Category Archives: Texas Liquor License

Can an Individual Obtain a Liquor License?

So, you’re about to open a new bar or restaurant in the booming Dallas area? Unless you’re shooting for the world’s most wholesome restaurant, the odds are good that you’ll want to get a liquor license. After all, most Texans like to wash down a good meal or rehydrate after some dancing with a nice, cold drink.

Of course, as an up-and-coming entrepreneur, you may wonder if it’s even possible to obtain an individual liquor license in Dallas, TX.

The short answer

The quick and easy response is, “yes.” In a lot of states, liquor licenses aren’t handed out to a specific business—they’re given to the people who operate said business. In other words, it’s possible to say that every liquor license is an individual liquor license. Of course, the issue is much more complicated than this simple explanation suggests.

What type of liquor license would you like?

If you’re just hoping to sell beer and wine, you might find obtaining a liquor license much easier than pursuing a license that allows you to sell the full array of hard liquors.

Do you have a criminal background?

If you have a criminal history that includes violent crime or any kind of felony, then you most likely will not be issued an individual liquor license in Dallas, TX.

Building codes may cause an issue

If you’re specifically seeking a lease in your name, then you should pay attention to the building codes of your location. In some cases, if the name of your business appears on the building’s lease (rather than your name), then the name that appears on your liquor license will not be yours, but that of your business.

Where is the license coming from?

The vast majority of states acknowledge the personal nature of a liquor license to such an extent that they’ll allow the transfer of a license from one person to another. If a business is closing, for example, the owner may be able to transfer their license to a new business.

Cutting red tape for 50 years and counting

When you’re in the market for an individual liquor license in Dallas, TX and the surrounding area, the easiest way to secure the right documentation is to pay a visit to LaBarba Permit Service. When Joe and Billy Faye LaBarba opened the doors of LaBarba Permit Service in 1965, they had one goal in mind: to ease the regulatory burden of small business owners across the state of Texas.

Today, that proud tradition is carried on by the LaBarba sisters and their team of regulatory experts. Need a lottery, cigarette or dance hall license? Want to register with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission? Searching for health and zoning permits? We can fulfill all those needs and so many more. For half a century, we’ve built a strong reputation for customer service and exemplary work.

When you need a first-rate team of experts to cut through the red tape for your next project, visit LaBarba Permit Service. We look forward to hearing from you!

Why Is a Liquor License So Important?

If you’re starting a business in Texas, you’re likely thinking about the wide range of permits and zoning requirements that you’ll have to obtain. Depending on the type of business that you’re starting, however, you may also need to purchase a liquor license in Dallas, TX for your enterprise.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) regulates the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages in the Lone Star State.

Whether you’re hoping to sell and serve liquor onsite or are simply hoping to sell liquor as a retail function, you’ll have to obtain a license through your county’s branch of the TABC. This often requires significant legal expertise and a familiarity with the inner workings of the TABC. Working with a qualified permit service is usually the best way to go about accomplishing this.

Types of Licenses

Before applying for a liquor license in Dallas, TX, it’s important to first familiarize yourself with the different types of licenses available, and ensure that you’re applying for the correct type of license. Here are the most common types of liquor licenses that you’re likely to encounter:

  • Restaurant license: If your establishment will primarily sell food, but you also want to offer a menu of spirit-based drinks, as well as beers and wine, you can apply for a restaurant liquor license. This will allow you to sell any alcohol, so long as food makes up the larger volume of your sales.
  • Beer and wine license: For businesses that plan to offer beer and wine sales, but nothing that’s spirit-based, you can use a beer and wine license. These licenses are often easier and more cost-effective to obtain, because they restrict the type of alcohol that you’re allowed to sell.
  • Tavern liquor license: If you sell both alcohol and food, but the bulk of your sales volume comes from liquor sales, you’ll need to obtain a tavern license. This is similar to a restaurant license, but may require some extra levels of compliance.
  • Server license: Some jurisdictions may require individual servers to also have liquor licenses, as well as licenses issued to the establishment itself. It’s important to make sure that you never have anyone under the age of 21 handling alcohol, as this could jeopardize your permit status.

Once you apply for a liquor license, you’ll have to prepare your establishment for an inspection performed by your local TABC branch. It’s best to prepare for your inspection as early as possible. It may be worthwhile to hire a permit service to come and look through your restaurant or retail space prior to the inspection to ensure that everything is in line with state and local standards.

LaBarba Permit Service is a trusted expert helping businesses of all sizes obtain liquor licenses in Dallas, TX. We work with companies to help them maintain state compliance and secure the permits necessary to do business. To learn more about ways that we can help you cut through the red tape and maintain your TABC compliance, reach out to one of our friendly, knowledgeable representatives here at LaBarba Permit Service today.

Texas Senate Making Big Changes

Big changes are happening in Texas this year, with some new laws passed by the Texas Senate affecting companies with a beer and liquor license in Dallas, TX. Liquor laws are trending toward being more relaxed across the country, and Texas is no exception. In May of this year, the Senate voted to allow breweries to sell beer to go. Read on to learn more about what this means for your business, and what other laws were changed along with it.

How the bill allowing beer to go was passed

The bill passed in May restored a measure that allowed breweries to sell beer to go from their taprooms, as well as instated a bill that allowed the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) to continue operating. Part of what was passed will also loosen some restrictions on the number of liquor store permits individuals can hold.

Prior to this bill being passed, Texas was the only state in the country that restricted the sale of beer to go from breweries. Senator Dawn Buckingham, a proponent of the bill, said the matter was a historically divisive issue, but she represents her constituents that are in favor of the bill. The amendment allows individuals to hold up to 250 liquor store permits, which is a huge leap from the previous five allowed permits. This allowance will hopefully foster the free market approach to the liquor business while still allowing the TABC to issue permits responsibly.

The amendment for selling beer to go was due to involvement by the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, which is a large lobbying group that represents the interests of beer distributors, and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild, which is a lobbying group representing the interests of local breweries. The bill is awaiting approval from the House before the changes go into effect. However, they have indicated that they would pass the bill.

How selling beer to go affects your business

Selling beer to go as well as being able to hold multiple permits can benefit your business in many ways. In fact, all of these measures are believed to increase economic development, entrepreneurship, job creation and even tourism. Brian Birdwell, the TABC bill’s sponsor, believes that the state has archaic alcoholic beverage codes, and he has been crafting his amendments in an effort to update them. Updated laws will hopefully level the playing field for liquor vendors and breweries, making it easier to expand their business and own multiple liquor stores or locations.

If you’re working on getting your beer and liquor license in Dallas, TX, LaBarba Permit Service is here to help. Obtaining a permit from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission can be a cumbersome and time-consuming process, and getting successful results requires considerable expertise if the process is to be less confusing and frustrating. If you’re looking to take advantage of the Senate’s new amendments and open a second location, LaBarba Permit Service can help you get the proper permit from the TABC so you can start making a profit. Reach out to us today to arrange a consultation and learn more about what we can do for you.

Common Reasons Restaurants Lose Their Texas Liquor Licenses in Dallas, TX

Just as you can earn a liquor license for your restaurant, you can just as easily have it revoked if you fail to abide by the rules associated with maintaining that license. There are a number of mistakes or missteps you can make that could lead to the TABC penalizing you by taking away your liquor license.

Here are just a few examples of some of those mistakes that can lead to the loss of a Texas liquor license in Dallas, TX:

  • Serving alcohol to minors: There’s a simple way of avoiding this issue: just make sure you’re checking for IDs on all of your customers so you can be sure you’re not serving anyone underage. And when you do check identification, make sure you actually take the time to do it properly. If you have any reason to believe a customer is less than 21 years old, you must check their ID, and you should take the necessary training to be able to identify fake IDs as well.
  • Overserving intoxicated customers: Just because a customer keeps asking for more drinks does not mean you have to keep serving them. In fact, you are legally expected to stop service if the customer is getting too intoxicated. Keep in mind that there’s a chance you could be legally liable for the actions of any intoxicated patron after they leave your establishment. Therefore, know the signs of intoxication and know when to cut someone off.
  • Being drunk on the job: It is illegal for your employees to be intoxicated while on the premises. It’s dangerous and highly unprofessional. If you’re going to be responsible for serving alcohol to others (and cutting them off when they’ve had enough), you need to have your wits about you.
  • Selling during illegal hours: Every state and some local municipalities set their own rules regarding when alcohol can be sold. If you sell alcohol outside of the legally allowed hours, you run the risk of losing your liquor license.
  • Poor recordkeeping: You must keep copies of all of your alcohol-related invoices, as well as copies of your liquor license. This recordkeeping is crucial for your business, because if any TABC agent decides to pay your business a visit, they’re going to want to see your license and those invoices as part of their inspection. An inability to comply will, at the very least, look very poor on your part, but could result in you losing your liquor license altogether.
  • Not purchasing alcohol from a legal distributor: It’s important to be aware of all the alcohol distribution laws in Texas, as those laws are not necessarily the same from state to state. Texas has a three-tier system made up of retailers, distributors and manufacturers. You are only allowed to purchase alcohol from distributors as a retailer—you are not allowed to purchase directly from a manufacturer, or from another retailer. You can’t just go and pick up some beer at a grocery store if you run out of that specific brand during a shift—that’s illegal and could jeopardize your liquor license.

These are just a few examples of some of the most common mistakes made by restaurants and retail businesses that could lead to the loss of a Texas liquor license in Dallas, TX. For more information, contact LaBarba Permit Service today with any questions.

Common Questions About Temporary Permits

Under the rules of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC), businesses or individuals can obtain temporary permits to sell and serve alcohol in two scenarios:

  • Holders of TABC retail permits can obtain a temporary permit to sell or serve alcoholic beverages at any event that is to take place at a different location or venue than their own TABC-licensed premises
  • Certain religious, civic and charitable organizations can obtain temporary permits to sell or serve alcoholic beverages at special events that are not located on TABC-licensed premises (think of a church festival, for example)

However, individuals may not obtain a temporary permit for selling alcohol if they do not have a TABC retailer permit and do not represent any such organization described above.

With all this in mind, here are a few examples of some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about temporary TABC liquor licenses in Dallas, TX.

Q: What do I need to do to submit my application?

You can visit the website of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and obtain an application packet for a temporary license or permit. The packet contains all the information you need to submit your application properly.

Q: When and where should I apply for my permit?

You should submit your application at least 10 business days in advance of the event for which you need the permit, just to be on the safe side and avoid any delays associated with processing. You can submit your application in person at your local TABC office—again, the TABC website has a feature that will allow you to find the office closest to you for your convenience.

Q: How do I know which permit to apply for?

The TABC website has a full list of the various types of temporary permits it issues, and that list includes information such as who is eligible for application for those permits and how they are outlined in the Alcoholic Beverage Code.

Q: Can I distribute alcohol for free without a permit?

You are able to offer complimentary alcoholic beverages without a permit. However, those beverages must be available for any adult who requests a beverage. If the beverages are only available for paying customers, then in the eyes of the law the cost of the beverage is included in the price of whatever service is being rendered, which is the same in essence as a sale of alcoholic beverages. Therefore, there cannot be any expectation of receiving money in any way if you are to give out alcoholic beverages—you cannot even ask for tips or donations. Some examples include small shops that serve wine or champagne to people while they shop, and even wedding receptions.

Q: Can I sell alcohol at a fundraiser?

Yes, but you will need to get the proper permit to do so, and the fundraiser will need to meet certain qualifications based on the venue and the organization putting on the event.

For more information about getting a temporary TABC liquor license in Dallas, TX, contact LaBarba Permit Service today.