Choosing the Appropriate Florida Liquor License for Your Business

For hotel and restaurants in Florida looking for a competitive advantage, obtaining a liquor license is a must. Quite simply, having the right Florida liquor license can increase the profitability of your establishment by driving more customers in.

Before securing a liquor license, it is important to have a basic understanding of the different options available to you in order to take full advantage of the benefits offered by each license type.

For example, hotels and restaurants can obtain a license that enables them to set up a full bar and sell at retail. However, this type of license carries a few restrictions which can limit your establishment’s operation.

A quota license, on the other hand, does not contain these restrictions. That means that a restaurant can operate as a bar once the kitchen has closed. Additionally, this type of license can be transferred to different locations in the country or even to other businesses.

According to the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco, there are several types of licenses that establishments can apply for.

The 1APS license allows businesses to sell beer in sealed containers which can only be consumed off premises. The 2APS license allows businesses to sell both beer and wine in sealed containers and these beverages may only be consumed off premises. Both licenses are restricted to products with no more than 6.243 percent alcohol and are applicable in dry counties.

The 1COP license allows establishments to sell beer for consumption on premises by the drink or in sealed containers for packaged sales. A 2COP license enables establishments to sell both beer and wine for consumption on premises or in sealed containers for packaged sales. Both licenses are restricted to products with no more than 6.243 percent alcohol and are applicable in dry counties.

3DPS/3CPS/3BPS/3APS/3PS licenses allow businesses to sell beer, wine, and liquor only in sealed containers and do not allow businesses to sell by the drink or sell for consumption on premises. 8COP/7COP/6COP/5COP/4COP allow establishments to sell beer, wine, and liquor by the drink for consumption on premises and packages sales in sealed containers.

Special Restaurant (pre-1958) 8COP/7COP/6COP/5COP/4COP are specialty licenses for restaurants and caterers which allow businesses to sell beer, wine, and liquor on premises and for package sales in sealed containers. These licenses are available for establishments with 4,000 square feet of floor space and the ability to seat 200 patrons at tables. Furthermore, these licenses prohibit serving of alcoholic drinks once the hours of serving and consumption of food have elapsed. These licenses cannot be transferred to another location.

Special Restaurant 8COP/7COP/6COP/5COP/4COP allow establishments to sell beer, wine, and liquor on premises only. Additionally, the licenses dictate that the establishment must serve liquor in quarts, fifths, and miniatures. Establishments should also meet specific requirements in terms of square footage, number of seats, etc. Furthermore, these licenses prohibit serving of alcoholic drinks once the hours of serving and consumption of food have elapsed. These licenses cannot be transferred to another location.

Special Motel/Hotel 8COP/7COP/6COP/5COP/4COP enable hotels, motels, and motor courts to sell beer, wine, and liquor for consumption on premises and for packaged sales. These licenses are available for establishments with 80 rooms and more and operate in a county with fewer than 50,000 residents and establishments with 100 more rooms operating in a county with more than 50,000 residents.

Special Motel/Hotel – Historic Motel/Hotel 8COP/7COP/6COP/5COP/4COP are issued to hotels and motels that are located in historic structures. The hotel or motel must be licensed as a public lodging establishment and must have at least 51 percent gross revenue coming from the rental of rooms. These licenses allow hotels and motels to sell beer, wine, and liquor for consumption on premises or for packaged sales in sealed containers. These licenses may not be transferred to a different location.

Special Motel/Hotel – Historic Motel/Hotel in Qualifying Municipalities 4COP is a license granted to hotels or motels located in historic structures. These establishments should have at least 10 guest rooms but no more than 25 guest rooms. Also, these establishments should be located in municipalities with populations ranging between 25,000 and 35,000 residents. Furthermore, these establishments should derive at least 60 percent of gross revenue from rental rooms and sales of food and non-alcoholic drinks.



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