Liquor is a very sensitive subject in India as it has been attached with violent crimes and destructive activities. This is the main reason why manufacturing, producing, storing and selling of liquor is strigently regulated by the state governments. Each state has its own liquor law because liquor comes under state list in the seventh schedule of Indian Constitution. In order to open a liquor shop or to be able to produce/manufacture/sell liquor, you first need to procure a liquor license authorised by the government. It is considered illegal to sell alcohol without a proper license, be it in pubs, clubs, restaurants or hotels. The online liquor shops should also abide the rules.
Before diving into the further procedures, let us first understand what it means to have a liquor license at the first place. The ambit of the license will cover the following aspects-
- Permission to sell alcohol
- Place and time of selling alcohol
- Quantity of alcohol to be sold
- The charges and prices of all the items
- Types of alcoholic beverages to be sold
- To whom they can be sold
- Permission regarding manufacturing and distribution of the alcohol
One can obtain the liquor license from the excise department of the state government. Generally the liquor license can be can be categorised into following subheads-
- Beer and wine license
- Restaurant liquor license
- Tavern liquor license
- Brewpub liquor license
The relevant information regarding the cost of procuring a liquor license is briefly mentioned in the state excise department’s official website. You can also check the links given in some online liquor shops for additional information. After the thorough look at all the necessary points, one can proceed in following manner-
- Visit the official website of state excise department
- Download the application
- Fill in the application
- Submit it along with the specified fee which varies from state to state
- Attach all the appropriate documents like
- Identity proof
- Residence proof
- Valid Address proof of premise to be used for selling/manufacturing
- NOC certificate from municipal corporation and state fire department
- Personal and Business details
- Latest ITR copy
- Applicant’s recent photograph
- Affidavit declaring that there are no past criminal records in the name of applicant
- Affidavit declaring no pending dues in the name of the applicant.
- After receiving all the documents the state licensing authority will cross check and verify the credentials
- Post verification, a notice will be posted declaring the applicant’s name and the license details. Notice will be kept open for any kind of objections by local people. Right to defend will be furnished to the applicant in case of any objection.
- If there will be no objection, the licensing authority will review the application and grant the license.
The granted liquor license holds the validity of 1 year from the date of issue. Hence, it needs to be renewed annually. This can be done by filling the renewal application form available on the same website.
The most common types of the liquor licenses granted by the government are-
- L1 for wholesale supply of India liquor to the license holders
- L3 to hotels that permit the serving of foreign liquors to residents staying in rooms
- L5 to serve in bars and restaurants inside hotel premise
- L6 issued to retail vendors of beers and Indian liquors
- L19 to a club registered to serve foreign liquor
- L49 easily granted to any person for serving liquor in any party or function at specific premise
The liquor license is liable to revocation if the authorised entity –
- Serves the liquor on prohibited days
- Serves the liquor to minors
- Violates of rules issues by the governing authority
Obtaining and holding a liquor license is a responsibility in India. Hope the article helped.