “manager” to identify if a corporate change and/or method of operation change is needed in their situation.

If you wonder how this Advisory might affect you, contact Tracy Jong and her team at Evans Fox. Put our years of experience and our current understanding of the ever-changing rules and policies of the SLA to work for your business.