How to Get a Connecticut Liquor License

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Connecticut is a state with a number of bars, restaurants, fine dining establishments and entertainment venues, all of which sell alcohol as part of their day-to-day operations. The businesses of making and selling alcohol are strictly regulated in Connecticut. Although it is not extraordinarily difficult to obtain a liquor license, the process that applicants go through can be very strict and detail oriented. This can sometimes make the procedure seem overly complicated if the applicant does not know what steps to expect.

Things You'll Need

  • Photo identification
  • Connecticut residency
  • Business location
  • Photographs of location
  • Sketches of premises
  • Obtain a location for your business. When you apply for a liquor license, equal consideration is given to the qualifications of the applicant and to the location where business will be conducted. The business location must be listed on the application so that research can be conducted to make sure that there were no past problems with a license at the location and that there are no restrictions that prevent a liquor license from being issued.

  • Take photographs of the property. You are required to attach photographs to your application for a liquor license in Connecticut. Take an ample number of photographs to show the outside of the building, as well as every area inside where alcohol will be sold or stored.

  • Make sketches of your property. The sketches should be complete with measurements to define the space where alcohol will be sold or stored. If your location is part of a larger complex, you should also include sketches that identify where your portion of the building fits in relation to the rest of the property.

  • Determine the type of liquor license you need. The license you are required to have varies depending upon your business. Manufacturers, distributors, bars and restaurants all operate under different licenses. You can review more information about available license types on the Liquor Control Division's website, which is part of the Department of Consumer Protection.

  • File an application for a liquor license. The application must be accompanied by a check or money order for the filing fee, which will vary depending on the type of license you selected in the previous step. You can submit the application by mail or in person. The address is 165 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut. Questions can be answered by the Liquor Control Division by calling (860) 713-6210.

  • Wait for public reaction. Public notices will be posted on the property and carried in the legal notices section of the local newspaper. These notices are intended to alert the general public to the fact that a business in their area has applied for a liquor license. The public will then have an opportunity to voice an objection. Any objections received will be taken into consideration when the commission makes a ruling on your application.

  • Undergo a background investigation. Each person listed on the liquor license application will need to undergo an extensive background investigation to make sure that they meet the minimum qualifications to obtain a liquor license. It is important to list all legal infractions on your application. The Liquor Control Division considers even something as small as a speeding ticket to be a conviction. Failure to disclose any “convictions” may complicate your license application.

  • File notice of your license with the local City Clerk. After your license has been issued by the Liquor Control Division, you will need to file a copy of the license with the local city government in the town where you operate your business.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you find the process of obtaining a liquor license in Connecticut to be an overwhelming endeavor, you may benefit from the services of a professional liquor license consultant. Raymond Ragaini worked as a Liquor Control Agent for 16 years, but now helps others through the application process. He can be reached at (860) 734-0630.
  • Photo Credit ikon_vodka, Flickr.com Creative Commons License
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