4 Best Practices for Responsible Liquor Vendors in Florida

Selling alcohol can be a goldmine for your business, regardless of whether you run a restaurant, a cafe, a supermarket, or something else.

Being able to sell alcohol is a privilege — and one that you shouldn\’t take lightly. In fact, after investing in your business and receiving a license, you should do everything in your power to ensure that your license doesn\’t get stripped from you.

If you want to make sure you are on the straight and narrow, here are four best practices for responsible liquor vendors in Florida.

1. Make sure you have an up-to-date license.

First and foremost, if you want to be a responsible liquor vendor in Florida, then you need to have an up-to-date license. There is no way around it. In the US, liquor laws are strict, and it will be disastrous to yourself and your business if you try to operate without one.

In Florida, there are two types of liquor licenses: on-license and off-license. The former is for businesses that are looking to sell alcohol that buyers consume on the premises. The latter is for places such as liquor stores or supermarkets where customers purchase the beverage and then take it elsewhere to drink.

Obtaining a liquor license can take some time, especially if you are unsure of what you are doing and how to properly go about it. Additionally, liquor licenses can be costly, depending on the specifications and related costs put forward by your district.

If it is your first time applying for a liquor licence in Florida, then the process might seem slightly overwhelming. That is why it is recommended that you work with liquor license consultants in Florida who can advise you and guide you on the appropriate way to proceed.

2. Don\’t sell to minors.

The legal drinking age in the United States (and therefore, Florida) is 21. While this is higher than the majority of countries around the world, the police in the United States take these laws incredibly seriously, and there is no excuse for selling to someone under this age.

In fact, your first time being caught selling an alcoholic beverage to an underage person will result in a $1,000 fine and a seven-day suspension of your license. Your second offense will result in a $3,000 fine and a 30-day suspension of your license. Moreover, by the third offense, you will have your license revoked.

To maintain your license and your business, make sure that your employees know what forms of ID are acceptable, that they know how to check IDs and spot a fake one correctly, and that they are fully aware of the consequences for selling alcohol to a person under 21.

3. Provide education for your employees.

In order to be a responsible liquor vendor, you need to be continuously providing further education for your employees regarding these issues.

As part of your business plan, you want to incorporate ongoing employee training, which would include repeating the education training your employees receive about responsible sales at least once a year. After all, humans forget details and how to handle specific scenarios, so it is crucial to keep the responsible behaviors at the forefront of their minds.

By investing in the education of your employees, there is a decreased likelihood that they will engage in conduct that could conceivably place your business in jeopardy.

Moreover, the training shouldn\’t just revolve around not selling alcohol to minors (although that is a large part!). Your employees should also be trained to:

  • Decrease alcohol-related fatalities
  • Deal with highly intoxicated clientele
  • Eradicate drugs and alcohol abuse in the workplace
  • Be an overall more responsible representative of the alcohol industry

4. Commit to posting policies in visible areas.

In addition to educating yourself and your employees on the appropriate behaviors and responsible vending norms, you want to take it a step further and post your policies in areas where customers or patrons are able to see.

This should include hanging up the house policies in a space that is noticeable to all workers and posting warnings to hinder the illegal purchase of alcohol by minors.

Additionally, if you and your staff do opt to get further education regarding responsible liquor vending practices, you want to post those relevant certifications in an area that is extremely visible to the public, such as in your main entrance.


By following these four best practices, and ensuring you understand what would be the best Florida liquor license type for your business, you can reduce the chances of losing your alcohol license due to selling to minors or overly intoxicated clients.

You also won\’t have to worry about accidentally not complying with Florida state statutes, and you will be on your way to creating a safe, welcoming environment inside your store, shop or restaurant.

All in all, it is a win-win situation. Cheers to being responsible!

Have you ever applied for a liquor license in Florida? Are you considering opening up a liquor vending business? What do you wish you had known before starting the process of obtaining a license? Let us know in the comments below!