As an industry-leading point of sale (POS) system provider, we work with hundreds of liquor store business owners and managers. Investing in a POS system is a critical first step in creating a successful (and profitable) business.
However, there are a few other investment areas that you must consider when starting a new business. The liquor industry is unique in that owners must first obtain a liquor license before starting the business. Unfortunately, obtaining a liquor license in the Sunshine State is easier said than done – and nevermind the fees!
So, how much does a Florida liquor license actually cost?
In this article, we’ll review the types of liquor licenses available in Florida. We’ll even give you an adjusted breakdown of the costs associated with each. After reading, you’ll have all the information needed to plan and budget appropriately.
How Much Does a Florida Liquor License Cost?
The total cost of a liquor license in Florida depends on the type of liquor you plan to sell or distribute. Additionally, this figure is dependent on the amount of liquor licenses available and the county that your business operates.
In most cases, the average cost of a liquor license in Florida amounts to more than $2,500. As a best practice, consider budgeting 10 to 15 percent above this figure.
Keep reading for a complete breakdown of the types of liquor licenses (and associated fees) available in the Sunshine State.
Types of Florida Liquor Licenses
Determining which liquor license applies to your business is half the battle.
There are five main types of liquor licenses in Florida, including:
- Manufacturers/Distributors licenses
- Retail licenses
- Salesperson of Wine & Spirits licenses
- Miscellaneous licenses
- Quota Drawing Entries
Manufacturer and Distributor Licenses
The state of Florida requires manufacturers and distributors to request licenses to engage in manufacturing or distributing activities within the state boundaries. There are 14 types of licenses that apply to the manufacturing and distribution of alcohol in Florida. These licenses range from $100 to $1,000 depending on the type of alcohol you’re working with and the kind of business you operate.
Manufacturers, rectifiers, and distributors must also register each type of bottle label that is moved or sold in Florida. This license is called the Alcohol Brand Registrant and Brand/Label license and costs $0 to $30 per new label submitted.
Another distributor license is the Common Carriers/Passenger Carriers license, which includes cruise ships, airport waiting lounges, railroad masters, steamships, and buses. This license allows alcohol consumption aboard and costs $1,100to $1,250 depending on the type of license requested.
If you’re throwing an event in Florida and looking for a liquor license, Florida has five options for you to choose from. The options for event liquor licenses include temporary, non-member sales, temporary convention, special temporary, and temporary/permanent extension of premises licenses. These licenses cost $25 to $100, depending on the type of license you’re requesting.
The retail category of Florida liquor licenses has 41 types available. Your qualification for these retail licenses depends on the type of business you have and the type of alcohol you plan on serving or selling. Examples include lodges, clubs, performing art centers, golf clubs, caterers, and race tracks. The costs for these retail licenses range from $50 to $2,500.
Individuals employed by a wholesale distributor require a license to be able to sell wine or distilled spirits. The fee for this salesperson license is $50 per person and involves background information to qualify.
There are many miscellaneous liquor licenses in Florida that range from $0 to $100. These licenses include sacramental wine licenses used in places of worship, warehousing licenses, storage licenses, and pool buying group licenses.
Quota Beverage License Drawing Entry
Even if you qualify for one of the above licenses, it doesn’t mean that you can apply immediately and receive your license. There is a quota for how many licenses are available for sale in Florida, depending on the county you’re in. The winner of the quota drawing earns the right to apply for an available quota license in that county.
How to Get a Florida Liquor License
Florida liquor licenses can be hard to come by depending on the county you’re operating in. The Quota Beverage License Drawing Entries are reset once a year, and the availability of licenses depends on the number of county residents. If a county’s populace increases by 7,500 people, then a new quota license is created and logged with the rest when it comes time for the quota drawings.
This quota lottery is managed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and this can be a great way to obtain one of the licenses discussed in this article. The alternative is finding an existing business willing to transfer their liquor license to you, which is hard to come by.
The Best POS System for Liquor Stores
Now that we’ve explored how much a Florida liquor license costs, let’s review the importance of liquor store inventory management. Inventory management is one of the most significant management responsibilities for establishments selling liquor, wine, and beer. Luckily, your inventory management software doesn’t have to be a separate software to manage. At POS Nation, our point of sale (POS) system includes inventory management to help your track inventory effectively.
We’ve worked with thousands of liquor-distributing establishments across the country to get their POS systems set up and ready for opening day. Before your establishment opens up, it’s crucial to understand how inventory management works and the common problems many business owners face.
Check out our Guide to Liquor Store Inventory Management to get started.