How much does a liquor license cost in Texas? It’s a difficult question to answer.
If you’re opening a liquor store in the Lonestar State, it’s a required expenditure that you’ll need to budget for. If you fail to apply for a liquor license for your business, you’re putting the future success (and profitability) of your business at enormous risk.
In fact, business owners without a liquor license can face severe fines or penalties for the unsolicited sale of alcohol. In most cases, these fines or penalties can amount to hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars!
Keep reading to find out how much a liquor license costs in Texas, as well as the steps you need to follow to quickly obtain one and comply with Texas liquor laws.
How Much Does a Texas Liquor License Cost?
There are almost 50 different types of liquor licenses in Texas. However, when you consider the total volume of liquor stores in the state, obtaining a liquor license is easier said than done.
Before you can apply for a liquor license, you first need to select your filing path. Texas offers three options for liquor license filing paths. You can register as a retailer, a manufacturer, or a distributor. You need to determine which category best fits your business before you explore registering for a liquor license further.
- Retailer: If you plan to sell alcohol directly to consumers, you are most likely looking at a retailer liquor license. Liquor stores, restaurants, and bars are all considered retailers.
- Manufacturer: Are you looking to open a winery or brewery? In this case, you’ll want to apply for a liquor license as a manufacturer. If you also intend to serve alcohol in your facility directly to consumers you may need additional licensing for those practices.
- Distributor: If you plan to open a warehouse or serve as a vendor, distributing liquor to stores and bars directly from manufacturers you will need to explore a distributor’s liquor license.
Depending on the type of liquor license that you’re applying for, the average cost of a liquor license in Texas can amount to more than $17,500. Let’s take a closer look at the specifics to see what a liquor license will cost for your specific situation.
Types of Texas Liquor Licenses (With Costs and Fees)
Here is a short description of the nine most common types of liquor licenses in Texas. We’ve even included a cost breakdown for each liquor license type.
If your desired liquor license isn’t included here, there are still 34 other license types available in the state of Texas. Review the full list of Texas liquor licenses for more information.
- Brewer’s Permit for malt and ale manufacturing ($3,000)
- Manufacturer’s License for beer, alcohol, and liquor production ($1,500 per establishment)
- General Distributor’s License for selling beer to distributors, retailers, and private clubs in Texas ($600)
- Retail Dealer’s On-Premise License for selling beer for on or off-site premises ($300)
- Retail Dealer’s Off-Premise License for selling beer off-site premises ($120)
- Wine and Beer Retailer’s Permit for selling malt liquor, ale, wine, and beer under 14% alcohol ($350)
- Importer’s License for importing beer from beyond state lines ($40)
- Mixed Beverage Permit for mixed drink sales in an open container and on-site ale, malt liquor, wine, and beer consumption ($6,000)
- Wine and Beer Retailer Excursion Boat Permit for selling wine and beer under 14% alcohol on boats for on-premise consumption ($260)
How to Get a Liquor License in Texas
There are a few prerequisites that determine your liquor license eligibility.
Before applying for a liquor license in Texas, you must meet the following requirements:
- Must be 21 years of age or older
- Must have zero tax debt
- Must obtain proof of good moral character
- Must follow alcohol code regulations for at least two years
- Must have clean legal record
After determining your eligibility, we recommend completing the TABC Licensing Courses that apply to your unique business. TABC Licensing Courses are designed to guide you through all licensing requirements and responsibilities.
Next, submit a completed application here. Be sure to complete the application early – it can take weeks (or months) to receive your liquor license!
When completing your application, you will need to be prepared to provide information about your business including:
- Business financing information
- Names of all proprietors involved in the business
- Information regarding your business property
- Disclosure of various illegal actions by business owners
Prepare to provide information on these subjects and more in detail before beginning your liquor license application.
Essential Steps to Open Your Business
Once you have your license, you’re ready to open your business! A word of caution: Do not fall into the temptation of opening your business before you have the license in hand. If you open prematurely, you will be in violation of Texas law and may be subject to getting shut down.
Your opening process will look different depending on what type of business you are operating. Regardless of whether you’re opening a restaurant, a liquor store, or a distribution business, you’ll want to consider a few best practices, tips, and tricks.
- Do your homework: Modern consumers expect business owners to be experts in their trade. Be prepared to present yourself (and your staff) as those experts for your customers. Understand the ins and outs of the products you plan to sell and be prepared to offer customers advice and information in addition to the products you sell.
- Prepare to market your business: Every business needs some level of marketing to succeed. Establish what sets you apart from your competitors. Some simple marketing tactics you may want to consider include email marketing campaigns for new products, seasonal promotions, social media advertising, and in-store signage.
- Invest in the right tools: You’ll want to set your store up for success by investing in the right POS system for your business. Your perfect POS system may include features like age verification, customer loyalty features, case-break inventory, and more.
After Receiving Your Texas Liquor License: The Best Point of Sale for Liquor Stores
Now that we’ve established how much a liquor license in Texas costs, it’s time to secure your license and open your business! Unfortunately, the path to business success is paved with pitfalls that you need to avoid at all costs.
To improve your chances of liquor store success, we recommend investing in an advanced point of sale (POS) system. POS Nation offers a modern POS system purpose-built for liquor stores, tobacco shops, and other retail establishments.
POS Nation offers much more than payment processing. Our system can help you with inventory management, age verification, promotion management, and sales analytics. It’s the perfect system for any growing liquor store!
To help you make the most of our system, we’ve prepared a free resource: The Guide to Liquor Store Inventory Management.
In this guide, we give you all the expert insight to master inventory management using an advanced POS!